Top Shelf Picture Books Seminar – A Free Event For Children’s Writers!

Hello, my friends!

I know you’re waiting on the Valentiny Contest results, and I promise, they are coming!

But today I need to sneak in a little special post to let you all know about a great opportunity that starts Monday, so I want to give you all a chance to sign up if you’re interested!

Rosie J. Pova, children’s author, who has been a frequent prize donor for the contests held here, has put together a free event for picture book writers: The Top Shelf Picture Books Seminar.

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Ooh! It’s A Winner! X3! – ALPHABEDTIME Giveaway Winners!

Dear Steph, Leslie, Phyllis, Katie, David, Deborah, Patricia, Kim, Tim, Genevieve, Danielle, Lauri F, Karen, Marty, Charlotte, Bru, Susan, Jenna, Ashley, Ellie, Laura, Mary, Elizabeth, Jennifer, Cathy, Angie, Jilanne, Jen, Ingrid, Lauri M, Sarah, Sandy, Lorelei, Jessica, Judy, and Lindsey,

Thank you all so much for coming to the baby shower, and for ALL the wonderful gifts you brought! With 16 days to go until its arrival, Betsy and I are thrilled that, thanks to YOU, our alphababy has been added to 20 Goodreads shelves, been shared on Twitter 18 times, on FB 5 times, and on Instagram 3 times, requested for purchase by 20 libraries from NH all the way to OR, requested for stocking at 5 Indie bookstores, and pre-ordered by 6 of you! Our alphababy is so lucky to be joining such a generous and welcoming family! Betsy and I thank you with all our hearts! Thank you, thank you! ❤️

And now, I’m delighted to announce the winners of the 3 giveaway copies of ALPHABEDTIME, personalized and signed by me (and if we can manage it, 😊 Betsy as well!)

Winners were drawn by entering every gift given into and generating a random list from which the top 3 were selected

Congratulations to you all, and thanks again to everyone who helped share ALPHABEDTIME! Winners, please email me with your snail mail addresses and who you’d like the book signed to and we will get them out to you as soon as we can!

ALPHABEDTIME will be having a blog tour which will be properly announced with graphics and link list, along with possible additions or alterations, but you can look forward to seeing it at the blogs below between October 16 and November 13!

October 16: Book Journey with Kathy Temean plus GIVEAWAY

October 25: Simply 7 Author/Illustrator Interview with Jena Benton plus GIVEAWAY

October 25: Author/Illustrator Interview with Lindsay Ward plus GIVEAWAY

October 28: Perfect Picture Book Friday Review and Interview with Beth Stillborn plus GIVEAWAY

October 28: KidLit 411 Giveaway

October 29: Will Write For Cookies Interview with Vivian Kirkfield plus GIVEAWAY

November 1: Review and Interview with Maria Marshall plus GIVEAWAY

November 5: Review and Alphabet Recipe with Julie Abery plus GIVEAWAY

November 7: Book Related Activities with Laura Sassi plus GIVEAWAY

November 8: Review and Interview with Laura Roettiger plus GIVEAWAY

November 8: Picture Book Look Podcast with Author and Illustrator

November 13: Author/Illustrator Interview and Craft with Lauri Fortino plus GIVEAWAY

Giveaway Winner – BUNNY FINDS EASTER!

Hi Everyone!

There’s no one up for Tuesday Debut today, so instead let’s party!

First, we get to celebrate the randomly selected giveaway winner of Laura Sassi’s beautiful book, BUNNY FINDS EASTER!

And the lucky winner is . . .

Pat Tilton!

I hope your great-granddaughter enjoys it! (I think she will! 😊) Please email me so I can get your book to you!

And what would a celebration party be without cake? I said we might have some, and so we shall!

How about this one?

Chocolate enough?

Let’s find out! 😊

And now, let’s round out our party by having everyone share the book they’re currently reading in the comment section. I’ll start. I’m reading something not at all kidlit – a psychological thriller by Michael Robotham called When You Are Mine. So far, it’s keeping me turning the pages! I also (as always) have a stack of picture books including How To Apologize by David LaRochelle, If You Ever Want To Bring An Alligator To School, Don’t! by Elise Parsley, and Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev (and let me tell you, that tiny elephant is SO CUTE! 😊)

What are you reading?

For a bonus party favor to take home with you, here is a little writing prompt to get the creativity flowing:

Q: What do you get when you cross a turtle with a porcupine?
A: A slowpoke!

Write a story about a slowpoke 😊


Work on your Valentiny Contest entry – only a couple more days to go! If you haven’t read the guidelines yet, hop on over and check them out HERE. You can write THAT story today! 😊

Enjoy your Tuesday (and help yourself to seconds on cake! 😊)

Hang On. . .!

Hi Amazing Mix ‘n’ Matchers!

I know I promised prizes today, and I will get them done!

But it will not be in time for the morning post.

Sorry about that!

Too much to do, lately!

I will do my best to get them posted as early as possible, but probably can’t get back to work on the prize distribution until after 2 PM, so. . . .

. . . have some lemon bars. . .

. . . and some fresh raspberries. . .

to tide you over until I get back with the goods!

See you with prize news ASAP!!!

(and thank you for your patience!)

Here We Go Again! Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Take 2!

Good morning, my little chickens!

Are things feeling a wee bit humdrum?

Is daily routine getting you down?

Does this look familiar?

Just as I suspected!

It seems we’ve all got a case of the I Haven’t Gone Anywhere Done Anything Seen Anyone For A Year So What The Heck Can I Write About Blues!

But don’t worry.

I can fix that! 😊

All that’s required is a little tomfoolery! A few high jinx and shenanigans to knock the K off of FUNK and get us back to good old F-U-N!

Who’s with me?

Give me a woo!


Give me a hoo!


What does that spell?

Well. . . technically it doesn’t actually spell anything, since neither woo nor hoo is a letter, but one way or another it comes out


Now! Let’s have some fun!

And fun in this instance is. . .

another round of the ever-popular, practically world famous

(Not a contest exactly… no room in the blog calendar, no time for judging, no gigantic prizes on offer…but still (hopefully!) tons of fun!)

Here’s how it works:

Starting today, each Monday until June 21st (which makes 7 Mondays total and will get us to the end of the school term) I will post a Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt for a 100 word story.  Post your story in the comment section for that week’s challenge (or if you have trouble posting it, email it to me and I’ll post it for you.)  At the end of the 7 weeks, everyone who has posted one story for each week’s prompt will

A) have 7 brand new stories to play with!  (Who knows? Your next picture book or even chapter book or longer might be sparked by something you write for the Challenge!)

B) be able to take credit for entertaining lots of fellow writers and their kids (not to mention you’ll entertain yourself and your own kids!)


C) qualify to win a prize from the Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Mystery Bag of Marvelous Prizes for Writers! (Last year we managed to scare up enough prizes that all of the approximately 40 people who completed the challenge got something, but we’ll have to see how the available prizes stack up this year – if there aren’t enough for everyone who completes the challenge we’ll have to randomly draw winners until we run out of prizes, but you will still win A and B above!)

You can compete with yourself to see if you can write all 7 stories!  You can compete with your writing friends to see if you can write more than they do! And if you want to get really competitive, you can all read the stories that are posted and “like” the ones you think are best and see who gets the most “likes” 😊 (If you do that there might be some special prizes…who can tell??? 😊)

When the going get’s humdrum, children’s writers beat the blues by playing writing games and creating new stories to keep themselves and everyone around them entertained!

So here we go!

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #1 for Week of May 10:

Choose a character from Column A and something the character needs from Column B and write a 100 word story for children entitled _____Column A_____ Needs A _____Column B_____ If you wish, you may also select a random item from Column C to include in your story.

For example: Hermit Crab Needs A Home. (And perhaps you’d include a harmonica somewhere in the story.)

Or, if something in Column C strikes your fancy you can use that as the thing your character needs, e.g. Hummingbird Needs Help.

Get the idea?

Here are the options:

Column A – CharacterColumn B – Something NeededColumn C – random item
HedgehogHomeHockey Stick (or Hockey Puck)
HammerheadHugHorse (or Sea Horse)
Hermit CrabHintHarmonica
Henry or HilaryHatHelicopter

If a central idea would be helpful to you in your writing, you can focus your story on Mother’s Day, since that is fresh in all our minds this morning 😊, but that is NOT required.

In an attempt to answer possible questions I will say:

  • you can write as many stories as you want each week
  • you can post them at any time during the week (just make sure they’re on the Monday Mix ‘n’ Match Mini post for the week you’re entering – e.g. below for Week #1))
  • you can play catch up (so if you miss a week you can go back and add to an earlier week if you’re trying to complete the challenge and qualify for prizes as long as all entries are posted on the correct week and are posted no later than Saturday June 26th at midnight Eastern time.)
  • no illustration notes
  • You may go over the word count if you’re on a roll and you wish to (because there is no judging 😊)
  • You may write in poetry or prose

(This is where the sample I intended to write belongs, but since I haven’t had time to write it yet I’ll have to add it in!)

And here’s a little sampling of the prizes up for grabs to whet your competitive spirit 😊 MORE TO COME!

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! 😊

⭐️ Picture Book Critique from Penny Parker Klostermann, the lovely and talented author of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT (Random House 2015) and A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE (Random House 2017)

⭐️ 30 Minute Q&A with Penny Klostermann

⭐️ Picture Book MS Critique OR Query Letter Critique (Winner’s Choice) from Jennifer Buchet, debut author of LITTLE MEDUSA’S HAIR DO-LEMMA (Clear Fork/Spork May 11, 2021)

⭐️ Picture Book MS Critique from Jen Raudenbush, agented writer of picture books, middle grade, and poetry. (Represented by Natascha Morris of The Tobias Literary Agency)

⭐️ 30 minute Zoom chat about anything industry related (manuscript, query letter, best practices for querying) with Becky Scharnhorst, amazing author of MY SCHOOL STINKS (Philomel Books, July 6, 2021)

⭐️ Webinar: How To Write Powerful First Pages Like A Pro by author and editor Alayne Kay Christian

⭐️ A copy of Mary Kole’s Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Writers, donated by Nicole Loos Miller

⭐️ A personalized signed copy of SASSAFRAS AND HER TEENY TINY TAIL (MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 2021) by Candice Marley Conner

⭐️ Making Picture Book Magic Self Study Class (any month)

⭐️ 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

Check out the Week 1 Stories!

Henry Needs A Holiday – Joyce Uglow

Hank Needs A Hug – Jen Subra

Hare Needs (To Take) A Hint – Candice Marley Conner

Hummingbird Needs A Holiday – Laura Bower

Hummingbird Needs A Hug – Ann Gray

Humphrey Hummingbird Needs A (New) Hobby – Clearywriter

Hedgehog Needs A Hobby – Erika

Hare Needs A Hug – Brenda Whitehead

Henry Hare Needs A Hat – Marty Bellis

Henry Needs A Hug – Isabel Cruz Rodriguez

Hermit Crab Needs A Home – Sarah Hawklyn

Henry Hedgehog – Michelle S. Kennedy

Henrietta’s New Home – Rose Cappelli

Hilary Needs A Hug – Sarah Meade

Hermy The Hermit Crab’s New Home – Susan E. Schipper

Helicopter Hummingbird – Linda Schueler

Untitled – Marta Magellan

Hilary The Hummingbird – Julie Kurtz

A Holiday For Mrs. Hare – Judy Sobanski

Alphonso’s Real Estate: Fashionable Homes For Hermit Crabs – Nicole Loos Miller

Hyena’s Hiccups – Marla Yablon

Hermit Crab Needs A Holiday – Carrines Clifton

Henry Hummingbird Needs A Home – Jennifer Reichow

Henry’s Discovery – Dawn Young

Henry Needs Some Luck – Allison Strick

Henry Needs A Holiday Hero – Ashley Sierra

Hoglet Hurry Home – Sally Yorke-Viney

A Hat For Hammerhead – Ashley B. Pedigo

Hallie Hummingbird Needs A Holiday – Christine Alemshah

Hudson Hammerhead Needs A Hug – Jeannette Suhr

Henry Needs A Hobby – Sue Lancaster

Hare And His Harmonica – Lyn Jekowsky

Horst Needs A Hug – Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf

Hummingbird Needs A Holiday – Sara Kruger

Hammerhead Needs A Hockey Stick – Les Degnan

Henry Needs A Hint – Deb Sullivan

Hare Needs A Hobby – Marta Cutler

Hare Needs A Holiday – Aly Kenna

Hilary Needs A Hint – Mia Geiger

Henry Needs A Hint – Elenore Byrne

Hare Style – Hannah Roy LaGrone

Hillary Hare Needs A Holiday – Barbara Farr Renner

Hammerhead Needs A Holiday – Dianne Irving

Hilary Needs A Harmonica – MWREX

Henry Needs A Hug – Val McCammon

Harry Hammerhead Has A Hard Day – Susan Summers

A Horse For Hermit Crab – Jill Lambert

A Home For Hedgehog – Elizabeth Volkmann

Hare Needs A Home – Jessica Murray

Hammerhead Needs Help – Katie Schwartz

Untitled – Lauri Meyers

Hedgehog Needs A Hat – Candace

Hedgehog Needs A Home – Summer Hinderer

Spiny The Hedgehog – Eva Kaman

Hopping Lonely – Jamie Bills

Henry Needs A Hint – Lauren Scott

Hare Needs A Hat – Jana Mattern

Hilary’s Holiday – Bevin Rolfs Spencer

Henry Hare’s New Hobby – Bru Benson

Hedgehog Hugs – Marty Findley

Hermit Crab Needs A Hat – Lynn Katz

Henry Hammerhead Needed A Hug – Padgy Soltis

Hedgehog Hates Hugs – TL Fales

Hammerhead Needs A Hat – Amy Leskowski

Mama Hedgehog’s Mother’s Day Holiday – Robin Currie

Henry Needs A Hero – Colleen Owen Murphy

Hugo Hammerhead Needs A Hat – Deb Buschman

Henry Hedgehog Needs A Home – Elizabeth Muster

Hedgehog Needs A Hint – Brenna Jeanneret

Hummingbird Needs A Holiday – JC Kelly

Would You Read It Wednesday #376 – Hairy Bigfoot Believes In Humans (PB) PLUS The October and November/December Pitch Winners!

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all enjoyed Groundhog Day yesterday!

Phyllis and I certainly did. We had to dig out of our burrow which was buried under 16+ inches of snow in order for Phyllis to determine that Punxsutawney Phil was nuts to claim he could see his shadow! There were no shadows on Blueberry Hill – only more snow! As far as we’re concerned, it’s going to be an early spring! 😊🌷 (Which reminds me of the plot of a certain picture book I know. . . 😊)

With that in mind to cheer us on, let’s get down to business! First off, the pitch winners!

The winner of the October 2020 Pitch Pick was Nicole with her PB pitch for Dear Duchess!

And the winner of the November/December Pitch Pick was Patricia with her PB pitch for Back To The Sea!

Congratulations to both of you on terrific pitches that made people want to read your stories, and for making good use of the feedback you received to improve your originals! Great job! Your pitches have been sent to editor Erin Molta and I’m sure you’ll hear from her as soon as she is able!

And congratulations also to all our other pitchers! You also did a great job! It is no easy thing to put your work out in the world for evaluation. But not only do you get the opportunity to learn from the experience, all of us do, too. So thank you for your bravery and generosity!

Let’s all celebrate with Something Chocolate! This morning, we will be indulging in Cheesecake Brownies because why not?! 😊

Doesn’t the day look better already with breakfast like that? Scrumptious!!! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Corey who says, “Hey there!! My name is Corey King (C.E. King) and I have been writing for a few years now. Just turning to Kidlit last year, I have enjoyed learning new ways of communicating through the power of words! I have an awesome 7 year old to judge my stories and give me daily inspiration. I hope to see you all in print someday!! To see current titles in progress, visit my website: or look my up on Twitter @ckinginator”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Hairy Bigfoot Believes In Humans

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: Hairy Bigfoot has spent years writing books & hosting weekly podcasts proving that humans exist.
After a gang of non-believing bigfeet vandalized his storefront, Humans-R-Real, INC., he sets out to disprove the naysayers. BRAVE READERS ONLY! #pbpitch #ha

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Corey improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in early April, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Corey is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to trying out 1 or 6 of those brownies! (writing fuel – it’s allowed!) 😊😊😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #375 – Just Right For Jack Ambrose (PB) PLUS Pitch Winners And More Pitch Picks!

Howdy, Friends!

We’ve got a busy Would You Read It schedule today!

First, in the closest vote we’e ever had, with the winner one point ahead of second, and second one point ahead of third!, the winner of the April Pitch Pick was Sierra with her PB pitch for The Bug Battle Circus.

The winner of the April/May/September Pitch Pick was Lindsey with her PB pitch for The Wind Keeper.

Congratulations Sierra and Lindsey on your stellar pitching! Your pitches have been sent to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts and comments and I’m sure she’ll respond as soon as she is able!

Congratulations also to all our other pitchers! You all did a great job writing and revising your pitches, and you were brave to share your work for evaluation from your peers and so that we could all learn!

Thanks so much to all the talented, generous readers who take the time to read and comment on the pitches and help our pitchers out! And thanks to all of you for reading and voting!

I hope all of you feel that you ended up with stronger pitches than you started with!

Now, let’s do some more Pitch Picking so we catch up to where we should be!

First, the October 2020 Pitch Pick:

Please read and think over the pitches below and then vote for the one you think is best and most deserving of a read and comments from editor Erin Molta in the October 2020 Pitch Pick Poll below by Sunday January 31 at 9PM.

1 – Eileen – Tree Monster Tea Party (PB 4-8)

With the BFF tea party any minute, a broken chair could mean disaster! Never fear, good-natured Bear is off to the rescue until he trips, and gets his head stuck a log! As more forest friends stop to help, the problem grows and grows to epic proportions! In this action-packed cumulative comedy, the kooky cast of characters learn that teamwork makes the dream work and, there’s more than one way to solve a problem

2 – Sandy – Little Blue (PB 3-6)

Pfffft!  Normally, the sound of flatulence is associated with a balloon deflating, but it might be just the right thing to lift Little Blue’s spirits.  Little Blue is down, dejected, and downhearted which is distressing when you’re a balloon!  Little Blue’s buddies display real friendship when he’s dragging the ground.   Green and Orange wedge Blue between them as they skip over the jump rope. Pink pulls him onto a swing to help him remember how to fly through the sky.  Yellow pounds the ground with the teeter-totter, propelling Blue into the air. Friends and a bit of flatulence buoy him along as he struggles to get his float back.

3 – Katie – Imagine That: The Lion, Maria, and Brindy (PB 4-8)

Brindy’s never lonely thanks to the amazing characters she meets in books. Trouble is, Brindy can’t hide in the pages of books in class, at church, or during swim practice. But making real friends seems impossible amid all the talking, teasing, tiring activity. Then some lively characters appear and encourage Brindy to sing with confidence and speechify with courage. The unimaginable becomes possible and Brindy finally makes a true friend.

4 – Nicole – Dear Duchess (PB 4-8)

When her octopus stuffie, Duchess, moves to the ocean to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a mermaid, Charley isn’t sure she’s brave enough to face the first day of school alone. Duchess and Charley comfort and cheer each other through letters until Duchess realizes that some things are even more precious than her magnifique new tail.

Finally, the November/December 2020 Pitch Pick:

Please read and think over the pitches below and then vote for the one you think is best and most deserving of a read and comments from editor Erin Molta in the November/December 2020 Pitch Pick Poll below by Sunday January 31 at 9PM.

1 – Patricia – Back To The Sea (Informational PB 4-8)

At sunrise on a lush, tropical island, an inquisitive child accompanies a huge cast of terrestrial hermit crabs as they scritchedy-scratch and clickety-clack on their annual journey to spawn in the sea. They face rocky terrain, hungry gulls, and larger animals that could crush them, but the crabs remain focused on their instinctive goal. This lyrical STEM manuscript is Hawk Rising set in the Caribbean.

2 – Diana – Little Witch Zooming Broom (PB 4-8)

Look up! There she zips again. Now she’s off to Grandma’s house with her basket of Trick-or-Treat goodies. But when Werewolf tries to trick Little Witch Zooming Broom, he finds she has tricks of her own under her hat.

3 – Aundra – Gregory The Garbage Truck (PB 3-9)

 GREGORY THE GARBAGE TRUCK loves his daily routine: Drive around/Clamp the bin/Lift it up/Dump it in. But his stench becomes too much and making friends is impossible. He tries washing and bouncing the trash off but he’s left smelling like old socks sprayed by a skunk and washed in dirty diapers. One evening at the dump his crusty clamper catches the eye of two rifling raccoons. They are excited to help Gregory clean up!

4 – Sarah – My Antler Is Missing (PB 4-8)

“MY ANTLER IS MISSING” Moose cries when he wakes and scratches his head. A mystery is afoot. Moose and his bestie Mouse head off on an adventure discovering clues and track prints. They romp through the winter forest chasing down possible thieves as they search for Moose’s missing antler.

Wow! Such hard choices! Thank you all for reading and voting! You have earned. . .

. . . your reward!

Something Chocolate!

Here you go. Some DELICIOUS Frosted Peanut Butter Cookie Cups!

Frosted Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

Aren’t they just making your mouth water? Yum! Grab a glass of milk and help yourself to 2 or 3 or 5 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Mindy who says, “Due to the pandemic, I retired after 35 years working with developmentally delayed young children and their families. Writing children’s books is my next chapter.”

Find her on the web at:
Facebook: Mindy Meyer
Instagram: mjmeyer06
Twitter: @MindyJ06

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Just Right For Jack Ambrose

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-8)

The Pitch: Jack Ambrose Kalabash wants everything to be just right, from his fly swatter collection hanging on the wall, to the seat he chooses on the bus, to even the sounds he hears or doesn’t hear throughout the day.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Mindy improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in March, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Mindy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Groundhog Day which is right around the corner! Phyllis and I are hoping for an early spring! (Mostly because we’ve had a week of very cold weather which is normal for January in New York but we still don’t like it! 😊)

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Story Antics – Something New for Self-Published Authors!

I know!

It’s Thursday!

What the heck are we doing here? 😊

It just so happens that I have something a little different to share with you today.

I’ve never done a post like this before, but I happened upon this tidbit of information which I thought some of you might find interesting and helpful.

Everyone who has had the good fortune to be published knows that the next hurdle is sales. And even traditionally published authors can have a hard time getting their books noticed and selling like hotcakes.

For self-published authors without the marketing and distribution power of a publishing house behind them, it can be even harder.

Enter Story Antics!

Today’s post is provided by Lara Solomon, the genius behind this new platform.

I hope you guys will find it interesting and take a moment to explore the site and share with anyone you know who might be interested!

3 Reasons You Should Join Story Antics Today!

You might be reading this thinking, what or who is Story Antics? Good question! It is a new marketplace for self-published and independent children’s books. It was launched this month (September 2020) after self-published author Lara Solomon realized that yes, she could write more books, but there are already so many books out there that readers haven’t discovered. Lara decided rather than writing more books, she would help authors promote their books which often don’t get seen, for a wide variety of reasons.

If you are a self-published or independent children’s author of physical books (audio and ebooks are in the works but that won’t be until 2021) you can add your books to the Story Antics site for FREE.

How easy is it to join Story Antics and what’s involved?

It is very easy, it takes about 5-10 minutes, depending on how many books you have to add, and there are really clear instructions on the site. Plus, if you get stuck you can email for help.

1) Create your author profile here

2) You now can login. Add a photo to your profile and a bit of blurb about you so that customers get to know you

3) Next add your books with at least one image of the book cover and a blurb about the book. Select which age group it is for, the genre and the price

4) Finally, set up the shipping for the books, decide how much you’d like to charge and if you want to offer international shipping

Once your book sells you are sent an email from the site with the customers details for you to mail it out to them.

3 Reasons to Join Story Antics
  1. Promotion and Exposure

Marketing and promoting your books takes time and effort, and can be a daunting task. By adding your books to the Story Antics site they do the marketing and promotion for you. Story Antics is all about promoting their books and Authors through,

· Social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Authors can use their socials to promote themselves at NO extra cost

· Email newsletters to potential customers every fortnight highlighting new books and authors

· The website, with book exposure on the homepage

· Monthly Author newsletter with tips and ideas to get more sales

2. A Mini Website

You may have thought, yes, I should get a website, but haven’t got round to it due to time or money. With Story Antics you have a page all about YOU with your books on it. You can even design your page with a banner displaying all your books. Plus, customers can email you directly from the site with questions, comments or fan mail!

3. Cost Effective Marketing Channel

Running Facebook ads, Google ads, growing your own social media can be expensive and time consuming. With Story Antics they take care of all that for you, and only charge a 10% commission when your book sells.

Story Antics takes the pain and headache out of marketing and promoting your books to get sales. They are starting a big PR and advertising campaign from the beginning of October, so now is a great time to get onboard and watch your sales soar!

Thanks for sharing, Lara! And I hope at least some of you find this information valuable – for yourselves or a friend!

Have a great Thursday! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #311 – Hazel Lee Flew A Fighter Plane As Well As Any Man (PB) PLUS The October Pitch Pick!

Hey there, Peeps!

How are things in your reading, writing, teaching, library-ing, and parenting worlds today?

There is snow in my world, and it’s making me want to write a picture book about snow. The Snowy Day has been done 🙂  but there’s got to be another possibility!

snow scout

For any of you who didn’t notice the post I snuck in on Sunday evening, the guidelines for the 4th Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Contest have been posted!  And for those of you who did see it, the prize list has been updated! 🙂 So hop on over and check it out.

Then hop back here and make your choice in the October Pitch Pick!

Here are the revised pitches from our talented October participants.  Please read through them and choose the one you think is best and most deserving of a read and comments from editor Erin Molta, then vote for your pick in the poll below by Sunday February 3 at 5 PM (see? you’ll be done before the Super Bowl! 🙂 )

#1 – Katie – The Night There Was No Bedtime (PB ages 3-6)

Mischievous Bedtime decides sleeping is boring. When she and one playful little girl sneak outside for some starlit hide & seek, parents everywhere wonder if their children will ever sleep again—until Bedtime discovers the one thing that makes sleeping sound fun.

#2 – Ciara – Drop The Dragon (PB ages 4-12)

Dragon theft is a real problem for Lily.  Her best frenemy, the family dog, is a pilfering pup.  To thwart the theft of her toy dragon, Lily engineers towers, traps, and more. But when their toy disappears, these two must join forces to save their beloved dragon. 

#3 – Meghan – Weeping Willow (PB ages 4-10)

Todd is a young boy that faces an unexpected choice: one that could ruin or fulfill his new friend’s deepest dreams. She is a tree that yearns to be made into something magical, but the consequence might be too much for Todd to bear. Can he handle the pressure?

#4 – Sarah – The Punching Ballerina   (PB ages 4-8)

KC, a karate student, longs to take ballet lessons.  He weaves all things dance throughout his days, which encourages negative attention at school.  After several minor social losses, a group of kids confronts him on the playground.  He sticks up for himself peacefully, winning confidence, and gaining something else.

Thank you all in advance for your votes!  I think everyone has earned Something Chocolate! I’m on a Valentines theme apparently, started last week with the creme filled chocolate cake hearts, so let’s have heart-shaped butter cookies dipped in chocolate today!

Easy Cream Cheese Butter Valentines Cookies

That’s what I call breakfast/second-breakfast/elevenses/afternoon snack/dessert/bedtime snack/midnight snack! Perfect for dunking in coffee/hot chocolate/milk/maybe even tea 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Fanny who says, “I’m a Chinese-American writer who used to design multicultural dolls and puppets for the early childhood education market. After my retirement, it’s natural I want to write for children.”

Find her on the web at

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Hazel Lee Flew A Fighter Plane As Well As Any Man

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 6-9)

The Pitch: A Chinese-American woman fighter pilot in WWII? No way! Women shouldn’t be flying alone, they are too nervous, too emotional. But Hazel Lee is not the stereotyped Chinese women!

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Fanny improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in March, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Fanny is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to writing my snow story!  I hope I get farther with it than I did with last week’s pie story! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

Oh, and P.S.  If I manage to scrape it together, I will post a Straight From The Editor post with the 6 I have hopefully on Saturday or Sunday!

Great Opportunity For Writers

Hi Everyone!

I’ll be back to business-as-usual on the blog this week, but just a quick PSA for those of you who might be interested in a fantastic writing opportunity!

Tara Luebbe is once again running her Writing With The Stars mentorship program and there is still time to apply.


What is Writing with the Stars?

Writing with the Stars is an opportunity for aspiring picture book writers and illustrators to win a free, three-month mentorship with a published author or author/illustrator. Mentors will help mentees further develop their craft and share invaluable advice and insight into the publishing world.

When is Writing with the Stars?

The application window is from January 9, 2019 through midnight January 13, 2019 EST. Winners will be announced on Twitter (@T_Luebbe) and on my blog on January 31, 2019 at 11:00 am EST, and the mentorships themselves run from February 1 through April 30, 2019.

For official rules click here.

So jump at the chance!  Who knows what you might achieve in 2019!

Have a great rest of the weekend and see you Wednesday! 🙂