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Month: June 2017

WWTS Update: Kirsten Bock

Kirsten Bock was the lucky winner of a mentorship with Marcie Colleen in the Writing With the Stars contest. Here are a few words from Kirsten about her experience. 

I was lucky enough to be chosen by the fabulous Marcie Colleen for this mentorship. My kids and I absolutely adore the Super Happy Party Bears – Slide to the left, step to the right, shimmy-shimmy-shake, strike a pose! So, I was super happy to work with Marcie.

Needless to say, my experience with Marcie far exceeded my expectations. She read a giant, teetering pile of my dusty old manuscripts and helped me to decide which ones would be best to pursue. Once we decided on a batch that were the most viable for the market, she helped me to polish them to a gleaming shine. And, although the process was sometimes very painful (version 101 of MILLIE still isn’t working??), it was eye-opening, educational, and extremely necessary. My manuscripts are infinitely better now and I feel confident that they are ready to go out into the world. Well, as confident as I will ever feel 🙂

I am forever in debt to Marcie’s tireless efforts and patience…infinite amounts of patience. I feel like I have not only taken a bear-sized leap forward in my writing career, but I have also gained a brilliant friend. And, of course I can never thank Tara and Becky enough for putting together this opportunity. I can’t imagine how much time and work it must have required to develop this contest, but hopefully my Super Happy Party Bear dance will show them that it was all worth it! – Slide to the left, step to the right, shimmy-shimmy-shake, strike a pose!

Marcie has a new book coming, her PB debut (that I have been waiting FOREVER for it seems) Love, Triangle due out on my birthday, October 3. Can’t wait. Thanks again, Marcie for your time and participation. 

Shark Nate-O Cover

We have an official cover! Shark Nate-O is coming April, 3, 2018.

Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he’s a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem.

Nate can’t swim. Not even like a minnow.

To get his bite back, Nate must channel his inner shark to face his fears so he can learn to swim, join the swim team, and be a real Shark.

Available for pre-order wherever books are sold.

WWTS update: Derick Wilder

Derick Wilder won a mentorship with Pam Calvert in the Writing With the Stars contest. Here are a few words from Derick about his experience.

I’d like to start by thanking Tara and Becky for putting on such an awesome contest! And, of course, there would be no Writing with the STARS without the amazing array of talented authors who generously agreed to donate their time and effort! We owe them a virtual round of applause.

I was fortunate enough to mentor under Pam Calvert. My daughter and I are both big fans of her Princess Peepers series. Pam was a great fit for my work on multiple levels. She not only provided encouraging, insightful feedback on facets such as story arc, humor, characters, pacing, and word choice, but also took the time to dig beneath the surface and comment on each tale’s underlying heart.

In addition, Pam called on her expertise to help with one of my bigger challenges—namely, determining which manuscripts are potentially the most viable in the marketplace. This required her to go above and beyond, as I came up with my “Top 10”, and she diligently critiqued each one. We eventually winnowed the list down to five, prioritizing the stories and identifying their relative strengths.

Finally, Pam shared something that was invaluable (and only available from established authors)—industry insights from her own experiences. These nuggets helped give me a better feel for the editors and agents who might be a good fit.
So, for me, this mentorship has resulted in a set of improved and prioritized manuscripts, as well as a clearer understanding of the industry as a whole. Thus, I feel like I can approach the nerve-wracking querying process with more confidence.

We all realize that writing picture books and getting published is a team effort, and Pam has proven to be a big part of the reason that I hope to, with hard work and the right timing and a touch of good fortune, take that next step …

Write on!

Besides mentoring Derick, Pam has been busy with her own writing. She has another book in the Princess Peepers series launching this fall, Princess Peepers Picnic Party, (illustrated by Ceila Martina) and I am thrilled to share a sneak peek. 

Additionally, we can look forward to another adorable book from Pam, Brianna Bright Ballerina Knight, coming summer 2018.  Thanks again Pam!