I just won a scholarship to the Craft and Business of Writing Children's Picture Books class through the Children's Book Academy. I've been happy dancing since I heard the great news! The class is taught by Random House editor Kelly Delaney and Mira Reisberg, and includes 25+ guest experts, worksheets and templates, and critiquing webinars. Plus, there will be Golden Ticket opportunities to submit directly to an agent or editor and bypass the slush pile or closed house submission policy. I can't wait to start this class at the end of the month!
I shared my news on Facebook and loved celebrating with everyone—then realized that it would be great to keep the celebration going by paying my good luck forward and helping someone else. I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and decided to give away a free picture book critique (or up to 5 pages of an MG or YA). When I asked Mira, she loved the idea, and then generously offered to give away a picture book critique. So click on the Rafflecopter widget below and enter for your chance to win a critique with Mira or me.
If you attend Mira’s free webinar on Friday night, June 19, at 8:30 pm EST, you’ll have the chance to win a picture book critique with Random House editor Kelly Delaney. I’m definitely going to be there. It’s called: Finding Your Writer's Voice, Finding Your Characters' Voices. It’ll help you learn what a writer’s voice is and how to develop yours and see how characters' voices are a part of your writer's voice. Plus, you’ll have the chance to connect with a Random House editor who is actively looking to acquire great picture books.
This scholarship came at the perfect time for me. I'm usually a very prolific writer (I actually wrote the first draft of one of my novels in 11 days during NaNoWriMo and wrote the first draft of nine picture books during the seven days of NaPiBoWriWee one year)...but because of health issues with my daughters, I haven't been as productive as usual. I also tend to give my novels more attention and my picture books have been begging me to do something like this for a while. I've had some interest in my picture books, but something always seems to hold them back from getting that magical yes. I'm hopeful that this awesome interactive online class will help me make my picture books sparkle enough to dazzle editors, agents, and future readers.
I've seen so many raves about this class. Some online friends have said that it's 'life-changing, the equivalent of 20 conferences, and better than complete MFA programs'. Thank you so much for giving me a scholarship, Mira! I don't often talk about my disability, but I've had about 70% hearing loss in both ears since I was 35 and have had to wear hearing aids since then. I'd love the chance to make all of my picture books shine, and would especially love to get my PB, Sound Detective, published one day. I’ll never forget what it felt like to realize how bad my hearing had gotten, and that I’d have to wear hearing aids for the rest of my life. I was horrified at first, but quickly changed my mind when I realized all the amazing sounds I had been missing, and how much easier it is to interact with people with my hearing aids in. I was surprised to see that there aren’t many books for children that have a character with hearing loss, and I’d love to use my experience to help children going through something similar—and also help raise more awareness in others.
Good luck to everyone entering for a free critique! I’ll announce the winners on Friday. LiveJournal often doesn't show the Rafflecopter widget, so if you don't see it below, click here to enter!
**Thank you all for entering. Rafflecopter has selected the winners, and they are:
A picture book critique (or 5 pages of an MG/YA) from Mindy Alyse Weiss:
Jill Dana Siegel
A picture book critique from Mira Reisberg:
Huge congrats to the winners! Mira and I will be in touch with you soon. :)
Don’t forget about the #PBPitch Twitter party on Wednesday, June 24th. It’s a great opportunity to pitch your completed and polished picture books online to agents and editors. Definitely check out their website—in addition to info about the fun pitch contest, they have a list of 100+ agents who rep picture books!