WOULD YOU READ IT?
THE ALLEY CAT CHRONICLES – MR BOOTS (book 1) CB manuscript that is in revisions was features on kidlit author Susanna Hill’s blog! Visit her site to see the post and explore all the amazing content she offers.
January 26, 2022
Nicole’s most recent commissioned piece, 30 x 40″ acrylic on canvas.
Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year. Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2021.
I want to add that success is a relative concept. As a newbie in the industry I need to remember that this is what I have achieved in less than 10 months. Am I where I would love to be? No, but I accept that right now this is where I need to be in my writing journey. These are some highlights:
- Launched a website with my best friend and artist Nicole to present our collaborative work as well as our own creations.
- We queried our collaboration as an easy reader but are now doing a revision into an early graphic novel.
- I started and completed an 11 chapter kidlit book – that I adore!
- I am heading into 2022 with 5 polished picture book manuscripts – ready to query
- I participated in four PB writing contests (won one and got an HM in another)
- I participated in Picture Book Summit
- I listened to Julie Hedlund’s mini-PB sessions
- I organized and attended a PB writing workshop with Alison McGhee
- I joined SCBWI
- When lockdown ended I took out 10-20 PB published in 2020-2021 per week from the library
- Joined Twitter
- I participated in pitch fests for the first time (got no likes, but kept on writing)
- I had professional critiques of my work (curled up in a fetal position for 12 hours, then kept on writing)
- I attended pitch writing workshops
- I applied for a mentorship (got rejected and still kept writing)
- I queried (and got rejected but kept writing)
- I listened SCBWI podcasts
- I posted my contest submissions publicly
- Told a few people about my writing (huge for me)
- I am here a year later and I am STILL writing
Isn’t this icing on the cake?! An honorable mention! If you would like to read all the honourable mention stories please visit: https://motherhoodblockparty.net/birthday-birthday-honorable-mentions/
11th Annual Holiday Writing Contest
As I continue my journey of critique, rewrite, revise with manuscripts that I will query in the new year, you will notice I have kept my writing chops fresh with writing contests. So here is likely my last contents for 2021. Another fun challenge from Suzanna Hill. Parameters include: kidlilt (readers under 12 years of age, max. 250 words, no art notes, holiday focused and must include a contest). One never knows what the judges are seeking, but my little story entertains me – I hope it entertains you too!
THE STAR – this MS has been removed!
Another Writing Contest!
As I continue to edit and rewrite my current manuscripts, I feel it is important to keep my writing juices flowing by writing fresh material. These contests give kidlit writers tight parameters and it challenges us to apply the core concepts of picture book writing with limited word count and theme.
The most recent contest left the theme wide open but required the writer to complete a 100 word story, for a child under the age of 12 using two words from a list. My two words are slurp and whoosh. Hope you enjoy.
By Reed Hilton-Eddy (99 words)
The toilet monster eats everything – it JUST slurped Lucy’s goldfish.
Mom said there is no such thing, but Lucy knew better.
When Lucy needed to pee, she
Leaped with her legs,
Skipped and sang,
Danced a disco
– but eventually, she had to go!
Lucy took a deep breath and flushed.
But before the monster slurped,
she flushed again,
The monster went BUUUUUURP
The toilet went WHOOSH, and the water rose
Tada! Her fish was back!
Lucy’s mom was mad.
Lucy’s mom must be working with the toilet monster.
November 20, 2021
Just found out my story submission for the Halloweenie 2021 was one of 13 manuscripts selected out of over 300 submissions as a FINALIST!
November 9, 2021
One of the joys of kidlit writing is the opportunity to participate in writing challenges. They are called contests and I suppose they are, but really I see them as opportunities to apply the components of our craft in ways outside the norm. This event, run by Susanna Hill it in its 11th year!. The challenge – write a story or poem with a target reader under the age of 12, with a main character, story arc using “glow-in-the-dark”, “goosebumps” and “goodies.” Oh, since it is Halloween contest, it needs to take place on Halloween night. Easy? Ok maybe, did I mention it needs to be 100 words or less? Ah ha… there is the challenge. And here is my result!
My Last Trick-or-Treat
It was the biggest house, once showy now spooky and scary with oodles of stairs that led to darkness; but this was my last Halloween.
Leaves crunched and the wind cried.
Alone except for goodies bumping in my bag.
Ahead, a glow-in-the-dark hand on a curtain at the window. A ghost? A ghoul? Goosebumps form.
Shadows surround me.
At the top a door – large and looming.
A hand materializes from the darkness behind the door.
I look in my bag.
I am filled with horror.
Looking back at me, one small box of … RAISINS!
October 29, 2021
Picture Book Critique Fest 2021
I have been in the dance world and the theatre world – it’s a rough place. In addition to the criticism, long hours, low pay – your colleagues are not really your support system. Since I have entered the kidlit world I am humbled and uplifted on how writers and illustrators (agents and editors too) work hard to lift each other up. We see space on the book shelf for each book. It is not competition, it is about group growth and it energizes me.
Brian Gehrlein has organized an amazing opportunity for kidlit writers and author-illustrators to connect with authors, author-illustrators, and agents who will provide critiques! This is gold in our industry. The sharing and passing of knowledge. It is important to note, that these critiques are voluntary from people who are busy with their own projects or representing completed projects, Like all arts, it is all consuming; but they see the value in passing the torch.
Over the next two weeks, I will have an opportunity to explore the published works of these amazing, accomplished volunteers and hopefully encourage others to do the same. One day I aspire to have an opportunity to be in their shoes – accomplished enough to give back to this creative industry.
To learn more about this helpful event and Brian’s upcoming debut book visit: https://www.pbspotlight.com/
October 17, 2021
Nicole’s latest acrylic on Canvas! Visit her art page to see more of her work.
October 5, 2021
Please enjoy my submission for this fun writing contest! Inspired by the picture, no more than 200 words.
“Any mail for you, Chloe?” called out Mr. Granger as he shuffled by, with his pug TuTu.
“Nope … again,” Chloe said plodding up the driveway.
Every day, hop off the bus. Every day, scurry to the mailbox. Every day -SQUEAK, RUSTLE, SIGH, BANG. Every day, the same answer to Mr. Granger – nothing.
The leaves were changing, but the mailbox stayed the same.
“Any mail today, Chloe?” called out Mr. Granger.
“YES!” she squealed as she skipped home.
The envelope displayed HER name and a real stamp.
Mail addressed to her – declaration of her importance.
But from whom? It was mystery mail.
Inside: a pumpkin, a hat, a purple ruffled collar and a stick.
Carefully she constructed the contents.
At dinner, it held a place of honour.
At night, it lay ceremoniously.
At school, it met intrigue.
Hop off the bus. Scurry to the mailbox. Plunge the pumpkin into the ground.
Stepping back, gazing with glee.
“What have you got there, Chloe?” Mr. Granger called out.
“My mystery mail!” she exclaimed.
Mr. Granger smiled and shuffled by, with a twinkle in his eye.
October 1, 2021
Picture Book Summit – 2021
This evening Reed had the great pleasure of enjoying the kick-off Summit event for the founders. First they shared how the same topic can be published at the same time because each author will have a different spin. Second, they showed how one author leaves her mark on all her work, despite the topic through her unique rhythm and word choice. Looking forward to the full event this weekend.
September 28, 2021
Reed had the great pleasure of participating in an intimate 4-hour PB workshop with Alison McGhee today. It was informative, inspiring and the creative juices are flowing! Stay tuned for exciting works developed this fall.
August 28, 2021
Nicole is planning to enjoy an opportunity to paint and sketch as she explores nature with her family. Reed will continue to participate in FirstDraftFridays, PB Critique Crew and PB seminars and workshops. Hope everyone enjoys their summer.
June 30, 2021
We have a new manuscript ready for review. Visit THOSE BOOTS, located under STORIES to learn more!
June 11, 2021
PB Twitter Pitch
We will be pitching THE ADVENTURES OF SUPER SISTER AND DIAPER DIVA-LICK next week – watch for us on twitter!
June 9, 2021
PB Writing Challenges
Reed has been participating in PB writing challenges. Visit our “Stories” Page for new stories ready for review.
May 20, 2021
Check out our latest page – “Nicole’s Art” features highlights of her work in various mediums. It will be updated regularly so check back to see the latest additions.
April 3, 2021
We are live!
First version of the site launched today. We really enjoyed collaborating on the layout, colours and font. All these steps towards the end goal of publication.
March 22, 2021
After over a year of multiple drafts, thumbnails, revisions, edit templates, industry research, doubt, text messages, phone calls, online meetings… we are almost there! This week we are taking that leap; we are sending out query letters with our first dummy – Lick – we hope they love it as much as we do.
March 13, 2021
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