I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving – ours was, thanks to our standby generator, a huge success. Good food, loving family and lots of old-fashioned fun. We ate and played board games and ate and talked and ate some more.
December is going to be a busy month.
I’m finishing up Mira Reisberg’s Illustrating Children’s Picture Books course – it was an amazing journey into the world of art and how it impacts picture books. Mira also has another incredible class starting in January – The Chapter Book Alchemist – I may have to write that on my list to Santa.
I managed to write two picture book drafts as part of Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge…it will soon be time to register for 2015 – click Julie’s link to get on the mailing list so you don’t miss out..
I’m getting the house ready for the holidays – my son and his family are flying in from Chicago for Christmas.
I finished Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo challenge and have a journal FILLED with over 30 story ideas that will keep me busy throughout the long cold winter and beyond.
I’m putting together my newsletter which will go out to all my subscribers in the new year. I’d also like to give away a copy of my Show Me How book – just click and subscribe and you’ll get the newsletter, filled with picture book recommendations, quick and easy craft projects and child-friendly recipes; a one-page anti-bullying toolkit guide for kids, AND an entry for the book giveaway. What are you waiting for? (If you’ve already subscribed, you already have your golden ticket entry for the book giveaway): http://eepurl.com/8pglH
I’m also going to take part in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday Writing Contest. If you are a writer, you might want to check it out. If you are a parent or teacher, please don’t miss out on reading some of the dozens of entries – fun holiday stories for kids.
Here is some information in case you’d like to participate:
The 4th Annual Holiday Contest!!!!
The Contest: Write a children’s story (children here defined as approximately age 12 and under) in which wild weather impacts the holidays! Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words (I know! So much freedom after the Halloweensie Contest :)) (It can be as short as you like, but no more than 350!) Any kind of weather will do: sun, rain, sleet, heatwave, blizzard, tsunami, monsoon, hurricane, hail, tornado, etc! Weather may be atypical for your setting (rain in Maine, frost in Florida), it may be extreme (blizzard instead of regular snow, drought instead of lush greenery), or it may be unheard of (spring flowers in Antarctica, snow in the Sahara, bathing suit weather at the North Pole), but whatever you choose, make us feel the impact on the holidays! The wild weather may be a hindrance, a wish-come-true, a threat, a pleasant surprise, etc. The field is wide open! Have fun! The wilder and wackier the better! No illustration notes please. (And yes, if you feel compelled to submit more than one entry you may, just remember you’re competing against yourself!)
Post: Your entry should be posted on your blog between Monday December 8 and Friday December 12 at 11:59 PM EST, and your post-specific link should be added to the link list on the official holiday contest post which will go up on my blog on Monday December 8 and remain up through Sunday December 14 (no WYRI or PPBF during that week.) If you don’t have a blog but would like to enter, please copy and paste your entry into the comments on my December 8th post. (If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, please email me and I’ll post your entry for you!)
The Judging: My lovely assistant(s) and I will narrow down the entrants to 10-12 finalists (depending on the number of entries) which will be posted here on either Monday December 15 or Tuesday December 16 (depending on the number of entries :)) for you to vote on for a winner. The vote will be closed on Thursday December 18 at 5 PM EST and the winners will be announced on Friday December 19. Whoever gets the most votes will be first and so on down to tenth place. Judging criteria will be kid appeal/kid-friendliness, creativity of weather use in plot, quality of story, quality of writing, and originality.
: Well, I hope these prizes are going to knock your socks off!!! In the spirit of the holidays, winners will be named for 1st – 10th place. In addition to the incredible fame of being able to say you won (or placed in) the Pretty Much World Famous 4th Annual Holiday Contest, the following AMAZING prizes will be awarded: (items in color are links for more info!)
– A picture book manuscript read and critique by Shari Dash Greenspan, Editor of the multi-award winning Flashlight Press! I encourage you to sign up for their newsletter HERE!
– A picture book manuscript read and critique by Jennifer Mattson, Agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency!
– Enrollment in Renee LaTulippe‘s highly praised and recommended Lyrical Language Lab Course (in a month to be mutually agreed upon by the winner and Renee) ($249 value!)
– Enrollment in Jon Bard and Laura Backes’s fantastic Kindle Kids Mastery Course ($197 value!)
– Enrollment in Making Picture Book Magic (my online picture book writing class – in March or a later month to be mutually agreed upon by the winner and me)
– A picture book manuscript critique by fabulous author Amy Dixon, author of MARATHON MOUSE and the forthcoming SOPHIE’S ANIMAL PARADE.
– (Hopefully) 2 or 3 PB MS Critiques from other fabulous authors – TBA
– 2015 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market, a signed copy of Boy And Poi Poi Puppy by Linda Boyden, and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
– a pack of Deb Lund’s amazing Fiction Magic Cards
– another pack of Deb Lund’s amazing Fiction Magic Cards
Another writer friend, Teresa Schaefer, has a wonderful coloring activity on her website…if you’ve got young ones, please check it out. She calls it her Christmas Advent Coloring Countdown. All parents need to do is go to her website: www.teresamischaefer.com
Once there they click on the tab labelled DOODLING. A welcome and directions will be there as to how to click on the image to print. They can print as many as they wish and come back each day for the next coloring page. Day one is a set up for a letter to Santa, address included.
So much to do – so little time to do it. What are your plans for this coming month?