Advice on blogging

Alice Pope, editor of the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market has started writing “Blogger of the Week” posts about up-and-coming children’s writers. They’re fun reads (and she writes a darned informative blog), but I thought this week’s blogger-of-the-week was particularly wonderful. Alice interviewed Laurel Snyder who offers this cogent advice:

…a blog is published material. So we should all remember–it is one thing to be a crazed maniac online, and quite another to be a DUMB crazed maniac. If you want to say crazy things, try to sound smart and funny. Smart funny writers can get away with almost anything.

And please, for the love of Mike, do not tell us anything you don’t want your boss (or your husband) to know.

:) What more can I say? Check out the whole interview here for your daily dose of wisdom and humor.


Wanted: Dream Agent

MWF children’s author looking for honest, yet encouraging, literary agent who loves her writing. Must love Emma Bull, Garth Nix, J.R.R. Tolkein, and Cassandra Claire, as well as have a taste for writing that ranges from whimsical to kooky to thought-provoking. Sense of humor essential.

In return, said author promises to be a great communicator, maintain a positive attitude through circumstances of all sorts, use constructive criticism, work her butt off, and write tons. Will also provide dark chocolate as needed and keep all obsessive-compulsive behaviors to herself. Not that she has any. At least, no more than the average author.

If interested, please contact author’s benign dictatoress, Lily (aka inspirational poodle extraordinaire):


According to (a website based entirely on the latest scientific research, right?) here are three things I didn’t know about my name:

  1. My personal power animal is the Giant Otter.
  2. My ‘Numerology’ number is 8. If it wasn’t bulls**t, it would mean that I am motivated by material success and have an aptitude for business, managerial and financial matters. This comes through my uncommon discipline and persistence.
  3. According to the US Census Bureau°, 0.315% of US residents have the first name ‘Cheryl’ and fewer than 0.001% have the surname ”. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there is only 1 American who goes by the name Cheryl R.

At least, that’s what it said the second time I checked. The first time I checked, my power animal was the European red squirrel, my numerology number was 5 (which means that I am “adventurous, mercurial, and sensual”), and there were 3 people in the U.S. with my name….

Who knew?

:) Cheryl

(Giant otter image from the conservation web site; Squirrel image by Ray Eye, Germany.)

2009 Contests and Scholarships: Cheryl’s completely non-comprehensive list of opportunities

  1. January 1-31 (postmark date): Highlights 2009 Fiction Contest
    Submit: Contemporary world culture stories up to 800 words (older readers) or 500 words (younger readers). See web site for details.
    Prize: Three prizes of $1,000 or tuition for the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua.
  2. February 1: Writing Away Retreats Scholarship Contest
    Submit: Short story or portion of novel UP TO 5K words to using this as your topic: “Dishing up fear” to with “Writing Away Retreats Contest” as the subject line. See contest web site for details.
    Fee: $10.00
    Prize: Full ride to Writing Away Retreats (worth $1350.00)
  3. February 17 (receipt date): The Sandy Writing Contest 2009 for writers unpublished in novel-length fiction.
    Submit: The first 20 pages and up to a 2 page synopsis, for a total page count of 22 pages. See contest rules for categories and additional information.
    Fee: $20 for Crested Butte (or Gunnison) Friends of Library members, fee for all others is $30.
    Prize: Acquiring editors and agents will serve as final judges. They will determine the order of the top three entries in each category. Winners will be announced at the 2009 Crested Butte Writers Conference. The first place entries in each category will receive $50 and a certificate; second place will receive $25 and a certificate; and third place will receive a certificate.
  4. April 1 (postmark date): Pan Handle Professional Writers 2009 Youth Writing Contest Submit: Short story or poetry (length varies with age group; see contest link for details).
    Fee: none
    Prize: ??? (info not found)
  5. April 15th: fAiRy gOdSisTeRs, iNk 2nd Annual SCBWI Summer Conference Scholarship
    Submit: A 250-word, double-spaced essay describing what you hope to accomplish by attending this year’s summer conference. Send your essay to:
    Fee: none
    Prize: $1500 scholarship for a SCBWI member to attend the August 2009 conference in Los Angeles.
  6. April 1-June 1 (???2009 dates tbd): Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Writing Contest (2008 info here) for writers of commercial fiction.
    Submit: 20 manuscript pages and an eight-page synopsis.
    Fee: (2008) $25, with additional fee for written critique
    Prize: (2008) SIX highest-scoring submissions in each of four categories will make the finals and then be judged by an agent or editor who works in that genre. They will pick one winner in each category. The winner receives $100 and a framed certificate. The remaining finalists will receive $25 and a framed certificate.
  7. June 30th(?): RMC-SCBWI Manuscript Critique – entry deadline (specific date tbd)
    Submit: Details tbd
    Fee: tbd
    Prize: Top manuscripts will receive critiques and one-on-one appointments with an editor or agent attending the RMC-SCBWI 2009 Fall Conference.
  8. March 1-August 15: Pockets Fiction Contest
    Submit: 1,000 to 1,600 word story (1,400 words preferred). Manuscripts are disqualified if they are shorter or longer by even a few words. Note accurate word count on the cover sheet. Stories must be previously unpublished.
    Fee: none
    Prize: The winner, notified by November 1, will receive a $1,000 award. Because the purpose of the contest is to discover new writers, previous winners are not eligible.
  9. September 25: Decatur Public Library Annual Writing Contest
    Submit: See contest rules here
    Fee: $3/entry, 5 entry max
    Prizes: Small cash prizes for top 3 manuscripts in each category, plus comments (sometimes–not guaranteed) from published author who judges your submission
  10. September 1-November 1 (??? 2009 dates tbd): Pikes Peak Writers Fiction Contest (2009 info)
    Fee (from 2008): $30 PPWC members, $40 non-members, with additional charge for optional critiques
    Prize: First place winner in each category will be refunded his/her conference registration fee if attending the 2010 PPWC or will be awarded a cash prize of $100 if not attending. Second place will be awarded $50, and third place will be awarded $30. In addition, winners attending the conference will be given top priority with respect to their editor/agent pitch appointment selections.