What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from the Writer category)

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Writer Category Blogs

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from the Writer category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 16,801 - 16,825 of 220,572
16801. I is for Ideal Working Conditions

Night flowers I'm planning to watch unfold Sometimes you have to work hours or in locations that are less than your ideal, and your work has to fit around your life issues.Today is one of those days for me. In general, I do better, am happier when I have a routine. I know, I know. Dull, isn't it? But I've come to terms with the fact that I write/work better when there is no drama except the

0 Comments on I is for Ideal Working Conditions as of 3/6/2014 12:26:00 PM
Add a Comment
16802. The Heart of a Character

Questions to ask in order to truly understand your character. 


0 Comments on The Heart of a Character as of 3/6/2014 12:20:00 PM
Add a Comment
16803. First Novel Award: The Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize

This annual award was created in 2006 to honor the best first novel of the year and carries with it a $10,000 prize. Each shortlisted author will receive $1,000. The shortlist for the award will be announced in September 2014 and the prize will be given at The Center for Fiction’s Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner held in December this year.

2014 Submission Guidelines

Any U.S. publisher may enter books that will be published between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. We prefer that these be submitted as finished copies, if available. Bound galleys and bound, edited manuscripts are also acceptable. There is an entry fee of $50/title. You may pay online and apply with this entry form, or you may send the entry form and fee directly to:

The Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize
The Center for Fiction
17 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017

Small independent publishers may apply for a fee reduction; please contact us at:

saraATcenterforfictionDOTorg (Change AT to @ and DOT to .) or call 212-755-6710 for more information.

All entry forms and books must be postmarked no later than March 14, 2014. Entry forms and books may be sent separately. The Center for Fiction must receive eight copies of each book, bound galley, or bound, edited manuscript.

Publishers are urged not to hold submissions until the last possible date, but to send books, bound galleys, or bound, edited manuscripts AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. Our reading process begins immediately upon receipt.


Only first-time novelists who are American citizens or permanent residents are eligible for this award.

Only full-length first novels written in English are eligible. Novellas, collections of short stories, whether related or unrelated, and YA novels are NOT eligible.

Novels in ALL genres are welcome.

Only books published for the first time in the United States between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014 are eligible.

Books previously published elsewhere are NOT eligible.

Self-published books and eBook-only editions are NOT eligible.

There is no limit on the number of books entered by each publisher, provided each submission complies with the rules as above.

In the event of a dispute as to eligibility, The Center for Fiction will decide whether a book is eligible, and its decision will be binding.

Any books entered for the Awards process by the publishers that are subsequently determined to be ineligible, will still be subject to the stated entry fee of $50 per title.

The panel also may request titles that have not been submitted by publishers. Publishers are then asked by the Center to submit these titles for consideration and the entry fee will be waived.


The selection of the shortlist and winning novel is determined through a two-tiered process. The Center’s network of booklovers, which includes writers, librarians, and staff, will act as first-tier readers. The long list recommended by these readers is then forwarded to a committee of distinguished American writers. From those recommended novels, our panel of judges chooses the shortlist and the winner. (Our judges in 2013 were Victor LaValle, Roxana Robinson, Christine Schutt, Luis Alberto Urrea, and the previous year's winner, Ben Fountain.)


Publishers of the winning and shortlisted books must agree:

A. To indicate that the book is a finalist or winner of the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize by including the award medallion or approved text on future editions.

B. To inform authors of entered books that if chosen for the shortlist they must be present at the Center for Fiction’s Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner in New York City and The First Novel Fête, both held in December. Travel and accommodations for each shortlisted author will not be covered by The Center for Fiction.

C. To inform authors that, if shortlisted, they must agree to participate in the Center’s related publicity, including a finalist reading (The First Novel Fête), at The Center for Fiction, just prior to the Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner. The shortlisted authors agree that their readings may be used in audio and/or video formats on The Center for Fiction’s website.

D. All shortlisted writers agree to be interviewed for the Center’s website in audio and/or print formats. The shortlisted writers also agree that the interview may be used in an anthology of first novel finalist interviews.

E. The recipient of the Award must agree to allow his/her acceptance speech to be published in print, audio or video formats by The Center for Fiction on its website, and to be published in the Center newsletter and in a future anthology of first novelists’ interviews.- See more at our website.

Add a Comment
16804. Books are your friends, everyday.

Reading is one of the easiest ways you have of empathising with another person, a way of being alone with them when they are alone; it is a way of taking time off from your own preoccupations, and entering another mind, another world. Once you have experienced this, it is almost like making a friend, […]

0 Comments on Books are your friends, everyday. as of 3/6/2014 1:12:00 PM
Add a Comment
16805. Happy Women's History Month!

Yes, it's March, my birthday month, but far more importantly, Women's History Month. A bit later in the month, I'll be posting over at Stacked and talking about some of my favorite strong YA girl characters, but for now, I'll just suggest you go... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Happy Women's History Month! as of 3/6/2014 11:04:00 AM
Add a Comment
16806. Painting Iceboats

On Tuesday I set up my sketching stool in the middle of the Hudson River, a few hundred yards out from the shoreline.

Beside me was a foot-wide crack. Every once in a while it groaned and creaked. When a tug passed by in the shipping lane, the crack let out a dull, low thud, which reverberated up and downstream.

The sun was shining, but there was no wind. That was a good thing, because it meant that the iceboats would hold still while I painted them in gouache.

With the temperature hovering around ten degrees Fahrenheit, watercolors tend to freeze on the brush. I filled my water cup with vodka, which kept it flowing.

0 Comments on Painting Iceboats as of 3/6/2014 10:22:00 AM
Add a Comment
16807. Call for Prose Submissions: Pithead Chapel

Pithead Chapel is a monthly online journal of short fiction and nonfiction.

We’re currently seeking gutsy narratives up to 4,000 words, and are particularly interested in essays (personal, memoir, lyric, travel, experimental, hybrid, etc.).

Please visit our website to learn more about us and our submission guidelines.

Add a Comment
16808. Making Space During Lent Physically — Through Fasting

Originally posted on Bible 365:
Text: Matthew 6:16-18 The season of Lent – that 40 days of preparation and penitence leading to Easter– has begun. In Matthew 6, Jesus himself taught about the practices that have become the traditional disciplines of this season. In the previous blog entry, we considered what he said there about prayer.…

1 Comments on Making Space During Lent Physically — Through Fasting, last added: 3/6/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
16809. Call for Submissions: Diverse Voices Quarterly

Diverse Voices Quarterly is celebrating its fifth year of publishing online. Issue Twenty is available for a download on our website (or the pieces can be read online).

Please submit online for poetry, short stories, and personal essays/creative nonfiction for our summer issue.

Artwork, especially requested, still must be sent directly to:

submissionsATdiversevoicesquarterlyDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to .)

Complete submission guidelines are available here

Add a Comment
16810. On writing The Wolves of Midwinter theme song for Anne Rice

Mary Fahl shares how audio production can go beyond the narrator behind a mic, by enhancing the experience with an original musical setting, on Random House Audio’s The Wolves of MidwinterOn the American Songwriter blog, Fahl explains that it all started when the singer-songwriter, and long-time Rice fan, gave a copy of her album Love & Gravity to the novelist before it was released. Fahl was flattered to receive a galley copy of Rice’s newest work in return, via her publicist - it was the 

The Wolves of Midwinter with an inscription that read “For Mary Fahl of the supernatural voice…” “Give this to Mary”, Anne said, “Tell her she’s in the book.”  Some discussion followed and it was decided that it would be a great idea for me to write a song for the audiobook version of the novel.

In Fahl’s blog post, she shares exactly how she met this challenge:

Random House needed the recording in less than two weeks, and with my already packed schedule, I was left with a little more than 6 days to write, arrange, record, mix and master the song. I hadn’t even read the book yet.  As you might imagine, nausea ensued, but I had already committed to the project, and not being one to back out of a promise, I plunged in.

Audiobooks can be magical when the publishers provide a soundscape that enhances and extends the author’s text. Whether it’s the inspired casting of the perfect narrator, or the care involved in crafting a soundscape that includes music or sound effects,  listeners know that production preparation = audiobook awesomeness.


Give a listen to Fahl’s theme song below, and read the whole blog post here: http://www.americansongwriter.com/2014/02/songwriter-u-guest-blog-mary-fahl-approached-anne-rice-write-theme-song-exiles-wolves-midwinter-new-audiobook/


0 Comments on On writing The Wolves of Midwinter theme song for Anne Rice as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16811. God Bless This Boy

One of the first comments I saw on this YouTube page was:

“God bless this boy.”

To which an uninformed individual responded:

“What god? the one that killed the kid’s dad by doing nothing?”

Dude. Let me help you out … there is some confusion here. There is only one god of this world that would do something this horrific …

Don’t Blame God: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four.

Filed under: random stuff

0 Comments on God Bless This Boy as of 3/6/2014 1:10:00 PM
Add a Comment
16812. Thou Shalt Not Curse at Missionaries

After coming home from a service trip to Swaziland a few years ago, I felt renewed, energetic and ready to go again. It wasn’t your average mission trip, we worked hard to prepare a home for abandoned infants, which is a big problem there. I loved every minute of it and started dreaming about another place to go.

You see, I like to build stuff. I’ve been doing it for years and have built almost all of the wood furniture in our house. I’ve finished rooms, our basement, and done some pretty big construction tasks over the years. I even got to build this table that now sits at the missionary house in Heart for Africa. I like to think it will be useful for a good purpose long after I am.image

I’m not the guy who is going to go door-to-door or perform street theater – but I’ll pour concrete, remove debris, or swing a hammer. It is wonderful when God marries a talent with a need and grants the ability to go somewhere to serve. When Sudan and South Sudan were splitting apart, I got burdened for the people of South Sudan and wanted to go. That got me started trolling for an opportunity and I found a cool mission group who work with an orphanage there.

I contacted a very nice lady name Rose. Several emails and a few calls later, I learned of a trip with building men like me that was perfect and I began praying about it. I emailed one last question to Rose from my iPad – “Is South Sudan a yellow fever area? Swaziland isn’t and I don’t have that sh-t.”

Whatever I typed, the glorious auto-correct feature from Apple naturally assumed I needed to discuss feces and not an inoculation. I didn’t notice until I got her response and read what I had sent. My mind went into overdrive:

Did I really send that??? To a missionary?? Why yes, yes I did!

Is there a commandment about that? Something about a special place in hell for people who cuss at missionaries?

I thought I should probably let it go, but didn’t want to be ostracized from the trip. So I sent an apology saying, “Obviously, I meant shot.”

I loved her response, “HaHa. I know, I got a snarky giggle out of it.”

Haha, indeed.

Unfortunately, the trip was cancelled due to instability in the country.  I’d still love to go there and other places to lend a hand. In the meantime, I’ll watch my words more closely and try to handle surprises that come my way with Rose’s grace and understanding.

Has God married a talent of yours with a need? I’d love to hear about it.

0 Comments on Thou Shalt Not Curse at Missionaries as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16813. Seeing our book project through, at Epic Litho

We left the house at the 7 AM hour to attend a press check at Epic Litho. Around here, at Fusion Communications, press checks are our Christmas times. They are our Santa Claus. They're what we work for.

The project on the press was a book created to tell the story of the extraordinary "refinery that could" (American Refining Group). Of the man—Harry Halloran, Jr.—who, in buying the once-endangered plant for a dollar (and the promise of considerable other investments), saved the jobs of employees and strengthened the surrounding community. Of the people who were trusted to lead. Of management's great respect for the environment. Of the town itself that has rallied, in recent years, thanks to committed educational, cultural, and health care visionaries.

I had the pleasure of researching and writing this book. My husband took the exquisite photography and designed the book with his trademark care. The company's leadership and administrative team (including Harry, of course) were there at every turn to help us bring the story to life.

To print and bind this cloth-bound project, we turned to an old friend, Jarred Garber, with whom we have worked for many years. Jarred is the senior account manager at Epic Litho in Phoenixville, PA. He and has team have delivered—time and again—stellar projects. They are not just knowledgeable and personable; they work with some of the best equipment around, all in a building, by the way, that once housed a roller skating arena. These people know their stuff. They're trusted by clients ranging from Godiva, Ferrari, and Dansko to Bucknell University to Dunwoody Village to the little communications company that also can, Fusion Communications.

When it's press check time, they open their doors and let the eager writer/designer in.

A post, then, to thank Harry Halloran, Jr. and his entire team. A post to thank Jarred and Epic Litho for taking such great care of us.

0 Comments on Seeing our book project through, at Epic Litho as of 3/6/2014 12:04:00 PM
Add a Comment
16814. Confidence to be Bold Without Being Over Burying

It may be late coming into my life, but I am going to continue to gain confidence to
go forward with my dreams. Low confidence allowed people to abuse me into believing I couldn’t accomplish my goals for I wasn’t privileged to be able to gain an education on their level.  Yes, I allowed it for years before I felt I had to walk away. I know now, people will love me as I am. Some will continue to try to destroy me and my dreams; this is not love and friendship.

 I know I was born a dreamer with many goals, but at this time in my life I need to work very hard to focus on one creative ability and do it exceptional pleasing for myself.   

 I must eliminate outside projects that don’t enhance my goal.  I must gather strength from God, not man. “The things which are impossible with man are possible with God.”


0 Comments on Confidence to be Bold Without Being Over Burying as of 3/6/2014 12:56:00 PM
Add a Comment
16815. Lupita Nyong'o, Marcus Garvey, and Shame

The existential self-hatred that Lupita describes is soul numbing. It can only be overcome with the self-love about which Marcus Garvey wrote, "Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men."

Garvey's goal was to change how we thought about ourselves: “The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.” 

Imagine if all children of African descent grew up with these words?


The Coalition for the Exoneration of Marcus Garvey is petitioning  President Barack Obama to exonerate Marcus Garvey:

0 Comments on Lupita Nyong'o, Marcus Garvey, and Shame as of 3/6/2014 1:00:00 PM
Add a Comment
16816. Poetry and Residency Competition: The Studios of Key West

TSKW was honored to take over the prestigious literary tradition founded by the Heritage House Museum 20 years ago, and continues a long tradition of the contest, which honors Robert Frost and encourages the creation of new poetry and haiku. TSKW is accepting contest entries through our online submission portal through April 1, 2014. Winning entries will be announced and published here on May 1, 2014.

Entry Fee: $10.00

*Previously published poems may not be submitted.

1st Place – A Two Week Residency at The Studios of Key West* + $200 Cash prize
2nd Place – $100 Cash Prize
3rd Place – $50 Cash Prize
2 Honorable Mentions awarded each category

*Residencies are non-transferable and will be scheduled with the winner to fall between May 2015 and August 2015. TSKW will contact first prize winners to schedule residency dates after May 1, 2014.

Submissions link.

Add a Comment
16817. HELLO, MR. HULOT - Giveaway!

I have a treat for you today. HELLO, MR. HULOT is not your average picture book. It's based on the comedy act by French treasure, Jacques Tati. Born in 1907, you can see an example of his work in "Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot" or "Mr. Hulot's Holiday":

      Click Here if the video above gives you any trouble.
      Jump ahead several decades and David Merveille has translated the sublime comedy of Mr. Hulot into fantastic graphic images of 6 vignettes on a facing page with a charming resolution on the left after each page turn. Marveille is genius at choosing the just right moments to exemplify the humor and irony in each scene. Children will love the humor, while adults will cling to subtle, mature jokes that children won't catch. All said, this book is now a treasure too!
     David is French, mais bien sur, so I am thrilled to have him visit today via a tranlator at NorthSouth...

Q. David - How did you first hear about Jacques Tati?
A. My first encounter with Tati was a disaster. I was 14 years old and was forced to watch "PlayTime“ on TV that night as it was considered a classic. After a quarter hour I couldn't take any more and escaped. I was so bored as I had the impression that nothing was happening. Luckily, a few years later I had a chance to reassess when I saw "Les vacances de monsieur Hulot“ (The Holidays of Mr. Hulot) and became a huge fan.
(Notice how the before and after works...and click to see the image larger in a new window.)

Q. What is Monsieur Tati or Mr. Hulot's status in French culture?
A. For all Francophiles Tati remains one of the biggest (not just in size) stars of the French screen. Even though he only made 6 feature films, he left an indelible mark on the film industry.

Q. How did you tackle this daunting project? And how did publishers respond to it?
A. My first book with the character of Monsieur Hulot "Le jacquot de monsieur Hulot“ (The Grey Parrot of Mr. Hulot) was published in France in 2006. For me it was clear that he had great potential in a children's book. First of all, his recognizable silhouette, which already existed on the magnificent posters by Pierre Etaix. The visual humour of the character, the love of detail, the architecture, all that for me, made him pre-destined to be a hero, or rather anti-hero, for children. My publisher, as well as Jaques Tati’s heirs, supported and encouraged me. They have been enthusiastic, given me confidence and some very good advice.

Q. I love your seemingly simple graphic images and will be showing off your work to students in my Design class at Hollins University this summer. How do you approach a piece? Do you choose shapes first, colors first?
A. When I was a child I read, like most Belgian children, Herge's "Tintin“ comics. A crucial influence! I am an heir of the "clear line" style. Sometimes, this feature of mine disappears but I always have the desire to stay legible, to keep my style, to stay true to myself.
      For example "Hello Monsieur Hulor“ is a comic book. I went back to this style to keep the readability, but for my next book, I've been using acrylic and less clear strokes. For me, every book has to have its own style, where the drawings service the story. What is also important is to reinvent oneself, to keep the pleasure of creating alive.

Q. Mr. Hulot's humor is so subtle. How did you choose the moments to illustrate?
A. I submerged myself in Tati's universe, his subtle wit, his burlesque humour, the psychology of the Hulot’s character, which all has a certain poetry to it.

Q. Were these all scenes from his movies, or did you make them up?
A. I amuse myself by concealing references to the films in my drawings. I smuggle in certain interiors, characters or vehicles. I do not set out to adapt the films or specific jokes but rather invent new stories and new jokes in the style of the master.

Q. What do you think Jacques Tati would think of your creation which honors Mr. Hulot in such a lovely way?
A. Jaques Tati explicitly expressed the wish that his character Hulot would appear in films by other directors, as was done by François Truffaut in "domicile conjugal“. Therefore I think he would be pleased to see that his character is still alive and kicking in 2014. I also think he would be happy to see children laughing while reading my books. But I should also add that Tati was one of the greatest perfectionists of all time anywhere! I'm sure he would have had plenty to say about my work. I try to rise to his level but it is of course impossible. I try to do my best without feeling the pressure of Jacques Tati looking over my shoulder while I’m drawing. That would be counter-productive and paralyzing. One should not be afraid to develop the character Hulot, to modernize it a bit. It would be a mistake to stay fixed on one form.

Q. Do you have more Mr. Hulot books forthcoming - is this an ongoing passion for you? Or do you have other works-in-progress?
A. I have published around forty books for children, designed a number of posters, done illustrations for the press and advertising, and I also work in animation. At the moment I am working on a new picture book called "Monsieur Hulot à la plage“ (Monsieur Hulot at the Beach). He returns to the set of the black and white movie from 1953 "Les vacances de monsieur Hulot“ (The Holidays of Mr. Hulot). It's in the same retro style, same decor as "Hello Monsieur Hulot“ but like in my other books, new stories, new gags and as always, hopefully in the master’s sprit.

David, thanks so much for stopping by!

The kind folks at NorthSouth have agreed to give one free copy of HELLO, MR. HULOT to one of my lucky commenters. Must live in the US/Canada to win. Enter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Photo credit Association Clair Obscur.

0 Comments on HELLO, MR. HULOT - Giveaway! as of 3/6/2014 10:02:00 AM
Add a Comment
16818. Poetry Competition: 2014 Frost Farm Prize

The 2014 Frost Farm Prize
Metrical Poetry Contest Open for Entries

The Trustees of the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, NH, and the Hyla Brook Poets invite submissions for their 4th Annual The Frost Farm Prize for metrical poetry. The winner will walk away with $1,000, publication in Evansville Review and an invitation, with honorarium, to read as part of The Hyla Brook Reading Series at the Robert Frost Farm in Derry in the summer of 2014. This year's judge is award-winning poet and translator Rhina Espaillat.

Last year's winner was Caki Wilkinson of Sewanee, Tennessee, for her poem, "Arts and Crafts." The poem appears in the 2013 edition of The Evansville Review.

"The writing of metrical verse – the use of rhyme and/or meter – is a precise and challenging craft and we want to celebrate this art form with The Frost Farm Prize," said Robert W. Crawford, co-founder of the Hyla Brook Poets and a Frost Farm Trustee.

Submission guidelines are available here.

Complete Frost Farm Prize Guidelines:
Poems must be original, unpublished and metrical (any metrical form). No translations. There is no limit to the number of poems entered by an individual, but an entry fee of $5 U.S. per poem must accompany the submission (entry fees from outside the United States must be paid in cash or by check drawn on a U.S. bank). You are welcome to submit a poem sequence (a crown of sonnets for example) but each poem will be judged individually -- please send in an entry fee for each poem in the sequence. Make checks payable to the "Trustees of the Robert Frost Farm." Please type the author's name, address, phone number and e-mail address on the back of each entry. Entries will be submitted to the judge anonymously.

Postmarked by April 1, 2014

Send entries to:
Robert Crawford
The Frost Farm Prize
280 Candia Rd.
Chester, NH 03036

The results will be posted at our website in May 2014. Winner and honorable mentions (if any) will be notified by email or phone. Please DO NOT send an SASE for contest results.

These are the complete guidelines. For more information, visit and "like" the Hyla Brook Poets Facebook page.

Add a Comment
16819. Guest Post & Giveaway: Annette Simon on How a Bookseller by the Sea Influences a Book Maker at Her Desk. And Vice Versa.

Visit Annette!
From Cynthia Leitich Smith:

Do you wear more than one hat in the children's-YA book world? There are a lot of us. Writers who also are teachers or librarians. Illustrators who do promotional design. Retired librarians who work as consultants.

Today we welcome indie bookseller and author-illustrator Annette Simon, who has boldly decided to split herself into three people (the third of whom is a special guest reporter at Cynsations) and interview herself. Or herselves? Read on to discover for yourself.

By Annette Simon
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

Reporter AS: I’m glad we could all get together. Where do each of you work?

Bookseller AS: My work is play in a lovely independent, The BookMark, in Neptune Beach, Florida.

Writer/Artist AS: I play in my studio, at my kitchen table, and on whatever paper scraps are handy.

Reporter AS: You both love books. How does it feel to be surrounded by them?

Bookseller AS: Pretty much like heaven, except without the time to read them all.

Writer/Artist AS: Both inspired and intimidated. All those fantastic, new books! But a store’s never-ending supply makes getting published look easy.

Bookseller AS: Booksellers know otherwise. Besides, we champion the creators of those fantastic, new books.

Writer/Artist AS: Really? Bet we champion you more....

Reporter AS: I take it, reading is both a privilege and a job requirement?

Visit BookMark.
Bookseller AS: Of course. Also, fun.

Writer/Artist AS: Ditto. And ditto. Hey, remember ditto paper?

Bookseller AS: The smell of third grade! Remember when our teacher’s sub –

Reporter AS: Ladies, what’s the best part of your job?

Bookseller AS: Talking with people who love books. Matchmaking people and books. And when someone comes back for more? That reluctant reader now reads? Just … joy.

Writer/Artist AS: I’d say it’s those moments of creating when you’re in the zone, almost outside of yourself. But copy that about talking and reading. Nothing beats knowing your work matters to someone.

Bookseller AS: Icing on the cake is when that book was created by a friend.

Writer/Artist AS: Aww…. Uh, we’re friends, right?

Download the Activity Kit.
Reporter AS: So you share the same mission: connecting with readers.

Bookseller AS: It’s our reason for being.

Writer/Artist AS: Absolutely.

Reporter AS: What’s something you learned on the job that surprised you?

Bookseller AS: That there is no perfect book.

Writer/Artist AS: Are you kidding me? I can name several right now. How ‘bout –

Bookseller AS: I mean, there is no one book that’s perfect for everybody, every time. Its connection will depend on a person’s reading level, time, interests, desires, life story, mood, and goals at that moment, which can and will vary any day of the week.

For children’s books, the buyers are also the gatekeepers, so add their goals for the reader. However, these are also the reasons why most good books will probably connect with someone, at some point.

Writer/Artist AS: Hmm ... I hadn’t thought of that. Okay. It relieves a bit of pressure. My book will not be for everybody, all the time, and that doesn’t mean it is (or I am) a failure.

More likely, my book will connect with someone, somewhere. I’ll channel Mr. Dean Martin….

Reporter AS: Tell me about the bookseller/author relationship. How do you best work with each other?

Bookseller AS: As I said, booksellers love writers and artists.

Writer/Artist AS: And we love booksellers. Also, librarians and media specialists.

Bookseller AS: We do, too. But, Esteemed Authors, please don’t just stroll into a store and expect folks there to drop all to see Your Fabulous Creation.

Unless, of course, you’re Harper Lee, J.K. Rowling, John Green, Judy Blume, my parents, or the President.

Then, please. And by all means!

Writer/Artist AS: So what do I do if I’d like to see my book in your store?

Bookseller AS: Please visit the store’s website, and contact appropriately. If you’re a regular customer (and we hope that you are), please say so. If you’re visiting the area and can sign stock, let us know. But please, never tell indie booksellers that they can purchase your book from that giant online store.

Reporter AS: That happens?

Bookseller AS: More than you’d think. If you’re traditionally published, our source is your publisher. If you’re not, make sure your book is available through a reputable distributor.

Also, when you’re visiting the store, please don’t yammer on all "me, me, me." Talk with the sellers, ask about business or favorite titles. And once your book is on the shelf, please consider a link to the store on your author website. It’s just good business, you know?

Reporter AS: Parting thoughts?

Bookseller AS: Um ... I’ve become addicted to spine poetry.

Writer/Artist AS: I may have had a hand in that. Wanna share one we made together?

Bookseller AS: With pleasure. ‘Cause it’s true.

Reporter AS: Thank you, Annettes. I couldn’t have said it better, myself.

Cynsational Event Report

Last weekend, writer/art gal Annette Simon launched her new picture book, Robot Burp Head Smartypants! (Candlewick, 2014), at bookseller Annette Simon’s store.

Here’s a glimpse from AS of how it went:

We're on the store's events board!

Books in the house! Er, store.

Prime real estate: a store window.

Event prizes included foam numbers and alphabet puzzles, and sticker packages made by Annette and her mother-in-law.

Party treats included iced cookies.

Annette recruited store colleague and Duval County reading specialist Pat Laurence to play the green robot (and wear its tie).

Why we do what we do.

Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win a signed and personalized copy of Robot Burp Head Smartypants! (Candlewick, 2014) and a set of alphabet-and-numbers foam stickers. Author sponsored. Eligibility: U.S. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Add a Comment
16820. Poetry Competition: Moon City Poetry Award

• The Moon City Poetry Award is for an original collection of poems written in English by a single author.

• Individual poems in the collection may be published in periodicals or may have appeared in a chapbook, but poems should not be previously published in full-length manuscript form.

• Open to all writers not associated with Moon City Press, its editors, or its judges, past or present. Missouri State University students, alumni, and employees are ineligible.

Manuscripts should be at least 48 pages. Please include a Table of Contents and an Acknowledgements page.

• Manuscripts should be submitted via Submittable.

A $25 entry fee is due via Submittable at the time of submission; entry fees are nonrefundable.
• Simultaneous submissions are permitted, though manuscripts should be withdrawn immediately if accepted elsewhere.

Deadline: May 1, 2014. Winners will be notified fall 2014 and the winner will be published in 2015.

First prize: $1000, publication by Moon City Press (including international distribution through the University of Arkansas Press), and a standard royalty contract. Three additional finalists will be named and considered for publication.

• For questions, please visit our website or contact Moon City Poetry Editor Sara Burge at:

saraburgeATmissouristateDOTedu (Change AT to @ and DOT to .)

Add a Comment
16821. Thou Shalt Not Curse at Missionaries

After coming home from a service trip to Swaziland a few years ago, I felt renewed, energetic and ready to go again. It wasn’t your average mission trip, we worked hard to prepare a home for abandoned infants, which is a big problem there. I loved every minute of it and started dreaming about another place to go.

You see, I like to build stuff. I’ve been doing it for years and have built almost all of the wood furniture in our house. I’ve finished rooms, our basement, and done some pretty big construction tasks over the years. I even got to build this table that now sits at the missionary house in Heart for Africa. I like to think it will be useful for a good purpose long after I am.image

I’m not the guy who is going to go door-to-door or perform street theater – but I’ll pour concrete, remove debris, or swing a hammer. It is wonderful when God marries a talent with a need and grants the ability to go somewhere to serve. When Sudan and South Sudan were splitting apart, I got burdened for the people of South Sudan and wanted to go. That got me started trolling for an opportunity and I found a cool mission group who work with an orphanage there.

I contacted a very nice lady name Rose. Several emails and a few calls later, I learned of a trip with building men like me that was perfect and I began praying about it. I emailed one last question to Rose from my iPad – “Is South Sudan a yellow fever area? Swaziland isn’t and I don’t have that sh-t.”

Whatever I typed, the glorious auto-correct feature from Apple naturally assumed I needed to discuss feces and not an inoculation. I didn’t notice until I got her response and read what I had sent. My mind went into overdrive:

Did I really send that??? To a missionary?? Why yes, yes I did!

Is there a commandment about that? Something about a special place in hell for people who cuss at missionaries?

I thought I should probably let it go, but didn’t want to be ostracized from the trip. So I sent an apology saying, “Obviously, I meant shot.”

I loved her response, “HaHa. I know, I got a snarky giggle out of it.”

Haha, indeed.

Unfortunately, the trip was cancelled due to instability in the country.  I’d still love to go there and other places to lend a hand. In the meantime, I’ll watch my words more closely and try to handle surprises that come my way with Rose’s grace and understanding.

Has God married a talent of yours with a need? I’d love to hear about it.

10 Comments on Thou Shalt Not Curse at Missionaries, last added: 3/6/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
16822. Tips for Writing an Eye-catching Press Release

Happy Mardi Gras everyone! I hope you all had fun celebrating and stayed warm and safe.

Today I'm privileged to have a guest blogger, Nikolas Baron who is giving us tips on writing a professional press release. I'm sure we could all use some advice on this so enjoy!

Tips for Writing an Eye-catching Press Release

Have you been saddled with the task of writing a press release but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’ve never written one before. Maybe you don’t know how long it is, what to put in it, or how to structure it. Maybe you’re just not sure how to improve your skills. Press release writing can be difficult until you get the hang of it.
When you write a press release, you want to suck the reader in, keep them interested, and give them vital information. Press releases are typically short but pack a lot of punch. They’re used as informative tools that promote, professionalize, and personalize your company, achievement, or other positive attributes. The general format of a press release is simple; your wording should not be. With the tips below, you’ll be able to craft a perfect press release while adding the spice that it needs to attract readers.

  Hook ‘em with your headline: Readers will tune into a press release with a catchy title. They won’t read the article if the headline lies flatter than a sheet of paper. You want to make the best of your writing abilities and capture your reader at the first glance. Think of your headline as a picture at an art museum: the picture draws in the viewer and then they take the extra time to read the placard about the artist, their history, and when they painted. Make the reader want to take the extra time to read your article because of the headline.
Get to the point: Press releases are at most two pages. They should never exceed that amount so you have to get to the point fast. You just drew in the reader with your exceptionally-written title and they want to know right up front, what’s the point of this press release. Press releases aren’t articles that can slowly wind to the point and if yours ends up being around two pages, it had better be filled with tons of interesting information and critical points. From the starting sentence, you should be filling your reader in on what the release is about.
It should be less than a page: Like stated above, the press release should never exceed two pages; however, ideally you should finish your release in less than one page. It’s not an article – it’s a short blurb to inform the reader of critical information. You want to make sure that you’re not boring the reader or wasting their time with fluff. Cut the fat and make your press release one page.
Proofread: Proofread. Proofread. Always proofread. The press release will look sloppy if there are grammar and spelling mistakes everywhere. If you happen to not work at a newspaper or magazine, or if writing really isn’t your forte and you were forced into writing the release, use an online proofreadingresource like Grammarly to clean up your work. Nothing is more embarrassing than having tons of errors sprinkled through a mere one page of writing.
Provide other critical information: At the end of your release, it’s important to provide contact information, website, or other pertinent information. If your press release is about your company’s product, you want to provide the sales department’s information in case anyone reading the release wants further information. If the release pertains to a new start-up company, the website is most critical. Make it easy for the reader to get more information if they want it.
You don’t want the reader to be excited about your release then be barred from gaining access to whatever it is the release is about.
 Writing a press release is all about important facts and excitement. You should be able to grab the reader, hold onto them for one page, and get them interested in your release information. It may be difficult at the start, but these tips are an excellent foundation to writing an amazing press release.

By Nikolas Baron

Nikolas Baron Bio:

Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, travelling, and reading.

Thank you to Nikolas for this great information. I hope it helps anyone who may be in the process of writing a press release or with luck... will be in the near future!


0 Comments on Tips for Writing an Eye-catching Press Release as of 3/6/2014 2:22:00 PM
Add a Comment
16823. Interview with Children’s Book Author Jennifer Adan

It’s Author Interview Thursday! If you’re a songwriter and/or love country music, then you’re in for a big treat today.Jennifer Adan - Songwriter Our special guest moved to Nashville to follow her dreams to become a songwriter. Despite the hardships and setbacks she experienced along the way, she’s living proof that dreams do come true! She co-wrote the chart topper, ‘She Wouldn’t Be Gone‘ with Cory Batten that was performed by American country music singer, Blake Shelton. The song was Number One on the Hot Country Songs Charts in February 2009. She also writes children’s books and I’m so delighted to have her on the hot seat today. So without further ado, please join me in welcoming Jennifer Adan.


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspires you to write children’s books? 

I have been writing since I was nine years old. I started writing songs and poems, which led to short stories, screenplays and novels. I wrote my first children’s book, I Don’t See Heaven in 2004, when my grandfather passed away. I was so inspired that I wrote it in about thirty minutes. My sister’s best friend Liz was inspired by my story and wanted to draw pictures to go along with it.


What can a reader expect when they pick up a Jen Adan book? 

For this current book, readers can expect a light-hearted explanation about coping with a death. It doesn’t go into specifics because I didn’t want the story to be too deep. As for my future children’s books, I will keep the light heartedness of the overall feeling. As for my novels and how-to books, I plan to make them sarcastic, layered with humor and an underlying serious nature.


What in your opinion makes a great children’s book? Jen at Book Signing

I think a great children’s book consists of the author’s ability to relate to the child, get down to their level and not preach to them, but meanwhile providing a story that will make them feel a connection. It has to have a sweet tone with some humor, some lessons and some form of emotion that will make them feel something, or make them question and come to their own conclusions about the world.


What has been your most successful marketing method for promoting your books? 

Connecting with the public on a personal level. Reaching out to people personally, or through social media and also word of mouth.


What were some of your favourite books as a child? 

My favorite books as a child were The Giving Tree, Love You Forever, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, Goodnight Moon, Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Snowy Day, and Winnie the Pooh.


What mistake(s) have you made while publishing your books that you would advise other authors against? 

Well, being the first book I’ve had published, it’s all a learning experience. There’s not one piece of advice that I would advise against, but I would say to make sure you have all of your stuff organized so it makes the publishing process go smoother.


Most people probably know you as a songwriter. What would you say are the similarities and differences between writing a song and writing a work of fiction? I Dont See Heaven

My songs mostly consist of heartbreak, man hating, angry songs (haha) but I also have some sweet, positive songs as well, just not many. My books, especially my children’s books, are light-hearted, happy and anti-hate, pro love. My other works of fiction can vary because of the theme of each book, but I feel like my books and my songs are polar opposites.


Your song ‘She Wouldn’t be Gone’ for Blake Shelton hit the Number One spot on the Hot Country Songs chart. Can you tell us about that moment when you heard the news and how you felt? 

Well, the first time I heard Blake was going to cut the song, my co-writer Cory called me and told me that some guy named Blake Shelton wanted to record it and I flipped! Then, what seemed like a couple weeks later, I received a phone call from Scott Hendrix at Warner Brothers saying they were going to release it as his first single. At the time, I was working as a receptionist at a real estate company and got the message on my lunch break. I freaked out, called Scott back and I’m pretty sure I cried.


What in your opinion makes a great songwriter and what can someone do if they want to sharpen their song writing skills? 

A great songwriter express their life experiences effectively through their music. They are able to portray a certain feeling, whether it’s happy or sad or heartbreak or anger in such a way that the listener has to stop what they are doing to listen and feels so connected to it that they are convinced the songwriter wrote it about them. A great songwriter brings passion and truth to their lyrics and music and blends so perfectly that people remember them and want to hear more. Diane Warren is a huge role model and hero of mine and I believe that she is a great songwriter.


How do you reward yourself when you’ve completed writing a song or achieving a specific publishing goal? 

Nothing! ha-ha! I just keep writing and when I write something I’m proud of, I share it with everyone, whether its a song or a piece of writing.


What book or film has the best dialogue that inspires you to be a better writer and why? Jen Adan signing books

There are so many books and films that inspire me, but I am a huge Disney fan and so most Disney movies inspire me, especially the old school ones like Mary Poppins, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Lion King, Aladdin, and then other movies like The Blind Side, 42, Pursuit of Happiness and tons of others!


Toy Story or Shrek?

Toy Story!


What should a first time visitor to Nashville, Tennessee do while there? 

Go to the Bluebird Cafe! It’s my favorite place in Nashville to hear amazing songwriters sing their songs and it has great food and the atmosphere is amazing. I am not a big fan of downtown honky tonks, but everyone should go there as a first timer. I also suggest going to Loveless Cafe. It’s the best down home cooking you will get in Nashville! Their biscuits are soooooo good!


Can you tell us about an awkward/unforgettable experience you’ve had with a fan? 

I received a letter in the mail from a fan in Florida. I don’t know how he got my address, but he did and he hand wrote me a letter saying he wanted an 8X10 photo of me and he kept writing me letters. It was a little strange.


What can we expect from Jen Adan in 2014? 

A lot! I am going to be a writing machine and put out another children’s book and more music and I am currently working on a screenplay. This is the year of finishing projects so everyone should get ready!


Where can fans and readers of your books and music discover more about you and connect with you? Jen Adan

My website www.jenniferadan.com has all of my social media links and it has a list of my upcoming events.

Twitter: @jenniferadan

Instagram: @jenniferadan13

Facebook: facebook.com/jenniferadan13

 Website:  http://jenniferadan.com/


Any advice for authors or songwriters out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the industry? 

Never give up! If this is what you want to do and if this is your passion keep going! Don’t let the world harden your heart and make you biter and jaded toward the industry. The entertainment industry is tough and you have to learn how to swim with sharks and develop a thick skin and just keep pushing through. If one door doesn’t open, try another and another and another and if that doesn’t work, get a ladder and go through the window! Network and talk to everyone and use your resources to keep learning about your craft and talk to as many people as you can, take classes, go to conferences or workshops, travel to as many places as possible and read as many books as possible. And make sure you never give up!


Thanks for ending the interview on such a positive note. I wonder what would have happened if you had given up after some rejections. I also have to agree with you on the power of networking. You just never know who you could meet that knows someone or has the power to open doors to launch you into your destiny. You can get a copy of Jen’s book by clicking the link below. I’ve read it and it’s good!

I Don’t See Heaven by Jen Adan


Below is the music video of the Number One Song ‘She Wouldn’t Be Gone.’



2 Comments on Interview with Children’s Book Author Jennifer Adan, last added: 3/6/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
16824. Call for Submissions: Crooked/Shift

Crooked/Shift, a brand new journal, is “officially” launching March 7, 2014.

Submissions link.

Crooked/Shift is an online literary publisher dedicated to horror, humor, the absurd, and the strange. We are currently looking for flash fiction, short stories, prose poetry, and essays for inclusion in our first issue slated for July 1, 2014. We invite new and seasoned writers alike.

This is a great opportunity for first time publication!

Submissions are free, though we are not paying writers at this time. Hopefully that changes soon with your support.

Add a Comment
16825. 7 Things You Don't Know About Joan Holub

Joan Holub, author and co-founder of readertotz, joins us today to celebrate the readergirlz anniversary. Here are some secrets she's shared with us...

7 Things You Don't Know About Me

1. My prom dress still fits.
2. My wedding dress drowned in Hurricane Katrina.
3. I wrote a picture book about a red pencil writing a book that got 3 starred reviews.
4. I used to be an illustrator.
5. I co-write 2 tween series with Suzanne Williams, Goddess Girls and Grimmtastic Girls.
5. I can make a train choo-choo sound without moving my lips.
6. I blog with readergirlz co-founder Lorie Ann Grover at http://readertotz.blogspot.com

Want to know more secrets about your favorite authors? Keep checking the readergirlz blog all month long!

Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts