Friday, March 27, 2009

This and That

A few days ago I sent my middle grade manuscript Lucy of Tupper's Hollow to a publisher.
Now the wait begins.

I found a poem I'd written last year and forgot about. I read it and thought it would be a perfect poem for a child's magazine. I took it to our writer's group meeting last night. We worked on one of the stanzas that needed a little help and I think it is now ready to submit. So I am looking for a magazine to send it to.

Cynthea Liu is having a Red Light Green Light free-tique over at her sight, if you want to give it a try. There is a link to her sight Writing for Children and Teens over on my side bar. Just follow her instructions and send in the first page of your manuscript and Snoop will give it a Red Light or Green Light. If you get a Red Light, you start over again with another first page of another manuscript.

Happy Writing, everyone!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Contest

The Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Contest is open again.

I'm having trouble getting to the online form, a page keeps coming up saying the contest is closed.

But if you go here, it will show you the rules of the contest.

You cannot enter if . . .
  • You are a professional writer, such as a novelist, magazine, blogger or newspaper writer who writes books or articles for pay.
  • You have authored a work of fiction that has been published or is about to be published in exchange for payment.
  • You are a volunteer of the First Book Advisory Board or an employee of General Mills, Archway Marketing Services, First Book or any of their respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliated companies, or a member of the immediate family (parent, children, siblings, spouse, regardless of where they live) or same household of such employees (whether related or not).

There is no entry fee, so what have you got to lose?

I entered it once, and I plan to enter again this year.
I'm hoping that next year I won't qualify. :)

Good Luck if you enter! The first place prize is pretty good.

The Form is now showing up. You can go here for the form!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

To The Post Office. . . Again

Tomorrow I'll be mailing out my submissions to the
WVWriter's 2009 Annual Writing Competition.

I will fill out the form and enclose my entries.

I will put them all inside the envelop and mail it in.

Now everyone cross your fingers, find a four leaf clover
and grab your rabbit's foot and wish me luck.

But most of all, teach me how to write a synopsis and how to write a picture book without describing too much. It's so hard to leave that creative work to the illustrator.

I'm tired of editing. I'm going to force myself not to look at the stories any more, for fear of finding something else to change.

Well, maybe I'll peek just one more time.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My First School Visit

I was invited to speak to 6th graders at Valley High School in Fayette County on Friday!

Of course, I went. I'm not even published and they wanted me to come, I was excited.

The language arts teacher worked with the kids that week with the draft of my middle grade story Lucy. She read some of the chapters to them, summarized others, and the children read and summarized some of the chapters. They even took some of my paragraphs and talked about description and figurative language.

I had 3 half hour visits with 3 different classes. The second session was full. Another class came in and joined us.

After the initial nervousness, I was fine.

I told a little about myself and then read the next to last chapter of my story.
Then I was open for questions. . . many questions.

They had questions about my story, in addition to questions in general about me and about writing, such as. . . what inspires you to write, how do you get your ideas, how many other books have you written, do you ever get bored with writing, do you get ideas from other books, have you spoke at schools before, etc. They even suggested a sequel to the story. One boy gave me a two thumbs up! They really made me feel at ease and welcome.

I had a show and tell. I brought items to show that would have been used by the characters during that time period (It's a historical fiction that takes place during the early 1900s)

That part was fun. We passed some of the items around. I had them guess what they were, how much they thought it weighed, why they thought it was called that, etc. The children really got involved. Many hands went up for questions and comments. The teacher finally had to say "OK, only one more question."

All in all, I had a wonderful time and I think they had a good time, too. Out of all the children, I only saw about 2 kids who appeared like they would have liked to have been somewhere else.

They took pictures to be put in the local paper and at the end of my sessions the teacher gave me a gift. As you can see, I've already gotten into it.

Now I've got the fever. I want to be published and I want more school visits. It's fun!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

That Time of Year

Yes, it's that time of year again.

Spring is upon us and so is the deadline of the annual WVWriters 2009 Annual Writing Competition.

Anyone can enter, but if you're not a resident of the state of WV, you must join WVWriters.
It only costs $20 per year to join. An application can be found here, if you join, please put my name on the referred by line.

Rules, contest judge bios and contest categories are on this page. Go take a look see. At the bottom of the page are names of past winners.

Last year my picture book won HM in the Emerging Writers category. Yea! Not bad for a beginning writer. My friend from our writing group, Susanna Holstein, won 2nd place in the Appalachian Writing category.

As always, I wait until the last minute to enter my stories. I plan to put mine into both the Children's Category and the Emerging Writers Category.

Now I need to decide which stories to enter. I have 2 MG stories and a number of Picture Books to choose from. I am going to enter more than one.

There is a special deal this year. Cost of entry is $10 per manuscript, but every 3rd entry is free! So everyone should enter at least 3 manuscripts. You'll get two entries for the price of one.

Entry deadline is March 15th. Late entry deadline is March 31st, add $2.00 fee for each late entry manuscript.

Winners are announced at the WVWriters annual conference, June 13th at Cedar Lakes, Ripley, WV. Cedar Lakes is only a few miles down the road from where I live. It is a beautiful place where cedars and lakes abound. An old covered bridge crosses one of the lakes and there is a lodge on the grounds.

I've got to hustle and get mine postmarked by March 15th. Wish me luck!