Gayle C. Krause: Will Write for Cookies plus Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

 

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

GAYLE C. KRAUSE

I run into today’s Will Write for Cookies guest at so many kidlit online forums, and I even got to meet her at a conference a couple of years ago. But I got to know her a bit better through our interactiion in the #PictureBookBuzz debut picture book author group this year with her beautiful book, DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON?

As a Master Educationalist, Gayle C. Krause has taught Children’s Literacreative writing, and storytelling techniques to prospective teachers and children’s authors. Her work has been nominated for the Boston Globe /Horn Book and The International Reading Association Award. She’s a PAL member of SCBWI, the 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge, a past member of the Historical Novel Society, and The Poets’ Garage. She serves on Angie Karcher’s Rhyming Revolution Committee, selecting the best nationally acclaimed rhyming picture book award from 2015-2018. Ms. Krause writes Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult novels. Rebecca Angus of Golden Wheat Literary Agency represents her. You can find the latest news about her books at www.gayleckrause.com Continue reading

Will Write and Illustrate for Cookies: Raven Howell and Carina Povarchik PLUS Double Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

Carina Povarchik self portraitRaven Howell portrait by Carina

TODAY’S GUESTS

CARINA POVARCHIK AND RAVEN HOWELL

(That’s Carina up top and Raven below – both portraits were created by Carina)

KABOOM! This is going to be an explosively awesome post, my friends! So much talent in one spot – I feel blessed to Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: SUMO JOE Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends! I had a fabulous time at the NESCBWI conference in Springfield, Massachusetts last weekend. The keynotes were amazing…Jane Yolen, Patricia MacLachlan and Lynda Mullaly Hunt. My presentations went really well…I think folks walked away feeling they had gotten something of value. And getting to hug lots of kidlit friends was so much fun!

Today’s book  is so much fun also and it’s from one of my fellow #Newin19 teammates, Mia Wenjen who hosts the fabulous Pragmatic Mom blog.

But, before we get to the review, we owe someone a book. Two weeks ago, Jodi McKay offered a copy of her newest picture book, PENCIL’S PERFECT PICTURE, and the winner is: Continue reading

Maryann Coccoa-Leffler: Will Write For Cookies PLUS Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

Cocca-Leffler_MaryAnn-2018a_RGB

 

TODAY’S GUEST

MARYANN COCCOA-LEFFLER

As most of you know, one of the things I love best about this kidlit community is the connections we make. And what could be better than to have a multipublished author/illustrator who wants to critique with you and Continue reading

The #50PreciousWords Writing Contest is OPEN: March 2-6

Strike up the band! Sharpen your pencils! It’s time to show the world that:

MAGIC HAPPENS WHEN YOU MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT

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Today is the day, dear friends! Ready! Set! Go!

The #50PreciousWords 2019 Writing Contest is now OPEN!

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For those of you who have not participated before, let me give you a bit of back story. March 2nd is the birthday of the incredible Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. For the last three years, I’ve hosted a little contest based on Bennet Cerf’s challenge to Seuss to write a children’s book using only 50 words. To answer that challenge, Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham. It’s true that the story has over 700 words…but only 50 unique words.

In 2016, I thought it would be fun to try to write a story for kids with ONLY 50 words. With a beginning, a middle, and an end. I wondered if I could do it. And then I opened the challenge to everyone. Much to my surprise and amazement, there were 128 entries! The next year, there were 253 entries. And last year, there were 298.

To backtrack a bit, in 2012 I had a dream. I wanted to write picture books. And I wanted to be traditionally published.

And one of the most important things I did was to participate in writing challenges like Susanna Hill’s contests.

Why was that important?

Because it got me writing. It got me revising. It got me submitting.

Hmmm….writing/revising/submitting. I believe that if we do those three things enough times, our writing improves and agents and editors get a chance to see our work. And as much as I am thrilled with my own success, nothing makes me happier than to hear about the success of others in our kidlit community.

So, please sharpen your pencils. Fire up your computers. And share your #50PreciousWords with us.

#50 PRECIOUS WORDS WRITING CHALLENGE GUIDELINES

  1. Write a story appropriate for kids ages 12 or under, using only 50 words…they can all be different words, or you can use some of them over and over…just as long as the total word count of the story is 50 or less.
  2. It can be prose, rhyme, free verse, silly or serious…whatever works for you.
  3. Title is not included in the word count.
  4. No illustration notes please.
  5. IMPORTANT: Post your story in the comment section below. If you have your own blog and want to post your story there also, please do. And let us know your post link.  I ask for the link so that people will visit each other and find new friends in the kid lit community. But no matter how many other places you want to post your story, make sure at least one of those places is in the comment section of this blog post…and please make sure you put your name in the post because some of you have very creative emails/avatar names and I won’t know who you are. If you have any trouble at all posting the story, please email me and I will be happy to do it for you: viviankirkfield@gmail.com.
  6. Deadline for posting the story in the comments is Wednesday, March 6, at 11:59pm. And if you plan to ask me to post it for you, please send it at least the day before.
  7. As many of you know, I am in New Zealand right at this moment on a round the world trip of a life-time. I am hoping to announce the winners on March 16th, but I ask for your patience and understanding in case something comes up and it doesn’t happen that day. Also, although I will be posting the winners on March 16th,  I won’t start awarding the prizes until after I return home, on April 8th. But believe me, these prizes will be worth the wait! 
  8.  When I do start contacting the winners, 1st place will choose whichever prize he/she wants. Then I will contact 2nd place with the remaining prizes to choose from. And so on down the line. And here, for your dining and dancing pleasure are the wonderful prizes.

vicki selvaggio

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  • A seat in Susanna Leonard Hill’s MAKING PICTURE BOOK MAGIC: This is the first picture book writing class I took in February 2014..it was a stellar foundation and it has served me well. Susanna is an amazing mentor and a seat in her class can be life-changing!

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humor

 

  • A complimentary viewing of Alayne Kaye Christan’s latest webinar: Top Ten Reason’s for Rejections.  
    If you want tips on some corrective action that you might take to improve your chances of submission success, and/or if you would like to deepen your understanding of plot and arc, this webinar is for you.

    http://www.alaynekaychristian.com/

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Alayne Kay Christian is the content and developmental editor for Blue Whale Press and an award-winning children’s book author. She is the creator and teacher of a picture book writing course, Art of Arc. She has been a professional picture book and chapter book critique writer since 2014. And worked as a critique ninja for Julie Hedlund’s 12 X 12 for three years. Alayne is a graduate of the Institute for Children’s Literature and she has spent the last eleven years studying under some of the top names in children’s literature.

 

  • Picture Book manuscript critique from author Lindsay Metcalf

lindsay h. metcalf (credit anna jackson)Photo courtesy: Anna Jackson Photography

Lindsay H. Metcalf is a children’s author, poet, reporter, and former editor for The Kansas City Star. She will debut with two nonfiction picture books in 2020. In the fall of that year, Charlesbridge will release Taking the Mic: Fourteen Young Americans Making History, a poetic anthology co-edited by Lindsay, Jeanette Bradley, and Keila V. Dawson, and illustrated by Bradley. It features fourteen contemporary young activists, each spotlighted by a well-known poet. Subjects include literacy activist Marley Dias, water protector Jasilyn Charger, Scout for Equality founder Zach Wahls, and immigration reformer Viridiana Sanchez Santos. Contributors include Nikki Grimes, Joseph Bruchac, Lesléa Newman, and Guadalupe García McCall. Details about Lindsay’s second nonfiction picture book will be forthcoming. To learn more about her books and paid critique services, please reach out on lindsayhmetcalf.com or on Twitter @lindsayhmetcalf.

 

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Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection – Book One: Return to Coney Island and Book Two: The Liberty Bell Train Ride (Clear Fork Publishing, 2017 and 2019); and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush and Ready, Set, GOrilla! (Clear Fork, 2018). Upcoming releases include Return of the Magic Paintbrush and Sadie’s Shabbat Stories (Clear Fork, 2019). She is also the co-author of The Parent-Child Book Club: Connecting With Your Kids Through Reading (HorizonLine Publishing, 2009). Melissa is an Assistant and Blogger for the Children’s Book Academy, a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, a Moderator for The Debut Picture Book Study Group, and a volunteer with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators/MetroNY. Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer and editor, and early childhood educator. Additionally, she is a member of the Board of Trustees at The Hewitt School and at Temple Shaaray Tefila. Melissa lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and one puppy.

www.MelissaStoller.com

www.MelissaStoller.com/blog

http://www.facebook.com/MelissaStoller

http://www.twitter.com/melissastoller

http://www.instagram.com/Melissa_Stoller

http://www.pinterest.com/melissa_Stoller

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Born and raised in the Midwest, Amber Hendricks grew up reading everything she could get her hands on- including the morning cereal boxes. That passion melded into writing, and by the age of 11 she was writing and binding her own “books”.  Amber is the author of Sophie and Little Star (Clearfork/Spork 2018) and two yet to be announced picture books.  Amber has worn many hats in her career : Army wife, Mother, Visual Merchandiser, Certified Pharmacy Technician, and most recently, Childcare Professional.  But she has always circled back to her first love of telling stories.  Amber currently resides in Missouri with her husband and two children.
  • Picture Book manuscript critique from author Sherry Howard.

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Sherry Howard lives in Middletown, Kentucky, in a household busy with kids and pets. She worked as an educator, and now has the luxury of writing full time. Her debut picture, Rock and Roll Woods, released in October, 2018. And her middle grade NF, Deep Sea Divers, just released. She has quite a few books in the pipeline for publication soon.

Sherry Howard | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 Meet Kuda and Rock and Roll Woods here.

Deep Sea Divers

Julie Abery

Mother. Writer. Teacher of the very young. I live in Switzerland with my partner and Tilly, the Springer Spaniel.

I ❤️ my job (it’s not every day you get to be an honorary five year old!)

I ❤️ chocolate  (I live in Switzerland after all!)

I ❤️  walking the dog (well, I did eat all the chocolate!)

I ❤️  picture books!

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit

http://www.stormliteraryagency.com/our-authors-and-artists/

  • Picture book critique from author Tina Cho.

tina cho

Tina Cho is the author of four picture books– Rice from Heaven: The Secret Mission to Feed North Koreans (Little Bee Books/Bonnier Publishing August 2018), Korean Celebrations (forthcoming Tuttle 2019), Breakfast with Jesus (forthcoming Harvest House 2020), and a new sale yet to be announced. Although she grew up and taught in the United States, she currently lives in South Korea with her husband and two children while teaching at an international school.

The Girls Guide to Manners

www.tinamcho.com

 

  • Picture book critique from author Carrie Finison.

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Carrie Finison began her literary career at the age of seven with an idea, a box of markers, and her father’s typewriter. She has been writing off and on ever since, though she has (somewhat regretfully) traded in the typewriter for a laptop. Her poems and stories for children have appeared in Babybug, Ladybug, High Five, and Highlights magazines, and her debut picture book,DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS, illustrated by Brianne Farley, will be published by Putnam in 2020. She lives outside Boston with her husband, son, daughter, and two cats who permit her to write in their cozy attic office. Find her online atwww.carriefinison.com or on Twitter @CarrieFinson.

  • Picture book critique from Maria Marshall

Maria Marshall photos

Maria is a children’s author, blogger, and poet passionate about making nature fun for children. She was a round 2 judge for the 2018 & 2017 Cybils Awards. And a judge for the #50PreciousWords competition since its inception. Two of her poems are published in The Best Of Today’s Little Ditty 2016 and 2014-2015 anthologies. She is the parent of two amazing adults and lives in the Pacific Northwest with two Pixie Bob cats. When not writing, critiquing, or reading, she bird watches, travels the world, bakes, and hikes. The Picture Book Buzz

 

Website  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

 

  • Signed copy of book by Laura Sassi

laura sassi

Laura Sassi has a passion for telling stories in prose and rhyme.  Her picture books include  GOODNIGHT, MANGER (Zonderkidz, 2015), GOODNIGHT, ARK (Zonderkidz, 2014), DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE (Sterling, 2018) and LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, 2018). She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and a black Cockapoo named Sophie. She is represented by Lara Perkins of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and you can learn more about her and her books at https://laurasassitales.wordpress.com/

  • Signed copy of THE MASTERPIECE by Shelley Kinder

The Masterpiece - cover image

Shelley lives in Indiana with her family and loves writing for little people. Not So Scary Jerry (2017) was her first picture book. The Masterpiece (2018) is her second. Its original version got eleventh place in Vivian’s #50PreciousWords Contest in 2016

www.ShelleyKinder.com

 

A big thank you to all of our amazing prize donors! Much appreciation to illustrator Vicky Fang whose awesome logo graces our challenge! And a grateful thank you to my dear friends and critique buddies, Maria Marshall, Julie Abery, and Diane Tulloch who will be helping me read and comment.

Last year there were almost 2000 comments – ALL OF THEM POSITIVE AND ENCOURAGING!  I am so proud to be a part of this amazing kidlit community. Our news stations and politicians could definitely learn something from us.

And before I leave you to post your stories and comment on those you have a chance to read, I thought it would only be fair if I posted my sample of a 50-word story. I hang my head in shame because I am using the same story I wrote for last year’s post. I hope you will forgive me, preparations for my book launches and trip did not allow me time to write a new one, but I did want to put up an example for those who haven’t participated before. And maybe it will be new to them!

WHY THE STARS TWINKLE (49 words)

It was Sun’s birthday.

Moon gathered paper, paint,

glitter and glue to make a card.

But Wind blew.

Glitter and glue covered the stars.

“Now I have no gift for Sun,” cried Moon.

“Twinkling stars are the best present of all,” said Sun.

And Moon glowed all night long.

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Remember, if you have any questions or concerns, please email me at: viviankirkfield@gmail

I ask for your patience and understanding if I don’t get back to you right away…but please don’t stress…if you write a story and have trouble posting it, just email me. As long as your email gets to me time stamped before the contest closes, I will make sure your story is entered. Right at this moment, I am in Auckland, New Zealand, participating in library and school story times, reading FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK, PIPPA’S PASSOVER PLATE, and SWEET DREAMS, SARAH! How lucky can aa girl get???

And I am so looking forward to reading all of your precious words!

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday: THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS Plus Double Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends!

In four more days, I’ll be hopping on a plane and winging my way to Sydney, Australia. But please don’t fret! Even though I may not be HERE…I will be hopping around the blogsphere, visiting with Kirsti Call on Writers’ Rumpus, sharing lists of female inventors with Mia Wenjen on Pragmatic Mom, answering questions for Maria Marshall on Picture Book Buzz, chatting with Darlene Beck-Jacobsen on Gold from Dust: Bringing Stories to Life, and more. Plus there will be several Perfect Picture Book posts right here as I continue to celebrate the fabulous 2019 debuts…like today’s wonderful book!

And as a special treat, I’ll be sharing the cover of author Lindsay Leslie’s SECOND debut picture book of 2019…PLUS, she’s offering a double giveaway.

spineless cover

THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS

Written by Lindsay Leslie

Illustrated by Alice Brereton

Published by Page Street Kids (February 19, 2019)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Sensory Perception, Humor, Problem Solving

Synopsis: From Amazon:

“With suspense and humor, this wary and unadventurous book uses the five senses to try and figure out what kind of story might be on its pages.

Does it hear spooky wails from a ghost story?
Can it see a mysterious something peeking around a corner?
Is that the dizzy feeling of zero gravity it senses?
Might that be the stinky smell of animals in nature it detects?
Could it be tasting the saltiness of a story on the high seas?

The reader and book navigate the book’s contents together, becoming friends as the book becomes braver with every page turn. This multilayered book incorporates the five senses, multiple literary genres, and various book parts, with the relationship between book and reader bringing everything together.”

Why I love this book:

  • I love books that are interactive and encourage participation between reader/listener and the story.
  • This book has heart and humor…great combination for any picture book.
  • The illustrations are lots of fun and will engage children to keep turning the pages.

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

dream-catcher-craftPhoto courtesy: http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk

Make a DREAMCATCHER to grab your dreams, both good and bad. For detailed instructions: http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk/children/dont-be-afraid-god-is-with-us/

And check out author Leslie’s second debut picture book, NOVA THE STAR EATER that launches in May.

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Here’s a little bit about the author of these brilliant books!

Bio: A diary keeper, a journal writer, a journalism major, a public relations executive—Lindsay Leslie has always operated in a world of written words. When she became a mom and began to tell her kids bedtime stories, Lindsay connected the dots to children’s literature. She likes to bring her unique outlook on life, quirky humor, and play with words to the page in picture books. Lindsay is the author of THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS, her debut picture book (Page Street Kids, Feb. 19, 2019). Her second picture book, NOVA THE STAR EATER (Page Street Kids), will launch on May 21, 2019. Her third picture book, DUSK RAIDERS WANTED (Page Street Kids), will launch in spring of 2020. Lindsay lives with her husband, two young boys, and two fur-beasts in Austin.

Links: www.lindsayleslie.com

Twitter: @lleslie

Instagram: @lindsaylesliewrites

Dear friends, one of the things I’m always encouraging people to do is to write reviews for the books that you love. Lindsay kindly supplied the links for Goodreads, so if you get to read either or both of her books, I hope you will hop over and post your review. This is the best gift you can give an author…other than buying their book, of course.

Goodreads:

THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40046021-this-book-is-spineless?from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/This-Book-Spineless-Lindsay-Leslie/dp/1624146589/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531156153&sr=8-1&keywords=this+book+is+spineless

NOVA THE STAR EATER:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41150332-nova-the-star-eater?from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/Nova-Star-Eater-Lindsay-Leslie/dp/1624146937/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535051997&sr=8-1&keywords=nova+the+star+eater

Lindsay and I are actually members of one of the debut picture book author groups and I’ve gotten to know her a bit. She is mega-smart about writing and lots of other things, so, I asked her to share an author tip with us.

Lindsay says:

When I was in the throes of querying, I took advantage of every opportunity available to me. Not only did I have a targeted list of agents I was interested in working with, but also I participated in all of the Twitter #hashtag events, such as #PitMad and #PBPitch, as well as the online contests, including #PBParty, among others. I even submitted to a Writer’s Digest competition (and I placed fourth for children’s literature). What I felt was important was feedback. I wanted to see if my concepts caught eyeballs. Did my pitches make people pause? Am I getting a reaction? For the pitches that got no love, I knew I had work to do and needed go back to either rework the manuscript or figure out why my pitch wasn’t connecting. For the pitches that received a “heart,” I knew I was on the right track. This was all part of my market research. Of course, this process came after running my manuscripts by several critique partners. So, if you are feeling fearful or timid about putting yourself out there with these types of contest and opportunities, know that you aren’t the only one feeling that way and that there are so many upsides to participating! For me, it was a book deal with Page Street Kids.

How cool is that! And, if you’re in the market to win a copy of THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS and an F&G (unbound copy) of NOVA THE STAR EATER, please don’t forget to leave a comment. I’d love if you would share what, if anything, made you feel spineless as a child.

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful weekend.

Giveaway Winner Catchup and a NEW LOOK

I’m back from Chicago, dear friends, and the extra pounds were unfortunately not in my luggage. It’s really difficult to refrain from eating all the yummy foods during this holiday season…I do try not to take seconds, but I don’t always succeed. If any of you have a great plan to keep unwanted weight off, please share. (the tips…not the weight!)

It turned out to be a working vacation…for my daughter-in-law, that is. She’s so thrilled about my picture books that will be launching next year. “You are a picture book writer,” she said. “You are full of fun and your website needs to reflect that!” And so she made the magic happen and the new banner is the result – featuring characters from two of my 2019 debut picture books, PIPPA’S PASSOVER PLATE illustrated by the fabulous Jill Weber and FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK illustrated by the talented Mirka Hokkanen, are frolicking around me! Continue reading

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