Contest

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And the lucky winners of my holiday WRITING IRRESISTIBLE KIDLIT giveaway are:

Stephanie Schumann and
Josef Bergman

Please email me if I don’t email you first to give me your mailing address and confirm your personalization. I’m going to the post office tomorrow and would love to mail your books in time for Christmas. To everyone who didn’t win this round, BUY IT and make your favorite agent/blogger/new author very happy. ;) I have more author copies and will be giving them out in 2013 as well.

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Just in time for the holidays, I’d love to give away TWO personalized copies of my book, WRITING IRRESISTIBLE KIDLIT. I just got some new author copies in and they are getting restless sitting on my bookshelf. Instead of making you guys do a bunch of stuff like Tweet or Facebook or blog and provide a link in order to be eligible, I’ll just open this up to anybody who wants to enter (provided you live in the United States for the sake of shipping costs).

If you want to read an interview I recently did about the book with Lenore Appelhans over on the Apocalypsies blog, click here. To enter the contest, leave a comment below with the name you want me to personalize your book to, should you win. No need to also leave an email address as long as you enter it in the form (only I see these). The contest ends midnight, Tuesday December 18th and winners will be announced December 19th. Tell your friends and your writing group!

ETA: Just to clarify, I’m giving away two copies of the book to correspond with two entries by two different writers, not two copies of the book to one entry. I just want to avoid any confusion!

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Please head over to Literary Rambles today to win a copy of WRITING IRRESISTIBLE KIDLIT! I’m sorry for the lack of substantial posting over the last few weeks and all the book talk. But I have discovered just what a different beast it is to promote a book than to just dream about having a book be published. I’m learning and will share some thoughts on marketing once I get the hang of it. (If that ever happens!)

Not only was my publication date moved up by about six weeks, but I am also coming to terms with the realization that you can’t put off important things until…you feel less tired, or until the stars are perfectly aligned, or until the house is clean. That’s what I was trying to do with marketing the book. “I’ll start talking about it more once I have my head around book promotion and once I know I can do it well,” I said to myself. Then I got real. You’re never going to feel less tired (coffee helps you forget this sometimes), the stars will always be just a degree or two off, and the house…well…the house is what it is. A reminder never to put off all the hard and exciting work of publicizing, writing, and chasing after your goals!

So expect some more book promotion talk and some giveaways just in time for the holidays. I’ll post interviews and other things I’ve done across the web for the guide as I get them. At some point in the next few months, we will return to our regularly scheduled programming. Until then, I’m going to trip and flounder through some book promotion and see what happens. :)

ETA: Updated the link, sorry guys! I had my wires crossed because I was sharing with someone the Bravo page of the sous chef for my boyfriend’s new restaurant.

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CWIM Contest Winners

The winners of the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market Contest are:

Peter Dudley & Julie Falatko

Please email me: mary at kidlit dot com with your mailing addresses and I’ll forward them to Writer’s Digest, who will ship the books. Congratulations. Everyone should go out and buy the book anyway, it’s a great resource!

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Last year, I was happy to give away some copies of the 2012 Writer’s Digest Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market (think that’s enough apostrophes?), which had several of my articles and even my blurb on the back cover. This year, I’m pleased to offer two copies to randomly selected entries in the comments. The 2013 edition is thoroughly updated and includes new articles and interviews with children’s book professionals, including two more articles by yours truly. It is once again edited by Chuck Sambuchino and remains the best resource for children’s writers and illustrators out there.

To win one of the two copies I have available:

1) Reach out about this contest to your social networks, whether with a blog post, Tweet, or FB post.
2) Comment on this entry with a link to your share. You don’t have to include your email address in the post as long as you include it in the email field (private and for my eyes only).
3) Winners will be emailed for their mailing address. Only US residents (Alaska and Hawaii ok) at this time, unfortunately, as Writer’s Digest will be sending copies to you, not me.

Deadline for entries is October 14th, and winner will be posted October 15th!

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One of my very favorite picture book writers, Amy Krouse Rosenthal (LITTLE HOOT, DUCK! RABBIT!, and many more) gave an interview in the 2012 CHILDREN’S WRITER’S AND ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET book that I would love to excerpt here the day before my picture book webinar at 1 p.m. Eastern tomorrow, January 12th, which is still open for registration. As a reminder, you will get a 90-minute craft intensive talk on picture books, the opportunity to ask all the questions you have (every question gets answered, either live during the presentation or in an email afterward), and a critique of one picture book manuscript (up to 1,000 words in length).

During the webinar, I’ll talk about how to find the right hooks and universality to really make your picture books marketable on today’s shelves. I’ll also talk about the writer and illustrator relationship in publishing, as well as how writers need to think more like illustrators (and vice versa) in order to come up with truly successful picture book projects.

This excerpt features Rosenthal’s thoughts on finding just the right book idea, as well as working together with an illustrator and how that creative collaboration takes her work to new heights. Read on:

“When my kids were small, there were countless stories told. Often for the boys, I’d tell them stories about dinosaurs, monsters or something in a cape—all these nonsense stories they loved. Ninety-nine percent of the stories I made up for my kids were nonsensical things. But once in a while there was some kind of cool stuff. You have to tell one thousand bad ones to get to the one good one.”

Rosenthal says finding that one good one amidst all the others is a little bit like dating. “When a relationship isn’t right, even if you think I know this is going to work out, he’s really cute, it always has some convoluted glitch—this non-fluid, non-seamless barrage of obstacles. But true love is this flawless, shiny, perfectly smooth thing, at least in the beginning. When I’m writing something, I’m coming at it from a number of different angles. With the ones that end up working, everything falls into place more fluidly.”

That feeling of fluidity can also come from working well with an illustrator. For one of her most recent books, Plant a Kiss (which explores what might grow if you, quite literally, planted a kiss), Rosenthal worked closely with illustrator Peter Reynolds to develop the vision and feel of the book—a process she says has “been a dream.” Not only was it a chance for her to work with one of her favorite artists, but she was thrilled with the vision he brought to the book.

“When I started, I had mocked up the book with stick-figure illustrations. It was tidy, executed visually 100 percent. There was a moment of talk when we thought maybe the book should look like this. It was kind of cute. But thank goodness we reached out to Peter and he said yes. During the first conference call he said he’d send us some sketches. Later, I opened the document, and he had illustrated the entire book. And it was just this moment of ‘Oh my god, he nailed it.’ The characters are beautiful.”

With all of her picture books, Rosenthal has strived for this type of creative partnership. “I really value the collaboration. Oftentimes the writers are kept apart from the illustrator, but that paradigm never made sense to me. From the first ‘yes’ [for Little Pea and Cookies] I made the plea to be involved. I couldn’t imagine not doing it. The books gain so much by the writer and illustrator interacting.”

Interview excerpt of Amy Krouse Rosenthal by Meg Leder from 2012 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market (c) 2011 Writer’s Digest Books. All materials used by permission of F+W Media. All rights reserved

Now that you’ve heard one picture book creator’s thoughts, you can hear even more thoughts on the craft of PBs during the webinar. To sweeten the pot just a little bit, I am going to give away one more copy of CHILDREN’S WRITER’S AND ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET, edited by Chuck Sambuchino, but this contest is a quickie. You can enter in the comments below through 1 p.m. Eastern tomorrow (Thursday, January 12th). I will announce the winner during the webinar (and on the blog next week). If you are taking the webinar, do mention that in your entry. US residents only, please.

Forward this post around and let’s give away another copy of CWIM. Those picture writers out there registered for the webinar will hear more from me tomorrow afternoon!

For those blog readers wondering when I’ll get back to the craft posts here, those are coming up next week. It’s just that 2012 has so many exciting things going on right out of the gate that I have to spread the word. I’ll resume my regular programming once the Writer’s Digest Conference excitement dies down. I seriously can’t wait for this year’s conference. You can check out more details here, and be sure to email me if you still need a special $115 discount code!

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This January 20th to 22nd, I will be participating in the Writer’s Digest Conference at the Sheraton in New York City! I’m very excited about this conference.

On Saturday morning, I will be speaking on an agent panel and taking agent- and publishing-related Q&A with some fellow agents and moderated by 2012 CHILDREN’S WRITER’S AND ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET editor and Guide to Literary Agents blogger Chuck Sambuchino.

Then, Saturday afternoon, I will be in a room with over 60 literary agents for the annual Pitch Slam. You will have unprecedented access to come and pitch your book to some of the brightest and most hungry agents in the business. There is a nice mix of kidlit, adult, and non-fiction agents represented (and representing!).

On Sunday, I will be speaking about today’s kidlit marketplace and how to get published there. Yep, I am all over this conference, guys. But I’m not the only fantastic speaker. The Saturday keynote is digital/indie publishing guru and adult thriller writer Barry Eisler and I just saw that Chris Baty, the genius behind NaNoWriMo, which I know some of you just finished, has been added as a speaker, too!

The great thing about the Writer’s Digest Conference is that they’re running a special holiday promotion right this minute. If you register for the conference before midnight on December 16th, you will get a $50 discount. Just click here and use the following promo code: HOLIDAYWDC

If you’re going, spread the word on Twitter and Facebook by mentioning @WritersDigest and the hashtag #WDC12

It’s not too late to book that dream trip to NYC and get your 2012 writing goals off to a strong start at the Writer’s Digest Conference. And, of course, if you’re reader and planning on going, I would love to meet you!

Now, I also have a super special holiday gift for you guys. Speaking of Chuck Sambuchino and the new 2012 CHILDREN’S WRITER’S AND ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET, I have two copies to give away!

Inside this handy volume, you will find articles on craft, writing, submitting, and landing an agent, interviews with kidlit glitterati like M.T. Anderson and Meg Cabot, and updated listings for agents, publishers, and magazines that take work from children’s writers and illustrators. If you want to land an agent or find a market for your work in 2012, this is the book for you.

I highly recommend it. In fact, you will see a familiar face featured on the back cover, and an official blurb from me that reads:

Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market is the most complete, trusted, definitive, and inspiring source of publishing opportunities for children’s writers and illustrators working today.

It’s true. Not only did I lend my mug and stamp of approval to the book, but I have two articles featured inside. One is about writer’s conferences, like the Writer’s Digest Conference this very January in NYC, and how to make the best of your investment in them (whether it’s your first or your fiftieth), and the other covers my three favorite craft issues: Voice, Character, and Authority, with lots of juicy annotated examples from my favorite MG and YA books on shelves.

So if you want to see examples of Voice that works — an especially tricky topic that lots of writers struggle with — pick up a copy today! This elegant guide is crammed full of useful information and updated agency, publisher, and magazine listings to make your quest toward publication a no-brainer. Let 2012 be the year you really MARKET your writing!

Because I want you to have an awesome writer’s holiday gift this year, either for you or for a loved one, I am giving away two free copies of the 2012 CHILDREN’S WRITER’S AND ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET to two writers randomly selected from the comments. Leave a comment below (make sure to include your email address in the comment form, though know that only I will be able to see it and it won’t be published on the site). Deadline for entries is midnight, Tuesday, December 20th. The winner will be announced in Wednesday the 21st’s blog, and then I will ship your copy to you next week. (US residents only, please.)

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The winner of K.L. Going’s WRITING AND SELLING THE YA NOVEL is Sam S.! Thanks for playing, everyone! Now go out and buy this book if you didn’t end up winning it, it’s a great resource.

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I had so many responses on my post about giving away a copy of the 2012 CHILDREN’S WRITER’S AND ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET edited by Chuck Sambuchino (I know only one of you won it…the rest should go out and buy it immediately, read it, love it, then leave glowing Amazon and Goodreads reviews), that I wanted to give away another craft book on the blog that I’ve recently read and really enjoyed. Clearly, you guys are craving some craft books!

This one is WRITING AND SELLING THE YA NOVEL by novelist K.L. Going, out from Writer’s Digest Books, but it’s also great for writers of middle grade. One of my favorite small things in this book is a list of fantastic considerations when writing historical — it’s a checklist of all those small things you don’t necessarily think about immediately when world-building. She also does a great job of putting you in the head of teen readers and including feedback from real teens on the books they like, the characters they bond with, etc. It’s a great resource by a very talented fiction writer.

It’s the usual drill for book giveaways. Leave a comment on this entry to win. No international shipping, so if you live outside the US, enlist a buddy who can receive the book on your behalf. Don’t worry about an email address, just enter it in the comment field that asks for it and know that it will be for my eyes only…it won’t be published on the site. Deadline for entries is October 5th at midnight, Eastern time. I’ll announce a winner on October 6th!

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CWIM Winner!

We have a winner for the 2012 edition of CHILDREN’S WRITER’S AND ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET, edited by Chuck Sambuchino and out from Writer’s Digest Books: Gail Terp!

Sorry I don’t have more copies to give away, but those who got all excited about reading this year’s CWIM should go out and buy it anyway. It’s a really great resource.

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