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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! 


  1. David McMullin says:

    I’m so glad this was a terrific experience, Derick. Sounds like you are set up for success. Good luck with your books. Pam sounds like a wonderful, generous mentor.

    • Derick Wilder says:

      Thanks, David. It was both educational and a lot of fun. Also, I am friends with Marcie and am sure you’ll LOVE working with her! Best of luck … let us know how it goes.

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