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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: contests, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 1,750
1. Half Price Books Hosts Shelfie Contest

Half Price Books is currently running the #MeMyShelfandI photo contest.

Bibliophiles are being asked to “show off” their bookshelf “with or without self-portrait” which may feature books, music, movies, or other collectible items. The contest will run from July 21, 2014 to August 04, 2014.

From there, entrants should submit their #shelfies on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. For Facebook, the pictures should be posted “directly to the Half Price Books wall using the hashtag #MeMyShelfandI within the photo caption.” For Twitter and Instagram, contestants “must mention @HalfPriceBooks and use the hashtag #MeMyShelfandI within a photo caption.” Follow this link to learn more details about this contest.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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2. ALA Amazing ARC Giveaway

I was fortunate enough to go to the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas this year. Loved the Printz Awards where Marcus Sedgwick became my new author crush. Loved the sessions, especially this one on reinventing summer reading programs. And, of course, loved the ARCs that publishers so willingly hand out to eager librarians. I have some of the bounty to share with you! I am giving away Advance

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3. J.M. Lee Wins ‘The Dark Crystal’ Author Quest Contest

J.M. Lee has won the Dark Crystal Author Quest contest.

Last summer, Penguin Young Readers Group formed a partnership with the Jim Henson Company to publish a young adult series inspired by the classic film, The Dark Crystal. The two companies launched a contest to find a writer to pen the first installment of this project. Lee’s story, “The Ring of Dreams” was chosen as the winning piece from a pool of more than 500 submissions.

Lee had this statement in the press release: “The Dark Crystal was my first Jim Henson experience after being coerced into a viewing by my father, who since has admitted he just thought I would like the ‘soundtrack performed by a bunch of giant crows.’ And I did! I’ve always been a fan of dark fantasy, but thinking back on how early it was that The Dark Crystal became part of my VHS(!) library, I wonder which came first: the Skeksis or the egg. Even now, the depth of world and profundity has continued to reveal itself as I grow into my so-called adulthood.”

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4. Bard Fiction Prize

Are you American, 39 years old or younger, and have a published book? If so, then you should consider submitting it for the Bard Fiction Prize.

Bard Fiction Prize

What Is the Bard Fiction Prize?

The Bard Fiction Prize is awarded to a promising, emerging writer who is an American citizen aged 39 years or younger at the time of application. In addition to the monetary award, the winner receives an appointment as writer in residence at Bard College for one semester, without the expectation that he or she teach traditional courses. The recipient gives at least one public lecture and meets informally with students.

2014 Bard Fiction Prize Recipient:
Bennett Sims

About the Bard Fiction Prize

The creation of the Bard Fiction Prize, presented each October, continues Bard’s long-standing position as a center for creative, groundbreaking literary work by both faculty and students. From Saul Bellow, William Gaddis, Mary McCarthy, and Ralph Ellison to John Ashbery, Philip Roth, William Weaver, and Chinua Achebe, Bard’s literature faculty, past and present, represents some of the most important writers of our time. The prize is intended to encourage and support young writers of fiction to pursue their creative goals and provide an opportunity to work in a fertile and intellectual environment. Last year’s Bard Fiction Prize was awarded to Brian Conn for his book, The Fixed Stars (Fiction Collective 2, 2010).

Bard Invites Submissions for Its Annual Fiction Prize for Young Writers

To apply, candidates should write a cover letter explaining the project they plan to work on while at Bard and submit a C.V., along with three copies of the published book they feel best represents their work. No manuscripts will be accepted. Applications for the 2015 prize must be received by July 15, 2014. For more information about the Bard Fiction Prize, call 845-758-7087 or send an e-mail to bfp@bard.edu. Applicants may also request information by writing to the Bard Fiction Prize, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000.

Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Book, Competition, Contests, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Bard Fiction Prize, Bennett Sims, The Fixed Stars, Writer in Residence, Young Writers of fiction

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5. Poetry Contest & Poetry and Prose Reminder

mindThe Mind Magazine First Annual Insight Poetry Competition:

General information:

Mind Magazine’s First Annual Insight Poetry Competition is now accepting entries. Deadline is August 15th. The winners will receive prize money and publication on the “Mind Magazine Top Talent” page, created to showcase the work of the finalists.

Fee: $10


First place: $300.00, Gold Medal Standing on-line presentation, and publication as specified.

Second place: $150.00, Silver Medal Standing on-line presentation and publication as specified.

Third place: $50.00, Bronze Medal Standing on-line presentation and publication as specified.

Forth place: $50.00, Mind Magazine T-Shirt and publication as specified.

Fifth place: $50.00 and publication as specified.

Electronic submissions are preferred, and can be purchased in the Mind Magazine store. Please be sure to include the entry identification number provided with your entry purchase, your return email, and the author’s name with each poem entered.

Send all entries clearly marked with the email heading, “Contest Entry” to: mindmagazinesubmissions@gmail.com Up to three poems may be submitted per $10 entry.

Entries may be mailed to:

Mind Magazine

PO Box 387

O’Brien, OR. 97534

Checks must be made out to Mind Magazine.

Entry Fees:

One to three poems: $10 All entry fees are non-refundable.


Mind Magazine is accepting submissions of poetry, prose, scientific articles and scientific papers. Poetry should be no more than three pages in length per poem, single spaced, #12 Times or Times New Roman font, two poems maximum per submission, one submission per month. Send submissions of poetry in electronic form, rtf or Word format, with the email heading clearly marked, “Poetry Submission” to Michael Spring at: bluecrow_4@yahoo.com  Include your return email and contact information.

Submissions of prose, scientific articles and papers must be provided single spaced, #12 Times or Times New Roman font, one submission per month, in electronic form, rtf or Word format, with the email heading clearly marked, “Prose/Science submission” to Rich Norman at: mindmagazinesubmissions@gmail.com  Include your return email and contact information.


Dream Quest One Writing and Poetry Contest See April Post

Postmark deadline: July 31, 2014 All contest winners will be published online in the Dare to Dream pages, on September 20, 2014. Entry Form: http://www.dreamquestone.com/entryform.html

Prizes: Writing Contest First Prize is $500. Second Prize: $250. Third Prize: $100. Poetry Contest First Prize is $250. Second Prize: $125.  Third Prize: $50. Entry fees: $10 per short story. $5 per poem.

To send entries: Include title(s) with your story (ies) or poem(s), along with your name, address, phone#, email, brief biographical  info. (Tell us a little about yourself), on the coversheet. Add a self-addressed stamped envelope for entry confirmation.

Mail entries/fees payable to: “DREAMQUESTONE.COM” Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest P.O. Box 3141 Chicago, IL  60654

Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details on how to enter!


Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Competition, Contests, earn money, inspiration, opportunity, Places to sumit, Poems Tagged: Magazine Contest, Money and Publication, The Mind Magazine Poetry Contest

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6. Hugh Howey, Wattpad & Booktrack Kick Off Writing & Sound Design Competition

Author Hugh Howey has partnered with digital writing community Wattpad and eBook soundtrack company Booktrack have introduced a new writing and audio production contest with $20,000 in prizes available. The Hugh Howey Booktrack & Wattpad Fan Fiction Contest is two-part. Writers are encouraged to write a fan fiction story based around Howey's novel Half Way Home. Sound designers are encouraged to create a soundtrack for the book. The soundtrack winner will get a $5,000 prize, as well as the chance to co-produce a soundtrack for Howey’s latest novel The Hurricane. The winning writer will earn a $5,000 prize, as well as editorial feedback from Howey on the piece. Finalists will earn $1,000 prizes. "Storytelling can be so much more than mere words. I love what Booktrack makes possible. Now, a soundscape can heighten our reading experience," stated Howey. "And this competition is perfect for bringing fans into a creative collaboration. I can’t wait to see what immersive and inspired experience they help create."

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7. Black Hill Press, JukePop, & the California Public Libraries Seek Novellas

Black Hill Press, JukePop, and the California Public Libraries have joined together to host a challenge called the "Summer Writing Project." Participants will pen novellas and submit chapters through jukepop.com. For the purposes of this project, a novella should contain a range of 10,000 to 30,000 words. Black Hill Press will pick three novellas for publication in a special collection. Artist Jeannie Phan has signed on to design the cover for the book. This venture kicked off on June 1st and will run until August 31st. Follow this link to read the submission guidelines.

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8. Online Contests

One of the hardest parts of the writing process for me is finally submitting to agents. This entails crafting the dreaded query letter and subjecting oneself to the agony of rejection and waiting. For some lucky ones, query misery lasts a few days or months. For others, i's a much longer process, at least if the writer is pursuing traditional publishing, which I am.

One wonderful alternative to querying are online contests. Mind you, they won't let you off the hook of writing a query letter. In fact, in most of them, a query is essential. In most contests, the point is to submit a killer query or pitch or first page, or all three of them.

I've been on Twitter for a while, and every few months, I heard calls for #PitchMadness, #Pitchmass, #QueryKombat, and The Writer's Voice, among others. Every time I saw them, I vowed to inform myself a little better for the next time I had the chance to enter.

Well, I found out The Writer's Voice had a entry date on late April, and I put it on my calendar with various reminders. I entered. I have to say, I didn't escape the agony I had experienced with querying because, you see? There were almost two hundred entries for this contest, and only 32 spots for the agent round. Four coaches would pick their team of eight writers who had submitted their query and first page.

To my utter surprise, I made it into the rafflecopter pre-selection that trimmed the entries down to one-hundred and fifty. The day the coaches were announcing their teams--by commenting on the entrants' blogs--I was a nervous wreck. That night at nine, I had prepared myself not to make it to the next round. To my surprise, I made it! Elizabeth Briggs and Krista Van Dolzer chose me to be part of #TeamRockstar. They helped me hone my query and first page, and on the day of the contest, I ended up with three full manuscript requests. More importantly, I met a lot of wonderful people, from my team and the other teams, who cheered me on and inspired me with their own stories.

Right now, #QueryKombat is taking place, and honestly, even if I don't make it to the next round, I've already learned so much from the querying process! I have a better query right now and I'm more confident with my first chapter. And again, I found a wonderful community online that makes me feel less alone during this difficult times of waiting and waiting and more waiting.

Brenda Drake hosts several contests every year. I also participated of The Writer's Digest Middle Grade First Chapter Contest and #YAHugs, of which I also was a finalist. The common denominator in all of these contests has been the support of fellow writers and agents.

Here's the link to a success story from a contest. I invite you to jump into Twitter and take part of the opportunity these contests offer. For some, I've had to tweet my pitch in no more than 140 characters. And guess what? After much trying and experimenting, I was able to, and I also secured a full request this way.

If you are on Twitter, look me up. My handle is @YamileSMendez and I tweet about books (of course), diversity in books, and now with the upcoming World Cup, I'll be tweeting a lot about soccer. Now it's your turn: tell me, have had any experience with online contests? Share it with us!

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9. Win a Copy of The Year Without Pants

Download a free excerpt and test your WordPress trivia knowledge for a chance to win a copy of Scott Berkun's A Year Without Pants.

7 Comments on Win a Copy of The Year Without Pants, last added: 5/22/2014
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10. Guest TA Interview & Book Giveaway with the Amazing Debbie Dadey!

Today I'm thrilled to share a guest TeachingAuthor interview with the prolific and talented Debbie Dadey. We're honored to help Debbie celebrate the release of her latest chapter book, Treasure in Trident City (Aladdin), book eight in the Mermaid Tales series for ages 6-9. Here's a little about the story:

Pearl can't believe it! There is a pirate's treasure near Trident City. If she can find it, she'll be the richest, most famous mermaid ever. Tales of pirate ghosts don't scare Pearl off, but something much bigger just might.
See the end of this post for details on how to enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of this fun title! I also share the name of the winner of our last giveaway.

I'm guessing most of our TeachingAuthors' readers are familiar with Debbie's work. She is the award-winning author/co-author of 158 books for children! She is perhaps most known for the best-selling Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series (Scholastic) , which she wrote with Marcia Thornton Jones. Debbie and Marcia also co-wrote a writing book for adults, Story Sparkers : A Creativity Guide for Children's Writers (Writer's Digest). A former elementary school teacher and school librarian, Debbie enjoys working with writers of all ages through school visits and writing conferences. She currently divides her time between Bucks County, PA and Sevierville, TN. She has three children, two dogs, and one very smart husband. You can learn more about Debbie through her website and follow her via Twitter and Facebook.

I first connected with Debbie Dadey years ago, when a member of my critique group invited her to join
us. My son was in second grade at the time, and a HUGE fan of the Bailey School Kids. When I told him that Debbie had joined our group, he could hardly believe it. He said, "Wow, Mom, now you're going to be famous!" Well, knowing Debbie didn't make me "famous," but having her in our group definitely made me a "tighter" writer. Our group called Debbie "the slasher" because she was so great at helping us cut extraneous material. We were all disappointed when she moved away. All these years later, I'm happy to be able to still call her my friend. 

And now, for the interview:

Debbie, would you tell our readers how you became a TeachingAuthor? 

When I was an elementary school teacher, I taught writing to my students. When I was a PK-12th grade librarian, I taught writing to my students. As an author, it was only natural to continue teaching writing through continuing education classes at universities, school visits, and writing conferences. My website has a writing section that I hope is helpful to writers of all ages.

Can you tell us a bit about your Mermaid Tales series and how you came to write it? What was the inspiration behind the newest book in the series, Treasure in Trident City? Are there more Mermaid Tales books in the works? 

Yes, there are more Mermaid Tales books in the works. Treasure in Trident City (think sunken pirate ship, pirate ghosts, and treasure!) is #8 and I have written 12 so far. It is a series about a school at the bottom of the ocean. The merboys and mermaids have normal school adventures, but also get the opportunity to have exciting interactions with ocean animals. In Treasure in Trident City, Pearl becomes friends with a giant octopus! I was lucky enough that Simon and Schuster approached me about writing it.

I’m intrigued that Simon and Schuster approached you. Did they provide the general premise for the series and ask you to come up with the stories? Did they dictate number of books, plot ideas, etc.? Did you already have other series with them?

They suggested a series about mermaids and let me run with it, but first they wanted me to create a world for them to live in, so I created a Travel Guide to Trident City which outlined the world.  Of course, the one I gave to my editor had character sketches, a map (which the artist redrew for the books), and ideas for books. They did not say how many books they wanted to start with, but I thought four was a great number (since I had four main character) to try and they went for it. This was the first work I've done for Simon and Schuster. I thought it was interesting that they contacted me through my website and I was glad that I had a way on there for them to contact me! It doesn't have my email listed, but it comes directly to my email.

Your website highlights you as an author for “reluctant readers.” What is it about your books that appeals to reluctant readers? Do you have any tips for other writers who want to reach this audience?

I hope my books are full of action, which I think draws in reluctant readers. I think books for any young reader needs to be kid-oriented and avoid overdosing on description.

You also list specific suggestions for parents and teachers to help motivate reluctant readers on your website. Which of these ideas to you think are most effective? 

There is nothing a parent or teacher can to do encourage reading more than modeling that behavior. Reading aloud to them and turning off the TV to read when your child can see speaks volumes!

You’re such a prolific author. Would you share a little about your writing schedule/routine? Do you set writing quotas/goals? Do you have any tricks for generating story/character ideas?

I write every day, except Sunday. I begin my day by updating my website, Facebook fan page, and answering email. Then I dive into writing and strive for 3-4 pages per day and most of that is done in the morning. My website, debbiedadey.com, has a writing section that has ‘worksheets’ that I use to help me learn about my character and my stories. I think they are helpful. My friend Marcia Jones and I created them for a book about writing called Story Sparkers, which we are currently turning into an eBook.

You do so many school and library visits. Can you share a funny (or interesting) story about one?

I’ll never forget the little boy who was crying in the hallway when I visited his school. Why was he crying? It was because he had thought the characters in the Bailey School Kids books (my first series with Marcia Jones) were visiting. When he found out it was just me, he was devastated. To him, the characters were real and he really wanted to meet them!

Well, I can't think of a better compliment to your writing than that, Debbie! Thank you so much for taking time out from your busy schedule to visit with us.  

I hope all the teachers in our audience will visit the Teacher's Page of Debbie's website for book-related activities and other resources. And I hope all our readers check back here on Wednesday, when Debbie shares a favorite writing exercise for our Wednesday Writing Workout.

Now it's time for you to enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Treasure in Trident City (Aladdin). Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter via 1, 2, or all 3 options specified. If you choose the "comment" option, share a comment to TODAY'S blog post telling us what you'll do with the book should you win: save it for yourself or give it away? And please include your name in your comment, if it's not obvious from your comment "identity." (If you prefer, you may submit your comment via email to: teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com.  )

The giveaway ends on May 30. 

And congratulations to our most recent winner, Elaine Kaplan, who follows us via email. Thanks for being a TeachingAuthors subscriber, Elaine!

Good luck and happy writing!

P.S. If you've never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, here's info on how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway and the difference between signing in with Facebook vs. with an email address. Email subscribers: if you received this post via email, you can click on the Rafflecopter link at the end of this message to access the entry form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

0 Comments on Guest TA Interview & Book Giveaway with the Amazing Debbie Dadey! as of 5/19/2014 8:52:00 AM
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11. Enter to win a signed print copy of Flashy Fiction!

For those of you who don’t frequent my facebook author page, you really should :) I host a lot of fun giveaways over there on a regular basis, swag, jewelry, ebooks, print books… Head on over and give me a like! Don’t forget to interact (like, comment, share) so facebook keeps letting you see my posts (or add me to a list so you can pop by when you like) Usually I have giveaways on weekends, but sometimes flash giveaways in the week too.

Anyways, I also post updates about my writing and other such things. OH, you wanted to hear about the print book giveaway?


Head on over there and see the post PINNED to the top. Winner gets a print copy of Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales signed by both me and Sean! Open internationally and facebook has nothing to do with it (yada yada)

ENDS TOMORROW Tuesday May 13th! Winner will be drawn before I head to bed. :)

Have fun and good luck!

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12. Children’s Book Week: What’s in Store for 2014

Monday kicks off this year’s Children’s Book Week, May 12 to 18, 2014.


Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes — wherever young readers and books connect! Children’s Book Week is administered by Every Child a Reader, a 501(c)(3) literacy organization dedicated to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children. The Children’s Book Council, the national non-profit trade association for children’s book publishers, is an anchor sponsor.”

2fb43aa5-7af0-49ac-b500-81abf2c573bbIn conjunction with the Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop 2014, hosted by Youth Literature Reviews and Mother Daughter [and Son] Book Reviews, Kid Lit Reviews is once again celebrating children’s books and the reading of children’s books. The Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop 2014, features links to giveaways for fabulous children/teen’s books, gift cards, cash, and other prizes. What better way to celebrate Children’s Book Week? Enter for these prizes using the linky at the end of this post. It can also be found on both host sites.

Just like last year, KLR has some terrific giveaways, one for each day, but you don’t have to wait to find out what they are.

  • From FarFaria – A 3-month subscription to this online library of children’s books.
  • From Scarletta Kids: The Monster Needs His Sleep by Paul Czajak, illustrated by Wendy Grieb
  • From Chronicle Books:  Lately Lily, the Adventures of a Traveling Girl by Micah Player
  • From Capstone Books:  TBA
  • From Scarletta Junior Readers: The Shark Whisperer by Dr. Ellen Prager, illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo
  • From Kid Lit Reviews:  A Special Prize Pack – who knows what it could be?

How do You Win a Prize?

Each day a Rafflecopter Entry System will be on the post. There you can “earn” entries by following the directions at each level. Some levels will be worth more entries than others will. A few entries will be daily, while others are a one-time deal. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received by Sunday, May 18, at midnight EST. Only one prize per entrant.

Each day, an additional entry can earn by leaving a comment below that day’s post. All comments must be posted by Sunday the 18th at midnight, EST to count as an entry. See below for Special Entries. Only one comment per post equals an entry, but additional comments are always welcome.

*** Special Entries ***

For every Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop 2014 blog site you visit and comment on, you will also earn you one entry per day. In the comment area below the KLR post of that day, leave the website name and the Blog Hop # for verification. This is a MUST! (this does not count as an entry comment on KLR). Sites and numbers can be found at:

Youth Literature Reviewshttp://youthlitreviews.com and Mother Daughter & Son Book Reviews http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com, or use the Linky Tool:  Click here to view the complete list of participating bloggers and authors.

Children’s Book Week is more than our Giveaway Hop. That is our way of expressing our interest in kid’s books, our desire that every child learn to read and enjoy reading, and our gratitude to be involved as authors, illustrators, reviewers, readers, and parents. To help the Hop have a great week, please tweet about it and your activities for Children’s Book Week using the hashtag #KidLitGH


  • Open only to those living in the United States.
  • Kids may enter but if they win, a parent or guardian must accept the prize.
  • Winners will be notified by email and have 48 hours to verify their information.
  • Unclaimed prizes will be re-drawn from non-winning entries until a winner is established.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Filed under: Children's Books, Contests, Free Book, Middle Grade, NonFiction, Picture Book, Poetry Tagged: Capstone Books, Children's Book Week, Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop 2014, Chronicle Books, Dr. Ellen Prager & Antonio Javier Caparo, FarFaria, Kid Lit Reviews, Micah Player, Paul Czajak & Wendy Grieb, Scarletta Junior Readers, Scarletta Kids

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13. ALSC Blog Photo Contest Results

The ALSC Blog and the Friends of ALSC are proud to announce the eight winners of the ALSC Blog Photo Contest. Thanks to everyone who participated, ALSC members are truly very talented individuals! The winners are separated into two prize categories, Newbery-Caldecott Banquet tickets and Barnes & Noble gift certificates. Each of the winners and the photo are listed below.

Newbery-Caldecott Banquet tickets

Other Jobs as Needed: Seeing if Kids Can Fit in Empty Shelving During Construction

“Other Jobs as Needed: Seeing if Kids Can Fit in Empty Shelving During Construction” by Kathryn Richert

Box Day!

“Box Day!” by Amy Musser

Untitled 2

“Untitled 2″ by Tess Pendergast

Untitled 1

“Untitled 1″ by Nadine Buccilli

Barnes & Noble gift certificate

Paws to Read (IREAD SRC theme)

“Paws to Read (IREAD SRC theme)” by Janet Dumas

Pollock Play @ the Library

“Pollock Play @ the Library” by Danielle Carey

Sesame Street Characters' Favorite Books

“Sesame Street Characters’ Favorite Books” by Bethany Vangrin

April Fool's Mustache Storytime!

“April Fool’s Mustache Storytime!” by Dana Jones

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14. I love contests!

In the past few months, I've had some amazing contest experiences. My middle grade novel, MOM WARS, won an honorable mention in the 2014 Rate Your Story contest. And I entered #Pitmad for the first time and had several requests for my other completed middle grade novel, THE COMIC ADVENTURES OF RUBY BELLA BROWN.

I'm grateful for the chance to enter another contest today--The Writer's Voice. It's a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Brenda Drake, Mónica Bustamante Wagner, Kimberly P. Chase, and Elizabeth Briggs.

Here’s my entry!

MOM WARS – 34,000 word humorous middle grade novel

Twelve year-old Jennifer Lauren Michaels longs to be part of a real family—living in a house with both parents, a sibling, and a pet. Instead, she and Mom have a tiny apartment they can barely afford. They constantly battle over money for much-needed clothes and Jennifer’s quest to contact Dad. The only way to survive without screaming back and getting grounded for life is throwing invisible food at Mom.

An unexpected babysitting job with two wacky kids and a ballerina guinea pig opens up a whole new world for her…especially when she discovers that the most hottielicious guy in the universe lives next door. But devastation strikes when Jennifer learns that her first-ever kiss (with the hottie) happened for the wrong reason. The sorta cute and totally sweet guy she started to depend on suddenly seems to have a dark side. And her search to find Dad unravels a mystery check and shocking secrets. Jennifer must decide if she’s going to escape back into her imaginary food-throwing fantasies, or finally find a way to dig beneath the surface to see things the way they really are.  

MOM WARS - First 250 words

I dump my school stuff out of last year’s semi-holey backpack and open my drawers. Empty. Empty. Empty. Except for a pair of stretched-out sweats and a bra so tight it makes me look like I have four boobs.

Better find something to pack. Fast!

“Come here,” Mom calls. “I have a surprise for you.”

I dance into the den. I knew my twenty page list of reasons why I should go to South Carolina with Kelly would change Mom’s mind.

“I don’t want you to be bored all summer, soooooooo—”

“I’m going with Kelly. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I give Mom a gigantic hug. She just stands there.

Uh oh.

My stomach flip-flops.

“You know we can’t afford it.” “It won’t cost anything. They’re driving and—”

“I already said no.”


Wham! She slams a dog-eared magazine on the chipped computer table. “I’m not pawning you off on another family for the summer. This discussion is over.”

My entire body shakes. I can’t believe she’s doing this to me. “I bet Dad would let me go.” Omigod, did I say that out loud?

Veins pulse on Mom’s forehead. “DON’T. MENTION. HIM. AGAIN!”

Breathe. Bite my lip. Breathe. Bite my lip.

“You’re NOT going. One more word about it, you’ll be grounded for a month.”

She’s always punishing me. Trying to erase Dad.

Don’t scream. Don’t scream. Don’t scream. There’s only one way to stay out of trouble when she makes me this mad.

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15. The First Ever Pretty Much World Famous Illustration Contest Finalists! - Come Vote!!

O   H     M Y     G   O  O   D  N   E S   S !!!
O   H     M  Y     G    O    N     E  S S

(Sorry!  I can't help jumping up and down!)

Do you know what time it is???

It's time to announce the finalists for

The First Ever Pretty-Much-World-Famous Illustration Contest!!!

But first I have to say that I was thrilled with what a great turn out we got for a first-ever contest!  I was hoping we'd get 10, and really hoping we'd get 20, so how completely wonderful that we got 35 entries!!!

And they were all so beautiful and creative and well done!

There were 8 fabulous stories for the illustrators to choose from - stories that won the March Madness Writing Contest last month.  Happily, every single story inspired at least 2 illustrators, so all the stories were represented.  The entries broke down as follows:

1. The Three Wiggly Worms Bluff by Wendy Greenley - 6 illustrations
2. Goldilockup by Mike Allegra - 5 illustrations
3. Goldibawks And The Three Pairs by Dawn Young - 2 illustrations
4. The Sweetie Witch by Pen Avey - 4 illustrations
5. The Princess And The Stinky Cheese by Lauri Myers - 9 illustrations
6. Mongoose's Holi Party by Darshana Khiani - 2 illustrations
7. The "Princess" And The Pete by Jennifer Caritas - 3 illustrations
8. The Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster by Elliah Terry - 4 illustrations

So a very nice spread!

And now, a few words from our illustrious judges, award-winning author/illustrators Iza Trapani and Lisa Thiesing:

Iza said, "Thank you everyone for the wonderful entries!  Lisa and I enjoyed them and regret that we could only pick 6 finalists. You all did a great job.  Keep up the good work!"

Lisa said, "We were so impressed with everyone's enthusiasm and how much effort you all put in!"

I say, many thanks to our wonderful judges for donating their time and expertise to pore over all these entries, carefully weighing the merits of each until they could reach a consensus as to which ones should qualify for the finals.  Many thanks as well to all the very talented illustrators who took the time and care to produce such beautiful book covers for these original stories!  We have enjoyed your work so much, and it's been different and fun to experience a competition for illustration instead of writing!

Please consider each of the following finalists carefully and vote for the one you think you'd be most likely to pluck off a bookshelf :)  Remember that the contest rules specifically asked for art only.  Some artists chose to include the title/author/illustrator anyway, but covers which do not show title/author/illustrator should not be penalized in your judgment.

Although there's no real way to keep these anonymous, I will show the pictures only, no artist names for now (they will all be shown when I announce the winners on Monday May 5.)  I encourage you to share this post with your tribe - the more views these talented illustrators get the better - but I ask that you please not try to influence the vote by saying "Vote for #3!" or whatever.  Let's let these gorgeous book covers speak for themselves.  It's not supposed to be a contest about who has the most FB friends or whatnot.  Thank you all for playing fair.  Because many of the finalists are for the same stories, I have identified them with little notes in parentheses to help you remember which is which on the voting poll.

And now, without further ado, I am pleased to present the finalists!  Each cover is accompanied by a few words from the judges :)

#1.  Cover for The "Princess" And The Pete
Cover image for The "Princess" And The Pete
Judges comments:  This is a cool image and the illustrator has left plenty of space for a great type design.

# 2.  Cover image for Goldilockup (green border)

Judges comments:  The girl is sweet and nicely drawn.  The details and design elements were carefully thought out.

#3  Cover image for Goldilockup (black border)
Cover image for Goldilockup
Judges comments:  This illustration is very well done. It is a humorous, strong, eye-catching image.  It would be very appealing to a lot of young readers.

 #4.  Cover image for The Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster (black background)

Judges comments:  The character is funny, quirky, interesting and we wonder what he's thinking. We would want to read this book. The whole design is great.

#5.  Cover image for The Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster (3 beds)
Cover image for The Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster
Judges comments: The bunny is cute, with an especially nice face. The picture makes us curious about the story. 

#6.  Cover image for Goldilockup (bears pointing thru bars)

Judges comments:  We thought this cover was a good drawing with a nice composition and colors. We could see it standing out on the Barnes & Noble book wall.

Ready, set, VOTE!

First Ever Illustration Contest 2014
Please vote for your favorite by Sunday May 4 at 5PM EDT!

Boy oh boy is it going to be hard to wait until Monday to find out how these finalists finish up!

Have a great weekend, everyone! :)

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16. Goodreads Giveaway! Win a signed paperback of Tales of Ever!

You don’t want to miss out on this one!

Win a signed print copy of Tales of Ever!

Enter now!

(USA and CAN only) Ends May 4th 2014

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tales of Ever by Jen Wylie

Tales of Ever

by Jen Wylie

Giveaway ends May 04, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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17. ALSC Blog Photo Contest: Deadline Tomorrow!

ALSC Blog Photo Contest

Photos courtesy of ALSC

A reminder to ALSC members to submit their photos by tomorrow for the ALSC Blog Photo Contest. Give us your best photo of your library space, program, display, book, craft or something else that you think relates to children’s librarianship. May the best photo win!

Participants must be ALSC members to enter. Anyone, members and non-members, can vote in the final round. Be sure to visit the ALSC Blog to vote for your favorite library photo beginning April 25, 2014. Prizes include tickets to the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet and $50 gift certificates to Barnes & Noble. Entries must be submitted by 8 am Central Time, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. For rules and entry form, see the ALSC Blog Photo Contest site.

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18. Reminder: Submit Your Photo in the ALSC Blog Photo Contest by 4/23

ALSC Blog Photo Contest

Photos courtesy of ALSC

Show off your creativity! We’re giving you a reminder about the ALSC Blog Photo Contest. Send us your great photos related to children’s librarianship. We’ll even give you some ideas:

  • Library spaces
  • Programs
  • Displays
  • Crafts
  • Books
  • Children’s technology
  • Reading

May the best photo win!

Participants must be ALSC members to enter. Anyone, members and non-members, can vote in the final round. Be sure to visit the ALSC Blog to vote for your favorite library photo beginning April 25, 2014.

Prizes include tickets to the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet and $50 gift certificates to Barnes & Noble. Entries must be submitted by 8 am Central Time, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. For rules and entry form, see the ALSC Blog Photo Contest site.

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19. Requests, Critiques, and Math: A Pitch Plus One Contest Wrap Up

Hi, it's Lisa here with a wrap-up of the Pitch Plus One Contest that just concluded this weekend.

In case you missed the results, LEAVING PEACESYLVANIA by Olivia Hinebaugh won the Grand Prize of a three-chapter critique from literary agent Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis, and our second place winner, A SERPENT IN THE GARDEN by Rebecca Santelli, won a two-chapter critique from Kent D. Wolf of Lippincott, Massie, McQuilkin, who is also Martina's agent. IF I PROMISE YOU THE SUN by Heather Davis, won a chapter critique from agent Susan Hawk of The Bent Agency, and SEE YOU THEN, JOSHUA JACOBS by Peggy J. Sheridan won a chapter critique from Roseanne Wells of the Jennifer De Chiara Agency

Huge congrats to all who participated! And a major thank you to all our wonderful judges!

As we wind things up, I wanted to take a moment to provide some commentary. I've always wanted to be a part of a contest like this because I've seen how helpful it is to writers participating in things like PitchMadness. Well, now I've had my opportunity and boy was it a wild and wonderful ride! 

We started with almost 100 entries from aspiring writers and had a popular vote to narrow it down to only 50. The next round was judged by 10 respected bloggers, who picked the top 25 using score cards that were eventually passed along as feedback for each participant. This was to make things fair for everyone except me, because I was forced to use math. But it was worth it! 

I have to point out that it was at this time that entrants began emailing, withdrawing entries due to offers of representation! How awesome is that?? We had four in total and we are very excited and proud of all of them!

The top 25 were reviewed using the same score card method by 10 published authors, who narrowed the field (a very difficult task) to only 10. 

The top 10 were then judged by our five amazing agent judges. We were thrilled to have four of them make requests despite only being asked to judge the entries! And three of the four agents requested more than one manuscript. I'm sure those who received requests are even more thrilled! 

Our agents gave thoughtful comments and I tallied the scores. I want to point out that BOTH of the winners (as judged by agents) were past participants in our own First Five Pages Workshop, another tool I'm very proud of creating with Martina. I love that it continues to evolve and help writers find agents and editors for their manuscripts. 

All in all, I'd call this contest a success. How about you? Would you enter again? What would you change? Feedback is always welcome! I for one am looking forward to helping host the next Pitch Plus One Contest later this year. 

And in the meantime, here's some feedback from our two winners themselves!

Rebecca Santelli: 

My name is Rebecca Knickmeyer Santelli. I love writing books and I hate writing pitches. I envision my manuscript crouching outside an agent’s window, tiny hands pressed against the glass, eyes glistening with disappointment as the agent presses delete. So I’m very grateful to the ladies at Adventures in YA Publishing for running their recent pitch contest. This was my first pitch contest. I started with a pitch I liked and by revising every round ended up with a pitch I am pretty d*** proud of. 

Of course, I did not enter the contest for purely educational purposes. I secretly hoped to make the final round and capture the attention of those elusive agents. With that goal in mind, I tested pitches with my online critique partners, local writers’ group, querytracker comrades, and Evil Editor. I had already honed my opening through the First Five Pages Workshop, also hosted by Adventures in YA Publishing, and revised the entire ms based on what I learned. Making the final was thrilling; getting 3 full requests from the agent judges was even better. For those debating whether to enter next time, do it! Send in your best and let the readers and judges make it even better.

Olivia Hinebaugh: 

The first few pages of LEAVING PEACESYLVANIA came to me really suddenly and just in time to enter the First Five Pages Workshop. I really had only written about 15 pages when I sent those first five in. And it was really helpful. I questioned where I started my manuscript and I played around with the tone. Those first five pages evolved quite a bit over the month. And though I ended up keeping my initial starting point, I was definitely geared toward focusing on those crucial first pages after the workshop.

I finished drafting in February and while polishing and revising I started working on pitches. That's when I saw the AYAP Pitch contest and I thought it'd be a great place to test drive some ideas. My favorite and least favorite part of the contest was that it spanned a month. It was really hard to wait week to week, BUT I was super motivated with each subsequent round to not only perfect my pitch but to rock my revisions on the entire manuscript knowing that agents might want to take a look.

Posting all of the pitches entered was really helpful! I entered the pitch plus 250 contest last year with another manuscript and we only got to read the top ten. It's really cool to see what's out there and to get a good sense of what ideas are done a lot and what's truly unique and new. It's also fun to pick out your faves so that when they pop up in other contests or on twitter, you can cheer them on. It was a bit daunting to read and vote for my favorite pitches, but, again, it was helpful, because this is what agents have to do. I was a little torn on whether or not I liked the voting format because I didn't plan on campaigning for my pitch, but others seemed to have no problem doing so.

The community formed around the contest was really great. The comments from the judges were helpful and the so were the comments from other participants. I didn't take all the advice, but if many people said the same thing, obviously they were on to something!

I could not have been happier to have made it into the agent round and I was thrilled when I got two requests for the manuscript. I wasn't entirely sure I was ready to query because initially my goal was to do the contests, refine, and then send, but I sent out some top picks soon after getting the requests. I loved having a polished 150 word pitch, because it basically worked as my query letter. I added in my info and a couple words here and there, but it was ready to go. And I'm happy to say that already I've gotten one more request from the slush pile.

I was over the moon to find out I had won a three chapter critique from Christa Heschke. It's seriously the best prize in a contest ever! I cannot wait to hear what she thinks and to make this book the best it can possibly be. This was absolutely the best place to start my querying journey.

About the Author

Lisa Gail Green writes all types of genre fiction.The first novel in her DJINN series, THE BINDING STONE, is now available! She would most definitely have a werewolf for a pet if she weren't allergic.


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20. Announcing the ALSC Blog Photo Contest!

ALSC Blog Photo Contest

Photos courtesy of ALSC

The ALSC Blog is excited to announce a photo contest! We’re looking for photos that relate to children’s librarianship. Give us your best photo of your library space, program, display, book, craft or something else that you think relates to children’s librarianship. May the best photo win!

Participants must be ALSC members to enter. Anyone, members and non-members, can vote in the final round. Be sure to visit the ALSC Blog to vote for your favorite library photo beginning April 25, 2014.

Prizes include tickets to the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet and $50 gift certificates to Barnes & Noble. Entries must be submitted by 8 am Central Time, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. For rules and entry form, see the ALSC Blog Photo Contest site.

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21. Children's Book Review

The Children's Book Review is 6 years old today.  Check out their Happy Anniversary Win-a-Kindle Contest.

Good luck, everyone! 

Panel 0  PS.  If you win, let me know!

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22. New York City Hosts Twitter Poetry Contest

twitter304In celebration of National Poetry Month, New York City is once again hosting a Twitter poetry contest.

To enter, all poets must include the #NYCPoetweet hashtag in their tweets. All participants must adhere to this rule: “keep it clean and to one tweet.”

According to silive.com, “the best tweets posted before April 8 will be considered for publication in Metro New York on April 24, or ‘Poem in Your Pocket Day.’” First Lady Chirlane McCray, poet and wife to Mayor Bill de Blasio, will serve as one of the judges. Follow this link to learn more details about the contest and view last year’s winning poems.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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23. Three Days Remain to enter the Dorkly Fan Art Contest

Dorkly is a sister site of College Humor that offers a lot of comics and gaming-related humor, but in a positive, not mean spirited, way. They’re ramping up a lot of their offerings including launching a a series of events based around nerd-centric gatherings.

One of the first is the Dorkly Fan Art Expo , where fan art will be displayed at C2E2 April 25-27. The exhibit will be located in the C2E2 Fan Village, and promoted on their site. And there will be other events including:

The Dorkly Fan Art Expo will also feature several daily live illustration sessions–”Morning Drawfee Live” and “Afternoon Drawfee Break Live”–from Dorkly artists, an interactive Fan Art Trivia Challenge for C2E2 attendees, a panel conversation on the evolution and impact of fan art, and a screening of curated fan films, including the premiere of a new Dorkly Original video. Throughout the weekend, Dorkly editors will create C2E2 photo galleries and original editorial content including video interviews with fans, artists, celebrities and more.

The art for the show is being judged by a bunch of top level industry folks…and The Beat! Seriously how do I get to be included in these groups of great people?

Michel Balasis (artist; owner, Pop Chicago Gallery)
Andrew Bridgman (Editor-in-Chief, Dorkly)
Cliff Chiang (artist & comic book illustrator)
Mike Drucker (writer, Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon; comedian)
Heidi MacDonald (Editor-In-Chief, The Beat)
Ozge Samanci (graphic novelist; Assistant Professor at Radio TV Film Department, Northwestern University, focusing on interactive art and comics)
Sam Spratt (illustrator & painter)
David Steinberger (Founder & CEO, comiXology)
Noelle Stevenson (comic artist & illustrator; creator & author, NIMONA)
Caldwell Tanner (Head Illustrator, CollegeHumor)

Once accepted, the art will be displayed and promoted by Dorkly, but artists retain all the rights to it.

The deadline has been extended to Monday, April 7th at 9 am EDT, so you have over the weekend to submit your fan art – details here.

So fire up those pencils and get going — I look forward to seeing what arrives!

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24. Atlantic Records Hosts Instagram Contest For ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ Movie Soundtrack

tfioscoverWant to contribute a few words to music video for The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack?

Author John Green announced on his blog that Atlantic Records is accepting instagram pieces with “a word or phrase of encouragement.” The organizers behind this contest “will pick their favorite entries and include them in the music video.”

To participate, all images must feature the #TFiOSencouragements hashtag in the description. Thus far, more than two dozen people have sent in submissions. A deadline has been set for April 11, 2014.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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25. Why Online Contests Are A Good Thing

Chances are if you have a completed manuscript ready to query you’ve at least heard about one of the many online contests available. Pitchmadness, Pitmas, Sun Vs. Snow, and our own PitchPlus1 are just a few that are out there. Hundreds of people can enter and do. So why should you? 

1. You get some practice. Let’s face it, writing means discipline. Yes, we are self-motivated, but there are those days when other life calls, or maybe the Internet… The point is, if you have a deadline approaching you have added incentive to work. Really work. You know others will see it, and you know the submission window is only open so long, so what better reason to practice writing? 

2. You see what else is out there. Sure you’ve written the best thing since HP? Positive your Dystopian is one of a kind? This let’s you see what else is being shopped right now at least by a handful of others (perspective). The books on the shelves right now were probably purchased around two years ago. What editors are buying presently won’t come out for at least a year and a half or so. What people are pitching now is the future. 

3. You meet people. I asked our Pitch Plus One participants for feedback. One of the biggest common threads was connecting with other writers. It doesn’t surprise me, it’s also the main reason I love doing this! Just look at these quotes: 

“I've met some wonderful writers and I love how supportive the writing community is and how helpful other writers can be. We really mean it when we "pay it forward" and that's awesome.” – Kathleen S. Allen. 

“I've met so many others who are as determined as I am, and it's been a blast getting to know them.” –Rebecca Fields 

4. Feedback. The obvious one, right? The feedback from others is invaluable to writers. A fresh set of eyes, that knows nothing about the manuscript can reveal so much, since that is exactly the situation an agent is going to be in when they see your query! And with these contests you have the opportunity to get feedback not only from other querying writers, but from published authors, bloggers, and even agents and editors! That’s a pretty amazing opportunity. 

5. Empathy. You get it and the other participants get you. But I mean more than that. I mean you now have empathy for the agents and editors who read a never-ending slew of slushpile queries. Does it make you dizzy to think that over 500 people submitted to Pitch Madness? Just imagine that times forever. I loved this post from Eliza West, a contestant from Pitch Plus One, saying much the same thing. We are all in this together, folks. We all do it because we love the craft and we want good books to share with others. And you know what’s awesome about our profession? The more good books, the better!

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