Sunday, February 22, 2015

Writing for Children's Magazines Workshop by Margaret Mincks

Yesterday I had the chance to drive to Celebration, Fl and attend this free writing workshop for children's magazines. This was hosted by Florida SCBWI. If you are interested in writing or illustrating for children, then this is a great group to belong to. Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld our Regional Advisor hopes to have more of these free workshops.

So back to the one I attended.  Margaret Mincks is a former editor of the children's magazine, Spider.
She gave us the low down of how an issue was planned and gave us some encouraging news.
Each issue she would try to have a number of poems, folk stories, fairy tales, nonfiction, etc.
One of the examples she gave was if you had written a beautiful poem on dragons and she had already purchased fifteen dragon poems, she would not purchase another one, no matter how wonderful it may be.

The other good thing though, is if it wasn't suited to the Spider magazine, but might fit one of the other magazines in the group, then she would forward it to that editor.

She  stressed following the submission guidelines. Check and double check.
Does your story follow the magazines tone?
Does your story follow the target age group?
Is it within the word count?

Just because you have been rejected don't give up!

Also some other things that were mentioned were the 12 x 12 picture book group
The First Line
Absolute Write

Next Sunday I will be announcing the winners of the books giveaways: Blogging for Writers by Robin Houghton and Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan.
Leave a comment for a chance to win.
Thank you for all the comments!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Book Giveaway- Counting by 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Product Details

The second book giveaway for February is Counting by 7s.
Please leave a comment to be entered in the contest.

Counting by 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan
378 pages $16.99
Dial Books for Young Readers published by the Penguin Group
Copyright 2013

This story is about a girl, Willow Chance, (love that name), who is a lot of STRANGE.
She has next to no friends and is a genius.
Instead of being challenged for her score of 100%, she is seeing a counselor for cheating!

Willow finds it hard to make friends, but when her mom and dad die, all she wants to do is die too.

But at the counselor's office, she meets a girl who is nice to her. She tries be a friend to Mai and learns how to speak Vietnamese. This impresses Mai.

Mai is there when Willow is told of the accident that left her an orphan and no family.

There are not many characters in this story, but the ones in it are well defined.

Willow fights her way back to being alive and finds a family along the way. A STRANGE family, but a good caring family.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Blogging for Writers by Robin Houghton

photo courtesy of Writer's Digest Shop

US $19.99
176 pages
Published by Writer's Digest Books

The nonfiction book give away for February is Blogging for Writer's by Robin Houghton.

The subtitle summarizes the book:  How Authors and Writers Build Successful Blogs.

For new writers that are looking for information on how to build a platform or for published authors that have a blog and are now thinking about creating a website, this book is for you.

The book has twelve chapters, beginning with why blog at all? Robin gives you some things to consider, answers frequently asked questions, and mistakes to avoid.
Pros and cons of platforms are discussed.
Set up instructions for Blogger and Wordpress are included.
After your blog is set up she gives you advice on what makes a good blog. She should know since she has over twenty years in the marketing business!

If you need more encouragement to check this book out, take a look at the titles of the chapters:
1. First Things First
2. Blogging Tools and Tech Basics
3. Step-By-Step Setup
4. Getting the Right Look
5. Content is King!
6. How to Get Noticed
7. Let's Get Social
8. Courting the Media
9. Earning an Income From Your Blog
10. How are You Doing?
11. Troubleshooting
12. Get Blogging!
She also covers other social media in this book and features some successful blogs for you to study.
This would be a good book to keep as a reference, so even though I'm giving this one away, I will be purchasing another one.

In order to be eligible for the book give away, please leave a comment.

Yours truly,

Sunday, February 1, 2015

And the Winners Are....

Today is the day the winners of the January book give aways are announced.

Product Details
The Winner of the book by Nancy J. Cohen, Writing the Cozy Mystery, goes to Rosi!

Product DetailsThe winner of the book Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller is Joyce Lansky.
Please send me the address you would like your book shipped to.
You may send it to

Also for those looking for a contest, Institute of Children's Literature Poetry contest ends February 14,2015. See details here