Friday, January 5, 2018

CWIM Giveaway and a Challenge for the New Year


Happy New Year!
I have the pleasure of kicking off our TeachingAuthors posts for this year with a giveaway of the 2018 edition of the Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market (CWIM), published by Writer's Digest Books and edited by Cris Freese. Read on to learn how you can enter for a chance to win this great resource. (A BIG thank you to Writer's Digest Books for providing our giveaway prize!)


Last fall, I mentioned that I have an article in the 2018 CWIM on "Working with Small Presses." I happen to have a second article in the same issue: an interview with award-winning picture book author Carolyn Crimi. In the interview, Carolyn discusses, among other things, the use of humor and wordplay in her books, her writing process, and her next release, the middle-grade novel Weird Little Robots, which will be published by Candlewick Press in 2019. Weird Little Robots was billed as Carolyn's "debut middle grade" in the Publisher's Weekly announcement of the sale.

Full disclosure: I met Carolyn Crimi when we attended Vermont College together years ago, and I consider her a good friend. When I proposed the interview to the CWIM editor, I pitched it as a piece about a "bestselling picture book author turned novelist." But I knew that Carolyn had previously ghostwritten two novels in R.L.Stine's Ghosts of Fear Street Series, a fact she discusses in the article. Even though Carolyn is working on another novel, she says in the article that she will continue writing picture books, too. She's not afraid to wear lots of different hats: picture book writer, novelist, illustrator, teacher, improv artist, actress, etc. 

One of the things I admire about Carolyn is that she likes challenging herself, which leads to the topic of our first series of posts for the New Year:

How will you challenge yourself as a writer this year?

My self-imposed challenge? To revise the nonfiction picture book biography of mathematician Maria Gaetana Agnesi that I wrote years ago. If you follow our blog, you know that working on the biography led to my young-adult novel Playing by Heart. The novel is based on  the lives of Maria Gaetana and her younger sister, composer Maria Teresa Agnesi. To write Playing by Heart, I had to immerse myself in the life and culture of 18th-century Milan.  I now feel better equipped to again tackle the true story behind my fiction.

As I type this blog post, I'm thinking that rather than revise the biography I originally wrote, perhaps I'll start from scratch and try coming at it from a completely different angle. We shall see. My goal is to bring Maria Gaetana Agnesi's story to life in a way that will connect with young readers--something my earlier drafts didn't accomplish.

Now it's your turn:
What writing challenge will you take on in 2018? I invite you to share your answer in the comments below or on our Facebook page. (If you haven't already "liked" our Facebook page, please do so today!) Your answer can serve to enter you in the CWIM giveaway if you follow the instructions below.

First, though, I'd like to share a bit of good news about Playing by Heart (Vinspire Publishing). Leslie Lindsay, a Goodreads "Top 1% Reviewer," gave the novel a
5-star review! She enjoyed the novel so much, she invited me to do an interview on her blog. You can read the interview and her complete review here. I'm grateful Leslie also posted her review on Goodreads and Amazon. (The heading of her Amazon review reads "Historical YA Fiction Appeals to Readers of ALL Ages.") My publisher wants me to have at least 50 Amazon reviews and the book currently has only 31. So if you've read the book and enjoyed it, I'd appreciate if you'd post your honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, or both.   

By the way, I included this info and other good news in my latest Creativity Newsletter, in which I also discussed being creatively inspired at the movies recently. You can read that issue here. If you enjoy it, I hope you'll become a subscriber in the right sidebar of my website's home page.

And now, for the instructions on how to enter our giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the 2018 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market (CWIM):

You must use the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post to enter the giveaway. You may enter via 1, 2, or all 3 options. 

If you choose option 2, you MUST leave a comment answering the question:
What writing challenge will you take on in 2018? either on this blog post or on our TeachingAuthors Facebook page.

If you have trouble posting your comment, you may submit it via email to: teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com.

Email subscribers: if you received this post via email, you can click on the Rafflecopter link at the end of the message to access the entry form.

Note: if you submit your comments via email or Facebook, YOU MUST STILL ENTER THE DRAWING VIA THE RAFFLECOPTER WIDGET BELOW.
The giveaway ends January 24 and is open to U.S. residents only.

Winners will be notified via email, so watch your inbox!

By the way, congratulations to Jeanne S. on winning a copy of Paul Mosier's Train I Ride in our last giveaway!

Don't forget: today is Poetry Friday. This week's roundup is hosted by Catherine at Reading To The Core.

Finally, remember to always Write with Joy!
Carmela


a Rafflecopter giveaway

34 comments:

Danielle H. said...

My 2018 writing challenge is to submit my work every month this year.

Jean Egolf said...

I am deep in cover design at the moment! I'd say the interior for book 3 of the Molly McBride series is complete. Publisher will be doing a proof print in the next few days, so well see. My goal was to get this one out in Feb. and to write a book for by Christmas. I may really be overdoing it!

Sharon E. Langley said...

My challenge this year will be to complete the research needed and make my picture book both engaging and historically accurate.

Janet Wooldridge said...

I am revising and editing the YA draft I finished last year. I also have a couple other WIPs to finish drafts of. My main challenge is to open myself up more and share my writing. I tend to write alone and hoard my work. I NEED to find a critique partner or irl writing group I can really work with to develop my craft and get feedback.

Cynthia Cotten said...

I plan to push myself out of my comfort zone, which is picture books. For years, I've convinced myself that I'm not a novelist, thanks to some well-meant but unhelpful advice. This fall, as part of a webinar class I took, I began a revision of a MG novel that's been in a drawer for years. I'm going to finish that and send it out. And after that, I may well start another, whose idea has been niggling at me for a long time. This doesn't mean I'm abandoning picture books--far from it. I just plan to stretch some.

Eileen M. said...

Great post, Carmela! Can't wait to see more of your interview with Carolyn - yay! One of my goals this year is to join the blogging world. I've joined the GROG blog, which fellow Illinois picture book author and friend, Patricia Toht, has been involved with for years. I'm looking forward to trying something new and connecting with people who read the blog. Should be a nice way to explore new topics, talk with fellow authors, and hear from readers.

Claire Lordon said...

I plan to stretch my writing and illustrating skills by working on a graphic novel pitch.

Louann Brown said...

I make a list of writing and illustration goals each year to remind myself to stay on track!

kt giorgio said...

Here's to a successful 2018!

Unknown said...
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Shannon Anderson said...

My challenge for this year is to continue to build my platform and to have a successful book launch for "Monster and Dragon Write Poems!"

Michele said...

I want to either find an agent or a publisher for one of my manuscripts by year end.

Tanya Konerman said...

Since this is a big year for me age-wise (ahem, moving out of the 40's shall we say), I also want it to be a big year for me writing-wise. My goal is to at least double my circulating manuscripts in search of an agent/publisher!

Peggy said...

Among my writing challenges for 2018 are to revise two of my WIP manuscripts putting them into verse format, and to spend at least two full days a month reading writing newsletters and online posts. I'm so glad that Carolyn is not giving up writing picture books! Love her humor. :)

Joanna said...

My challenge is to write my 4th YA novel, having plotted it first! And still hoping the one out on submission right now will finally snag an agent!

Amber Hen said...

Thank you for such a great post and a wonderful giveaway! My goal for 2018 is to write the best nonfiction picture book biography that I can! I have enjoyed the influx of nonfic pb bios this past year and would love to write one myself.

McMarshall said...

I too am glad that Carolyn is continuing to write PBs. My challenge this year is to try new things in poetry and illustration.

Laura Clement said...

My writing challenge- to finished editing my YA novel, get it to a second round of readers. My non writing writing challenge- complete a full deep dive on agents and find my top five.

Keri said...

My writing challenge this year is to write one poem every day.

Jarm Del Boccio said...

I plan to work on setting and character descriptions, making them come alive. Thanks for this opportunity!

Verbenabeth said...

I'm giving myself two challenges in 2018:
1.) Submit 2 picture book manuscripts EVERY month, and 2.) Flesh out my outline for the YA novel I've had in the drawer for 3 years.

What a great post and giveaway! Thank you for the opportunity to put my goals in writing and to win the fabulous prize. :)

John Smith said...

"What will your 2018 writing challenge be?" Continuing to think up little bits for all of the books I'm dreaming up....

Margaret Simon said...

My challenge is to finish a poetry collection and then there will be promotion. This strikes fear in me! I hope to turn to my PF community for help. Thanks!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Three challenges for me this year - finish a MG fiction novel, research and query agents, pick up in my cluttered office to make it more inviting.

saputnam said...


I plan on finishing the revisions for Ned, my middle grade novel as well as Anya, my chapter book and begin submitting them to agents and publishers at the end of March. I also plan on submitting 6-8 of my picture books.

I need to begin doing research in earnest on my nonfiction series... am not sure if it will be a picture book series or a chapter book series.

Manju Howard said...

I'm applying for a mentorship. With any luck one the incredible mentors will agree to work with me. Then I'll work hard to revise and submit until an agent likes me. Then I'll revise and submit . . .

Damon Dean said...

Wrote my challenge for the quarter in my planner just now...25 submissions. Hope with 4 quarters to get to 100 this year.

Linda B said...

Hi Carmela, my writing goal this year is to finish a picture book story that I started last year! Thanks for sharing so much about your book. I hope to get to it soon, and will post the reviews! Congrats on your great feedback! And best wishes in your own goal!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thanks for the inspiration, Carmela. I just picked up your book off my pile and can't wait to start it--what great reviews it's already garnered!

My immediate goal is to write my post this week :-)

Mitchell Linda said...

Well. Your POetry Friday post brought me some refreshing tears. I needed to see a feather today. You are it. Thank you. My goal for 2018 is to finish and start submitting a mss. I love this mss. And yet, I sometimes get lost from it and in it. Happy 2018. I love that you radiate health! I need to do that too.

DebB said...

Recently I read an article about giving back to the writing community by writing reviews in places like Goodreads. This year I will read a book a day and write a review. I have a sneaky suspicion I'll get something back.

Carmela Martino said...

Wow! Some of you are taking on some really BIG challenges this year! I wish you all success in completing them.
And DebB, I love your idea of giving to the writing community by sharing reviews. I'm behind in posting several, too. I need to get on that as well.

Michelle Kogan said...

I have a couple writing challenges this year. To submit at least 2 of my finished picture book stories. I would also like to submit more of my poetry. Thanks for this rich post Carmela I look forward to reading both your article and Carolyn's in CWIM! Happy New Year!

Leah said...

My goal this year is to polish up 3 manuscripts I've been working on and submit them.