Thursday, October 31, 2013

And the winner is.........

The SPOOKY Halloween first page contest was a “howling” success. Stories from lost houses to changelings on a school campus to a child that lures a young boy into a ghost dance for eternity.

The ghastly ghouls have agreed that the winner of the first MG/YA Spooky first page contest is:

Donna Smith with her “Lost House” entry.

Congratulations, Donna. Please send your 5 chapters as an attachment to within the first five days of November—the submission period for First Peek Critique.

So tonight,
when the moon shines bright in the sky,
and ghosts and witches on broomsticks fly by,
be aware of noises,
But don’t shiver with fright.
It’s only the spirit of Halloween night.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Just a reminder!

With October coming to a speedy close and November's time for NaNoMo and PiBoldMo. Sign up and get inspired. Who knows, maybe your next great novel or picture book will be born of these great creative gatherings.

Monday, October 7, 2013

"First Page" Halloween Story Contest

For the past five years, the Storyteller's Scroll has sponsored a Halloween Poetry Contest. You can find some excellent poems in the archives. Some even went on to be sold to children's magazines like Highlights and Hopscotch.

This year, I'd like to sponsor something different........... A Spooky "First Page" Contest for a MG or YA story.

Use the picture above for a prompt and write no more than the first 23 lines of a Halloween or Spooky novel.  All stories should reflect the picture above in some way. Please make sure your name, title and genre are designated on your first page and that you use 12 point font.

Subject line should say -  Halloween First Page Contest - your name - your genre

You can send the pages in the body of the email to

Last day for submissions is October 28th. Winner will be announced on Halloween.

The best written, most intriguing first page will win a 5 chapter critique of any MG or YA novel you are currently writing. The critique value is $200.00 and will be sponsored by First Peek Critique, my critique service.

Judges of the first page contest will be my awesome YA WONDERWRITERS critique group.

Good luck and don't let the shadows scare you. :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Better Late Than Never......Author Blog Hop

I know this should have been posted in September, but I was a tad bit busy.

Busy you say..........what could you have been doing that you couldn't get a simple blog post up? Well......I read nine other writers full manuscripts for a wonderful writer's retreat we attended at Avalon, NJ.

I polished two of my own manuscripts to be read by awesome agents that attended above retreat.

I critiqued and posted poems for The Poet's Garage.

I submitted my seasonal poem to Children's Writer.

I queried several agents with my latest completed novel.

And I went to NYC to support my godson, who was a contestant on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."

So, now, I can post the author blog hop.....hop....hippity hop..... and because I'm so late, I'm going to introduce you to one fantastic writer instead of three, but first a word from our sponsor...........ME!

I will answer the 4 mandatory questions and then turn the blog over to ROXANNE WERNER.

So first things first, I was asked to participate in this AUTHOR'S BLOG HOP by not one, but two awesome writers, both whom I'm happy to say have been critique partners of mine. One, Lori Mortensen, was in my very first crit group, THE SLUSHSLASHERS, when I branched out from picture books to novels and the other, Anita Nolan, is currently one of my critique partners in the YA WONDERWRITERS.

Lori is very published and you can view her books on her website - 

And Anita runs a fantastic blog at

So here are the answers to my four questions:

1. What are you currently working on?
So, I have completed 5 novels over the past 10 years. Now, I am about to start a new one and for the first time I'm using an outline. New for me, since I'm primarily a "panster." I used to think it would tie me down and not let my creativity take over, but I was wrong. The creativity still comes, it just comes at a different time, so I can brainstorm the entire novel before I'm actually in it, because when I get in a new novel, I'm totally immersed in the new world and the characters. This way, I at least know in what direction I'm headed. Will keep you posted on my results later this year. Oh, it will be another YA, but a genre I've never tried before..........a psychological thriller. YIKES!!!!!

2. How does it differ from other works in the genre?
The MC will be a teen boy, for one thing. And another, it's a story with a vastly different dynamic than those I've written before. As for comparing it to what's already out there. There doesn't seem to be too many written at the YA level, so this should be both a unique and challenging story for me to write..........and boy I love a challenge! :)

3. Why do you write what you do?
I've always read since I was a young girl and then being a teacher, training prospective early childhood education and elementary teachers. What I found is that my students didn't like to read unless it was relevant to them, so in the course of my writing, I have written stories that incorporated their interests.
Retold Fairy Tales - RATGIRL: Song of the Viper (Pied Piper), The Storyteller's Daughter (Scheherazade) and ROCK STAR SANTA, a new take on the Night Before Christmas set to a lyrical rhythm. 
Now, I will be creating a dark, suspenseful novel that includes a love story and a surprise ending..... What is it you ask?  
You'll have to wait until I'm finished writing it. :)
4. What is the hardest part about writing?
Keeping all the fantastic ideas in some type of tangible file, because it's always in your head, but you can't always count on your memory to keep it reserved in the precise way you want to present it, files, oodles of lined tablets, and composition notebooks help keep things organized.

And now for the hop to Werner's Woods............

Roxanne Werner writes fantasy YA, MG and PB. A former fiction editor of Stories for Children Magazine, she continues to edit for The World of Ink Network and does editing for hire via her website. A winner of the Highlights Fiction contest for her science fiction story, Snowday in Space, her magazine credits include Highlights, Know Science Magazine and Turtle, as well as articles, and stories published online. Her adult works include two short stories, published in the Adams Media ‘Hero’ anthologies. Roxanne is a member of SCBWI and Cliffhouse Writers Group. Her most recent publication is My Dangerous Heart, a YA steampunk story included in the Spencer Hill Press anthology Real Girls Don’t Rust. Visit her website at

Energized to Write for the New Year

 So happy to be attending the SCBWI National Conference this week. My peer critiques went well two nights ago, and energized me to see the p...