When the New Year comes along it feels like a good time to assess and think things over. I tend to think about what I can do better. I’m not one to make resolutions but I couldn’t help but think about goals when 2017 rolled around. I even started a thread in our Sub It Club Submission Support Group so we could talk about our writing, illustrating, and submission goals for the year. Of course, since I started the thread I had to say some of my own goals — out loud. Nothing like putting things out there for people to see to get me motivated to do them!

Something I’ve been wanting to do for some time now is add more bloggers to Sub It Club. There are so many great people with experience in our Submission Support Group alone and I am certain there are more of you out there reading this blog that haven’t taken the plunge into our great Facebook group yet, so I want to post here on the blog as well.

What am I looking for? I think if we can add people to write about submitting and all that goes along with it in various genres it will be a great help to many Sub It Clubbers. Specifically Adult, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Nonfiction, and Magazines come to mind.

I’d very much like to find someone who is really into contests to take over the Contest Roundup. I do like rounding them up but I know there are people out there who are deep into the contest scene and can bring a fresh view on them.

If you don’t have ideas about what you’d blog about of aren’t a pro at submitting work yet but might like to blog for us, that’s okay! I’m also looking for writers to take on some features I’ve had in mind for a while now but don’t have enough time to do myself. I’d also like to find some assistants for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and WordPress. These can be people who are blogging or you can volunteer to solely help with one of these features. Either way you’ll be on our Partners page.

It’s a big job even thinking about adding bloggers. I keep coming up with questions I need to solve! I love this club. It’s a great place to learn, help others, and get to know people working in the industry. But I want the Club to be even better! So please, if you’re interested get in touch with me just as soon as you can. Email me at SubItClub@gmail.com answering the following:

  • What genre(s) do you work in?
  • How long have you been writing?
  • How much and what types experience do you have with submitting your work? Yes, I want to hear details!
  • What is your attitude toward submitting your work and the responses you get?
  • What are your views on the publishing industry and how it works?
  • How do you feel about collaboration? Are you good at working with others?
  • Are you able to stick to a deadline (i.e. a post date)?
  • Do you have ideas about what you would want to blog about or are you interested in a feature?
  • Please link all the web addresses to your online presence:
  • If none of your links include articles (such as blog posts) please attach a writing sample.

I will be reading all emails, but please be patient with me! I’ve been wanting to do this for some time but I’m also working on requested revisions, taking care of daily Sub It Club duties, writing new stuff, working two jobs (they’re part time, I’m not Super Woman), and living daily life. I do think if we can add some more bloggers in it will be a great thing for all of us so I’m happy to work on it and excited to find some great new people to be a part of the Sub It Club team!

Posted in About the Club | Leave a comment

The Power of Mindset


My 10-year-old daughter, Gracie, is smart. She’s “I get 100% on standardized tests” kind-of-smart. And while these smarts are wonderful and amazing, they bring with them their own set of issues to be worked out. I’ll never forget her coming home in 2nd grade, sobbing. “What happened?” I asked, bracing myself for a skinned knee or a tale of schoolyard bullying. Instead, Gracie held out a test paper, now polka-dotted with her tears.

“I…I…” she could hardly get out the words, “I forgot a period!” Sure enough, she had missed a single punctuation mark on her weekly dictation test. And she was inconsolable. Her perfect record was forever marred.

My husband and I laugh about her perfectionistic tendencies (I have no idea where those might come from…*cough*cough*) and we reassure her teachers on a regular basis that we don’t actually lock her in a closet every time she comes home with less than 100%. If you know our family, you’ve probably heard me tell her to go get in some trouble. “Have a good day, make good choices…get some detention, maybe?” She’ll look at me like I’m crazy and know that I’m joking—sort of. Having battled my own intense fear of failure, I want so much for my kids to have a different experience. I want them to be more free to fail, to try things, to have fun and not be so concerned about doing it exactly right all the time. But trying to figure out how to develop this can be difficult. How do we encourage their pursuit of excellence while also helping them learn to be gentle with themselves when they encounter failure?

I was a lot like Gracie as a kid. Always feeling like any little failure meant I had to turn in my “smart” card. I didn’t want to try things because it was too great a risk. What if I wasn’t good at it? My identity was wrapped up in being good at things. Who would I be if I couldn’t do it perfectly? So becoming a writer was maybe not the most predictable choice for me. There is no perfection in writing. It’s not a math problem with a definitive answer. There will always be someone who thinks (in the words of one of my very own Amazon book reviews), “This book was okay. I got it from the library and don’t regret it. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it again.” Gee, thanks. Not the worst review ever, but certainly not a ringing endorsement. And there was a day that a comment like that would have made me quit. If I couldn’t be perfect, I didn’t want to do it.

It is only now, in my 40s, that I am finally starting to understand how these ever-present thoughts have shaped me. In a fabulous book called, MINDSET, psychologist Carol S. Dweck calls this type of thinking a “fixed mindset.” This is the underlying belief that human qualities are fixed. Either you’re smart or you’re not, and failing at something is proof that you’re not.  She says this type of mindset believes that “If you could arrange successes and avoid failures (at all costs), you could stay smart.” She contrasts the fixed mindset with a “growth mindset,” which posits that human qualities can be cultivated. This mindset believes that success is about learning, and failures are a necessary part of becoming what you strive to be. A person with a growth mindset values challenges. They pursue opportunities that stretch them. They risk failure. Growth mindset creates a love of learning and builds resilience. It’s pretty simple stuff, but I have found myself rejoicing that I finally have a vocabulary to talk about these thoughts that have been marinating in me for a long time. I was a fixed mindset kid. Gracie is a fixed mindset kid. Recognizing these mindsets in ourselves is such an important first step. Who doesn’t want to encourage a love of learning and resilience both in our kids and in ourselves? But how do we do it?


Being a writer has definitely challenged my fixed mindset tendencies, even before I could name them. It has pushed me to be vulnerable in ways I never could have imagined as that kid who frantically tried to protect her “smart” card. Writing for publication means opening yourself up to critique from other writers, agents, editors, and eventually, if we achieve the things we’re working toward…the book-reading world. What kind of mindset do we have as we send our work out? Do we see the failures as opportunities to grow?  Do we seek to be challenged and stretched, even if it means we might be unsuccessful? My guess is that most of us here at Sub It Club do, at least to some degree. It is my suspicion that someone with a fixed mindset when it comes to writing wouldn’t last very long in the publishing world. There are far too many rejections. Too many setbacks. Too many NOs.

But if you are like Gracie and me, and have a tendency toward perfectionism, toward that fixed mindset, I think the first thing we do is call it out. We recognize it in ourselves. And then we work to change it. We tell ourselves that a rejection doesn’t disqualify us from writing. It doesn’t mean we stink. It doesn’t mean we should quit. We tell ourselves that this is how we learn. This is how we build resilience!

And eventually…hopefully…as we hold out that rejection, now polka-dotted with our tears, we start to embrace that one missed punctuation mark as an opportunity for growth.

Posted in Inspiration | Tagged , | 9 Comments

What are Endorsements and Do They Belong in Queries?

What is an endorsement? Let’s take this fun little quiz:

A writer said something nice about your manuscript in a critique. Is it an endorsement?

No. Writers point out the good as well as the things that need work in critiques. If critiques only spoke to things that needed improvement they could get pretty hard to take after a while. Writers know this. We like to point out the good.

A writer or illustrator said something nice to you in a chat group about your work. Is this an endorsement?

Nope. Again, writers encourage each other. It doesn’t mean they weren’t sincere about the nice thing they said, it is simply not an endorsement of your work.

An illustrator said they loved your portfolio at a show. Is this an endorsement?

Of course not. They are paying you a compliment. How lovely!

An agent (or editor) says something positive about your work in their rejection. Is this an endorsement?

Heck no. This is praise given to you privately to encourage you to keep going. They see you have the spark of something special and want to encourage that. Awesome!

Okay, the quiz is over. How did you do? A+ I hope! But just incase:

By definition an endorsement is, “an act of giving one’s public approval or support to someone or something.”

The key word there is public. To use the praise of any person in a public way, you need their expressed permission. Is a query letter public? Well, yeah, sort of. While agents and editors don’t have your permission to go publishing your letter in some way just because you sent it to them, you’re sending your letter to a person (and potentially group of persons if the agency shares queries) you do not know. It is not exactly a private conversation between friends. And even so, if you are putting an endorsement in your query letter you are basically saying it has the potential to be used for public consumption somewhere down the road. Use an endorsement and it’s highly likely the person you are saying endorsed your work will be asked about it. It’s easy to contact people and double check. And agents and editors do.

So here’s the obvious: don’t make endorsements up.  It will be found out and reflect badly on you. Publishing might seem like this great big machine but it really is a small industry and people talk.

Do You Need Endorsements?

The short answer: No. Not at all.

Putting an endorsement in your query might sound like a great idea. If you can just get someone “important” to say something good about your work it is certain that you’ll be given a closer look or you might think it will make it impossible for that person you’re querying to say no. But the truth is, what you need to hook an agent is editor is a great query leading to a great manuscript. (Or great illustrations if you’re an illustrator!) You know that.

Agents and editors like to decide for themselves whether or not a manuscript is something good enough for them to work with, and of course there is also the personal connection. They need to love the work enough to want to spend hours and hours of their time on it. No endorsement is going to make them connect with your work.

Honestly, endorsements don’t really have a place in query letters, and especially not for fiction. You just don’t need them. Filling your query with endorsements could even be seen as a negative. Just get to the story already! Agents and editors want the pitch… the conflict… the voice!

Show the person you are querying how great your work is with your amazing hook… your precise query… your unputdownable story… your unique illustration style. When you sell that book, that’s a better time to go seeking those endorsements if you like; the ones people write for you and give you permission to use on your published book!


Posted in Ethics | Tagged | 8 Comments

2016 Year of Success!

Sub It Clubbers have been working hard this past year. Members have made great strides toward their goals of publication, from connecting with critique partners in our Critique Partner Matchup, to perfecting pitches and queries, to sending submissions, to illustrator postcard mailings, and so much more. There are so many steps along the way to becoming published and it has been wonderful to be able to discuss the challenges, triumphs, and woes in the group, and to support and help each other out when we can. Here’s to all of you who have been taking those steps towards your publication goals, no matter how difficult!

As we all know, signing with that agent, connecting with that right publisher, and of course, publication are the big goals we’re stepping towards. So many Sub It Clubbers met those big goals 2016! And hey, don’t forget film rights. A couple of Sub It Clubbers sold those too. Pretty cool. Let’s celebrate these huge accomplishments Sub It Clubbers made in the past year. There is so much to celebrate!

Beth Anderson signed with Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary  with her narrative nonfiction in February. Her book, AN INCONVENIENT ALPHABET,  is about when Ben Franklin and Noah Webster become friends and start their own quiet revolution battling an inconvenient alphabet, sold to Simon & Schuster, Paula Wiseman Books to be released Fall 2018.

Tracy Auerbach signed with The Evan Marshall Agency in June for her YA fantasy and science fiction.

Annie Bailey signed with Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency in May!

Charlotte Barnes signed with Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Literary Agency for her children’s picture books in August.

Author/illustrator Jeanette Bradley signed with Emily Mitchell of Wernick & Pratt in April and sold her picture book LOVE, MAMA about a young penguin who must cope with missing his mother (and vice versa) while she is away on a business trip to Roaring Brook to be released Winter 2018.

Elizabeth Brown signed with Sean McCarthy Literary Agency for her picture books in February.

boyfriendwhisperer1Linda Budzinski‘s novel, THE BOYFRIEND WHISPERER was em_and_em__very_smallreleased by Swoon Romance in November: Lexi Malloy is Grand View High School’s undercover Cupid for hire … so why is she stuck in the friend zone with her own dream crush? She alsosold the TV and film rights to her novel, EM & EM in which Emily Slovkowski doesn’t want to leave behind her home at the Jersey shore, her gorgeous surf boy Zach, and basically her entire identity … but that’s kind of how Witness Protection works!

Kara Cargill signed with Adria Goetz of Martin Literary Management in November!

TE Carter signed with agent Mandy Hubbard of Emerald City Literary for her YA Contemporary in March. Pitched as THE LOVELY BONES meets ALL THE RAGE in a town destroyed by the mortgage crisis, her book, I STOP SOMEWHERE, sold to Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan and is scheduled to be released in Winter 2018!

C. B. Catalano signed with Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary for her Middle Grade Fantasy Retelling in June.

Gloria Chao signed with Kathleen Rushall of Andrea Brown Literary Agency for her YA Contemporary in April and sold her book, AMERICAN PANDA to Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster to be released in Spring 2018. The book is inspired by the author’s experiences as a second-generation Taiwanese-American, AMERICAN PANDA follows 17-year-old Mei, whose parents want her to become a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her germophobia and crush on a Japanese classmate.

15387581_10209699918507264_2016617619_oTina Cho signed with Adria Goetz of Martin Literary Management for picture books in December. Her article OPERATION COOKIE, about two boys who baked cookies (along with church families) for U.S. soldiers in South Korea, was published in Clubhouse Jr. Tina was also the1st Runner Up in the Scholastic Asia Book Award for her novel, CHASING FREEDOM: THE ASIAN UNDERGROUND RAILROAD which chronicles the journey of two North Korean children as they attempt to flee their home country.

Illustrator Abi Cushman signed with Ilse Craane of BookStop Literary for picture books in May. She was also awarded an Honorable Mention in the Illustrated Picture Book Category for the Tassy Walden New Voices in Children’s Literature Awards for the PB dummy AARDVARK & ZEBRA STAR IN YET ANOTHER DragonsRing_500x750.jpgALPHABET BOOK: When Aardvark discovers A is for Aardwolf, Zebra helps him look for a new spot in this funny, meta alphabet book.
Debra Daugherty
‘s YA romantic fantasy/fairy tale, THE DRAGON’S RING was released by Astraea Press/Clean Reads in July. In the story,if the knight captures a unicorn, the king will give him his daughter’s hand in marriage; but if the unicorn is not set free, it, and all the creatures in the Enchanted Forest, will die.Jamie LB Deenihan signed with Linda Camacho at Prospect Agency in June for picture books.

norbertsbigdream_coverLori Degman‘s picture book, NORBERT’S BIG DREAM, about Norbert, a pig who dreams of swimming the English Channel – if only he could find it, was released by Sleeping Bear Press in August. She also sold her picture book, JUST READ, about a group of kids in a reading book club who share what, when, where, how, and with whom they read to Sterling Publishing. It is scheduled to be released in 2018.

Laurie J. Edwards had 4 books released in new formats! 3 nonfiction books (Imperial China, West African Kingdoms, and Ancient Egypt) came out in hardcover, and Love & Profanity released in paperback. 3 Curious Monkeys released her first picture book as an author, Case of the Missing Parathas , about a girl who is pburied-secretslanning a surprise party for her grandmother, but finds the food keeps disappearing. She also has a story in the anthology, Strange Magic (Sunbury Press).

New releases written under Laurie’s pen name Rachel J. Good include Change of Heart (Charisma House/ Realms),  the first book in the Sisters & Friends Amish series; the Amish Quilts Coloring Book (Golden Fairy Arts); and Angels Unaware (Golden Fairy Arts), an inspirational novella about the power of forgiveness and love.

She’ll be continuing her Amish series in 2017 with 2 more books in the Sisters & Friends series (Buried Secrets and Gift from Above), 2 novels in the Hearts of Amish Country series (Hearts United and Secret Identity), and 4 books in the Love & Promises series. She also has another picture book and an Amish novella under contract.



Author/Illustrator Sally Fawcett‘s picture book WHAT COULD IT BE?, a book about exploring shapes in the real world and imagination, was released by EK Books in June. She also sold herthrough-the-gate-cover picture book, THROUGH THE GATE, a story of resilience, as a little girl changes her perspective and mood by putting one foot in front of the other as she passes ‘through the gate’. It will be released by EK Books in May 2017.

alone-coverSM Ford‘s inspirational romantic suspense was published by Clean Reads in June. In ALONE, Cecelia’s new live-in job affects her carefree heart, increases her dependence on God, and . . . puts her life at risk.

Kristen Foote signed a contract in July for two picture books with Innovation Press after they liked her pitch during #PBPitch. Both are creative non-fiction: HOW TO SURVIVE AS A FIREFLY and HOW TO SURVIVE AS A SHARK.They are unique and funny takes on insect and fish science that will entertain both in and out of the classroom. They are scheduled to be released in Fall 2017.

tltdKelly Garrett sold her novel, THE LAST TO DIE toPoisoned Pen Press to be released in April 2017. In the book, Harper is no saint, but she doesn’t deserve to die. But when her burglary ring goes terribly wrong, and her friends start dying, she knows she’s next on the list.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore signed with agent Victoria Selvaggio of the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency for her picture book in December.

Steve Goble signed with The Evan Marshall Agency with his Historical Mystery in March then sold his book, THE BLOODY BLACK FLAG: A SPIDER JOHN MYSTERY to Seventh Street Books in a 2-book deal in August! In the book to be released Fall/Winter 2017, a reluctant pirate seeks the killer of his best friend aboard a pirate vessel. THE DEVIL’S WIND: A SPIDER JOHN MYSTERY is scheduled to release in Fall/Winter 2018.

Sam Hawke signed with agent Julie Crisp and sold his fantasy novel, CITY OF LIES, to Tor US to be released April 2018: After the Chancellor is poisoned and the city is besieged, a brother and sister charged with secretly protecting the ruling family must find the traitor before the city falls.

Lindsay Henry signed with Renee Nyen of KT Literary with her Young Adult Contemporary Fiction in June!

Hannah Holt sold her picture book DIAMOND/MAN, a double-biograph picture book, telling the story of natural diamond creation alongside the story of H. Tracy Hall, who invented a revolutionary diamond-making machine, to Balzer+Bray to be released Fall 2018. She was also the recipient of the SCBWI WIP Grant for picture book text for A FATHER’S LOVE, a colorful celebration of the best dads in the animal kingdom, from penguins to lions to seahorses.

Lauren Hough signed with Fletcher and Co. for her memoir. Her article, THE SHEPHERDS, a story of how Cult life is a little less lonely when you have a secret radio, was published in Granta in November.

Christina Hovland signed with Linda Camacho of Prospect Agency for her Romance in December!

Katey Howes signed with Essie White of Storm Literary and sold her picture book
MAGNOLIA MUDD AND THE SUPER JUMPTASTIC LAUNCHER DELUXE to Sterling Publishing to be released Fall 2017 in which nuts-and-bolts Magnolia must invent a Mudd-powered way to participate in her uncle’s wedding, or get stuck tossing petals in a frilly gown.

Gayle C. Krause sold her picture book, DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON? about a little boy and his soldier dad who share special moments together by looking at the moon though they are separated by duty to country to Clear Fork Publishing – Spork Imprint to be released Spring 2018.

Kirsten W. Larson (who promises us a new submission bingo card in the new year!) signed with Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary for her picture books in April.

Laura Lavoie signed with Jennifer Hunt of Booker Albert Literary Agency in September for picture books!

Suzy Levinson sold two children’s poems to Highlights High Five magazine!

Hope Lim signed with Tanusri Prasanna at HSG Agency for picture books in November!morningwithgrandpa_cover

Sylvia Liu‘s picture book, A MORNING WITH GRANDPA, in which Met Mei and her grandfather teach each other yoga and tai chi–while each struggle with the other’s activity, they enjoy each other’s company, was released by Lee & Low Books.

Amy Losak sold her mom, Sydell Rosenberg’s, haiku alphabet picture book, H IS FOR HAIKU to Penny Candy Books in October to be released late 2017 or 2018.

Tara Lubbe signed with Tracy Marchini at Bookends Literary in July and sold her picture book, SHARK-NATE-O about a kid who loves sharks but cannot swim, so he learns how to so he can feel like a real shark, to Little Bee to be released Spring 2018.

Renee Beauregard Lute signed with Cindy Uh of Thompson Literary Agency with a children’s chapter book in June and sold a 4-book series to Magic Wagon, an ABDO imprint. The Winicker Wallace chapter book series follows the charming misadventures of a spunky girl in Paris as she tries to make friends in a new city.

Lydia Lukidis signed with Jen Hunt from The Booker Albert Literary Agency for her picture and chapter books in September.

howtofindafox_coverAuthor/illustrator Nilah Magruder‘s debut picture book, HOW TO FIND A FOX was published by Feiwel & Friends in November. In it, a little girl, Equipped with a camera and determination, sets out to track down an elusive red fox, but it proves more difficult than she thought.

Nilah also signed two deals! One for her graphic novel M.F.K., a fantastic adventure following the story of Abbie, a deaf girl with a mysterious power, who is traveling across a vast desert to scatter her mother’s ashes to be released by Insight Comics in September 2017.m-f-k-book-one-9781683830047_hr

Plus, Nilah is illustrating the upcoming middle grade graphic novel, CREAKY ACRES which sold in a 3-book deal at auction. Written by Calista Brill and scheduled to be published by Dial Books for Young Readers in Spring 2019, the story features a cast of characters at a run-down horse barn, including new girl Nora, who has to adjust to the change from fancy suburb to poor rural community, and from being one of the few black girls riding horses in her area to being the only black kid in the whole town.

Laura Noakes signed with agent Vanessa Eccles for her Middle Grade in May!

Rachel Noble signed with Essie White of Storm Literary Agency in July and sold her picture book FINN’S FEATHER to Enchanted Lion to be released in Fall 2017. In the book, Finn finds a feather and believes his brother in Heaven has sent it. He wants to protect it but his friend urges him to have fun with his precious gift.

Rosie J. Pova signed with agent Marisa Corvisiero  for her children’s writing in September plus she sold 3 books to Clear Fork Publishing. Rosie’s picture books include: IF YOU WEREN’T HERE in which,in a series of simple and direct questions, Willy, a bear cub, seeks and receives his mother’s reassurance of love and security as the two take a walk in the forest and SARAH’S SONG, the story of a granddaughter as she comes to terms with her grandmother’s failing health and how that affects the special bond the two share. Rosie’s Middle Grade Novel, HAILEY QUEEN AND THE ALIEN: PRANKING MAKES PERFECT is the story of nine-year old prankster Hailey  who feels like an alien in her own world until an alien comes into her life and shows her what it means to be human. All to be released in 2017!

Laura Renauld won the Sparkhouse Family Picture Book Contest (which she learned about in the Contest Roundup!) and her picture book, PORCUPINE’S PIE, in which Porcupine and her friends share ingredients and begin a new tradition for Fall Feast Day, will be released in Fall 2018. She also sold FIND THE FACE: Craft and Game where, using recycled materials, children create Cap Characters that act as the pieces in a guessing game, to Highlights!love-or-moneyhustle-cover

other-place-front-coverElizabeth Roderick‘s Romantic Suspense. LOVE OR MONEY, was published by Limitless Publishing in January. In it, Riel was just released from prison on a drug charge, and now must fight to escape from the crime family that put her there…and to win the heart of the man she loves. She also signed for her Magical Realism/Romantic Suspense Series THE OTHER PLACE in February with THE HUSTLE released in May, The OTHER PLACE released in July, and LOVE AND WAR and SYNCHRONICITY to be released in 2017. In the series, Liria struggles with homelessness and heroin addiction, while Justin struggles to make a life as an artist while dealing with his serious mental health issues. Will their love sustain them, or drag them down?bookss

Shari Schwarz‘s Middle Grade Novel, TREASURE AT LURE LAKE, in which Bryce stumbles upon a treasure map connected to an old family secret, was released from Cedar Fort Publishing.

Bethany Stevenson won an art award in the Oklahoma state fair for an abstract piece of art based on the imagination of writers and took 2nd place in short essay in the Oklahoma library young writers awards and 3rd place for short play.

leakyDevon Sillett sold her picture book, THE LEAKY STORY, about a book that so longs to be read that the characters leak out, to EK Publishing for release in 2017. In November she also signed on with EK for another book to be published in 2018. The title is confidential. How mysterious and exciting!

Michael Sussman signed with agent Stephanie Fretwell-Hill of Red Fox Literary in May!

Christi R. Suzanne‘s flash fiction, FERRIS WHEEL WITNESS was published in The Gravity of the Thing last spring. This short fiction piece was read at an event in September and the editor of the journal was there. She asked Christi to send it in! Her article, WHISPERS was published in Midwestern Gothic in October. It is about a trip she took with her Dad to Girty’s island in Napoleon, OH where they crossed the Maumee River in a blow up boat. She was also interviewed by Midwestern Gothic for their Contributor Spotlight.

the-hate-u-giveAngie Thomas sold her book, THE HATE U GIVE to Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction to be released in February. Plus the film rights were optioned by Fox 2000! Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty.

Yvonne Ventresca
‘s novel BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES was released by Sky Pony Press in October: When strange events cause Ella to question her perception of blackflowerswhitelies-cover-final-smallerreality, she desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.

Jane B. Warren signed with agent Nell Pierce at Sterling Lord Literistic with her Young Adult Novel.

Isn’t that a ton of great news! I feel so awed and lucky to be a part of a group full of so many amazingly talented people. May 2017 bring us inspiration, opportunities, friendship, perseverance, and more success!

Posted in Subbing Success! | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

January 2017 Contest Roundup!

SIC Contest RoundupWith a new year upon us comes the opportunity to start submitting with a renewed feeling of hope and optimism. You haven’t gotten any rejections in 2017! (Ahem. I know because I’m still posting this in 2016.) Entering some contests could be a great way to kick things off. It seems there’s a listing in this month’s Roundup for just about everyone. Not ready to submit a full novel? Try an essay contest. Looking to connect with agents? There are some great pitch days coming up. Need new ideas? There’s a contest for that this month too!

No matter where you’re at with your writing, illustrating, and submitting there’s a whole new year full of 365 days for us to get to work. Here’s to pursuing our dreams of publication! As always we here at Sub It Club have our fingers crossed for you. All the best in 2017!

2016 Contests:

12/31: 28th Dear Lucky Agent ContestOpen to memoir. Submit the title, logline, and first 150-300 words of your completed manuscript. Three winners receive a critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of their work by your agent judge Jennifer Wills of The Seymour Agency.

12/31: 29th Dear Lucky Agent ContestOpen to Historical Fiction. Submit the title, logline, and first 150-300 words of your completed manuscript. Three winners receive a critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of their work by your agent judge Elise Erickson of Harold Ober Associates.

12/31: Society of Classical Poets Poetry Competition – Enter 3-5 poems of no more than 50 lines that fit the contest themes along with a short bio. Top prize of $500.

January 2017:

1/1: L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest – Open to unpublished writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Enter your prose, up to 17,000 words. This is a quarterly contest with 3 cash prizes in each quarter: a 1st of $1,000, a 2nd of $750, and a 3rd of $500. At the end of the year a Grand Prize winner shall be determined and receive an additional $5,000.

1/7: StorystormOpen to writers of all genres. If you’re looking for some writing motivation Storystorm invites writers of all genres to come up with 30 ideas in 30 days. There are daily posts and prizes to keep you going.

1/15: Little Brown Emerging Artist Award Open to illustrators. Contest mission is “to encourage the development of high-quality children’s picture books that resonate with readers of diverse backgrounds and experiences, that in some manner draw from the rich cultural experiences of this country—whether they manifest in character, theme, setting, plot, or are derived simply from the artist’s own experience of identity. Diversity includes literal or metaphorical inclusion of characters of underrepresented ethnicity, religious background, gender identity, class, mental or physical disability, or any other nondominant populations.” See official contest rules. Winner to receive $2500 inAmerican Express® gift cards, round-trip travel to New York City, aday at LBYR’s offices including lunch with an editor, an art director, and the Artist Mentor, an in-person portfolio review by the Artist Mentor and the LBYR publishing staff, and a tour of the office, and the opportunity for the winning submission to be reviewed by LBYR’s editorial team.

1/15: Short Story Award for New Writers – There is a $20 fee for this contest. Open to emerging writers only. Enter your story, up to 7,000 words. Winner to receive $2000 and online publication. 2nd and 3rd place to be awarded publication and $200 and $100 respectively. All winners and honorable mentions will receive agency review by Amy Williams of The Williams Agency, Victoria Marini of Irene Goodman Agency, and Laura Biagi from Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency.

1/16: Writing with the Stars – Open to picture book writers and illustrators. Apply for a 3-month mentorship with a published children’s book author. Download the official application and rules on the listing for details.

1/17: Who Can You Trust Charles Cumming Writing Contest – To enter the contest, Enter your 1,000 word essay on how trust (or distrust) has changed your outlook. Grand Prize winning essay to be published in the paperback and e-book versions of A DIVIDED SPY by Charles Cumming and $250.

1/23: Sun vs. Snow – Open to the first 200 entries at 4pm. MG, YA, NA and Adult only. Send your title, age category, genre, query, first 250 words, and character question. Chosen entrants will work with mentors to prepare for an agent round. There are 15 agents lined up to participate so far.


2/6: Association of Illustrators World Illustration AwardsThere is an entry fee for this listing: $33 per Single Entry; $60 per Multiple Entry. The awards are open to many categories of illustration including books, children’s books, and editorial. Winners to receive feature in an exhibition and publication, and special promotion.

2/20: Past-Year Memoir Contest – Enter your 16-word memoir that reflects on 2016. Winner to receive a free class of your choice from Gotham Writers. You must register at Gotham Writers to enter.

2/23: #PBPitch – Open to picture books. Pitch your picture book via Twitter using the #PBPitch hashtag between 8am and 8pm EST.

2/24: Pitch Madness – Submit a 35-word pitch and the first 250 words of your completed manuscript. A team of readers choose the top 60 entries to move onto coaching and an agent round.


3/23: #Pitmad Open to all genres. Pitch your manuscript via Twitter using the #Pitmad hashtag between 8am & 8pm EDT. Only pitch 3 times per project.

4/1: Scholastic Graphix ContestOpen to Graphic Novels for kids. U.S. Residents only. Up to 5 winners will receive an offer to publish their work with Scholastic and a $15,000 advance.

6/8: #Pitmad Open to all genres. Pitch your manuscript via Twitter using the #Pitmad hashtag between 8am & 8pm EDT. Only pitch 3 times per project.

Know of a great, no fee contest that I missed? Please link us up in the comments!

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The Postcard Post: Carlyn Beccia

Author/illustrator Carlyn Beccia was so kind to answer my questions during this very busy time of the year. She has not only given us a great interview but also a beautiful holiday postcard which, besides being adorable, expresses what we all need so much right now.

Carlyn Beccia (pronounced Betcha) is an author, illustrator, graphic designer, historian and self-professed shoe addict. Beccia’s children’s books, including WHO PUT THE B IN THE BALLYHOO?, RAUCOUS ROYALS, and I FEEL BETTER WITH A FROG IN MY THROAT, have won numerous awards including the SCBWI Golden Kite Honor, the International Reading Association’s Children’s and Young Adult Book Award, and the Cybil Award. Her most recent book, FASHION REBELS, highlights 25 women who changed the world through fashion.

5x7_postcardHow do you choose the image(s) for a postcard?

I try to choose colorful subject matters that will stand out or go the opposite end and use stark black and white images. I also choose images that will work at a smaller size.

Do you prefer text on the front of the postcard with the image or do you prefer all text on the back of the postcard?

I put name and contact info on the front. The reason why I do this is because if art directors or editors like your postcard, they will usually pin it to their board. And when other art directors, designers and editorial folks walk by that board, I believe it is best to have your name immediately connected with the image.


Promotional postcard for the book FASHION REBELS

Do you create illustrations specifically for your self-promotion pieces?
Yes, sometimes a subject will get into my head and I will create it purely as a promotional piece.

Some illustrators create a series of postcards and send them out over time. Do you create a series or stand-alone images?
I think that is a great idea! But no, I don’t do that. I have a book coming out next year called THEY LOST THEIR HEADS.* This book is about the misadventures of famous body parts. I think I might send out a series of body parts… Van Gogh’s ear, Einstein’s brain, Washington’s teeth. Art directors can collect their favorite body part. Thanks for the tip!**
*Can’t wait to see this book.
*You are so welcome! I love the idea of a series of body parts. Hilarious.

How often do you send out postcards?

I am embarrassed to admit this but I have not sent out a postcard in 5 years. I just sent the first one in five years actually today. But I put this on the same level as telling someone you only floss once a week. Yuck. I think everyone should try to send out at least a yearly postcard. (Floss every day though…not yearly).*
*My dentist thanks you for the clarification!


All the info is placed discreetly on the front of the postcard

Who do you target with your mailings? 

I target editors, designers, and art directors. I am planning to do a postcard mailing to librarians and principals at schools to advertise my school visits.* But that is something that I have never done.
*Great idea. Postcards can serve so many promotional purposes.

How do you compile your mailing list? Any tips on keeping a list and sending out?
I keep an excel spread sheet of contacts at each house. I then read
Publishers Weekly, The SCBWI Bulletin and other trade journals and when I see an editor or art director changes jobs, I update my excel spread sheet.

Do you have any tips on the production process?
Use a mail service. Many of the companies that print your postcards will also let you upload an excel spread sheet of your mailing contacts. I know that seems like an obvious one* but I know a lot of friends who print out individual mailing labels on their computers and start applying stamps. If you are doing that— stop. We all wear many hats but resident stamp licker should not be one of them.**
*NO! Not obvious. First time this has been mentioned on The Postcard Post.
**I’d never thought of it quite this way!


The typography matches the mood perfectly

Do you use any online services? What are your favorite places to get postcards printed?

I like Overnight Prints the best. They allow you to add a spot varnish for an extra $10 that really makes your cards pop. And they also allow you to upload a mailing list and take care of the mailing end for an additional cost.

Thanks so much for your excellent tips, Carlyn. You’ve given us some gems!

More of Carlyn’s work is just a click away:
Website: www.carlynbeccia.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carlynbeccia
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carlynbeccia/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/carlynbeccia

If you’re joining us for the first time at The Postcard Post, you can catch up with a general article on postcard mailings for illustrators and previous featured illustrators in the archive (there’s a tab above too). And you can see recent posts by clicking on The Postcard Post under CATEGORIES on the right sidebar of this blog.
See you next month.











Posted in Illustration, Postcards, Sub Tip, The Postcard Post | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Merry Pitchday – Pitch Agent Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein of McIntosh & Otis!

elizabethIt’s snowing on our blog which means the holidays are right around the corner. As you likely already know, publishing tends to slow down a bit and many agents even close to submissions during the season. But we have an agent who wants to hear from you right now!

Pitching is over but if you peruse the comments you can get some insights to what Elizabeth is looking for by seeing what she requested. You can pitch Elizabeth directly. Read the McIntosh & Otis Submission Guidelines.  Today is the day to pitch Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein of McIntosh & Otis! Elizabeth will be taking pitches between 10am and 5pm EST. She’ll be making requests on those that pique her interest and may also offer feedback here and there if time permits. To learn more about Elizabeth before pitching read our interview.

Please only pitch polished, completed manuscripts in the genres Elizabeth represents:

  • literary fiction
  • women’s fiction
  • historical fiction
  • romance
  • mystery/suspense
  • memoir
  • narrative non-fiction
  • history
  • current affairs


  • Title:
  • Word count:
  • Genre:
  • Pitch: 35-words maximum
  • Excerpt: The first 250-words of your novel


**If you get a request from Elizabeth please be sure to put Sub It Club Request in the subject line.

Posted in Pitching | Tagged , , | 79 Comments