When I started this blog way back in 2012, I planned to publish two posts per week, on Tue. and Wed. – but if you’ve been following for the past year or so, you know that Poetry Friday is often the only day of the week I get to post these days.
You see, I’ve been kinda busy…
For one thing, I’ve signed four – yes, 4! – book contracts this year already, and one of those contracts was a 3-book deal with the same publisher! This brings me to a total of SEVEN more books on the way between 2020 – 2022. (And the year isn’t even half over yet!) I’m obviously over the moon at this news, but I’m rather proud of the fact that I’ve been able to accomplish everything I’ve done so far without an agent.
Not for want of trying, certainly…I’ve been submitting to agents as well as editors for years! But for me, publishing has been much, MUCH easier than landing an agent. Who knows – with nine books on my resume and nearly 30 children’s poems published in anthologies, journals, and magazines, perhaps an agent will decide to take a chance on me one these days!
Speaking of poetry…
This past Saturday, I was officially presented with the MacGregor Poetry Prize, coordinated by the Derry Public Library and Robert Frost Farm board of trustees. Derry, New Hampshire Poet Laureate Robert Crawford and finalists Stacy Milbouer and Melissa Juchniewicz joined me at the Coffee Factory in Derry for the award presentation and poetry reading.
My poem, “Stumpfield Pond, 1975” was chosen as the winning poem from over 100 entries in the MacGregor Poetry Contest, now in its second year. In addition to a $250 cash prize, I will get to see my poem displayed publicly at the library. Over the years in radio, I’ve interviewed Charlie Daniels, took Alice Cooper to the movies, and hung out on Def Leppard’s drummer’s tour bus…but nothing is quite like having a poem recognized by the Frost Farm.
Oh, and about that podcast…
I had an opportunity to sit down with the folks at The Writer’s Block Podcast to chat about children’s books, poetry, and inspiration, and you can hear the entire conversation HERE! Of all the episodes they have recorded, from novel writing to character development to working with editors, none up until this point have focused on writing for children, so I’m honored that they asked me to join them. I hope you’ll tune in – and please let them know what you thought! You can also find them on Facebook to keep abreast of what they have planned for future episodes, and check out the United Podcast Network, where you can watch the podcasts on video.
By the way…the newest children’s poetry anthology I’m part of, I Am Someone Else, comes out July 2 from Charlesbridge – but you can pre-order NOW at nearly 30% off the retail price! I couldn’t believe it when I found out…so if thinking about picking up a copy, now’s the time to do it!
Thank you, as always, for coming along on this ride – I wouldn’t be able to continue doing what I’m doing with your support. Lots of people tell me how lucky I am to have gotten to this point having only been in the children’s literature field since 2009 or so then. While I do consider myself fortunate, I explain that luck has nothing to do with it; working hard, writing, revising, and submitting have everything to do with it.
It’s Jane Yolen’s “BIC Rule:” Butt In Chair. Do the work! I always say that whatever I lack in talent I try to make up for in hustle, just like when I’m playing soccer. I may not be the most phenomenal player on the field, but I’m running, passing, and going after the ball with ferocity and tenacity. Same thing applies to writing – and pretty much any other goal one hopes to achieve. Hang in there, keep getting better, and don’t give up!
Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!
Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH a note requesting the signature and to whom I should make it out to. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)
- NY Public Library’s “100 Best Book for Kids 2017” AND “Staff Pick!”
- KIRKUS Starred review!
- Kansas NEA Reading Circle Recommended Books!
- “Best Reads of 2017,” Unleashing Readers
- Amazon “Best Books of the Month,” Sept. 2017
- Positive reviews from Horn Book, School Library Connection, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and Shelf-Awareness
Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!