Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Valentiny Writing Contest Finalists

The finalists for Susanna Hill's Valentiny Contest have been announced! Sadly, my stories were not chosen (See my entries in the last two posts) however, it's been a really fun, insightful experience participating and I look forward to entering more in the future! Susanna hosts a Halloween and Holiday contest every year in addition to Valentine's Day, so there's plenty more chances up ahead to keep trying.  :) Check out the finalists here, and take notes because these are what winning stories looks like: Also, make sure you read them all and vote for your favorite!

Friday, February 10, 2017

2017 Valentiny Contest! #2

Here's my second submission to the 2nd Annual Valentiny Contest hosted by Susanna Hill, found here: Thank you so much for the opportunity!

Ruby’s Valentine’s Day
By Debbie Day

Ruby was a stuffed bear who lived on the top shelf of the holiday aisle. Above her hung a banner with big letters: “VALENTINE’S DAY SALE.”
Every day, Ruby watched busy shoppers rummage through the shelves. “What’s Valentine’s Day all about anyway?” she wondered.
One morning, she was admiring the pink trim around her red fur. “I know!” she gasped. Looking around, she saw red balloons, pink ribbons, red wreaths, and pink roses.
“Valentine’s Day is about red and pink!”
Later, Ruby was inspecting the bag of gumballs attached to her tag.  “Aha!” she squealed. Everywhere she turned there were lollypops, chocolate bars, and jellybeans.
 “Valentine’s Day is about treats!”
The next day, Ruby was studying the silky heart stitched across her tummy. “Of course!” she exclaimed. All around her were heart-shaped boxes, heart lockets, and heart-covered cards.
“Valentine’s Day is about hearts!”
Just then, a young girl came by and began searching the shelves. She stopped when she spotted Ruby.
“You’re perfect.”
The girl bought Ruby and took her home to a small boy who’d been crying.
“Happy Valentine’s Day little brother!”
The boy examined Ruby’s soft red fur, silky heart, and bag of gumballs. He hugged her tight. “Thank you!” he smiled.
“Now I understand,” Ruby whispered.
“Valentine’s Day is about LOVE!”

2017 Valentiny Contest! #1

Here's my first submission to the 2nd Annual Valentiny Contest hosted by Susanna Hill, found here: Thank you so much for the opportunity!

Warton Turtle’s Valentine
By Debbie Day

Warton Turtle woke up very excited. Today was a special day.
He looked out his window. Birds were dropping down chocolate filled balloons.
Beavers were delivering heart-shaped sugar cookies.
Salamanders were handing out sparkly pink cards.
“Someone could be here any moment!”
He quickly got dressed and waited through breakfast.
Then he waited in his rocking chair.
He waited through lunch.
Then he waited all afternoon.
Just before supper, he at last spotted a mail muskrat scuttling up the street.
Warton watched him drop off roses to Francis Frog, and a shiny package to Theodore Snake.
Then he skipped Gwendolen Groundhog’s hole to come scurrying straight up Warton’s walkway.
Warton leapt to the door.
“You must be Oliver Skunk!” said the muskrat holding out a big bouquet of chocolate sunflowers.
“Oh no!” said Warton, disappointed.  “Oliver lives next door.”
“Sorry for the mix-up!”
Warton slowly shut the door and thought for a moment.
Then he had an idea.
First he baked a batch of strawberry tarts. Next, he pulled out his colored paper and glitter glue.
When he was finished, Warton walked to Gwendolen Groundhog’s hole and knocked.
 Gwendolen opened the door in surprise. “Happy Valentine’s Day!” cried Warton, handing her the gifts. 
“Oh thank you Warton! I’ve been waiting for you all day!”

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mentorship lessons and Upcoming Writing Contest

Two things I wanted to share tonight.
  • Number one, I started my picture book mentorship. Hurray! I wanted to pass on some of the tips I've found useful so far:
    •  A great resource for picture book writers who enjoy writing rhyme is It's been great searching through the site and getting a better understanding of meter, metrical feet and all that jazz.
    • Another wonderful resource filled with all-things Kidlit is They've got everything on that site!
    • If you are interested in writing a picture book series, use the same basic formula for each book. Formula example: character wants something really bad, many things stop her from getting it, she becomes discouraged, then she changes her work ethic and she obtains her goal.
    • If you are a rhyming picture book writer, always always always have fresh eyes read your story out-loud to you, so you can hear where it's not flowing. (I think when I do this, I may record it!) A lot of times, we writers can't pick out the choppy parts of our stories since we are reading it with a certain musical element in our own heads - music that no one else can hear but us. It's important to write rhymes that anyone can read smoothly. 
    • Don't be afraid to submit to publishing houses that are accepting open submissions without an agent. In fact, on the purple crayon website I mentioned above, I read that it can be harder as a picture book writer to find an agent than it is to find a publisher! Wow. Other genres may be a different story, but as for picture books, don't be afraid to submit to everyone and anyone that you think would be a good fit whether you have an agent or not! (AFTER, of course, you are positive your work is ready to submit). 
  • Number two, I'm planning to enter this super fun writing contest! (P.S. You should too! It's short and sweet - perfect for writers like me who don't have a lot of free time). If you look on the submission guidelines, applicants are supposed to post their stories on their blogs, so here's a heads up: I will be posting my submissions in just two days! ...And yes I am submitting two...So stay tuned for a couple of Valentines Day stories coming up on February 10th!