Tuesday Debut – Presenting Teresa Krager!

Hey there, everyone!  Welcome to another exciting episode of Tuesday Debut!

Today I’m delighted to introduce you to debut author Teresa Krager, whose beautiful picture book, Before Your Birth Day, gives children a glimpse of all the special ways they were becoming themselves before they were even born.

Take it away, Teresa! 😊

Before Your Birth Day
By Teresa Joyelle Krager
Illustrated by Thalita Dol
Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.
July 11, 2020
Nonfiction
Ages 4-8

Cover F - front only

This celebration of life in the womb traces the miraculous milestones of development in lyrical rhyme as each precious child is wonderfully woven by God.

 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Teresa!  Thank you so much for joining us today to share Before Your Birth Day‘s journey to publication!  Where did the idea for the book come from?

TERESA: The idea came in May 2018, a few months after I learned my daughter-in-law was expecting. I began to follow a pregnancy app and was amazed at the incredible amount of scientific information available. Inspired to learn more, I researched what was happening during each week of her pregnancy and finally had to record my findings. As a 27-year veteran of teaching K and 1st grade, the story was ‘birthed’ in rhythm and rhyme, thanks to Dr. Seuss!

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?

TERESA: Initially, the book took about four months to write. I researched a few different websites to make sure I was getting accurate information. Of course, it was still far from its final version.

 

SUSANNA: Did it go through many revisions?

TERESA: I continued revising and tweaking the manuscript with the help of my SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) local critique group. I also paid for a one-on-one mentorship at a writer’s conference. Revisions continued even after I had sent the book off to publishers and had signed a contract. It’s amazing what we see after setting a manuscript aside for a time and then looking at it again with fresh eyes. I think my last revision was just a couple of weeks prior to it being sent to the distributor.

 

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

TERESA: I sent the manuscript off ten months after the idea was ‘conceived’. To the best of my knowledge and based on the response of my SCBWI friends, I thought it was ready.

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

TERESA: In the spring of 2019, I submitted to two small publishers who accepted unsolicited manuscripts. One answered with an automated message that they would contact me within six weeks if they were interested. Crickets. The second was super interested. After six weeks of discussions, however, they admitted the cost of the project was beyond what they could afford at the time, but encouraged me to contact them in a year or two if I was still looking to be published. Overall, this was a good learning experience as they asked for comparisons with similar books, marketing ideas, and my vision of illustrations. It forced me to start brainstorming and gathering that information.

In the summer of 2019, while attending a writer’s conference, I made an appointment with an editor from Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. She encouraged me to send in my manuscript. After finding their proposal requirements online, I set about the task of putting the multifaceted proposal together. Of course when I sent it in, I mentioned the name of their editor who encouraged me to submit my manuscript.

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Teresa’s writing space

 

SUSANNA: When did you get “the call”? (Best moment ever!)

TERESA: I received “the call” by email just over an hour after submitting the proposal. I was shocked and elated!!! (Imagine ‘happy dance’ emoji here.) They wanted to offer me a contract, but wanted me to have an agent first. They recommended agent Karen Neumair from Credo Communications and I signed with that agency the following week. A month later, I signed with Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.

 

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?

TERESA: My husband and I went out to dinner and stopped to buy a beautiful flower arrangement. On an amazing note, I received the executed contract from the publisher the same day my new grandson, who inspired this book, turned one-year old!

 

SUSANNA: How wonderful! So serendipitous!  Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies, etc.?

TERESA: From my contract it was perfectly clear that this small publishing house did not offer an advance or author copies. Because of this, the royalty percentage was better than most. The publisher also allowed the author to purchase copies at a significant discount since the author is doing most of the sales. The publication timeline moved right along and was mostly dependent on my illustrator and her pacing.

 

SUSANNA: What can you tell us about the editorial process?

TERESA: The editorial process was better than I could ever have imagined. My editor gave guidelines up front and we worked really well together. She asked for only a couple minor changes and was flexible with some of the formatting. She updated documents in our Dropbox regularly after receiving completed panels from my illustrator.

 

SUSANNA: What can you share about your experience of the illustration process?

TERESA: My publisher gave me the option of choosing one of the artists they work with (most of whom would evenly split royalties with the author) or hire an independent contractor. I chose the latter. I found Thalita Dol’s portfolio on the SCBWI website when I was specifically looking for artists who illustrated the pre-born. I checked out her website and contacted her directly. Before starting the project a few months later, we were able to meet in person and I was able to share my vision for the book.

panel 9 for Marketing

text copyright Teresa Krager 2020, illustration copyright Thalita Dol 2020 Elk Lake Publishing

My working relationship with Thalita has been exceptional. In the beginning, she provided thumbnail sketches which were far better than any of my ideas and which later became full panels. She considered each of my suggestions/questions and we dialogued well together by email (since she lives in Canada). Thalita would typically complete a panel or two each week, would send me the digital file for ‘approval,’ and then forward it to my editor who would add text and place it in our Dropbox. Thalita provided a contract and I agreed to pay her per panel, plus the cover. I am blessed to say we have become lifelong friends.

panel 10 for Marketing

text copyright Teresa Krager 2020, illustration copyright Thalita Dol 2020 Elk Lake Publishing

The main art notes I provided were those describing the age and average size of each pre-born, just to maintain accuracy. Thalita also included an illustration of my husband and I as grandparents imagining our future grandbaby, where I am holding a sweater I knit for him. The illustrator’s family and my grandson are also included on special pages.

 

SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc? What was that like?

TERESA: I have not received any reviews. To do so, I will need to send the book or ebook to reviewers. My publisher does not do that.

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

TERESA: Nine months, of course … or close to it, if I count from the date I received the executed contract from the publisher to when the book was released. The ebook was released first on Amazon and there will also be an audiobook, which I was able to record. I am currently waiting to receive real live books from the distributor (although they are available on Amazon).

 

SUSANNA: Wow! That’s really cool that you got to record your own Audiobook!  What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

TERESA: Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. will mention the book on Facebook and their blog. 95% of the marketing is done by the author.

 

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

TERESA: A few months ago, I created a new author website and have posted an update on Facebook. I have sent emails letting family and friends know of the upcoming release. Later this month, I will be posting a devotional on a fellow author’s website and she will promote the book as well. Once I have the books in hand, I am sure I will be busy making contacts, letting everyone know my book is available.

 

SUSANNA: How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

TERESA: I started focusing more on writing once I retired from teaching (K/1st grade) in 2015. So, it took about four years to get my first book offer.

 

SUSANNA: What is the most important/helpful thing you learned on your way to publication?

TERESA: Be brave, invest in your book, and go to conferences. While there, take advantage of the workshops. Pay for critiques and mentorships if possible. The one-on-one mentorship I paid for was someone whose prices were for longer manuscripts. Since picture books are short, I asked if he would critique two for the price of one and he did. (It never hurts to ask!) Memorize your pitch and be ready to promote your book. The connections you make could change everything.

Also, join a writer’s group. This is where you can learn, grow, and be mentored.

Finally, always check the publisher’s website to see what and how they want you to submit. Follow their guidelines to the tee! (It’s like they test you to see if you can follow directions.)

 

SUSANNA: Anything else you’d like to share about your book’s journey from inspiration to publication?

TERESA: As a Christian, I believe this book was inspired by the Lord. The facts about life in the womb are often denied and I have a passion to get the truth out. For support, I have a couple of friends who pray for me and this project regularly. I call them my Prayer Pair.

DS02776 (5)JPG for ELP 400x400

Author Teresa Krager

My Author pages are:
http://teresakrager.com
http://pointingtheway.live
Facebook:  http://facebook.com/teresakrager

 

SUSANNA: Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us today, Teresa!  We so appreciate the opportunity to learn!  Wishing you the very best with this and future titles!

Readers, if you have questions for Teresa, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Teresa’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

We can help our debut authors successfully launch their careers by:

– purchasing their books

– recommending their books to friends and family

– recommending their books to our children’s teachers and librarians

– recommending their books to our local libraries and bookstores

– suggesting them as visiting authors at our children’s schools and our local libraries

– sharing their books on social media

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

Thank you all for stopping by to read today!  Have a lovely, inspiration-filled Tuesday!  Maybe today is the day you’ll write your debut picture book 🙂

 

Missed any previous Tuesday Debuts?  Check them out!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

Sandra Sutter – The Real Farmer In The Dell

June Smalls – Odd Animals ABC

Jill Mangel Weisfeld – Riley The Retriever Wants A New Job (self pub)

Kathleen Cornell Berman – The Birth Of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

Eleanor Ann Peterson – Jurassic Rat

Sarah Hoppe – Who Will? Will You?

Marla LeSage – Pirate Year Round

Stacey Corrigan – The Pencil Eater

Shannon Stocker – Can U Save The Day?

Nadine Poper – Randall And Randall

Christine Evans – Evelyn The Adventurous Entomologist

Karen Kiefer – Drawing God (religious market)

Susan Richmond – Bird Count

Dawn Young – The Night Baafore Christmas

Heather Gale – Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

Ciara O’Neal – Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone (self pub)

Theresa Kiser – A Little Catholic’s Book Of Liturgical Colors (religious market)

Lindsey Hobson – Blossom’s Wish (self pub)

Kirsten Larson – Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents An Airplane

Valerie Bolling – Let’s Dance!

Janet Johnson – Help Wanted: Must Love Books

Susi Schaefer – Cat Ladies

Heather Kinser – Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen

Kelly Carey – How Long Is Forever?

Mary Wagley Copp – Wherever I Go

Nell Cross Beckerman – Down Under The Pier

Claire Noland – Evie’s Field Day: More Than One Way To Win

Sharon Giltrow – Bedtime, Daddy!

Gabi Snyder – Two Dogs On A Trike

Sarah Kurpiel – Lone Wolf

Vicky Fang – Invent-a-Pet

Lisa Katzenberger – National Regular Average Ordinary Day

Pam Webb – Someday We Will

Abi Cushman – Soaked!

 

 

 

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Abi Cushman!

Hello Everyone, and welcome to Tuesday Debut – one of the ones that’s an actual Book Birthday!

 

I have such a treat for you today!  We usually have debut authors on this series, but it is much less common that we get an author/illustrator.  Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to the fabulously talented Abi Cushman and give you the opportunity for a really in-depth look at her process of both writing and illustrating a picture book.  You’re in for a treat!

Grab your umbrella, your raincoat and your rain boots and let’s jump in!

SOAKED!
by Abi Cushman
Viking Children’s Books
July 14, 2020
Fiction, Ages 3-7

 

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A Hula-Hooping moose, a badger with a bumblebee umbrella, a bunny in a cashmere sweater, and a very wet bear star in this unpredictable and laugh-out-loud picture book in which having fun gets the best of a grumpy bear.

 

SUSANNA:  Welcome, Abi!  Thank you so much for joining us today! We’re excited to get a glimpse of how you work your magic!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

ABI:  I went out for a walk one summer day and ended up getting caught in a torrential rain storm. At the time, I was eight months pregnant and was definitely in the “slow waddling stage” of my pregnancy. But the long, soggy walk home helped me realize that once I was completely soaked, the rain was actually quite pleasant.

I thought it would be interesting in a picture book to play with the idea of someone’s attitude evolving despite the circumstances staying the same, so I wrote that sentiment in my ugly sketchbook. (I call it an ugly sketchbook so that I feel free to capture my story ideas with badly drawn doodles or little phrases- whatever is easiest to get the idea down. I don’t worry about my sketchbook looking really cool or artsy.)

At first, I was picturing this beautiful wordless picture book about the beauty of splashing in puddles. But after months of letting the idea percolate in my head and continuing to add to my ugly sketchbook, I came up with a sorry-looking, very drenched bear character. And then one night, the voice/tone of the narrator came to my head, and I thumbnailed the first draft in one sitting.

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SUSANNA:  How long did it take you to write this book?

ABI:  I had thumbnailed my first draft about 3 months after that rainy walk that sparked the idea. I then made a mini dummy with roughly drawn characters and text to share with my critique groups and agent. For my mini dummies, I just cut some printer paper in half and then fold that in half to make a little booklet of 32 or 40 pages (which would include the endpapers, title page, etc.). My goal with mini dummies is to get the pacing and page turns right and to have something legible enough to share with other people.

 
After getting a lot of feedback, I revised the story to strengthen the moose’s role and ramp up the narrative arc. I made a larger (letter-sized) dummy that had more polished drawings and the text typed in to show at the New England SCBWI Spring Conference in late April.

So from idea to polished dummy took around 8 months, some of it spent actively working on the story and drawings, and some of just letting it float around in the back of my head.

 

 
SUSANNA:  Did you go through many revisions?

ABI:  I definitely revised the story several times. Interestingly, the beginning of the story didn’t change too much from my initial thumbnailing session. But I did revise the middle and end a bit based on feedback from: my critique groups, then my agent, then finally my editor and art director (​before and after​ they made an offer).

 

 

SUSANNA:  When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

ABI:  I always go through the process of making a mini dummy and then getting feedback and then making a more polished dummy before I feel a story is ready for submission. When I go from the smaller format to the larger format, I generally feel like the story is more or less there, and then I really focus on refining it, adding more details to the drawing and punching up the jokes (or adding visual ones in).

I had also done two pieces of finished art. So I was happy with the illustration look/style. It’s important to do some finished art because sometimes you realize there are issues once you add in color or put the background in properly. Also the agent/editor/art director will want to see what you have in mind for the final look.

For ​Soaked!​, I wanted to have the dummy polished up in time for the NESCBWI Conference. So that gave me a deadline to work toward. I definitely felt it was “ready enough” to show when the conference date arrived. I think conferences and contests are great motivators for authors and illustrators to get their work submission-ready.

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SUSANNA:  When and how did you submit?

ABI:  I included my ​Soaked!​ dummy with my portfolio for the NESCBWI Portfolio Showcase. To my great amazement, I ended up winning the showcase that year. One of the judges was Jim Hoover, art director at Viking.

About a week or so after the conference, I posted a drawing on Twitter, not related to Soaked!​ (it was of a parachuting hippo), and Jim commented on the drawing and said I could send him my dummy for another look. So I guessed what his email at Penguin Random House was and sent it over. And he shared it with the editor he thought would like it, Tracy Gates. At that point my agent, Kendra Marcus, got involved, and Tracy and Jim sent over some notes for revision.

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The picture I posted on Twitter a week after the conference.

 

SUSANNA:  When did you get “the call”? (Best moment ever! ☺)

ABI:  After I punched up the dummy based on Tracy and Jim’s notes, I got an email from my agent. She said that they loved my revision and more details would be forthcoming in a couple weeks! I was so excited that I told my whole family and everyone that I came in contact with that I got a book deal. The next day, it occurred to me that I didn’t actually see the word “offer” anywhere in the email.

So for the next two weeks when people congratulated me after hearing the news from my family, I’d say, “YEAH!! I GOT A BOOK DEAL! I mean, PROBABLY I THINK… IT LOOKS LIKE I COULD… ​MAYBE!!!”

The offer DID come thankfully, and it was for a two-book deal! And yes, at that point, I did have a nice call with my agent. But it’s funny to me when people talk of this one moment- THE CALL- because my experience has always been more of a slow buildup of events (with getting an agent as well). And even after getting the verbal offer, I was still
worried that it somehow might fall through. When I got my first advance check three months later, I felt better. 🙂

 

 
SUSANNA:  I have to agree with you on that, Abi.  I should probably change the wording of that question because nowadays it’s hardly ever a “call”  – more likely an email – and as you say we tend to be more in the loop of a possible offer than we were back in the old days 😊  How did you celebrate signing your contract?

ABI:  I celebrated by going out for pizza with my family. I had also gotten pizza when I *thought* I had a book deal, when I got the verbal offer, when I got the signed contract back, and when I got the first advance check. Basically, I was just looking for any excuse to eat pizza.

 

 
SUSANNA:  I don’t think one should need an excuse to eat pizza – Just Do It! 😊 Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?

ABI:  My deal was for two books, and I think my advance per book was in line with what most Big 5 debut author/illustrator advances are. (See Hannah Holt’s survey). Kendra negotiated their initial advance number up a few thousand dollars, which was nice. I know a couple debut author/illustrators who got bigger advances, but their books had gone to auction, so it makes sense that the competition raised those advance numbers up a little more.

In addition to the advance, Kendra also negotiated some of the other terms of the contract. I read through the final contract very carefully making sure I understood each part. (It was boring, not going to lie.) But everything made sense so I signed it.
Later, I found out from some other authors that their contracts had really vague wording about their ability to submit future manuscripts to other publishers. So they were stuck waiting with submission-ready manuscripts, unable to send them out. I looked at my contract again and saw Kendra had changed the wording on mine to be VERY specific with a short time span. (Thank you, Kendra!) I would not have known to change that, so having an experienced agent is so important. They absolutely deserve their 15% commission.
😊

 

SUSANNA:  Can you tell us a little about the editorial process?

ABI:  As I mentioned before, Tracy and Jim had edits for me before and after they acquired the book. For the second round of notes, Jim had told me, “Don’t worry, it’s not that bad.” and I opened the document and their comments said, “Combine these spreads so you have room for a new ending. We don’t know what it is, but we’re sure you’ll think of something good.” And I thought, “Yes. Sure. Just need a completely different ending. Great. Great.” But it turned out to be fine, and I really appreciated their trust in me.
So yes, the editorial process went smoothly because they really got my vision, and their input improved the book tremendously. I think when you’re all on the same page, editorial notes are easier to accept because you know you’re all working together to make the story the very best it can be.

 
SUSANNA:  What can you tell us about the illustration process?

ABI:  Illustrating my first picture book was a breeze. I didn’t have any existential crises at all. I didn’t wonder, “How does one draw?” or “What is drawing?” or “What is a moose?” at any time during the process. Wait, scratch that- I DID have those existential crises.
Yes, the illustration process was a huge learning experience for me. One thing that surprised me was how LOOOONG it took me to finish all the spreads. I’ll give myself a little slack because I was also juggling working as a web designer and being a parent of young children, but it took me from December all the way through the end of August to finish the art. Part of that was the psychological aspect of wanting everything to be perfect, and part of it was basically learning things on the fly.

And because of all that, I am so proud of this book. I feel so much better equipped to take on the next book. (Actually, I’m working on that now and experiencing no existential crises at all… yet.)

And by the way, the answer to most of those existential/illustration questions and insecurities is just, “You’ll be fine. Just use reference photos.”

 

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SUSANNA:  Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc?  What was that like?

ABI:  Yes, I had reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, and Publishers Weekly. Whenever I came across a trade review, I’d squint my eyes and grimace while scanning the page looking for tidbits that might be horrible. I think the squinting helps. Definitely give that technique a try next time you see a review of your book.

After my eyes had recovered, I made pull quote graphics for each review and shared it on social media to celebrate. Here’s my SLJ review graphic on Twitter:

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SUSANNA:  How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

ABI:  It took about two years from offer to author copy. The initial print run for ​Soaked!​ is 30,000.

 

SUSANNA:  If your book has been out for at least one statement cycle, has it earned out yet?

ABI:  Not yet! But one thing that was really cool is that we sold the foreign rights to a Russian publisher. So SOAKED! will be available in Russian, AND the money from the foreign rights sale goes toward me earning out!

 
SUSANNA:  What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

ABI:  The marketing team and my publicist, Lizzie Goodell, at Penguin have done a fantastic job getting my book out in front of people. They had to adjust their strategy midway through due to the pandemic, and I applaud their agility and creative thinking.

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(An F&G of ​Soaked!​)

 

Before the quarantine, they showcased my F&G at the Public Library Association’s conference in Nashville along with five other titles and presented them together as “Great Storytime Read Alouds.”

They made an activity kit + poster to hand out, and it’s also available on the Penguin Classroom website here: https://penguinclassroom.com/books/soaked/

They also sent physical F&Gs to bookstores and influencers.

During the quarantine, they included ​Soaked! i​n a Zoom webinar highlighting summer picture books. They also sent out digital review copies and made the digital galley available on Edelweiss for review.

 

SUSANNA:  Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

ABI:  Probably the best thing I did was join a debut marketing group called the Soaring 20s. We lend each other support, offer advice, review each other’s books, and boost each other’s posts on social media. I also had a blast teaming up with other Soaring 20s members to present a funny picture book panel at a couple of librarian conferences. It’s been wonderful to be a part of this group, and I’m so happy to share my debut journey with them.

Another really important thing I did was reach out to Mr. Schu and ask about doing a cover reveal on his blog. I had attended his workshop at the New England SCBWI Conference, and I thought he might enjoy ​Soaked! ​My gamble paid off, and he not only agreed to do the cover reveal, he also included my book in his ​2020 Books I Love Presentation​. I was thrilled!

I also worked with my local bookstore, Bank Square Books, on a pre-order campaign where people could purchase personalized, signed books. I printed special stickers to go with those pre-orders.

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In addition to that, I created a ​Soaked!​-themed activity guide and craft for parents, teachers, and librarians to enjoy. You can find them here: https://www.abicushman.com/fun-stuff/

And finally, I organized a little blog tour for the couple weeks before and after the book’s release. This blog is in fact the Book Birthday Stop on that blog tour! So thank you, Susanna and Tuesday Debut readers, for celebrating with me!

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SUSANNA:  Are you kidding?  We are THRILLED to be celebrating your book birthday with you!  It’s a dream come true for you to have your first book out, and the dream of every writer/reader here to emulate your success!!!  Getting to see how you accomplished it makes it seem possible for all of us!  How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

 

ABI:  I started writing and illustrating seriously in 2015 after I’d had my first baby. I sold my first picture book three years later. I actually think three years is a pretty short time, even though it would shock people who weren’t familiar with the industry.

 

SUSANNA:   Anything else you’d like to share about your book’s journey from inspiration to publication?

ABI:  I’d just like to encourage everyone who is working toward publication to not give up, to keep making art that excites you, and to keep putting your work out there. ​Soaked!’s​ publication was made possible by the chance that Jim Hoover and I were at the same conference in 2018. But we were also at the same conference two years previously, and at that time, my art wasn’t ready yet. It took two years of working at my craft and finding my illustration voice to be ready… two years of creating new stories to come up with one that stood out. So if you keep putting in the work and then putting it out there, eventually something will stick for you too.

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Author/Illustrator Abi Cushman

Join my email list ​(for crafts, activities, and picture book sneak peeks)​: https://eepurl.com/dCUjeH

My website:​ ​https://www.abicushman.com
Twitter: ​https://twitter.com/AbiCushman
Instagram:​ ​https://instagram.com/Abi.Cushman
Facebook:​ ​https://facebook.com/AbiCushmanArt

 

SUSANNA:  Abi, thank you so very much for joining us today to share your journey to publication! It was very illuminating!  I know I speak for everyone when I wish you the best of luck with this and future books!

Readers, if you have questions for Abi, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Abi’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

We can help our debut authors successfully launch their careers by:

– purchasing their books

– recommending their books to friends and family

– recommending their books to our children’s teachers and librarians

– recommending their books to our local libraries and bookstores

– suggesting them as visiting authors at our children’s schools and our local libraries

– sharing their books on social media

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

Thank you all for stopping by to read today!  Have a lovely, inspiration-filled Tuesday!  Maybe today is the day you’ll write your debut picture book 🙂

 

Missed any previous Tuesday Debuts?  Check them out!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

Sandra Sutter – The Real Farmer In The Dell

June Smalls – Odd Animals ABC

Jill Mangel Weisfeld – Riley The Retriever Wants A New Job (self pub)

Kathleen Cornell Berman – The Birth Of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

Eleanor Ann Peterson – Jurassic Rat

Sarah Hoppe – Who Will? Will You?

Marla LeSage – Pirate Year Round

Stacey Corrigan – The Pencil Eater

Shannon Stocker – Can U Save The Day?

Nadine Poper – Randall And Randall

Christine Evans – Evelyn The Adventurous Entomologist

Karen Kiefer – Drawing God (religious market)

Susan Richmond – Bird Count

Dawn Young – The Night Baafore Christmas

Heather Gale – Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

Ciara O’Neal – Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone (self pub)

Theresa Kiser – A Little Catholic’s Book Of Liturgical Colors (religious market)

Lindsey Hobson – Blossom’s Wish (self pub)

Kirsten Larson – Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents An Airplane

Valerie Bolling – Let’s Dance!

Janet Johnson – Help Wanted: Must Love Books

Susi Schaefer – Cat Ladies

Heather Kinser – Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen

Kelly Carey – How Long Is Forever?

Mary Wagley Copp – Wherever I Go

Nell Cross Beckerman – Down Under The Pier

Claire Noland – Evie’s Field Day: More Than One Way To Win

Sharon Giltrow – Bedtime, Daddy!

Gabi Snyder – Two Dogs On A Trike

Sarah Kurpiel – Lone Wolf

Vicky Fang – Invent-a-Pet

Lisa Katzenberger – National Regular Average Ordinary Day

Pam Webb – Someday We Will

 

 

 

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Pam Webb!

Welcome to Tuesday Debut, Everyone!

Today we’re meeting a wonderful author whose debut book embraces the very timely topic of hope that we’ll soon be together again.  I am so pleased to introduce you to Pam Webb!

TITLE: Someday We Will
AUTHOR:
Pam Webb
ILLUSTRATOR:
Wendy Leach
PUBLISHER:
Beaming Books, 2020
TOPICS: family, visits, multi-generational, anticipation
AGES:
K-3
FICTION: Hardcover

Pam Webb Cover

In Someday We Will, kids and grandparents mark the time until the next visit by anticipating all the wonderful activities  they’ll do together someday, from bicycling down a hill to whiling away the hours on a beach to applauding a sunset’s beauty at day’s end.

 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Pam!  Thank you so much for joining us today!  We’re so glad to have you here and look forward to hearing about your book’s journey to publication!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

PAM: When my granddaughter was born I began a list in my head of all the activities I could not wait to share with her as she grew up. She just turned 13 and we have done most, if not all, of the activities that are featured in the book.

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?

PAM: I played with rhyming couplets and activities off and on for ten years! Rhyming picture books are tricky—getting the rhyme and rhythm right is important. I would work on the manuscript and then put it away to move on to other projects. I finally brought it to one of my writing group sessions, wanting feedback if it was worthwhile to pursue. The group was quite enthusiastic and encouraged me to keep working on it.  One of my writer newsletters featured Beaming Books and I sent off the manuscript in April 2018 and received an offer in June 2018.

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

PAM: Before I submitted the manuscript I didn’t go through many revisions, it was more of a matter of completing the story idea. Once my story was accepted, I worked closely with Andrew De Young, who was the editorial director at Beaming Books. He convinced me to write the story with less rhyme and more lyrical prose. We probably had two or three revisions as we worked through our ideas together. It was a very positive process.

 

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

PAM: After my writing group encouraged me to keep working on the story I kept with it until I felt it was complete. I then did my usual practice of ignoring it for awhile and then returning it to with fresh eyes. I still really liked its upbeat message of anticipation and thought the couplets worked out well. When I saw the call out for manuscripts from Beaming Books, I felt it was the right manuscript for them.

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

PAM: The newsletter came out in March of 2018 with the Beaming Books announcement for manuscripts. Whenever I see a publisher, editor, or an agent advertise a specific call out, I take the leap. I am a freelancer, so it was just a matter of taking the initiative of sending it in to them.

 

SUSANNA: When did you get “the call”?  (Best moment ever! 😊)

PAM: I received a text message from Andrew De Young stating how much he liked the manuscript, especially relating to it with being an expectant parent and having great memories of his own grandparents. He stated the terms and I accepted them via email.

 

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?

PAM: My husband and I went out to dinner and then to a concert featuring the students from the local music conservatory. It was surreal sitting at the concert thinking “I’m going to have a book published. I’m going to be a published author.”

 

SUSANNA: Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?

PAM: Yes, having read up about contracts through SCBWI and being a debut author, I thought the terms reasonable. I received half the advance and then, as required, worked on the suggested revisions. Once those revisions were accepted by Beaming Books I received the second half of the advance. Originally the book was to come out in the fall of 2019, but it was pushed to April of 2020 to be in the season for Mother’s Day. I received 21 copies—the PR department sent a bonus copy!

 

SUSANNA: What can you tell us about the editorial process?

PAM: My original manuscript was rhyming couplets and after I signed the contract Andrew gently and persuasively suggested to shape it to be more prose. At first, I was devasted, but I saw his wisdom and the changes made the book much stronger by focusing on the emotions of each moment. During the revision process I replaced the rhymes with more prose. Andrew “rescued” a couple of his favorite lines from the book and ironically, they were rhymes. I very much appreciated Andrew’s guiding hand and I felt that he was personally invested in the book. His vision and encouragement made the entire process pleasant and I feel I have grown as a writer due to his caring editor style.

 

SUSANNA: What was your experience of the illustration process like?

PAM: Once the contract was signed, Andrew asked me to find illustrator styles. I promptly parked myself at the local library’s kids’ section. After some time I whittled my pile of books to three and sent photos of the covers to Andrew. He found Wendy Leach who provided bright, lively illustrations that complement the text well. I was able to see the proofs and make suggestions. I appreciated having so much input. I did not include any illustrative notes with the manuscript. I felt Andrew’s vision and Wendy’s abilities matched my own ideas. I especially enjoyed Wendy’s approach to the sidewalk chalk drawing spread, as that was a favorite activity with my granddaughter.

 

 

SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc?

PAM: Kirkus provided the first review and they were quite positive and encouraging. It is certainly a lift to read that reviewers like my book! Our local children’s librarian was impressed about the review, mentioning not all debut books are reviewed. My publisher forwarded a positive review from Midwest Book Review a couple of days ago. I am hoping more reviews will be forthcoming.

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

PAM: From offer to copy in hand took about two years due to the push to make it a spring release instead of a fall release.

 

SUSANNA: What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

PAM: Having a debut book come out in April 2020 meant it was released just as the pandemic shut down bookstores, libraries, and schools. The traditional marketing and promotion format has been challenging, to say the least. Beaming Books has provided a superb Amazon page, along with author pages for other online venues. They have highlighted Someday We Will on their own website. They will be contacting the possible markets I provided them, arranging for promotion as soon as the coast is clear again. Beaming Books provided books to my launch team members, and in turn they are promoting the book to their circle of influence and providing reviews to Amazon and Goodreads. Word of mouth among friends is very helpful. My own local library has recently opened and there are plans for a launch party; however, they are not ready for programs yet.

 

 

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

PAM: I have been quite actively promoting my book pursuing all sorts of marketing paths ranging from my college alumni newsletters to inquiring websites specializing in grandparenting. I even queried NPR, The New York Times, and AARP about how my book addresses how there is hope that Someday We Will be together again, that it is not only an audience for grandparents and grandchildren, but for everyone feeling the separation and anxiety of our situation. Since I am a teacher, I announced the book’s debut through our school web blog and held a giveaway through my WordPress blog. I have contacted local magazines and newspapers as well. I have made a couple of book trailers and submitted resources to SCBWI, who is essential in supporting authors.

 

 

SUSANNA: How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

PAM: My first published story was in 1988 through Highlights for Children, and although I have been actively publishing through a variety of publications, it wasn’t until 2020 that I sold a book under my own name.

 

SUSANNA: What is the most important/helpful thing you learned on your way to publication? (Or what is your most helpful piece of advice for up and coming writers?)

PAM: In the long course of publication, I have learned perseverance is essential. I don’t let rejections bother me (or at least not discourage me) and I always keep writing. I have many projects I am working on, always ready to submit something when the right opportunity comes up. It is also important to be part of a writing community. I have received a great benefit from being involved with the national SCBWI (since 1991) and our regional chapter. Being part of a writing group is important for feedback and polishing up manuscripts. So, two words of helpful advice: don’t let rejections interfere with your creativity, and become active in the SCBWI, if a children’s author/illustrator.

 

 

SUSANNA: If your book has been out for at least one statement cycle, has it earned out yet?

PAM: My statement won’t be due out until September, so I am waiting…

 

SUSANNA: Anything else you’d like to share about your book’s journey from inspiration to publication?

 
PAM: At first I thought it detrimental that my book debuted during the pandemic; however, the book’s message of hope, of holding on to the optimism of being together again someday takes on an entirely different meaning now that we are separated from loved ones. I have come across at least three videos on YouTube where Someday We Will is featured as a story time selection. Each reader expressed how the book’s message provided them the reassurance and inspiration needed to get through these challenging days. It turns out the delay to be published might be fortuitous after all! Grandparents day is in September, which means the book gets a second round of notice. Taking advantage of opportunities is important would be a third bit of advice to writers!

Pam Webb

Author Pam Webb

Website: www.pam-webb.com
Goodreads

 

SUSANNA: Pam, thank you again for taking the time to join us today and share your experience with us so we can all learn!  I know I speak for everyone when I wish you the best of luck with this and future books!

Readers, if you have questions for Pam, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Pam’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

We can help our debut authors successfully launch their careers by:

– purchasing their books

– recommending their books to friends and family

– recommending their books to our children’s teachers and librarians

– recommending their books to our local libraries and bookstores

– suggesting them as visiting authors at our children’s schools and our local libraries

– sharing their books on social media

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

Thank you all for stopping by to read today!  Have a lovely, inspiration-filled Tuesday!  Maybe today is the day you’ll write your debut picture book 🙂

 

Missed any previous Tuesday Debuts?  Check them out!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

Sandra Sutter – The Real Farmer In The Dell

June Smalls – Odd Animals ABC

Jill Mangel Weisfeld – Riley The Retriever Wants A New Job (self pub)

Kathleen Cornell Berman – The Birth Of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

Eleanor Ann Peterson – Jurassic Rat

Sarah Hoppe – Who Will? Will You?

Marla LeSage – Pirate Year Round

Stacey Corrigan – The Pencil Eater

Shannon Stocker – Can U Save The Day?

Nadine Poper – Randall And Randall

Christine Evans – Evelyn The Adventurous Entomologist

Karen Kiefer – Drawing God (religious market)

Susan Richmond – Bird Count

Dawn Young – The Night Baafore Christmas

Heather Gale – Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

Ciara O’Neal – Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone (self pub)

Theresa Kiser – A Little Catholic’s Book Of Liturgical Colors (religious market)

Lindsey Hobson – Blossom’s Wish (self pub)

Kirsten Larson – Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents An Airplane

Valerie Bolling – Let’s Dance!

Janet Johnson – Help Wanted: Must Love Books

Susi Schaefer – Cat Ladies

Heather Kinser – Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen

Kelly Carey – How Long Is Forever?

Mary Wagley Copp – Wherever I Go

Nell Cross Beckerman – Down Under The Pier

Claire Noland – Evie’s Field Day: More Than One Way To Win

Sharon Giltrow – Bedtime, Daddy!

Gabi Snyder – Two Dogs On A Trike

Sarah Kurpiel – Lone Wolf

Vicky Fang – Invent-a-Pet

Lisa Katzenberger – National Regular Average Ordinary Day

 

 

 

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Lisa Katzenberger!

Welcome to another exciting installment of Tuesday Debut, Everyone!

It’s been awhile since we had one!

Today I’m delighted to introduce Lisa Katzenberger and her debut picture book, National Regular Average Ordinary Day!

Title: NATIONAL REGULAR AVERAGE ORDINARY DAY
Author: Lisa Katzenberger
Illustrator: Barbara Bakos
Publishing House: Penguin Workshop
Date of Publication: June 23 2020
Fiction or Nonfiction: Fiction
age range of your book: 3-7

9781524792404_National_CS.indd

Peter does not like being bored, so he comes up with a way to have some festive fun–he’ll celebrate a different holiday each day! But when he wakes up one morning to discover there isn’t any holiday, he realizes he’ll have to take matters into his own hands and make up his own!

 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Lisa!  Thank you so much for joining us today!  We are thrilled to have you and can’t wait to learn from you!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

LISA: I worked as a Social Media Manager and wrote copy based on different “holidays” like National Barbie Day, National Homemade Bread Day, etc. I jotted down “crazy holidays” as a Storystorm 2017 idea.

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?

LISA: This book, like no other book before or since, kind of dropped out of me. It was my December 2017 12×12 draft. I worked on it a lot over the holiday break, and my critique partners thankfully had quick turnaround. My agent put it out on submission in February 2018.

 

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

LISA: I went through 11 revisions with this story before I sent it to my agent. I put it out for critique on the 12×12 forum and hit up two different critique groups.

 

 

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

LISA: I knew it was ready to send to my agent when I was only getting small tweaks from my critiques, instead of more extensive notes. I went through two more revisions with my agent, and when she felt it was solid, she put it out on sub.

 

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

LISA: I had an agent and she submitted the manuscript to 16 editors.

 

 

SUSANNA: When did you get “the call”?  (Best moment ever! 😊)

LISA: I received the call about an offer just two weeks after we went out on submission. It happened super fast!

 

 

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?

LISA: I had some champagne! But the sweetest part was the day I got the offer, my husband came home from work with a small plant for me. He said he didn’t want to give me flowers because he knew the publishing industry moved so slowly, and he wanted a something that would grow with me for a long time. Sadly, the plant is not around to celebrate the book’s publication. I am terrible at taking care of plants, but the sentiment was lovely!

 

SUSANNA: Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?

LISA: I actually was really shocked by the amount of my advance (in a good way!). It’s from a Big 5 house, so I’m sure that made a difference. My agent was able to negotiate a 25% increase beyond the original offer! The rest of the terms were pretty standard. There is a non-compete clause that I couldn’t publish any other book for six months after NATIONAL REGULAR AVERAGE ORDINARY DAY’S date of publication. My book ended up getting pushed out two seasons, so it meant it would be longer before my next book could come onto the market.

 

dining-room-table-1

Lisa’s dining room table writing space 😊

 

SUSANNA: Can you tell us a little about the editorial process?

LISA: The editorial process was pretty straightforward! My editor, the lovely Renee Kelly, sent me a marked up manuscript with her revision notes. Once she paginated it, she asked me to fill two additional spreads. So I created a friend for Peter to interact with! I added the new content to the beginning of the story to better set the stage. I also had a call with Renee after she sent her notes just to chat through her comments and establish a rapport.

 

SUSANNA: What was your experience of the illustration process like?

LISA: I did not see anything until the book was complete, and I wasn’t aware of progress during the illustration process. This was probably best because I had nothing to stress over! My editor sent me the final design in a PDF when it was ready. I cannot properly express how joyful and happy I felt when I saw the finished product. Barbara Bakos saw the humor in the story and brought all my characters (even the squirrels!) to life with perfection. It is bright, vibrant, and fun, better than anything I could have imagined!

I did submit the manuscript with art notes. As Peter rates each holiday, I knew this could potentially be expressed in the art instead of the text (we ended up going with both).

 

 

SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc?  What was that like?

LISA: I’ve had positive reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus. I kind of read them ready to cringe at an awful review, but both publications had kind things to say. Frankly, it felt like a relief!

 

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

LISA: It took 19 months!  –FYI, I asked my publisher for the print run, but it is not their policy to share that data publically.

 

 

SUSANNA: What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

LISA: During the current circumstances with COVID-19, marketing and promotion has been kind of different! They are working to set up some virtual storytimes with local independent bookstores.

 

 

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

LISA: I made bookmarks to take to conferences and hand out at signings, share with friends. Let’s just say that given our current environment I have a few extras hanging around! I hired Blue Slip Media to create an free downloadable activity kit. I am also doing a virtual book party launch with The Writing Barn. I will be featured on a few other blogs as well. I was nervous about contacting authors – who wants to write about little ole me? – but everyone was so gracious and welcoming! It never hurts to ask.

 

 

SUSANNA: How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

LISA: I have been writing seriously since college. I started on short stories, wrote some angsty poetry in my 20s, then wrote a few really bad novels. It wasn’t until I had my own children that I focused on kidlit, which was in 2015. I don’t think it’s fair to say it took 3 years, as I’d been studying the craft of writing for more than 20 years.

Lisa Katzenberger Head Shot

Author Lisa Katzenberger

Website: www.lisakatzenberger.com
Twitter: @FictionCity
Instagram: @lisakatz17

SUSANNA Lisa, thank you so much for taking the time to join us and share your experiences with us today!  I know I speak for everyone when I wish you the very best of luck with this and future books!

Readers, if you have questions for Lisa, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Lisa’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

We can help our debut authors successfully launch their careers by:

– purchasing their books

– recommending their books to friends and family

– recommending their books to our children’s teachers and librarians

– recommending their books to our local libraries and bookstores

– suggesting them as visiting authors at our children’s schools and our local libraries

– sharing their books on social media

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

Thank you all for stopping by to read today!  Have a lovely, inspiration-filled Tuesday!  Maybe today is the day you’ll write your debut picture book 🙂

 

Missed any previous Tuesday Debuts?  Check them out!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

Sandra Sutter – The Real Farmer In The Dell

June Smalls – Odd Animals ABC

Jill Mangel Weisfeld – Riley The Retriever Wants A New Job (self pub)

Kathleen Cornell Berman – The Birth Of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

Eleanor Ann Peterson – Jurassic Rat

Sarah Hoppe – Who Will? Will You?

Marla LeSage – Pirate Year Round

Stacey Corrigan – The Pencil Eater

Shannon Stocker – Can U Save The Day?

Nadine Poper – Randall And Randall

Christine Evans – Evelyn The Adventurous Entomologist

Karen Kiefer – Drawing God (religious market)

Susan Richmond – Bird Count

Dawn Young – The Night Baafore Christmas

Heather Gale – Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

Ciara O’Neal – Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone (self pub)

Theresa Kiser – A Little Catholic’s Book Of Liturgical Colors (religious market)

Lindsey Hobson – Blossom’s Wish (self pub)

Kirsten Larson – Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents An Airplane

Valerie Bolling – Let’s Dance!

Janet Johnson – Help Wanted: Must Love Books

Susi Schaefer – Cat Ladies

Heather Kinser – Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen

Kelly Carey – How Long Is Forever?

Mary Wagley Copp – Wherever I Go

Nell Cross Beckerman – Down Under The Pier

Claire Noland – Evie’s Field Day: More Than One Way To Win

Sharon Giltrow – Bedtime, Daddy!

Gabi Snyder – Two Dogs On A Trike

Sarah Kurpiel – Lone Wolf

Vicky Fang – Invent-a-Pet

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge – The End!

Darlings!

You did it!!

7 weeks of writing awesomeness!!!

This has been SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

Mix 'n' Match Mini Writing Challenge

I hope you guys all know you are really amazing!

What an incredible treat to get to enjoy all that creativity, heart, humor, cleverness, word play, rhyme, and just all around fun!

We had quite an impressive turn out!

64 people entered at least one week of the challenge.

45 people completed all 7 weeks.

You left upwards of 2000 comments for each other (and that doesn’t count the comments I haven’t had time to leave yet!)

There were at least 6 instances where people did more than one entry in a given week, so we had 361 stories in all!

And what amazing stories they are!

You guys should all give yourselves a big pat on the back and have some cake.

Because truly, I think some cake is called for.  I mean, what is a celebration without cake? Normally, as you all well know, I would go for chocolate, but since it’s summer I’ll pick something a little summerier 😊

strawberry-shortcake-ice-cream-cake-www.thereciperebel.com-600-4-of-35

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake from Recipe Rebel

 

Now you can have your cake and eat it too while we pass out prizes! 😊

Since 45 people completed the challenge and I had 44 prizes, I threw in an extra so everyone who qualified could get a prize.  Of course, you have all already gotten a prize just by writing all these new stories, getting your creativity flowing, getting to read everyone else’s work, and getting to tell people how much you loved their stories while hearing how much they loved yours!  I hope a whole pile of new books will come out of this little fun fest 😊

I put all your names in one hat, and all the prizes in another, and randomly drew a name and a prize to go with it until I ran out.  The prizes are all listed below.  Scroll along and look for your name to see what you won, and then email me using the handy contact form on my website (or my email address) subject line Prize and I’ll get everything sorted out with the mailing and getting in touch with critiquers and etc and whatnot! (And there is one last item at the bottom of the post after the whole list so please scroll to the end even after you find your prize!)

Ooh!  Isn’t it fun giving out prizes?  All the anticipation of wondering what amazing goody you might get???!!!

Well get out your sparklers, boys and girls, because. . .

WOO HOO! It’s PRIZE TIME!!!

Please join me in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazon, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, suggesting them for school visits, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

For Spacious Skies by Nancy Churnin, award-winning author of so many fabulous books I don’t have space to list them all! Visit her website or Amazon Page!

🌟WINNER: KAY DiVERDE!🌟

For Spacious Skies

 

 

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Kirstine Erekson Call, author of THE RAINDROP WHO COULDN’T FALL (Character Publishing 2013) and the forthcoming MOOTILDA’S BAD MOOD (Little Bee Books, September 2020), COW SAYS MEOW (HMH March 2021), and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown Spring 2021)

🌟WINNER: SUE LANCASTER!🌟

Kirsti Call Mootilda

 

 

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Ellen Leventhal, author of DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS (Spork 2017), HAYFEST: A Holiday Quest (ABCs Press 2010), and LOLA CAN’T LEAP (Spork 2018)

🌟WINNER: DI LITWER!🌟

Ellen Leventhal Lola Can't Leap

 

 

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Lindsay Hanson Metcalf, author of BEATRIX POTTER, SCIENTIST (September 2020), FARMERS UNITE!: PLANTING A PROTEST FOR FAIR PRICES (Calkins Creek November 2020), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

🌟WINNER: SUSAN SCHIPPER!🌟

Lindsay+H.+Metcalf+(CREDIT+ANNA+JACKSON)+copy Beatric Potter

 

 

Picture Book Manuscript Critique (non rhyming) from Kaye Baillie, author of BOO LOVES BOOKS (New Frontier Publishing October 2020), and MESSAGE IN A SOCK (Midnight Sun Publishing 2018)

🌟WINNER: CINDY BOYLL!🌟

kaye-baillie-author-headshot Boo Loves Books message-in-a-sock-cover-1_2

 

 

Your choice of EITHER a Picture Book Manuscript Critique or a Virtual Visit with Keila Dawson, author of THE KING CAKE BABY (Pelican 2015), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

🌟WINNER: MATTHEW LASLEY!🌟

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 1.51.59 PM King Cake baby Keila No Voice Too Small

 

 

Winner’s Choice of Webinar from the amazing Alayne Kay Christian, author of picture books Butterfly Kisses, An Old Man And His Penguin, and the forthcoming The Weed That Woke Christmas and the chapter book series of Sienna The Cowgirl Fairy, and editor at Blue Whale Press!  Webinar choices include: How A Picture Book Is Made, Perfecting Your Critique, Top Ten Reasons For Rejection, and How To Write Powerful First Pages Like A Pro!

🌟WINNER: REBECCA GARDYN LEVINGTON!🌟

Alayne butterfly kisses An Old Man and His Penguin

 

 

15 Minute Video Chat – ask your questions about writing, research, submissions – whatever’s on your mind! –  with Christy Mihaly, author of DIET FOR A CHANGING PLANET: Food for Thought(Twenty-first Century Books/Lerner 2018), HEY, HEY, HAY!
A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them (Holiday House 2018) , and FREE FOR YOU AND ME: What Our First Amendment Means (Albert Whitman March 2020)

🌟WINNER: DEB BUSCHMAN!🌟

Chris closeup Free For You And Me HEY, HEY, HAY! Cover

 

 

Quick Impressions on your Picture Book Manuscript from Rosie Pova, author of IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU (Spork 2017), SARAH’S SONG (Spork 2017), the forthcoming SUNDAY RAIN (Lantana Publishing March 2021) and others.

🌟WINNER: LAURI MEYERS!🌟

Rosie Pova Sunday Rain

 

 

RONAN THE LIBRARIAN, (Roaring Brook Press April 2020) brand new from fabulous author Tara Luebbe

🌟WINNER: DEB SULLIVAN!🌟

Ronan

 

 

Your Choice of EITHER A Picture Book Manuscript Critique (fiction, non-rhyming) or an Ask Anything 15 Minute Video or Phone Chat with Tara Luebbe, author of  SHARK NATE-O,(Little Bee Books 2018), I AM FAMOUS ( Albert Whitman 2018), I USED TO BE FAMOUS (Albert Whitman 2019), OPERATION PHOTOBOMB (Albert Whitman 2019), and RONAN THE LIBRARIAN (Roaring Brook Press 2020) (see above)

🌟WINNER: CANDICE MARLEY CONNER!🌟

Tara Luebbe Shark Nate-O

 

 

Sherry Howard, author of Rock And Roll Woods (Spork 2018) and a series of Nonfiction Middle Grade titles for Escape Publishing (2019)

🌟WINNERS:🌟

SEA ANIMALS – GENEVIEVE & CUPCAKE PETRILLO!

LAND ANIMALS – ELIZABETH MEYER ZU HERINGDORF!

PLANES – JESS MURRAY!

BIRDS – LINDA SCHUELER!

CARS – KETAN, RAVI & AIYKA RAM!

BOATS – BRENDA WHITEHEAD!

Sherry Howard (4) Cover Rock and Roll Woods

Sherry Howard MG NF Books

is offering 6 of her nonfiction middle grade titles which will go to 6 lucky winners!

 

 

Ann Whitford Paul, author of Writing Picture Books (being donated by Becky Scharnhorst below), the book we ALL use as our picture book bible 😊, and countless wonderful picture books, is offering signed copies of her IF ANIMALS… Series (Farrar Straus Giroux):

🌟WINNERS:🌟

IF ANIMALS WENT TO SCHOOL – ALICIA MEYERS KELLY!

IF ANIMALS KISSED GOOD NIGHT – MARTY!

IF ANIMALS SAID I LOVE YOU – MICHELLE S. KENNEDY!

IF ANIMALS CELEBRATED CHRISTMAS – COLLEEN MURPHY!

Ann Whitford Paul

If Animals Went To School                     If Animals Kissed Good Night

If Animals Went To School (2019)         If Animals Kissed Good Night (2008)

SIf Animals Said I Love You                     If Animals Celebrated Christmas

If Animals Said I Love You (2017)        If Animals Celebrated Christmas (2018)

If you would like to benefit from her picture book wisdom, please sign up for her newsletter HERE!

 

 

A hand lettered quote of someone’s choice from a picture book,  or a quote about reading or writing that could be framed as a gift for a child’s bedroom, a writer you know and love, or an inspiration for writing in your own work space (why shouldn’t you give yourself a present?!) offered by Kristy Roser Nuttall! (Samples below – you can choose your own quote!)

🌟WINNER: DAWN YOUNG!🌟

Kristy Nuttall 20200512_092224 20200512_091604

 

 

Making Picture Book Magic – Self Study Class any month (x3)

🌟WINNERS:🌟

KATIE SCHWARTZ!

PENNY ADLER!

LESLIE DENKERS!

MPBM

 

 

Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul, donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

🌟WINNER: SARAH MEADE!🌟

Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication by [Ann Whitford Paul]

 

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

🌟WINNER: UGO ANIDI!🌟

Big Magic

 

The Nuts & Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman (only available for Kindle) (x2)

🌟WINNERS:🌟

JILL LAMBERT!

SUSAN KREVAT!

 

The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books by [Linda Ashman]

 

Magnetic Poetry – Little Box of Happiness

🌟WINNER: JAMIE BECHTELHEIMER!🌟

Magnetic Poetry - Little Box of Happiness Kit - Words for Refrigerator - Write Poems and Letters on The Fridge - Made in The USA

 

MARS’ FIRST FRIENDS personalized and signed 😊

🌟WINNER: KRISTY ROSER NUTTALL!🌟

mars-first-friends-wide-cover

 

 

The Story Book Knight by Helen Docherty

🌟WINNER: ROSE CAPPELLI!🌟

storybook knight

 

This Book Is Gray by Lindsay Ward

🌟WINNER: AMY FLYNN!🌟

This Book Is Gray

 

Story Cubes

🌟WINNER: SARA ACKERMAN!🌟

Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 11.23.08 PM

 

Writing Journal (x10)

🌟WINNERS:🌟

MIA GEIGER!

DOT ANSON!

CORINE TIMMER!

LIZ KEHRLI!

SUSAN INEZ!

TRACY (LITTLE CORNISH WRITER)!

ASHLEY CONGDON!

LILY ERLIC!

BARBARA RENNER!

PATRICIA NOZELL!

5358C071-383B-4EF4-ADFD-353F737E23E5_1_201_a

 

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

🌟WINNER: MARY VAN BEUREN!🌟

Promised Item At The End! 😊

Please be a little patient – it’s going to take me awhile to sort out 45 prizes but I will do it as quickly as I can! 😊 And if anyone thinks I screwed up (entirely possibly given that I’m so tired I’m cross-eyed right now 😊) please let me know!!!

And although I hope to see you here for occasional Tuesday Debuts, things will quiet down here on the blog for July and August, so have a wonderful, happy, healthy, writing-filled summer everyone!!! 💕

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge – Week 7!

My goodness!

How time flies!

Can you believe we’re on the last week of our little challenge already?  I’ve been having so much fun and enjoying all your creativity so much that it seems like we just started!

I want to apologize for getting a little behind with the updating and commenting.  A family situation came up and I’m not having much time to work.  But I promise I’ll sort it all out eventually, and I appreciate your patience in the meantime! 😊

This is the last week, so if you want to be eligible for the prize drawing (so many AMAZING prizes!!!) be sure to have all 7 of your entries posted in the comment section of the correct post (links to each week below) by Saturday June 27th at midnight!  I’ll announce the randomly drawn prize winners next Monday – June 29th.

Now! Let’s jump into Week 7!

Mix 'n' Match Mini Writing Challenge

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini is a 7 week writing challenge for anyone who needs a little boost or a little encouragement to get writing. . . or maybe just a little fun during this bizarre stay-at-home spring!

You get to write your own story, enjoy and be entertained by everyone else’s stories, and get yourself in the running for some awesome prizes (please see the end of the blog post for a list of all the prize goodies!)

To be eligible for the prize drawing you must enter all 7 weeks.

For a full description of the challenge or to add your Week #1 entry, please go HERE (Week #1)

To add your Week #2 entry, please go HERE (Week #2)

To add your Week #3 entry, please go HERE (Week #3)

To add your Week #4 entry, please go HERE (Week #4)

To add your Week #5 entry, please go HERE (Week #5)

To add your Week #6 entry, please fo HERE (Week #6)

 

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #7 for Week of June 22:

So far we’ve played with characters, setting, and emotion (or a combination, depending on where your random choosing landed you), with nursery rhymes and point of view, with a picture prompt, fun names, and a plot point, with fairy tales taking place in a new setting, with “How To”, and with getting into the young child mindset with only/always/never statements!  This week, for our final challenge, we’re going to do Summer Superheroes! 😊

Choose a superpower from Column A and an object/item from Column B and write a 100 word story for kids about a character of your choosing – boy scout, unicorn princess, sweet potato. . .  – anything goes 😊 that has, or meets someone with, the super power and includes the object.

Column A – Super Powers Column B – Objects/Items
Time travel Sand pail
Invisibility S’mores
Mind reading Picnic or barbecue
Xray vision Popsicle
Breathe underwater Pool float
Supersonic speed Goggles
Superhuman strength Shark or mermaid
Elasticty The Sun
Flight Camp Songs

You can write about Lily and Ben going on a picnic and meeting up with an invisible squirrel who is making off with their peanut butter sandwiches, or a time-traveling cave cricket who resolves an inter-cabin dispute at Camp Uggahmuggah by gathering all the kids around a fire and teaching them fun camp songs, or a Super Kid with xray vision whose powers are compromised at a crucial moment by ultraviolet swim goggles. . .  or anything else that inspires you!

  • Stories can rhyme or not – totally up to you!
  • You can go under or over 100 words if you want to – also totally up to you! – 100 is a guideline
  • If you’re deeply inspired by a super power or object/item that is not on the list you can use that instead – as long as you write a story as outlined above – the purpose here is inspiration and to get you writing!
  • For simplicity’s sake (and to aid skimming readers who might be interested in a particular thing) please be sure to put the super power and object/item you chose at the top of your entry along with your name and word count.

 

I’m not sure I’m going to have time for my little just for fun sample this week,  but if I can, I’ll add it in here! 😊

 

 

Now come join the fun! Get some writing done! Encourage your kids (or students) to give it a try! Or just have a good time together reading what other folks have written!

Remember, this is the last week, so if you want to be eligible for the prize drawing be sure to have all 7 of your entries posted in the comment section of the correct post (links to each week above) by Saturday June 27th at midnight.  I’ll announce the randomly drawn prize winners next Monday – June 29th.

Ready, set, WRITE! 😊

(And remember, for full details on the 7 week challenge you can check HERE)

(And if you need to motivate yourself scroll down to see all the amazing prizes you could win!!! 😊)

 

Check out the Week #7 stories!

Time Travel Freezing Power – Dawn Young (time travel, freezing power, popsicle)

Marty The Fly – Sue Lancaster (time travel, the sun)

Princess Supersonic Speed – Sara Ackerman (supersonic speed, popsicle)

Popsicles At Sunset – Matthew Lasley (popsicle)

Endless Freeze – Brenda Whitehead (time travel, popsicle)

Mia Flying Heart Girl – Lily Erlic (flight, hearts)

Supersonic Speed S’Mores – Jamie Bechtelheimer

Elasticity And Goggles – Ugo Anidi

When The Baby’s Allowed To Wish – Colleen Murphy (super size)

Untitled – Dot Anson (invisibility, popsicle)

Ed’s New Pair Of Sneakers – Jess Murray (superhuman speed, popsicle)

Marlene And The Fish – Patricia Nozell (breathe underwater, goggles)

The Crab And The Sun – Candice Conner (flight, the sun)

Soother – Mary Van Beuren (elasticity, electric guitar)

Limerick For Week 7 – Marty (superhuman strength, picnic)

Blaze – Rose Cappelli (invisibility, s’mores)

Untitled – Kay DiVerde (invisibility, popsicle)

The Sweet Smell Of Friendship – Jill Lambert (invisibility, s’mores)

Mind Reader – Rebecca Gardyn Levington (mind reading, goggles)

Lunch Lady – Susan Inez (elasticity, picnic)

Shark Breath – Deb Buschman (breathe underwater, shark)

Dr. Whooo – Susan Schipper (time travel, goggles)

A Melodious Picnic – Deb Sullivan (mind reading, camp songs)

X-Ray Birthday – Genevieve Petrillo (X-Ray vision, popsicle, goggles)

Saving Mermaid Arie – Cindy Boyll (breathe underwater, mermaid, goggles)

Rocks Rule – Amy Flynn (superhuman strength, pail)

Singing For His Supper – Penny Adler (elasticity, campfire songs)

Rocco Raccoon – Ashley Congdon (x-ray vision, goggles)

Fire Focus – Leslie Denkers (lights fires, a surprise, s’mores, bbq grill, popsicles)

Limerick #2 for Week 7 – Marty (supersonic speed, s’mores)

Lindy’s Flight Fright – Sarah Meade (flight)

Fish Camp Rocks – Katie Schwartz (breathe underwater, camp songs)

Dig It Up Jay – Michelle S. Kennedy (superhuman strength, sand pail, mermaid)

Untitled – Alicia Meyers Kelly (invisibility, goggles)

Untitled – Linda Schueler (time travel, popsicle)

Goggles The Supercow – Tracy(goggles)

True Blue – Corine Timmer

Week 7 Limerick – Liz Kehrli (flight, the moon)

Week 7 – Ketan Ram (X-ray vision, goggles)

The Super Babysitter – Mia Geiger (elastic, super)

Pudgy The Hero – Barbara Renner (superhuman strength, the sun)

Untitled – Heather Hatch (mind reading, picnic)

Sneaky Drake – Kristy Roser Nuttall (invisibility, s’mores)

All Bread Is Created Equal – Susan Krevat (time travel, s’mores)

 

 

PRIZES & PRIZES OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES!

When it comes time for prizes, names of all those who completed the challenge will be drawn randomly and matched with prizes drawn randomly until we run out! 😊

Please join me in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazon, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, suggesting them for school visits, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

For Spacious Skies by Nancy Churnin, award-winning author of so many fabulous books I don’t have space to list them all! Visit her website or Amazon Page!

For Spacious Skies

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Kirstine Erekson Call, author of THE RAINDROP WHO COULDN’T FALL (Character Publishing 2013) and the forthcoming MOOTILDA’S BAD MOOD (Little Bee Books, September 2020), COW SAYS MEOW (HMH March 2021), and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown Spring 2021)

Kirsti Call Mootilda

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Ellen Leventhal, author of DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS (Spork 2017), HAYFEST: A Holiday Quest (ABCs Press 2010), and LOLA CAN’T LEAP (Spork 2018)

Ellen Leventhal Lola Can't Leap

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Lindsay Hanson Metcalf, author of BEATRIX POTTER, SCIENTIST (September 2020), FARMERS UNITE!: PLANTING A PROTEST FOR FAIR PRICES (Calkins Creek November 2020), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Lindsay+H.+Metcalf+(CREDIT+ANNA+JACKSON)+copy Beatric Potter

Picture Book Manuscript Critique (non rhyming) from Kaye Baillie, author of BOO LOVES BOOKS (New Frontier Publishing October 2020), and MESSAGE IN A SOCK (Midnight Sun Publishing 2018)

kaye-baillie-author-headshot Boo Loves Books message-in-a-sock-cover-1_2

Your choice of EITHER a Picture Book Manuscript Critique or a Virtual Visit with Keila Dawson, author of THE KING CAKE BABY (Pelican 2015), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 1.51.59 PM King Cake baby Keila No Voice Too Small

 

Winner’s Choice of Webinar from the amazing Alayne Kay Christian, author of picture books Butterfly Kisses, An Old Man And His Penguin, and the forthcoming The Weed That Woke Christmas and the chapter book series of Sienna The Cowgirl Fairy, and editor at Blue Whale Press!  Webinar choices include: How A Picture Book Is Made, Perfecting Your Critique, Top Ten Reasons For Rejection, and How To Write Powerful First Pages Like A Pro!

Alayne butterfly kisses An Old Man and His Penguin

 

15 Minute Video Chat – ask your questions about writing, research, submissions – whatever’s on your mind! –  with Christy Mihaly, author of DIET FOR A CHANGING PLANET: Food for Thought(Twenty-first Century Books/Lerner 2018), HEY, HEY, HAY!
A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them (Holiday House 2018) , and FREE FOR YOU AND ME: What Our First Amendment Means (Albert Whitman March 2020)

Chris closeup Free For You And Me HEY, HEY, HAY! Cover

Quick Impressions on your Picture Book Manuscript from Rosie Pova, author of IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU (Spork 2017), SARAH’S SONG (Spork 2017), the forthcoming SUNDAY RAIN (Lantana Publishing March 2021) and others.

Rosie Pova Sunday Rain

RONAN THE LIBRARIAN, (Roaring Brook Press April 2020) brand new fromfabulous author Tara Luebbe

Ronan

Your Choice of EITHER A Picture Book Manuscript Critique (fiction, non-rhyming) or an Ask Anything 15 Minute Video or Phone Chat with Tara Luebbe, author of  SHARK NATE-O,(Little Bee Books 2018), I AM FAMOUS ( Albert Whitman 2018), I USED TO BE FAMOUS (Albert Whitman 2019), OPERATION PHOTOBOMB (Albert Whitman 2019), and RONAN THE LIBRARIAN (Roaring Brook Press 2020) (see above)

Tara Luebbe Shark Nate-O

Sherry Howard, author of Rock And Roll Woods (Spork 2018) and a series of Nonfiction Middle Grade titles for Escape Publishing (2019)

Sherry Howard (4) Cover Rock and Roll Woods

Sherry Howard MG NF Books

is offering 6 of her nonfiction middle grade titles which will go to 6 lucky winners!

Ann Whitford Paul, author of Writing Picture Books (being donated by Becky Scharnhorst below), the book we ALL use as our picture book bible 😊, and countless wonderful picture books, is offering signed copies of her IF ANIMALS… Series (Farrar Straus Giroux):

Ann Whitford Paul

If Animals Went To School                     If Animals Kissed Good Night

If Animals Went To School (2019)         If Animals Kissed Good Night (2008)

If Animals Said I Love You                     If Animals Celebrated Christmas

If Animals Said I Love You (2017)        If Animals Celebrated Christmas (2018)

If you would like to benefit from her picture book wisdom, please sign up for her newsletter HERE!

A hand lettered quote of someone’s choice from a picture book,  or a quote about reading or writing that could be framed as a gift for a child’s bedroom, a writer you know and love, or an inspiration for writing in your own work space (why shouldn’t you give yourself a present?!) offered by Kristy Roser Nuttall! (Samples below – you can choose your own quote!)

Kristy Nuttall 20200512_092224 20200512_091604

Making Picture Book Magic – Self Study Class any month (x3)

MPBM

Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul, donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication by [Ann Whitford Paul]

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Big Magic

The Nuts & Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman (only available for Kindle) (x2)

The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books by [Linda Ashman]

Magnetic Poetry – Little Box of Happiness

Magnetic Poetry - Little Box of Happiness Kit - Words for Refrigerator - Write Poems and Letters on The Fridge - Made in The USA

 

The Story Book Knight by Helen Docherty

storybook knight

This Book Is Gray by Lindsay Ward

This Book Is Gray

Story Cubes

Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 11.23.08 PM

Writing Journal (x10)

5358C071-383B-4EF4-ADFD-353F737E23E5_1_201_a

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Sandcastle That Lola Built

Tomorrow is the first day of summer, which means vacation for Perfect Picture Book Friday until September.

What better way to kick off summer than with a wonderful beach story?!

sandcastle

Title: The Sandcastle That Lola Built

Written By: Megan Maynor

Illustrated By: Kate Berube

Knopf Books For Young Readers, May 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5

Themes/Topics: seasons (summer), cooperation, perseverance, cumulative tale

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 9.53.25 PM

text copyright Megan Maynor 2028, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2018, Knopf

Opening: “This is the sandcastle that Lola built.

Brief Synopsis: Lola is building a sandcastle. One challenge after another is surmounted by resourcefulness and cooperation.  Until the wave…! Will Lola ever get that sandcastle built?

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 9.54.16 PM

text copyright Megan Maynor 2028, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2018, Knopf

 

Links To Resources: design and build your own sandcastle at the beach, playground, or your own back yard! Draw a picture of what you think would be the perfect sandcastle.  Write your own cumulative tale about something that gets bigger and bigger, or more and more complicated, or crazier and crazier!

Why I Like This Book: I love this book because the story is cheerful and friendly and the  illustrations are sunny and fun.  Lola is trying to build a sandcastle to signal mermaids, but first a foot kicks it over, than a bulldozer digs into it, then a bucket of shells falls on it… In each case, Lola cheerfully invites the newcomer to join in, recruiting them to build protective walls, dig a surrounding moat, lay a pathway of shells… and the sandcastle becomes better and better the more children join in.  When the wave comes along and washes Lola’s beautiful castle out to sea she despairs of ever seeing the mermaids (who appear in the clouds above her), but her new friends encourage her and are keen to try again.  It’s a lovely story of determination, friendship, and cooperation all at the beautiful, sunny, summer beach!  You’ll want to pack a copy in your beach bag 😊

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 9.55.10 PM

text copyright Megan Maynor 2028, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2018, Knopf

 

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 😊 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a fantastic summer, everyone!!!  There will be sporadic posts here during the rest of June and July – mostly a few Tuesday Debuts unless anyone signs up for Would You Read It, or I get the hankering for another hare-brained scheme 😊, but a bit of a blog vacation so enjoy reading and writing and sunning and funning! 😊

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge – Week 6!

Good morning, my friends!

It’s Monday!
It’s Monday!
That means it’s writing fun-day!
Grab a pen
and come join in!
We’ll all be published one-day! 😊

I made up that song just for you!  You can sing it to “It’s raining, it’s pouring!” hehehe 😊 It can be like our fight song 😊 Rah! Rah! Rah!

Now let’s jump in to Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Week 6!

Mix 'n' Match Mini Writing Challenge

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini is a 7 week writing challenge for anyone who needs a little boost or a little encouragement to get writing. . . or maybe just a little fun during this bizarre stay-at-home spring!

You get to write your own story, enjoy and be entertained by everyone else’s stories, and get yourself in the running for some awesome prizes (please see the end of the blog post for a list of all the prize goodies!)

To be eligible for the prize drawing you must enter all 7 weeks.

For a full description of the challenge or to add your Week #1 entry, please go HERE (Week #1)

To add your Week #2 entry, please go HERE (Week #2)

To add your Week #3 entry, please go HERE (Week #3)

To add your Week #4 entry, please go HERE (Week #4)

To add your Week #5 entry, please go HERE (Week #5)

 

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #6 for Week of June 15:

So far we’ve played with characters, setting, and emotion (or a combination, depending on where your random choosing landed you), with nursery rhymes and point of view, with a picture prompt, fun names, and a plot point, with fairy tales taking place in a new setting, and with “How To” 😊  This week we’re going to get right into the young child mindset! Behavior and choices tell us a lot about personality and character!

Begin with:

I (or Name) only/always eat  __________!
(first or third person, present or past tense – either is fine)

OR

I (or Name) never eat __________!
(first or third person, present or past tense – either is fine)

and choose a Simile from Column A, a Food from Column B, and/or a position from Column C to fill in the blank!

Column A – simile Column B – food Column C – position
Like a pig Peanut butter (or nut-free alternative 😊) Upside down
Like a bird Things that are orange On the floor
Like a horse Things that are square In his/her treehouse

So your story might begin:

I always eat in my treehouse!

or

Dumpling never ate like a pig!

or

Zoe only ate things that were orange, and she only ate them on the floor!

  • Stories can rhyme or not – totally up to you!
  • You can go under or over 100 words if you want to – also totally up to you! – 100 is a guideline
  • If you’re deeply inspired by another simile, food, or position that is not on the list you can use that instead – as long as you write a story as outlined above – the purpose here is inspiration and to get you writing!
  • For simplicity’s sake (and to aid skimming readers who might be interested in a particular thing) please be sure to put the simile, food, and/or position you chose at the top of your entry along with your name and word count.

 

Here is my little just for fun sample 😊

Just Like Mom (27 words – can you believe it? from ME?!)
position – upside down

Smidge always ate upside down.
A choice that made other folks frown.
But his mom only smiled
At her bottoms-up child.
“Monkey see, monkey do,” she’d expound!

Okay 😊 I took a few liberties using “expound”! 😊  I’d better leave the limericks to Marty, who has done one every week of the challenge so far!

Now come join the fun! Get some writing done! Encourage your kids (or students) to give it a try! Or just have a good time together reading what other folks have written!

Ready, set, WRITE! 😊

(And remember, for full details on the 7 week challenge you can check HERE)

(And if you need to motivate yourself scroll down to see all the amazing prizes you could win!!! 😊)

 

Check out the Week #6 stories!

(apologies for the delays in updating this week – family situation)

I Only Eat Like A Llama – Jamie Bechtelheimer (only, like a llama)

Marigold Eats Orange – Candice Marley Conner (only, things that are orange)

Eating With Gigi – Dawn Young (only, things that begin with P, treehouse)

Neater Eater – Cupcake The Dog (never, like a pig)

Polly’s Peanut Butter Passion – Patricia Nozell (only, peanut butter)

Drip Drop Plop – Brenda Whitehead (only, way up high, on the floor)

Doodle Dot – Cindy Boyll (like Minnie Mouse, dots, everywhere)

Charlie’s Cheesy Choices – Deb Buschman (like a cow, cheese, in the barn)

Lulu – Rose Cappelli (always, foods that begin with L)

Untitled – Colleen Murphy (never, in the stable)

Penny Never Ate Upside Down – Barbara Renner (never, upside down)

Geometric Eating – Deb Sullivan (only, foods that are square)

Ralphie Eats Like A Bird On The Floor – Ashley Congdon (always, like a bird, on the floor)

I Do NOT Eat Like A Bird – Sue Lancaster (like a bird, in my treehouse)

Annabelle Always Eats Chips – Susan Inez (always, like a pig, upside down, treehouse)

King Frederick The Square – Matthew Lasley (only, foods that are square)

Like A Bird – Dot Anson (only, foods that start with C, like a bird)

Limerick For Week 6 – Marty (only, foods that are square)

Milo Slurps – Sarah Meade (only, through a straw)

Stop And Roll – Linda Schueler (foods that are square)

There Was A Young Lass – Jill Lambert (never, like a pig, orange, upside down)

Dahlia’s Dilemma – Leslie Denkers (only)

A Bird Like Petunia – Michelle S. Kennedy (always, like a bird, seeds, on the floor)

Untitled – Kay DiVerde (like a bunny, things that are orange, on the floor)

Meredith, Meal Time Scientist – Sara Ackerman (always, like a scientist)

Untitled – Shariffa Keshavjee (always, like a bird)

Seafood Diet? – Rebecca Gardyn Levington (only, seafood)

I Only Ever Eat Things Beginning With C – Tracy (only, things beginning with C)

Tink Eats Like A Bird – Mary Van Beuren

Peter Liked To Eat Like A Pig – Lily Erlic

I Always Eat Summer – Kristy Roser Nuttall (always, summer)

I Always Eat upside Down – Corine Timmer

Follow The Rules! – Penny Adler (never, like a pig)

Henrietta – Susan Schipper (like a bird, things that are round, upside down)

You Are Invited – Di Litwer (pig, orange things, treehouse)

No To Purple Food – Bev Baird

Try It In Reverse – Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf (treehouse)

Gabi The Dog Eats Carrots – Susan Krevat

Santa And His Beans – Two Limericks – Liz Kehrli

I Only Eat Things That Are Square – Ugo Anidi

Jim? JIM! – Jess Murray (always, like a bird)

Carl Eats Like A Pig – Amy Flynn

I Only Eat Things That Are Square – Alicia Meyers Kelly

Oakley Only Eats Quirky Food – Katie Schwartz

Afternoon Snack – Mia Geiger (eat, bird)

Upside Down Blu Eats Things That Are Orange – Ketan Ram

Jay The Bird Boy – Lauri Meyers (like a bird)

Untitled – Heather Hatch (only, peanut butter)

 

PRIZES & PRIZES OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES!

When it comes time for prizes, names of all those who completed the challenge will be drawn randomly and matched with prizes drawn randomly until we run out! 😊

Please join me in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazon, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, suggesting them for school visits, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

For Spacious Skies by Nancy Churnin, award-winning author of so many fabulous books I don’t have space to list them all! Visit her website or Amazon Page!

For Spacious Skies

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Kirstine Erekson Call, author of THE RAINDROP WHO COULDN’T FALL (Character Publishing 2013) and the forthcoming MOOTILDA’S BAD MOOD (Little Bee Books, September 2020), COW SAYS MEOW (HMH March 2021), and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown Spring 2021)

Kirsti Call Mootilda

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Ellen Leventhal, author of DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS (Spork 2017), HAYFEST: A Holiday Quest (ABCs Press 2010), and LOLA CAN’T LEAP (Spork 2018)

Ellen Leventhal Lola Can't Leap

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Lindsay Hanson Metcalf, author of BEATRIX POTTER, SCIENTIST (September 2020), FARMERS UNITE!: PLANTING A PROTEST FOR FAIR PRICES (Calkins Creek November 2020), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Lindsay+H.+Metcalf+(CREDIT+ANNA+JACKSON)+copy Beatric Potter

Picture Book Manuscript Critique (non rhyming) from Kaye Baillie, author of BOO LOVES BOOKS (New Frontier Publishing October 2020), and MESSAGE IN A SOCK (Midnight Sun Publishing 2018)

kaye-baillie-author-headshot Boo Loves Books message-in-a-sock-cover-1_2

Your choice of EITHER a Picture Book Manuscript Critique or a Virtual Visit with Keila Dawson, author of THE KING CAKE BABY (Pelican 2015), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 1.51.59 PM King Cake baby Keila No Voice Too Small

 

Winner’s Choice of Webinar from the amazing Alayne Kay Christian, author of picture books Butterfly Kisses, An Old Man And His Penguin, and the forthcoming The Weed That Woke Christmas and the chapter book series of Sienna The Cowgirl Fairy, and editor at Blue Whale Press!  Webinar choices include: How A Picture Book Is Made, Perfecting Your Critique, Top Ten Reasons For Rejection, and How To Write Powerful First Pages Like A Pro!

Alayne butterfly kisses An Old Man and His Penguin

 

15 Minute Video Chat – ask your questions about writing, research, submissions – whatever’s on your mind! –  with Christy Mihaly, author of DIET FOR A CHANGING PLANET: Food for Thought(Twenty-first Century Books/Lerner 2018), HEY, HEY, HAY!
A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them (Holiday House 2018) , and FREE FOR YOU AND ME: What Our First Amendment Means (Albert Whitman March 2020)

Chris closeup Free For You And Me HEY, HEY, HAY! Cover

Quick Impressions on your Picture Book Manuscript from Rosie Pova, author of IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU (Spork 2017), SARAH’S SONG (Spork 2017), the forthcoming SUNDAY RAIN (Lantana Publishing March 2021) and others.

Rosie Pova Sunday Rain

RONAN THE LIBRARIAN, (Roaring Brook Press April 2020) brand new fromfabulous author Tara Luebbe

Ronan

Your Choice of EITHER A Picture Book Manuscript Critique (fiction, non-rhyming) or an Ask Anything 15 Minute Video or Phone Chat with Tara Luebbe, author of  SHARK NATE-O,(Little Bee Books 2018), I AM FAMOUS ( Albert Whitman 2018), I USED TO BE FAMOUS (Albert Whitman 2019), OPERATION PHOTOBOMB (Albert Whitman 2019), and RONAN THE LIBRARIAN (Roaring Brook Press 2020) (see above)

Tara Luebbe Shark Nate-O

Sherry Howard, author of Rock And Roll Woods (Spork 2018) and a series of Nonfiction Middle Grade titles for Escape Publishing (2019)

Sherry Howard (4) Cover Rock and Roll Woods

Sherry Howard MG NF Books

is offering 6 of her nonfiction middle grade titles which will go to 6 lucky winners!

Ann Whitford Paul, author of Writing Picture Books (being donated by Becky Scharnhorst below), the book we ALL use as our picture book bible 😊, and countless wonderful picture books, is offering signed copies of her IF ANIMALS… Series (Farrar Straus Giroux):

Ann Whitford Paul

If Animals Went To School                     If Animals Kissed Good Night

If Animals Went To School (2019)         If Animals Kissed Good Night (2008)

If Animals Said I Love You                     If Animals Celebrated Christmas

If Animals Said I Love You (2017)        If Animals Celebrated Christmas (2018)

If you would like to benefit from her picture book wisdom, please sign up for her newsletter HERE!

A hand lettered quote of someone’s choice from a picture book,  or a quote about reading or writing that could be framed as a gift for a child’s bedroom, a writer you know and love, or an inspiration for writing in your own work space (why shouldn’t you give yourself a present?!) offered by Kristy Roser Nuttall! (Samples below – you can choose your own quote!)

Kristy Nuttall 20200512_092224 20200512_091604

Making Picture Book Magic – Self Study Class any month (x3)

MPBM

Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul, donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication by [Ann Whitford Paul]

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Big Magic

The Nuts & Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman (only available for Kindle) (x2)

The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books by [Linda Ashman]

Magnetic Poetry – Little Box of Happiness

Magnetic Poetry - Little Box of Happiness Kit - Words for Refrigerator - Write Poems and Letters on The Fridge - Made in The USA

 

The Story Book Knight by Helen Docherty

storybook knight

This Book Is Gray by Lindsay Ward

This Book Is Gray

Story Cubes

Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 11.23.08 PM

Writing Journal (x10)

5358C071-383B-4EF4-ADFD-353F737E23E5_1_201_a

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Will You Be Friends With Me?

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

I have a sweet and lovely book to share with you today.  It is technically a board book, not a picture book, but its message of acceptance, tolerance, and appreciating difference  seemed so apt and so timely in the midst of current events that I wanted to share it.  We can all use a friend 😊💕

Will You Be Friends cover

Title: Will You Be Friends With Me?

Written By: Kathleen Long Bostrom

Illustrated By: Jo de Ruiter

WorthyKids, July 7, 2020, fiction

Suitable For Ages: Baby – 3

Themes/Topics: friendship, appreciating difference, acceptance

Screen Shot 2020-06-11 at 7.45.32 PM

text copyright Kathleen Bostrom 2020, illustration copyright Jo De Ruiter 2020, WorthyKids

Opening: “I wake early.
You sleep late.
My hair’s curly.
Yours is straight.
I say, “Now!”
You say, “Wait?”
Will you be friends with me?

Brief Synopsis: We’re all different but life is more fun that way! Anyone can be a friend!

Links To Resources: draw a picture of yourself and a friend doing something you both enjoy; write a poem about what makes a good friend; make friendship bracelets for your friends Easiest Friendship Bracelets; host a baking party where each child brings an ingredient and make Friendship Cookies; Friendship Keychains; Friendship Flowers

Screen Shot 2020-06-11 at 7.42.14 PM

text copyright Kathleen Bostrom 2020, illustration copyright Jo De Ruiter 2020, WorthyKids

Why I Like This Book: This book is simple and sweet and shows youngest readers that embracing difference is a good thing.  Kids can be different from each other in many ways, but that’s part of what makes life interesting and fun.  Friends are everywhere. The rhyme flows smoothly and is a pleasure to read, and the art is engaging and sweet, depicting a pleasantly diverse array of children. A lovely choice for any little one’s library, especially now.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge – Week 5!

Woo hoo!  It’s Monday and that means it’s time for the Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge to continue!

I just have to say that I am so impressed by all the amazing stories that have been shared here for the writing challenge so far!  You guys are so creative, and so talented!  It has been a real pleasure to read your work, and I look forward to seeing what you write this week!

Mix 'n' Match Mini Writing Challenge

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini is a 7 week writing challenge for anyone who needs a little boost or a little encouragement to get writing. . . or maybe just a little fun during this bizarre stay-at-home spring!

You get to write your own story, enjoy and be entertained by everyone else’s stories, and get yourself in the running for some awesome prizes (please see the end of the blog post for a list of all the prize goodies!)

To be eligible for the prize drawing you must enter all 7 weeks.

For a full description of the challenge or to add your Week #1 entry, please go HERE (Week #1)

To add your Week #2 entry, please go HERE (Week #2)

To add your Week #3 entry, please go HERE (Week #3)

To add your Week #4 entry, please go HERE (Week #4)

 

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #5 for Week of June 8:

So far we’ve played with characters, setting, and emotion (or a combination, depending on where your random choosing landed you), with nursery rhymes and point of view, with a picture prompt, fun names, and a plot point, and with fairy tales taking place in a new setting!  This week we’re going to play around with “How To” 😊

Choose an action from Column A and a creature/animal/person from Column B:

Column A – Action Column B – Creature/Animal/Person
scare monster
comfort brother/sister
entertain teacher
be babysitter
trick pet (choose any animal you like J)
catch
protect

and write a 100 word story for kids entitled:

How To _____(action)_____ A/Your _____(creature/animal/person)_____
(e.g. How To Comfort A Monster/How To Trick Your Babysitter)

  • Stories can rhyme or not – totally up to you!
  • You can go under or over 100 words if you want to – also totally up to you! – 100 is a guideline
  • If you’re deeply inspired by another Action or Creature/Animal/Person that is not on the list you can use that instead – as long as you write a How-To as outlined above – the purpose here is inspiration and to get you writing!
  • For simplicity’s sake (and to aid skimming readers who might be interested in a particular thing) please be sure to put your title: How To _____ A/Your_____ at the top along with your name and word count.

 

Here’s my little just-for-fun sample 😊

How To Comfort Your Monster (159 words)

Sometimes monsters can be a bit of a handful.
If your monster is angry, tell her to take a deep breath and count to ten.
“I, 2, 7, 100, 43, 10.”
It doesn’t matter how she counts.
All that matters is that she trusts she can count on you.
If your monster is hurt, put a bandaid on her boo-boo and kiss it better.
It doesn’t matter if you can’t see her boo-boo.
All that matters is that she feels seen.
If your monster is sad, hug her close and sing her a happy song.
It doesn’t matter if she’s not really listening.
It only matters that she knows you’re listening.
If your monster is scared. . .
. . . AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!
If something scares your monster, it might scare you, too!
Stand and face your fear together.
It doesn’t matter if you’re scared or sad, hurt or angry.
All that matters is that you always have each other.

💕          😊          💕          😊          💕          😊          💕

Now come join the fun! Get some writing done! Encourage your kids (or students) to give it a try! Or just have a good time together reading what other folks have written!

Ready, set, WRITE! 😊

(And remember, for full details on the 7 week challenge you can check HERE)

(And if you need to motivate yourself scroll down to see all the amazing prizes you could win!!! 😊)

 

Check out the Week #5 stories!

 

How To Be A Teacher – Cupcake Petrillo

How To Scare A Monster – Sue Lancaster

How To Catch A Pet Tarantula – Jill Lambert

How To Scare Your Teacher – Matthew Lasley

How To Comfort Harry Hedgehog – Cindy Boyll

How To Catch A Brother – Brenda Whitehead

How To Train Your Pet Rock – Colleen Murphy

How To Be A Sister – Sara Ackerman

How To Catch A Pet Turtle – Kay DiVerde

If You Want To Be A Monster – Linda Staszak

How To Be “Your” Own Babysitter – Susan Schipper

How To Entertain Your Donkey – Penny Adler

Let Me Entertain You (aka How To Entertain Your Little Brother) – Barbara Renner

How To Be A Blue Whale – Rose Cappelli

How To Catch A Fish – Marty

How To Find A Friend – Dawn Young

How To Entertain Your Furry Feline Friend – Linda Schueler

How To Calm Your Kangaroo – Patricia Nozell

How To Entertain Your Dragon On His Birthday – Ashley Congdon

How To Scare A Librarian – Candice Marley Conner

How To Catch A Monster – Jamie Bechtelheimer

How To Scare A Babysitter – Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf

How To Catch A Cupcake – Mary Van Beuren

How To Catch A Babysitter – Deb Sullivan

How To Comfort A MOOdy Cow – Corine Timmer

How To Comfort A (Pet) Skunk – Susan Inez

How To Crown Your Beast – Kristy Roser Nuttall

How To Treat Your Teacher – Leslie Denkers

How To Be A Cat – Dot Anson

How To Catch A Cat – Di Litwer

If You Have To Catch A Babysitter – Jess Murray

How To Comfort A Frightened Mouse – Bev Baird

If You Want To Trick Your Monster – Michelle S. Kennedy

How To Pamper Your Porcupine – Sarah Meade

How To Protect Your T-Rex – Amy Flynn

How To Protect Your Teacher – Susan Krevat

How To Comfort A Turtle – Deb Buschman

How To Be A Teacher – Alicia Meyers Kelly

How To Train A Penguin For City Life – Lily Erlic

Monster Under My Bed – Shariffa Keshavjee

How To Protect Your Princess – Tracy

How To Scare A Monster – Liz Kehrli

How To Comfort Your Comforter – Katie Schwartz

How To Love Your Brother – Rebecca Gardyn Levington

How To Comfort Your Babysitter – Ketan Ram

How To Scare A Monster – Mia Geiger

How To Scare A Monster – Ugo Anidi

How To Catch A Sister – Lauri Meyers

How To Trick Your Sister – Heather Hatch

 

PRIZES & PRIZES OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES!

When it comes time for prizes, names of all those who completed the challenge will be drawn randomly and matched with prizes drawn randomly until we run out! 😊

Please join me in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazone, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, suggesting them for school visits, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

For Spacious Skies by Nancy Churnin, award-winning author of so many fabulous books I don’t have space to list them all! Visit her website or Amazon Page!

For Spacious Skies

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Kirstine Erekson Call, author of THE RAINDROP WHO COULDN’T FALL (Character Publishing 2013) and the forthcoming MOOTILDA’S BAD MOOD (Little Bee Books, September 2020), COW SAYS MEOW (HMH March 2021), and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown Spring 2021)

Kirsti Call Mootilda

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Ellen Leventhal, author of DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS (Spork 2017), HAYFEST: A Holiday Quest (ABCs Press 2010), and LOLA CAN’T LEAP (Spork 2018)

Ellen Leventhal Lola Can't Leap

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Lindsay Hanson Metcalf, author of BEATRIX POTTER, SCIENTIST (September 2020), FARMERS UNITE!: PLANTING A PROTEST FOR FAIR PRICES (Calkins Creek November 2020), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Lindsay+H.+Metcalf+(CREDIT+ANNA+JACKSON)+copy Beatric Potter

Picture Book Manuscript Critique (non rhyming) from Kaye Baillie, author of BOO LOVES BOOKS (New Frontier Publishing October 2020), and MESSAGE IN A SOCK (Midnight Sun Publishing 2018)

kaye-baillie-author-headshot Boo Loves Books message-in-a-sock-cover-1_2

Your choice of EITHER a Picture Book Manuscript Critique or a Virtual Visit with Keila Dawson, author of THE KING CAKE BABY (Pelican 2015), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 1.51.59 PM King Cake baby Keila No Voice Too Small

 

Winner’s Choice of Webinar from the amazing Alayne Kay Christian, author of picture books Butterfly Kisses, An Old Man And His Penguin, and the forthcoming The Weed That Woke Christmas and the chapter book series of Sienna The Cowgirl Fairy, and editor at Blue Whale Press!  Webinar choices include: How A Picture Book Is Made, Perfecting Your Critique, Top Ten Reasons For Rejection, and How To Write Powerful First Pages Like A Pro!

Alayne butterfly kisses An Old Man and His Penguin

 

15 Minute Video Chat – ask your questions about writing, research, submissions – whatever’s on your mind! –  with Christy Mihaly, author of DIET FOR A CHANGING PLANET: Food for Thought(Twenty-first Century Books/Lerner 2018), HEY, HEY, HAY!
A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them (Holiday House 2018) , and FREE FOR YOU AND ME: What Our First Amendment Means (Albert Whitman March 2020)

Chris closeup Free For You And Me HEY, HEY, HAY! Cover

Quick Impressions on your Picture Book Manuscript from Rosie Pova, author of IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU (Spork 2017), SARAH’S SONG (Spork 2017), the forthcoming SUNDAY RAIN (Lantana Publishing March 2021) and others.

Rosie Pova Sunday Rain

RONAN THE LIBRARIAN, (Roaring Brook Press April 2020) brand new fromfabulous author Tara Luebbe

Ronan

Your Choice of EITHER A Picture Book Manuscript Critique (fiction, non-rhyming) or an Ask Anything 15 Minute Video or Phone Chat with Tara Luebbe, author of  SHARK NATE-O,(Little Bee Books 2018), I AM FAMOUS ( Albert Whitman 2018), I USED TO BE FAMOUS (Albert Whitman 2019), OPERATION PHOTOBOMB (Albert Whitman 2019), and RONAN THE LIBRARIAN (Roaring Brook Press 2020) (see above)

Tara Luebbe Shark Nate-O

Sherry Howard, author of Rock And Roll Woods (Spork 2018) and a series of Nonfiction Middle Grade titles for Escape Publishing (2019)

Sherry Howard (4) Cover Rock and Roll Woods

Sherry Howard MG NF Books

is offering 6 of her nonfiction middle grade titles which will go to 6 lucky winners!

Ann Whitford Paul, author of Writing Picture Books (being donated by Becky Scharnhorst below), the book we ALL use as our picture book bible 😊, and countless wonderful picture books, is offering signed copies of her IF ANIMALS… Series (Farrar Straus Giroux):

Ann Whitford Paul

If Animals Went To School                     If Animals Kissed Good Night

If Animals Went To School (2019)         If Animals Kissed Good Night (2008)

If Animals Said I Love You                     If Animals Celebrated Christmas

If Animals Said I Love You (2017)        If Animals Celebrated Christmas (2018)

If you would like to benefit from her picture book wisdom, please sign up for her newsletter HERE!

A hand lettered quote of someone’s choice from a picture book,  or a quote about reading or writing that could be framed as a gift for a child’s bedroom, a writer you know and love, or an inspiration for writing in your own work space (why shouldn’t you give yourself a present?!) offered by Kristy Roser Nuttall! (Samples below – you can choose your own quote!)

Kristy Nuttall 20200512_092224 20200512_091604

Making Picture Book Magic – Self Study Class any month (x3)

MPBM

Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul, donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication by [Ann Whitford Paul]

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Big Magic

The Nuts & Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman (only available for Kindle) (x2)

The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books by [Linda Ashman]

Magnetic Poetry – Little Box of Happiness

Magnetic Poetry - Little Box of Happiness Kit - Words for Refrigerator - Write Poems and Letters on The Fridge - Made in The USA

 

The Story Book Knight by Helen Docherty

storybook knight

This Book Is Gray by Lindsay Ward

This Book Is Gray

Story Cubes

Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 11.23.08 PM

Writing Journal (x10)

5358C071-383B-4EF4-ADFD-353F737E23E5_1_201_a

Scythe by Neal Shusterman