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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Writing Wednesday and a Give a Way!

Our writing group, The Appalachian Wordsmiths, are now having weekly meetings!

We met today at the Library and we had a very productive meeting. Everyone brought something to read and have critiqued.

I read one of my PB manuscripts and with a few changes I believe it is now ready to submit. We had a time working with the last two sentences of the picture book. I still have not quite decided on which version to use. Anyone who thinks writing picture books is easy, should have been with us today. When there are very few words to work with, each one has to be just right!

I have written a MG and a couple of manuscripts which total 28,000 and 21,000 words each, but I have to say that I enjoy writing picture books the most.

Now on to the give a way!

I am giving away a copy of  Christmas Traditions, the anthology in which my short story, The Old Santa Hat, is in. The book was published in 2009. I had not been writing for very long when I submitted this and it was the first story I ever had published.

I can tell you an interesting story about it. They always say not to inquire about pieces you submit because they will let you know if they want your story or not. If you don't hear from them, then they do not want it. Well, I did not hear from the editor who was putting this anthology together and it was past the deadline for hearing from them. It was my first submission and I was anxious. I figured I did not have anything to lose, so I emailed her.

I sat on pins and needles hoping to get an email back from her. I received her reply saying that the title did not ring a bell and that she didn't recall reading it. She said she had read thousands of stories, so, she might have forgotten or it could have fallen through the cracks. So just in case, she asked me to send it to her and she would let me know as soon as she read it.

I nervously hit the send button and that same night she emailed me back. I was afraid to click on the email to see what she said, but I got the courage and opened it up. To make a long reply short, she said, "I do remember this story. I cut it early on - because it was so sad. But I'm glad you sent it again. I have a change of heart."

My heart did flip-flops! I am a shy person and it took a lot of nerve for me to inquire like I did. But it paid off and my story was included in the anthology.

So, I guess my advice is this - take chances, submit your stories and keep writing.

Enter my contest to receive a copy of Christmas Traditions and I will also send a few home made Christmas ornaments to the winner!

To enter you must be a follower of my blog and leave a comment on this post. I will announce the winner next Wednesday. Sorry, I can only ship to people in the US.

Let me know if you mention the give a way on your blog or on Facebook and I will  enter your name twice.

Happy Writing and Good Luck!


  1. I would like to be entered in the giveaway! I think I have been a follower for a long time, but will check. I am so happy for you that the story was accepted for that anthology! I know you were on pins and needles, and it is so great that you emailed her back to check on it. Otherwise, she might not have had the change of heart. You are right about taking chances!

  2. Forgot to tell you--I LOVE your header picture!

  3. Love your new picture at the top of the page!

  4. Please enter me in your drawing. Life IS sad sometimes and that is part of growing. Congratulations on your acceptance.

  5. Your header photo is awesome, Janet! You should submit it to a photography contest.

    We did have a good meeting, didn't we? And I have a good project now for next week.

  6. I've been following you for awhile! I'd love to have a new Christmas book to add to my collection.

  7. I completely agree about taking chances. What a great story. The pic at the top of your blog is gorgoues, btw.

  8. Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone to inquire. It worked!

  9. Please enter me Janet! I'd love to have a copy.

  10. What great fun to meet with other writers and hear what they have to say and have them help with your writing.

    Did you take the new photo? It's beautiful!

  11. I still haven't read the story, so enter me. Good thing you got in touch with that lady!

  12. Hi Janet, that is a very encouraging story. I feel the same way. I have had many breaks come my way in life, not just with writing but with other jobs, by going just a little passed the extra mile.

    Once when I was about 20 years old, I really needed a job. I am a rather quiet and soft spoken woman too and it is hard for me to stand out sometimes. I had been trained as an electrician and had worked with my father and his friends since the age of 11.

    I applied at a local airplane manufacturer and they took one look at me and laughed me away, literally. So I went home and put on a red dress and came back every day for almost 3 weeks. Finally they realized they were not going to get rid of "that girl in red, so they let me interview.

    I came back the next day and tested with a group of young men who had just got out of the air force. I got the highest score and was hired on the spot. I worked there for 10 years and it turned out to be one of the best work experiences I ever had. I'm so happy you got your story published, you are a wonderful writer! Delisa :)

  13. Janet-I'd love to win the book : ) and I'm glad you overcome your shyness to ask about the submission!

  14. Oh I would love to win that book too. I was also told in writing classes that I should wait at least three months and if I hadn't heard anything to send a reminder.. There's some I need to send now and you just gave me the iniative.. Thanks..Susie

  15. Hi Janet,
    The Christmas Traditions book sounds amazing. I am a follower and would love to win a copy.

  16. Hello! I just popped over from B Whittington (Writing the ups and Downs) because I liked what you wrote in the comments.

    I didn't expect to enter a contest, but I was intrigued by your story about how you came about getting published. It seems all I write lately is sad things, because that's just the way it is right now.

    Anyway, I am a new follower and I look forward to reading more about your adventures in the Blackberry Patch!


  17. I would love to win this Christmas Anthology with your writing in cool, thanks for the opportunity. Take Care, Carrie



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