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WWTS Update: Debbie Day

Today, we have another update from one of the Writing With the Stars mentees. Debbie Day was the recipient of a mentorship with Paul Czajak and she wrote a bit about the experience. 


Working with Paul Czajak has been great! I’ve gained a lot from the experience and feel infinitely more prepared to tackle my goals going forward than I ever have before.

First of all, it was so nice to have a mentor who has successfully published a rhyming series. Before this mentorship, I thought I had rhyming down pat. How grateful I am to have been shown the light of rhyming meter! After understanding the importance of consistency and how meter actually works (rather than relying on how good it sounds in my own head), I’ve been able to improve my rhyming manuscripts in ways I didn’t realize it needed. I’ve also been able to write new rhyming stories with the proper form from the get-go. Last February, I even submitted one of them to a writing contest and won a prize, woohoo!

Paul also just explained some basic information about proper form, the publishing process in general, and other do’s and don’ts that I’ve always wondered about. It was so helpful to be able to ask him questions face to face via skype and discuss the answers together.

His critiques on my picture book manuscripts were really insightful as well. I truly appreciated how honest he was, and he gave me some creative ideas on how to improve my stories – ideas I never would have thought of on my own.

I also appreciate that being a part of this mentorship has given me a greater level of motivation to complete new projects and up my writing game. I don’t think I’ve ever written more picture book manuscripts or researched more writing articles in a shorter period of time than I have in the last few months. I needed that motivation!

Because of this mentorship, I was able to send out my manuscripts to 17 different publishers, something I knew I just wasn’t ready for previously. This experience took me to the next level and gave me the confidence I needed to move forward.

I just want to say thank you so much for this generous opportunity Tara! I feel so lucky to have been able to participate. And thank you so much to Paul for sharing his tips, tricks, and especially his valuable time!


  1. Derick Wilder says:

    Glad you had a wonderful experience as a mentee! I met Paul at the NE SCBWI Conference and he was great!

  2. Judy Sobanski says:

    Debbie – So glad you had such a positive experience. I’m sure you’ll use the knowledge you’ve gained throughout your writing career. Best of luck!

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