If you’re looking for a bright, colourful and very funny picture book for your kids, “Delia’s Perfectly Pink Earmuffs” is for you! I keep a copy in my bag and every time I go to work I read it to the class I’m teaching and they love it!
Thanks to Pricelessjoy for hosting FFfAW and for this week’s picture prompt:
Here’s my story:
Do You Remember?
Jenny straddled her favourite chestnut, Anna, her feet not quite reaching the stirrups. She leaned forward and nuzzled into her soft mane.
“Do you remember the two of us galloping through the fields of daisies with the wind dancing at your hooves? And how you soared over the hay bales so gracefully, with no trouble at all?” Jenny whispered, patting Anna’s strong neck and tickling her ears.
“Remember when we won our first blue ribbon for dressage at the show? I was so proud of you.”
Jenny always thought she’d have a lifetime of hopes and dreams to share with Anna.
But after the accident, everything changed.
Tears began to trickle down Jenny’s cheeks and she quickly brushed them away.
“Daddy,” she called, “I’m ready to go now.”
Mick gently lifted his daughter down from the horse and sat her back in her wheelchair.
Click here for more flash fiction. Enjoy the stories!
Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers and to Raina Ng for the picture prompt.
Here’s my 100 word story –
Sarah wiped her finger across the benchtop and was pleased to see not a speck of dust.
Anxiously, she opened the top drawer and was horrified to find that knives were in the fork compartment. She quickly rectified the situation, then took one last look around. Everything was spotless, just as it should be.
Sarah locked the front door, then jumped across the gravel to her car. Once inside she tried to relax, but as she turned the key, her heart raced and the voices in the back of her mind began to query…
“Did you turn the oven off?”
Click here for more flash fiction.
Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers and Sonya for this week’s picture prompt. 🙂 I missed last week due to work but here’s this week’s story:
The frosty air nips at my cheeks and fingertips.
I rub my hands together,
Concerned that I’m not wearing gloves.
My jacket is missing too.
I stop to recollect and am paralysed with fear,
Frozen in time,
Standing barefoot on the bitter cold sidewalk,
Not knowing where I’ve been or where I’m going.
Confused, I reach out and open the door.
The shopkeeper acknowledges me with a nod.
“Forget something?” he asks.
Brown leather shoes stare back at me from the counter.
A flicker of recognition, then nothing.
My failing mind eludes me.
Memory like a goldfish.
Click here for more flash fiction.
Susanna Hill is a talented author who writes a fantastic blog for writers and illustrations. I have participated in her “Would you Read it Wednesdays” and “Perfect Picture Book Friday” and throughout the year she holds writing competitions for children’s stories. A recent post I read highlighted a competition she is holding for illustrators so I thought I’d share it with you as her competitions are a lot of fun and there are always great prizes.
Here’s a little bit about the competition:
Above all things, these illustrations are meant to evoke a story, so it is crucial that they present at least one character, a setting, and ideally hint at/suggest some kind of plot or conflict idea.
To read the rest of Susanna’s post click here.
If you do enter, let me know as I’d love to see your masterpieces.
Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers. Here’s the interesting (and a little bit freaky) photo prompt for this week:
Here’s my story:
The waiters buzzed around the art gallery serving champagne and canapes. Emma took a glass of bubbly from the tray and continued examining the exquisite paintings. Though masterpieces, she could still not comprehend how they sold for millions of dollars.
A strong force pulled Emma toward the back of the room. The unique reptile-like sculpture fascinated her, with its intricate patterns and twisty spiny tail. Emma watched the sculpture’s psychedelic swirling eyes with amazement, hypnotised by its power.
Suddenly her hand shot into the air.
“Five million dollars,” she heard herself say.
The hammer jolted her awake. “Sold!”
Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Here is this week’s picture:
The New Priest in Town
As the congregation took their seats, all eyes were fixed on Father Joshua, the new priest, who stood centre-stage, cloaked in black. He was tall and lean, with a fair complexion and sullen expression.
Father Joshua took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet aromas within the church.
“He’ll be a barrel of laughs,” whispered Jilly to her mother.
“Let’s not make any assumptions until we’ve met the man,” she replied.
Father Joshua squinted and moved his podium out of the sunlight. He tapped the microphone and cleared his throat.
“Gurda, Lorda, Thumba,” he chanted, louder and louder. Suddenly, he thrust his hands to the heavens. An icy gust of wind tore through the church, slamming windows and doors.
Unease rippled among the churchgoers as they nervously looked about.
Father Joshua’s baby blue eyes became deep wells of blood-red ink. He smirked, revealing two large razor-sharp incisors.
“Today,” said Father Joshua, “I feast.”
Jilly screamed and reached for her crucifix.
“Fools!” laughed Father Joshua, excited by their bewilderment. “You invited me in!”
Last week was quite hectic so I’m running a bit late with my flash fiction! Thanks to Priceless Joy at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers for hosting and here’s the beautiful picture that inspired my story:
Thanks Dawn for the lovely photo!
Life of the Party
Nancy was in her element, fluttering like a butterfly from guest to guest, chatting light-heartedly while serving canapes and wine. The life of the party.
Nancy and Jack were proud of the beautifully manicured grounds surrounding their extensive estate and were always keen to host a celebration, no matter what the occasion. Nancy would spend many hours sewing matching chair covers and tablecloths and designing exquisite centre-pieces to suit each party’s theme.
In the weeks leading up to their first wedding anniversary Jack built Nancy a magnificent gazebo among the pine trees. Over the years, as each party concluded, Nancy would stand centre-stage, captivating her audience with sweet melodies and enchanting poems.
As dusk fell, on the evening of Nancy’s funeral, Jack gently scattered her ashes under the rose bushes surrounding the gazebo. She was right at home, forever enshrined as the life of the party.
Last week’s activities were all about finding the best agent or publisher that suits your manuscript, reading about what publishers want and writing a query letter.
One publisher said that if they liked the sound of the story or the author’s tone, they were prepared to overlook any missing information in the query letter. So make sure you describe your story well!!
I thought query letters were supposed to be formal and serious but a publisher commented that many or the letters they receive sound the same and have a flat tone, so they prefer an author to show a bit of personality and say, “I love…” or “I’m passionate about…”. Or something else that is a little bit out there or inspiring that will encourage them to want to read what you’ve written.
Therefore… don’t be too rigid in writing your letters. Interesting…
What they are looking for:
* Describe the story
* Tell them why they should read it
* Tell them a bit about yourself
* Write the letter as if you’re writing to someone you want to start a relationship with (if the publisher/agent reads a query letter that stirs some sort of emotion in them, then they are more likely to want to work with you and it doesn’t matter so much if your novel isn’t “perfect”.)
After reading all the information it was time to write my query letter and send it in to my tutor to receive feedback.
Here is my query letter:
New Frontier Publishing (I haven’t got an address as they only accept email submissions)
To Whom It May Concern,
Please find enclosed a synopsis and three chapters of my fantasy chapter book for children titled, “The Curse of the Shattered Sceptre”, which is approximately 10 000 words in length.
“The Curse of the Shattered Sceptre” is an action-packed story of friendship, adventure and magic.
When Oliver Bartholomew unleashes a torrent of curses from an ancient book of spells, he and his book club buddies must use their wits and imagination to unravel a series of twisted clues. In a race against time, the five friends must uncover the missing pieces of glass and mend the book’s shattered sceptre. Only then, will the balance of nature be restored.
With some advice from a zany fortune teller, Ollie and his friends set off on their search, unaware that they are being followed. To succeed in their quest, the boys must battle the conniving headless horseman and anything else that stands in their way. If they fail….
….they will be cursed forever!
The target audience for this chapter book is most likely to be children aged 8-11 years old who enjoy the work of authors such as Kate Forsyth and George Ivanoff.
I am a Brisbane-based writer of children’s picture books and chapter books. My previous publishing credits include short stories in Short and Twisted (Celapene Press), children’s stories on the Kids’ Book-Review website, poems in Positive Words Magazine and a children’s story in The School Magazine (Countdown). A full list of my publications is attached.
I undertook the writing of this book after hearing a group of friends organising a playdate for their sons one afternoon. I envisaged a story about a ‘boys club’ where all the boys love reading, have different characteristics, get into lots of mischief and go on hair-raising adventures. I wrote this book to encourage boys to read more and enjoy reading.
Please be advised that I am sending this submission to other agents and publishers.
Many thanks for considering my work I look forward to hearing from you.
Still too rigid? Perhaps I need to add another sentence – I’m passionate about…
I follow Kathy Temean’s fantastic writing blog and she has a very helpful post on Successful Query Letters and Winning Examples that you may like to look at, as well as other helpful information about publishers and writing for children.
Have you written a query letter? I’d love to see other examples.
The day before Mother’s Day I went to a scrapbooking crop from 1pm to 9pm. I finished off a few pages that I’d started working on a couple of year’s ago and made a mother’s day card designed by our consultant Jenny. I changed my card into a birthday card as I had already sent my mum some flowers and a card. I was looking at some other blogs and came across Life as Mrs A’s blog where she had made a beautiful mother’s day card using the same embossing pattern that I had used. Here’s mine: