Sunday, December 16, 2018


You all came up with wonderful little rhyming ditties, perfect for the holidays. I wish you could all win. It was very close, with so many well-crafted poems.

In some, I see the kernel of a whole picture book. If you allow yourself the freedom to continue your line of rhyming thought, you might find you have a saleable manuscript. J

For those of you who have entered, but did not win, I have a consolation prize for you….

I will critique a query letter from each of you, within the next three months, that you may use to an agent or editor. This is a $50.00 value from my FIRST PEEK CRITIQUE SERVICE located on my website

Offer expires March 16, 2019. You may contact me at

And now to announce the winners:

Prize #1  a picture book critique from my wonderful editor at Clearfork/Spork Publishing, Callie Metler-Smith. (must be no more than 500 words- rhyme or prose). 

Vixen's Off Season--by Katrina Swenson
Yes, Vixen had a Christmas gig. It paid the bills, ya know? 
For that much pay she’d smile her way ‘cross rooftops in the snow. 
But while she zoomed from roof to roof, beneath the sparkling stars 
she dreamed of scales and ticket sales and strumming old guitars. 

When Santa let her off the clock, she traded bells and sleigh 
 for microphones and dulcet tones and stages where she’d play 
 her six-string underneath the lights, as fans filled up the floor. 
 All year she strummed and crooned and hummed, ‘til Christmas came once more. 

And for Prize #2 there was a tie…. You both win a rhyming picture book manuscript critique from me.

            DASHER'S DREAMS by David McMullin
            Dasher has dreams of her very own show 
            with ten back-up elves and electrified snow. 
            As garlands of jingle bells swing wide apart, 
            she'll sled center stage so her concert can start. 
            She imagines the roar as the crowd shouts, “Hurrah!” 
            Yes, that is her wish, but there's one major flaw. 
            Though stardom may be every crooners big dream, 
            she'd miss being part of her deer little team. 

            DASHER'S DOUBLE DUTY by Joyce Schriebman
Up on the rooftop, reindeers pause. 
            They’re patiently waiting for Dasher because, 
            He’s lighting eight candles to mark the last night 
            Of Chanukah wonder before he takes flight. 
            Yes, Dasher P. Greenberg is Jewish, which means 
            He doesn’t do Christmas or keep its routines. 
            But on Christmas Eve, when the sleigh leaves each home, 
            He calls, “Happy Christmas and to all a SHALOM!” 

Prize #3    a signed copy of ROCK STAR SANTA goes to ...

Ice Dancer by Nancy Riley

Sweet little Dancer’s one talented deer,
She uses her flying skills throughout the year.
When not helping Santa as one of his squad
She’s out on the ice perfecting her quad!

For she’s an ice dancer, a prancer, a flyer.
When she leaps and she jumps, she’s really on fire.
Her spins are fantastic, her footwork sublime.
But she’s back at the sleigh, Christmas Eve, right on time!

CONGRATULATIONS to EVERYONE! I will contact you through DM on Facebook or Twitter. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Saturday, November 24, 2018


I am pleased to announce that my newest picture book, DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON? is currently available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Clearfork Publishing. See purchase links below.

RELEASE DATE - April 9, 2019

April is the month of the Military Child! 

A young boy and his deployed soldier dad share special moments by looking at the moon each night. But when Dad comes home a wounded warrior, his son discovers that it's the power of love that kept them connected all along and he plays a major part in his father's recovery.




****A percentage of royalties for each book purchased goes to our military families. Thank you for your support! :)

Saturday, November 17, 2018

ROCK STAR SANTA GIVEAWAY - Manuscript Critique from Callie Metler-Smith, Clearfork/Spork Publisher

Christmas trees are up and decorated in stores and even in some houses. Santa's helpers will soon be baking scrumptious cookies and wrapping gifts. 

So, with my Santa hat on, and my oven sending out delicious sugary and spicy smells, I'd like to giveaway a few gifts myself in the “Holiday Spirit.”


1.    a picture book critique from my wonderful editor at Clearfork/Spork Publishing, Callie Metler-Smith. (must be less than 500 words).

2.    a signed copy of Rock Star Santa

3.    and a rhyming picture book critique by me. J

"But I’m not just pulling your name out of Santa’s hat.  No, no, no…you need to do a little something first in order to win….

Santa’s been performing his Christmas concert for years. He’s a rock star! But he’d only be singing Jingle Bells without his rockin’ reindeer band. This is your chance to tell us about those crazy reindeer.

Choose your favorite rockin’ reindeer and write a 4-8 line poem about him/her. 

Mrs. Claus will dye her hair red and green and rock out to the best poem.

Judging criteria:

1.   Kid appeal 
2.   Rollicking Reindeer Rhymes
3.    Must tell a story about the specific reindeer.

Entries should be in by DECEMBER 15th so Santa can send you the book before this year’s Christmas Eve Concert.

To enter:

1. please enter poem in comments below.

2. spread the word about Rock Star Santa's Giveaway on Social Media. (indicate which platform you used) Winner will be contacted by Direct Message)

3. sign up to follow The Storyteller's Scroll by email to get updates and information about new books coming from me and Clearfork/Spork Publishing.

Winners of the manuscript critiques from Callie Metler-Smith and myself can be sent after the holidays to give you time to polish them till they sparkle like snow crystals.
You have a whole month for rocking, rollicking fun.

Enjoy the rhymes and the Holidays!

Contest sponsored by: JINGLE BELL JAMS

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

How Could a Bear Sleep Here?

So today my critique group, THE JAGRS, had a beary good time with bear masks, bear ears, and stuffed bears...

as we celebrated a virtual book birthday party with fellow critique partner, Julie Gonzalez.  

Her debut picture book, How Could a Bear Sleep Here?  was released this week from Holiday House.  

It’s available for purchase at Amazon. Here is the link:

Thursday, September 13, 2018


The third annual MILFORD READERS and WRITERS FESTIVAL will take place on September 29-30, 2018 at various Milford, PA. venues.

This year, I am pleased to announce that I'm on the faculty presenting a writer workshop for those who aspire to write stories for children.


Join me at 3:00 PM on Sunday at the Milford Library and don't forget to bring your favorite FAIRYTALE!


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Good News! Great News! Wonderful News! And a Giveaway!

They say good things come in threes. Well, they do in fairytales! And this past week has been a dream come true, just like fairytales.

First, I received the final cover for my new picture book, DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON?

Then, I also received the front and back cover of my new middle-grade poetry collection, ONCE UPON A TWISTED TALE, about "fractured fairytales."

And saving the best for last....I am now represented by the awesome Rebecca Angus of Golden Wheat Literary Agency.

Let the fairytale commence......

So to celebrate, I am giving away three critiques (either rhyming picture books, in honor of Daddy, Can You See the Moon? and Once Upon a Twisted Tale, or the 1st chapter of a MG or YA novel, which is why I signed with my agent.

Leave a comment and a way of contacting you. (PM on FB, TWITTER, or email) and I will randomly choose 3 winners on Monday after I return from the NESCBWI conference in Massachusetts.

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Hi folks:

This is a fun challenge. Write a picture book in 50 words or less. See Vivian Kirkfield's blog for details.

Great prizes if you win.

Here is my entry.

By Gayle C. Krause

All of the picklers were rarin’ to go,
to compete in the Picklepalooza show.

Daisy’s dills were a tart, tasty treat.
Gilda’s gherkins – a little too sweet.
Bob’s bread and butters couldn’t be beat.

But the most “unique” pickle entry of all
Was Mort’s competitive game—pickleball.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Interview Your Characters to Gain a Better Understanding of Their Story

As an exercise to strengthen your YA protagonist, interview them as if they are sitting on a late night talk show. Ask them questions about their backstory, their problem, or the way they deal with their antagonist. At the end of this writing exercise, you’ll see how the protagonist’s choices influence the plot.  
I’ll use my own characters from my YA urban fantasy, RATGIRL: Song of the Viper to demonstrate.

My name is Gayle C. Krause and this is Jax Stone, aka RATGIRL.”
Jax nods. “Hi.”

“So, Jax, I’m sure readers would like to know more about you and the RATGIRL: Song of the Viper story. Could you tell us something about yourself?”

“Well, when the story starts, the only thing I hate more than my life is the rats. They’ve taken over the streets and buildings, and they’re even in my bed. I guess it’s to be expected since I live in an abandoned city sewer. But they make my job raising Andy even harder. At five, my brother can’t take care of himself yet, not in this hellhole.”

“So your life circumstance is not ideal.”

Jax shakes her head and sighs. “Not by a long shot. Global warming has practically devastated the earth, and the sun’s deadly rays make it impossible for us to spend more than two hours on the surface. And, there’s not enough food, thanks to him.” Jax tilts her head toward the last chair on the stage.

Culpepper, the tyrannical mayor, leans forward in his seat, his beady eyes narrowed.

“Let’s not exaggerate the facts, girl. The sniveling crybabies left in my city make me sick. They act like they’re the only ones who have suffered from the sun’s attack on the Earth. If they had any gumption they’d pick themselves up and start working to make a better life for themselves. I did.”

Jax answers. “I tried, but you made it difficult. Thanks to Nonna’s teachings, I’m the only one in Metro City who forages for wild edibles, while others starve.  We eat our main meal in the morning, just before sun-up. Once it rises we descend into our hidey-holes until it’s safe to come out again in the evening.

Bah! I should have known you were one of those insufferable ECOS.”

“Next to Jax, is the most heart-stopping, swoonworthy male character in YA novels, today. He’s got a body like the statue of David, and a heart filled with love, not only for Jax but for all mankind. He’s a true ECO.”

Jax clasps his hand and a crimson haze blossoms on his cheeks.

“You’re embarrassing me, Gayle. I just workout and eat right.”

Jax grins. “Easy for you, since you live in Antarctica in 2511. It’s the only sustainable continent left on earth. Jax’s cheeks blush, too. I’m only kidding. I’m sure the readers would love to know him as well as I do. His name is Colt. Colt Conrad.”

 “Colt, what do you have to say? You’re seated between these two. Is that on purpose?”

“Yes. Syl, here, employed me, and my Air Caravan to bring food to Metro City, but he took it all for himself and his cronies. The homeless only got what The Altar Boys could smuggle to them. Every time I pulled into the old station I noticed Jax observing me bartering with the desperate people, who traded whatever family heirlooms they had left, for food. Eventually, our paths crossed, and the rest is history.”

“Bah! History! I’m the one who had a plan to return Metro City to its glory days, with my new underground city.  But first, I needed to rid the city of the vile rodents that killed my wife and son. “

Jax bolts to her feet.

“But you couldn’t do that without my help. And once I rid the city of rats, you reneged on our agreement.

“You did that all alone? Can you tell us more?”

“My one goal was to get Andy to the New Continent, where he could live a normal life but when Culpepper kidnapped him, along with the city’s homeless children, it made my goal a daunting one. Desperate to get Andy back I formulated a plan and used my hypnotic singing voice to carry it out. He left me no choice. I took all the children of the dying city to safety. But I couldn’t do it without my friends and Colt.

“Thanks, Jax. Colt, I remember something about the secret tattoo on your bicep. Could you tell us a bit about the ECO’s?”

“Sure. The ECOS were a group of environmentalists, who tried to preserve the Earth’s resources when severe global warming first started to affect our lives. They imported trees that would survive in warmer temperatures and moved to the country to grow their own root vegetables. Their numbers included scientists, agriculturists, horticulturists and anyone environmentally minded. Jax’s grandmother and my grandfather were two of the founders. They passed their knowledge of sustainable living on to us.”

 So Sylvanis Culpepper, you’ve taken on the role of villain. How are you?”

His gruff and selfish nature pours out with his words. “That depends on whether you’re at the beginning of the book or the end.

“I can still see the tumult in your relationships, even now that the story is over. And that’s a good thing to have a story stay with a reader long after the book cover is closed.

Happy interviewing!

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...