One Writer’s Journey

December 5, 2017

Opportunities: A Contest

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:29 am
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I have to admit that I liked writing numerous posts about picture books throughout November.  Since I don’t know of a writing related “month” for December, I’m going to make up my own.  December is going to be Opportunity Month.

Why Opportunity Month?  Because I think we all need a reminder very now and then to take advantage of the many opportunities that come our way.  No, we can’t take advantage of them all.  But I think we use this as an excuse to let far too many pass on by.

So the first opportunity that I’m going to tell you about is a contest.  This one has a fast approaching deadline (12/10/2018) but why not take advantage if you have a story that is suitable.  Author Susanna Leonard Hill is sponsoring her 7th Annual Holiday Contest.  

To be qualified a story must:

  • Be about a holiday surprise. She welcomes stories about ” Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate.”
  • The word count has to come in at 250 words or less.  Writer shorter if you like but stop at 250 words.
  • Must go up on your blog between 12/7 and 12/10 EST. You then have to add your link to comments on her official holiday contest post which will go up 12/7.
Hill and her assistant will post the finalists on 12/15 or 12/16, depending on the number of entries. Blog visitors will then get to vote on a winner.

Initial judging will be based on:

  • Kid Appeal.  Stories are intended for readers 12 and under.
  • Holiday specific.
  • Contain a surprise.
  • Be well written with a main character and story arc.
  • Be original.

Good luck if you decide to enter.  I’m going to be looking through my files to see if I have anything suitable.


November 6, 2017

Win Picture Books

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 7:50 am
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I hope that you’re taking some time during the month of November to check out some of the Picture Book Month offerings. Over the weekend, I spotted the #Thankful4PBs giveaway. Organized by Tracy Marchini, all of these books are part of the giveaway:



To win, visit this link and find the the Rafflecopter form when you scroll down the page.  There are entries for tweeting, for visiting Facebook pages and more.  The grand prize winner will receive a copy of every participating book, including a limited edition of Jannie Ho’s Bear and Chicken! Three runners up will receive a smaller prize pack of four participating books.

This is a great way to get your hands on some books to study to help perfect your own picture book craft.  And, you might want to share a few of them with the young readers on your Christmas list.

And take the time to check out Tracy’s site.  She is an agent, freelance editor and writer.  Quite a talented lady and you’ll learn a lot.



July 26, 2017

Illustration Contest

Are you a children’s illustrator?  If so, here is a fun contest you can enter as long as you are a member of SCBWI.

The KS/MO (Kansas and Missouri) Region of the Society is hosting a content.  The winners illustration will grace the KS/Mo Fall Conference 2017 programs and will be displayed on the Kansas/Missouri SCBWI web site.  It is a great opportunity to get your work in front of art directors, agents, and editors.  Don’t dawdle!

  •  DEADLINE:  August 7, 2017, by midnight. The winner will be notified by late August.
  • Open only to SCBWI members.
  • The illustration must be original, created by the illustrator submitting the work.
  • Submit a 350dpi .jpg of an 8” x 10” original work of art to illustrate the conference theme: Middle of the Map.
  • Send it as an email attachment to Amy Kenney at Submission files should be labeled with your name (eg: sam_doe.jpg).
  • Include the following in the accompanying email: your name; mailing address; telephone number; illustration title (if applicable).

I wish I was an illustrator!  The winner will be notified by the end of August, and will receive free tuition to the 2017 Kansas/Missouri Fall Conference on November 4th, 2017.   Note: You, the illustrator, will retain ownership of the illustration.

Good luck!


March 1, 2017

50 Precious Words Writing Challenge

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 9:07 pm
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green-eggs-and-hamInterested in competing in a brief, and I do mean super short, writing challenge?  Tomorrow, March 2, is the 50 Precious Words Writing Challenge.

Author Vivian Kirkfield created this challenge in honor of Dr. Seuss whose birthday is March 2.  Seuss apparently wrote Green Eggs and Ham when Bennet Cerf, founder of Random House challenged him to write a children’s book using only 50 words.  Seuss did this obviously using many some of them multiple times since the book’s word count is 700.

Kirkfield challenges writers to write a complete story with a word count of 50 words or less. Post the story on her blog (look for the March 2 post) and you will be elligible for one of 20 prizes including:

Critiques from agent Essie White

Enrollment or a discount on a class such as Making Picture Book Magic, Art of the Arc or a webinar.

I decided to give it a go.  Face it.  Roughing a new manuscript is always more fun than rewriting, reworking and fixing an old one.  I have about half the spreads I need and 57 words.

Failure?  I don’t think so.  I have, after all, half a new manuscript!   Off to do some poking around to find the inspiration for 7 more spreads.  It may not win the contest, it may not even be eligible, but this was enough to get me started on a new manuscript.  Woo-hoo.



February 6, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:15 am
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Agent Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management

My writing buddy Sharon Mayhew has pulled together a sweet deal for picture book writers.  She is sharing space on her blog with agent Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management to host a picture book contest.  Check out the agency site here and you can find out more about the contest on Sharon’s blog, S.K. Mayhew, Kid Lit Writer.

The contest is open to submissions next week, from 2/10 through 2/15 but they are only taking 51 manuscripts.  You can only submit one manuscript so that means that 51 picture book writers will be able to get their work in front of this agent.

Ten writers (5 nonfiction and 5 fiction) will each recieve a critique of their manuscript and a 30 minute phonecall with Terrie.

I’m 98% certain which manuscript I’m going to submit and I just need to get it ready to send.  Good luck!


April 12, 2010

Chance to Win a Free Edit . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 10:14 pm
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I’m putting up Tuesday’s post early so that hopefully a few of you will have a chance to take advantage of it.

Former Harcourt editor Deborah Halverson is holding a contest on, her advice site for writers.

If you have a completed young adult or middle grade manuscript of less than 85,000 words, you can enter to win a free substantive edit.

To enter:

  • Visit Dear Editor and click on the “Write to Dear Editor” button at the top of the blog.
  • In the subject line, type “1st Month Anniversary Giveaway.”
  • In the body of the email, type the manuscript title, YA or MG, the word count and your full name.
  • Deadline:  Midnight, 4/14.

Review rules on the home page and good luck!   Halverson is top notch and this edit is a wonderful prize.


January 20, 2010

Wednesday Poetry Club Contest

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 4:38 am
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For the Poets living in the St. Louis area we have a contest sponsored by the Wednesday Poetry Club of St. Louis.

Each entrant must live within a 50-mile radius of St. Louis and may submit two poems which have never been published or won an award.  Also, entrants may not have one first prize twice within the last five years.  If that is the case, you are ineligible.

The deadline for entries is 2/1/2010.

Prizes are $700, $300, and $150.

There is also a junior level for students in grades 10 through 12.    Prizes for this level include $100, $75, $50, $25, and Book Prize.

For more on the contest, follow this link.

Special thanks to the Creative Writers Opportunities List which brought this competition to my attention.


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