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Institute of Children's Literature: Live Your Dream. Write Books for Kids.

Q1 2017 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest


Fall 2017 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Summer 2017 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Spring 2017 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Winter 2017 Flash Fiction Contest Winners






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WINTER 2018 FLASH FICTION CONTEST

    WINTER 2018 FLASH FICTION CONTEST WITH GUEST JUDGE LITERARY AGENT JENNIFER CHEN TRAN

Do you need some writing inspiration? Contests are a great way to spark your creativity, and you may even win a prize! Get your best work together and consider entering the WOW! quarterly flash fiction contest with guest judge, literary agent Jennifer Chen Tran with Bradford Literary Agency. Stop by the contest page, download the pdf guidelines, and read all about Jennifer’s preferences. The Winter Contest is open to all genres of fiction between 250 - 750 words. Only 300 stories are accepted, so enter early to ensure your spot in the contest. This season, we've raised the cash prizes! Deadline: February 28, 2018. MORE >>

     

CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST

    Q3 2018 CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST

WOW! is proud to introduce our newest essay contest! Writers have been asking us to host an essay contest for many years, and we’ve finally listened. The mission of this essay contest is to inspire creative nonfiction and provide well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. Your story must be true, but the way you tell it is your chance to get creative. We are open to all styles of essay—from personal essay to lyric essay to hybrid essay, and beyond! Word Count: 200 – 1,000 words. Only 300 stories are accepted, so enter early to ensure your spot in the contest. 1st Place: $500. Deadline: April 30, 2018. MORE >>

     

WRITING WORKSHOPS & ONLINE CLASSES

    WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING CLASSROOM

Whether you are looking to boost your income or work on your craft, we know that education is an important part of a writer’s career. That’s why WOW! handpicks qualified instructors and targeted classes that women writers will benefit from. All of the courses operate online and are taught one-on-one with the instructor. The flexibility of the platform allows students to complete assignments on their own time and work at their own pace in the comfort of their own home. Visit the classroom page and check out our current line up of workshops: fiction writing, writing for children, screenwriting, creativity, memoir, personal essay, grammar, food writing, freelance writing, novel writing, blogging, social networking for authors, independent publishing, branding for authors, poetry writing, copy editing, literary devices, working with a literary agent, writing scenes, book reviewing, travel writing and more. MORE >>

     

FEATURES

  1. HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT MARKETS FOR YOUR IDEAS

Coming up with a great idea isn’t enough. As writers, we also have to find the right publication for it, and this is often easier said than done. And what if that publication turns us down? How do we know that our idea was valid, but it just wasn’t a good fit? How do we come up with alternative publications? Do we give up at some point, or do we keep going? Pinar Tarhan chats with freelancers Olga Mecking, Pauline Campos, Kristy Rice, Diane Shipley, and Debbie Weingarten on these topics and more. MORE >>

     
  2. WRITING ABOUT SENSITIVE TOPICS FOR YOUNG ADULTS: ELLEN HOPKINS, CHERYL RAINFIELD, AND JAY ASHER

For YA authors Ellen Hopkins, Cheryl Rainfield, and Jay Asher, no topic is off limits. Between the three of them, they have addressed subjects like suicide, drug abuse, cutting, prostitution, and sexual abuse. Each of their books has received high acclaim and awards alongside criticism for writing about such controversial topics for young people. Despite the critics, they plan to continue to give teens a voice by writing books about sensitive topics and showing their readers, they are not alone. Kerrie Flanagan interviews these authors about writing for young adults. MORE >>

     
  3. TRACKING YOUR BANGED BUCK: MAKE SURE YOUR PR PAYS OFF

Authors are responsible for the bulk of their marketing, and there are plenty of companies willing to help-for a fee. The choice of where to spend money is important, but so is a return on investment. Devon Ellinton chats with authors K.R. Conway, Jessica Glenn, Arlene Kay, Alyssa Maxwell, and Barbara Ross about which book marketing expenses were worth the money and provided a good return, and which weren’t. She also chats with the ladies at Goddess Fish Promotions and Jessica Glenn, the “boss lady” of MindBuck© Media Book Publicity, about what services they think provide the best return from their extensive experience working with authors. MORE >>

     
  4. LITERARY AGENT TO INDIE AUTHORS: STEPHANIE PHILLIPS OF SBR MEDIA

Last year, I signed with literary agent Stephanie Phillips of SBR Media. She was a new agent, but came highly recommended by a few of my author friends. After having self-published around thirty novels, I knew exactly what I was looking for in an agent. I needed someone who could assist me in more ways than simply securing traditional deals. After one phone conversation with Stephanie, I knew she was the right one for me. She understood the uniqueness of the indie market, but also had insight into traditional publishing as well. Signing with her has been a joy. Not only did she help me obtain my first traditional book deal, but she’s assisted me in my self-published releases; and more than that, she’s become a trusted confidant and friend. That’s why I’m excited to introduce you to her. By Amber Garza. MORE >>

     
  5. DANICA DAVIDSON: FROM REJECTION TO SEVENTEEN BOOK CONTRACTS

Danica Davidson has an amazing success story to share. What you can learn from her are several lessons, including: you never know where an assignment will lead you and persistence most definitely brings success. After you read her personal journey of being rejected for years and now having contracts for seventeen books (yes, seventeen!), we’re sure you’ll be busy figuring out how to pursue your own dreams and create a pathway to writing success. Interview by Margo L. Dill. MORE >>

     
  6. MAKING YOUNG READERS LAUGH

Humor is a tool all writers should have in their toolbox, but especially when writing for children. Making kids laugh while they are reading creates an emotional connection to the work and makes it a memorable experience. That connection with the reader is what all writers crave. And thanks to pioneers in children’s literature like Dr. Suess, writing fun and entertaining books for kids is a valued pursuit for writers. Kerrie Flanagan interviews Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), John Erickson (Hand the Cowdog), Gordon McAlpine (The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe), Ursula Vernon (Dragonbreath), Lisa Doan (The Berenson Schemes), Devvie Dadey (Adventures of the Bailey School Kids), and literary agent Kelley Sonnack with the Andrea Brown Agency about writing humor for children. MORE >>

     
  7. HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL INTERNATIONAL FREELANCE WRITER & HOW FIVE INTERNATIONAL WRITERS GOT THEIR FIRST BREAK

Being an international writer can be tricky. Freelancer problems like getting paid on time, proving your writing capabilities, meeting clients on a mutually optimal time, and keeping up with trends become a bit more problematic when you are in a different country or even on a different continent than your clients. But this post isn’t about the challenges. It’s about how to become a successful international writer via tips from writers who have overcome these issues and got that seemingly elusive first break. Pinar Tarhan (Turkey) shares the story of landing her first three gigs. She chats with international freelancers Olga Mecking (The Netherlands), Bernadette Geyer (Germany), Gila Green (Israel), and Suchi Rudra (digital nomad) about how they got their first break. She also shares her personal go-to list of online resources for freelance writers. MORE >>

     
  8. YOUR WRITING NICHE IS MORE THAN A TOPIC

I’m sure you’ve read the conventional wisdom on choosing a niche: combine your passion and knowledge, keep it narrow but not too narrow, and work until you’re seen as an expert in your field. This works, sure, but for us writers it’s only half of what your niche could be. Depending on how you want to spend your work hours, there’s a whole other interpretation of the word niche because your niche is more than a topic. It can also be a specialty, a certain format or type of writing. Kristy Rice shares twenty eight specialty niches that could sustain a lucrative writing career. MORE >>

     
  9. RAISE YOUR INCOME WRITING ABOUT AGRICULTURE

Even if you’ve never mucked out a stall in your life (but especially if you have!), you can tap the profitable agricultural trade periodicals. Here's how. By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant. MORE >>

     
  10. 5 STEPS TO BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE BUSINESS

Today, the internet offers everyone “opportunity equality.” Okay, maybe not exactly, but it does even the playing field quite a bit. As a home or small business owner, while you may not have the same marketing budget or resources as a bigger company, you do have the ability to use low cost and even free online marketing strategies to create visibility, draw traffic (people) to your website, and convert visitors into customers or clients. Here are five steps to get you on the path of success. By Karen Cioffi. MORE >>

     
  11. FALL 2017 FLASH FICTION WINNERS

The results are in! After careful deliberation our honorable guest judge, literary agent Stephanie Hansen with Metamorphosis Literary Agency, has made her final decisions. Read the winning stories of the 750 words or less Fall 2017 Flash Fiction Competition. MORE >>

     
  12. Q1 2017 CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS

Check out the results of our very first essay contest! Read the winning essays of the 1,000 words or less Q1 2017 Essay Competition. MORE >>


COLUMN: THE SUBMISSION

  6. THE SUBMISSION: CARING ABOUT COVER LETTERS

The following column explores the different ways one can write a cover letter when submitting a piece of writing to a journal or magazine for publication. This column looks at a number of styles and tones an author may consider when writing a cover letter, and how those elements could be tinkered with according to the actual piece that is being submitted and where. It also points out the standard aspects of a cover letter to include. This column is 1330 words and is not under consideration elsewhere. I have specifically written it for you. By Chelsey Clammer. MORE >>

     
  7. THE SUBMISSION: HOW TO HOLD YOUR HORSES

Patience. Writers don’t just need it, but we need the unabridged herculean edition of it. Because after we submit a piece for publication, it truly feels like we’re just waiting for the waiting to end. There are times that this waiting can feel overwhelming. It can distract us and make us feel obsessed. It can make it hard to concentrate on other pieces of writing. But wait we must because there is not one thing about the writing process we can rush. By Chelsey Clammer. MORE >>

     
  8. BREATHE AND PROCEED: POET TAMMY ROBACKER ON HOW TO SUBMIT THE HARD STUFF

Submitting is an act of vulnerability: to take what you’ve written and then subject it to being assessed by someone else. Someone you don’t know. Whether you’re an essayist putting your darkest moments on the page or a novelist who creates a potentially risky plot, submitting the words you birthed is a brave act. Tammy Robacker, an award-winning poet and author of the recently released Villain Songs, knows all about this. Her poems grapple with and explore complex topics, such as family, loss, grief, the body, women’s issues, and many other kinds of difficult emotional subject matter. In the following interview, Robacker provides a number of helpful suggestions for all writers who are confronting the submission process with their pages brimming with hard subjects. MORE >>

     
  9. WRITING CONTESTS: YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE

Statistics tells you not to do this. Don’t bother submitting to a writing contest because you aren’t going to win. The chances of winning the contest are so small that I actually wrote out the exact percentage here: ___ %, but you can’t see what number I typed out because it’s just that small. Who in their right mind would be crazy enough to even think about pursuing a literary victory with such microscopic odds in their favor? Well, us, of course. Writers. We’re all kinds of crazy. MORE >>

     
  10. THEM FIGHTIN’ WORDS

What else are we to do with our words but ready them to face the world? By fighting like a writer, we gain confidence and hope. There will be a momentary bit of time in which you truly believe that your words are readying to stand up for themselves. As you let them go, as you submit them for publication, you’ll see that what you are doing is advocating for their success—for your success as a writer who knows how to just go for it. So go for it. Take action. Fight like a writer and give everything you have to get your words heard. MORE >>

     
  11. SUBMISSIONS FLOWCHART

Are you ready to get published? Answer the yes or no questions that walk you from a final draft to submitting your work. The links go to resources, like places to find literary journals taking submissions or Chelsey’s previous columns for advice. See if you can spot the intentional typo. This spreadsheet rocks! MORE >>

     
  12. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN EXPECTING TO WORK WITH AN EDITOR

As writers, we might not know what it’s like to be an editor. Sure, we edit our own work, but there is more that an editor does than just fix sloppy sentences and question your metaphors. Understanding the editor’s experience of the submission-to-publication journey will help you to have frustration-free interactions with editors. MORE >>

     
  13. CHOICES, CHOICES

Chelsey Clammer answers two important questions: 1) What should I submit? and 2) Where should I submit it? She also examines publishing choices and other choices you have when it comes to writing and submitting. MORE >>

CLASSIFIEDS

   

Learn How to Grow Your Writing Income!

Writers: Ready to stop starving? We can help. The Freelance Writers Den is a supportive place where freelance writers learn how to grow their income—fast.

The Den supports your writing with live calls and webinars, e-courses and bootcamps, forums, private messages, and our popular Junk-Free Job Board.

Join the Freelance Writers Den


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An Exciting New Kid’s Book!

In the exciting new book by J.D. Havis entitled Itty Bitty and Penny the Purple Penguin: The Magic Chair, join Itty Bitty and her best friend Penny as they learn together about the new magical object inside their home. This book is great for the family and for teaching your child about “the magic chair”. It’s a book geared towards toddlers.

This book is available in e-book format and paperback on Amazon.com. If you enjoy this book, look for more books by J.D. Havis on her website www.jdhavis.com. This book is also available in Spanish.


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How to Find the Right Markets for Your Ideas
Writing Humor for Children: Making Young Readers Laugh
5 Steps to Building a Successful Online Business
How Five International Freelance Writers Got Their First Break
Raise Your Income Writing About Agricutlure
Writing About Sensitive Topics for Young Adults: Interviews with YA Authors Ellen Hopkins, Cheryl Rainfield, and Jay Asher
How to Make Sure Your Book PR Pays Off
Literary Agent to Indie Authors: Stephanie Phillips of SBR Media
Danica Davidson: From Rejection to 17 Book Contracts
Your Writing 
niche is More Than a Topic
Publishing Choices
What to Expect When Expecting to Work with an Editor
Fight Like a Writer
Writing Contests
How to Submit the Hard Stuff
How to Hold Your Horses
Caring About Cover Letters (because nothing says
Telling the Story in Captions
Making Short Work of Your Digital Platform
How to Write and Publish Listicles
Your Book's Tagline: Make It Snappy
 
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