Saturday, August 13, 2022

An Update at last

It's been TWO years! Is anybody still here? If so, I want to post an update on my writing/publishing journey up to this point and what's been going down.

The reason it's taken me so long to post an update is because I’ve been really struggling to know how to move forward. 
When I first started this journey, I jumped into self-publishing, which included creating my own illustrations using mixed media/scrapbook paper. After I completed my first 2 books, I attended writing conferences and learned a lot more about the publishing world and got word that using paper designs created by other artists (scrapbook paper) may or may not be a copyright issue. This REALLY put a storm cloud over my enthusiasm. The illustrations for those 2 books took so much time and care to complete. Now I didn’t know what to do with them, or how I would do future projects. I also came to understand how traditional publishers may see an author as less attractive who has previously self-published, unless their books have been wildly successful. I had made a profit on my books, but I hadn’t marketed them extensively and they certainly hadn’t sold thousands of copies, which is what publishers want. 
So, I decided to put those self-published books to the side and push as hard as I could to get traditionally published. I tried that for several years (where I've been all this time) and I got close on several occasions, but each interaction with an industry professional ended with them suddenly dropping me down the line. 
During this time, I also noticed some things about traditional publishing. The stories I felt passionate about telling weren’t in sync with publishing trends/rules and vice versa. I also saw just how political the publishing world (just like everything else) is becoming, and how it’s extending deeply into what authors believe and how they identify politically. Comparing that with self-publishing, I really liked the total creative freedom it offered both for the book and for the ability of the author to be who they are.
I’ve put so much thought into what to do at this point. Continue trying to get traditionally published, or go back to self-publishing?
Right now, I’m working on a book about sisters. I’m doing the illustrations in a new way and I plan to self-publish under my original author (maiden) name Debbie Day. I’m so excited about this project and I’m working hard to do a good job on it and make it as successful as I can. I have many, many other projects I’d also like to self-publish after that. And that’s where my sights are set right now and the path I plan on taking. 
I’m still open to the idea of traditional publishing down the road, I just don’t see a path to it right now. But who knows where these upcoming self-published projects will take me? I don’t know, but I feel good about moving forward in this way, and what I do know is that creating stories is my lifelong love and ambition so I’m going to keep working towards it and keep creating! 
Important: I started an IG account to document the projects I’m currently working on. Please come follow me at:
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and stay tuned for more updates as I continue this process. Let’s not give up on the dreams that fill us with joy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

PB Critique Fest!

Hello fellow writers,

It's been awhile hasn't it? A lot of writerly news has been happening the last few months and I hope to record it at one point, but for now, I want to inform my readers of a a fun writing contest happening from now until the end of the month. It's called #PBCritiqueFest. It's a Twitter festival of sorts where you enter to win a picture book critique by amazing authors, author/illustrators, and agents from the kidlit world. If you have a manuscript or two sitting around your house, just waiting to be published, check out the contest and how to enter right here:

...And while I'm mentioning writing contests, also be sure to take a look at Susanna Hill's famous "Halloweensie"contest coming up in the last week of October at:

Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentiny Writing Contest

Here's my submission to Susanna Hill's annual Valentiny writing contest. 
Thank you for the opportunity!

Shimmer's Early Rainbow
By Debbie
213 words

Shimmer Shamrock was the most adored shape in all the land. 
Just before springtime every year, she awoke on her magical rainbow, just in time to ring in the greatest holiday invented: St. Patrick’s Day.
To celebrate, Shimmer sprinkled sparkly luck dust across admirers dressed in green, waved from clover-speckled parade floats, and jigged with leprechauns. 
When the party ended, she jumped back onto her magical rainbow, and fell asleep until the next Spring.
But this year was different.
This year, Spring arrived five weeks early.
When Shimmer awoke on her magical rainbow, she gasped.
All across the land, she saw…
Bright. Red. EVERYWHERE.
Where was the green glitter? The clovers? The LEPRECHAUNS?
And another thing –
Shimmer was wild with curiosity,
“Welcome to Valentine’s Day, the greatest holiday invented,” said a deep voice.
Shimmer spun around.
“I’m Throbby Heart, known as the most adored shape in all the land.”
Shimmer scrunched her nose at the heart-shaped dude striking a pose before her.
Looking around at the heart cookies, hearty cards, and heart chocolate boxes, it was all too much.
Shimmer was green with jealousy. Until…
“But a shape made of THREE hearts just might be even more adorable,” said Throbby extending a valentine.
Then Shimmer blushed bright red.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Holiday Writing Contest!

Submitting a last-minute entry into Susanna Hill's Holiday Writing Contest. Thanks for the opportunity Susanna!  See all the entries HERE.

By Debbie
250 Words 

It’s the last day of school before Christmas break.
Everyone in my class is talking, laughing…
If only I had someone to build my gingerbread house with.
I don’t really have friends but I’m sort of used to it.
Ms. Wilkinson helps me glue graham crackers together.
“Gingerbread houses have magic,” she says.
If you leave them out, elves may visit.”
I laugh, but I wonder if she’s right.
I work hard on my house.
Licorice and fruit rings for the roof.
Candy canes for a heart door.
After school, I want to show my mom,
but she isn’t home,
so I set it on the porch.
I watch out the window a long time, but nothing happens,
so I go to bed.
In the middle of the night, I wake up and look outside.
My house is gone!
I step out to investigate.
My breath blows a white cloud.
It’s quiet.
Across the street, I see a light in the woods.
I walk closer.
No way. My house! Big enough for ME to fit inside!
I open the heart-shaped candy cane door.
“Welcome!” says a sparkly elf.
She gives me a hug.
“Have some hot chocolate,” says another.
“Is this real?” I ask.
“Just for tonight. But you get one Christmas wish before you go.”
All night, the elves tell me stories.
I laugh, sip cocoa, and think about my wish.
Before I leave, I finally decide:
“I wish I could feel this way always - like I belong.” 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

2019 Halloweensie Contest!!

It's that time of year again! Susanna Leonard Hill's 9th annual Halloweensie contest is upon us and I'm so excited to join the fun.

This year's rules are as follows: Write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words potion, cobweb, and trick.

To see all the entries and read the judging criteria, you can go to Susanna's blog right here. Thank you so much for this fun writing opportunity that I've come to look forward to every year!

And now for my entry. Thanks for reading!

By Debbie - 100 words
Gloona the witch was a ghastly old soul-
more greed than a dragon, more warts than a troll.
On Halloween evening, she mixed up a brew
with lizard tail, bedbugs, and pickled worm goo.
From out of her potion, a ghoulish mist crept.
It oozed through the streets until everyone slept.
Beaming with glee, Gloona flew out unseen.
She swept through the city and stole Halloween.
She took every cobweb, each pumpkin and light,
the scarecrows, the sweets, the decor made of fright,
and inside her cottage, she laughed with conceit.
That is, ‘til she heard, “Ring-a-ding. Trick or treat!”