Bird Face Wendy

Things relevant to reading, writing, publishing or marketing teen fiction.

Book Award Competitions, Part 2 (the second scoop)

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If you’ve landed here, you may be familiar with my post from December 5th,  The Real Scoop on Book Award Competitions, Part 1. If not, be sure to take a look and see why and how I began entering award contests for my historical novel, The Other Side of Freedom.

One thing I didn’t mention then but will share with you now is that I had unexpectedly received opportunities to earn a little extra money by editing others’ work. Divine providence, perhaps? They were small assignments, but I saved the money. Instead of spending my fund on travel, I chose to invest in the possibility of receiving an award for my book. Some might call it risk, LOL.

So, in Part 1 you learned about what happened with my first entries. Not all bad. And here are the rest!

Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Award Contest Before I even considered entering the contest, I had requested and received a free review for one of my other books. (Be sure to look into that on the website.) For the contest, I entered The Other Side of Freedom in the category Children – Pre-teen, submitting a mobi file online and paying a fee, to which I chose the option of adding $1 donation to St. Jude’s Hospital. To my disappointment, Readers’ Favorite did not announce the results by email, but I knew approximately when they were due. I searched every few days until I found them, and my book had won! Gold-medal Winner for Coming-of-age. This contest has perhaps the greatest number of categories and winners, but the prizes give the books good exposure. Some winners are considered for representation by Folio Literary Management and some for film production by Wind Dancer Films. Other winners are receiving publicity or marketing from a number of companies. There’s a lot of information to absorb, so plan to spend a while on the website.

Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Awards I entered this 2017 contest in December 2017 and still can find no results a year later. (See the 2016 winners at the link.) I was allowed to enter past the deadline because I emailed the address provided and was told they “need more YA.” I had to not only pay the entry fee but priority-mail three books. I cannot give this contest a recommendation.

Eric Hoffer Book Award Described as an “independent book award for the small press, academic press & independent press, including self-published books,” this one had one of the moderately-priced entry fees among those with fees. My book was a finalist, for which I was notified by email. The category was YA, which includes juvenile and teen.

Book of the Year Awards (Independent Author Network) This competition attracted me because of the categories, cash prizes, and gala awards ceremony. I paid a very affordable fee for the first category and a reduced fee for the second category. I entered my book in Historical and Juvenile. It won Outstanding Fiction Children/Juvenile and Second Place Book of the Year. It was also a finalist in Historical fiction. Unfortunately I was not able to attend the ceremony in Miami. You don’t need to be a member to enter this contest, but I joined after winning.

The Christopher Awards (Catholic, family literature) I almost forgot about this one! Presented to TV and cable, feature films, and books for adults and young people, it was established to “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.” Although achieving this award would be a long shot, I entered my book. If nothing else, it would be seen and perhaps read by other Catholics who recognize good Catholic literature. As you can see, only six books for young people received the award. I had to mail three books, but there was no entry fee.

Children’s Literary Classics Book Awards Earlier in the year, my book received their Seal of Approval. I took that as an indication I should enter. I uploaded one ePub book, mailed one book, and paid a fee. I entered in the upper middle grade level for ages 11 to 14 years. I chose Historical as a category, plus got a free entry into the Eloquent Quill Top Honors award for youth books. The results? Gold Winner in two upper middle grade categories: General and Historical. The awards ceremony will be in Rapid City, South Dakota in May, 2019, and I plan to attend.

Catholic Press Association (CPA) Book Awards I cherish the certificate I received for Third Place, Children’s. I have a newspaper background, and I know how greatly such awards from press associations are coveted. It being an award from within this Catholic sphere makes it even sweeter to me. As a non-member, I paid a higher entry fee than a member.

Catholic Writers Guild’s Catholic Arts and Letters Award (CALA)I am a Catholic Writers Guild member, so I was aware that competition would be fierce, especially because  there is only one category for books for young people: Children’s and YA (Young Adult). One of my familiar colleagues was bound to win, and one did! My book had to have received the CWG Seal of Approval. The fee was low, and I mailed three books.

Purple Dragonfly Award (Story Monsters, Inc.) This is a competition open to any year of publication, which is different from the other contests.  I entered an ebook instead of going for the print competition. I got the Early Bird special fee. Results will be known in June, 2019.

Best Indie Book Award With about a dozen categories total and few where my book would fit, I took a chance and entered my book in the category of Literary/Mainstream because a book with a young boy character had previously won in that category, and the Children’s category seemed won mostly by picture books or early chapter books. I did not win, and I don’t believe finalists were recognized. The entry fee was in the moderate range.

There were two other competitions I considered entering. One was Christian Indie Awards, formerly Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) Awards. I didn’t enter because, based on past winners, I couldn’t decide between Children’s and YA categories. I wish now that I had made a decision and entered.

Another was the Benjamin Franklin Awards (Independent Book Publishing Association). The author’s indie publisher must be a member, and mine wasn’t, so my fee would’ve been $225 instead of $99. That placed it out of my reach.

I hope I’ve provided some useful information for new and established authors. In addition to these contests, look for those open only to authors in your city, state, or country or to authors of your particular ethnicity.  So many opportunities to win exist. You just have to find them and enter!

 

 

 

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Release Day! First Scene Preview: 6 Dates to Disaster

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My publisher featured 6 Dates to Disaster today on the Write Integrity Press blog with the first scene for your convenience. I hope you enjoy reading it!

This is the third book of the Bird Face series, and Jennifer is back in Wendy’s life, although not shown in the first scene. The story addresses honesty and how dishonesty can damage a teen’s relationships and future.

Be sure to check out all three of the books so far in the series on my Amazon author page! (The original Bird Face book, which is out-of-print, is still listed there, too. That story became 8 Notes to a Nobody.)

Thank you for reading.

Cynthia

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Meet Hanna: teen reader, writer, ballerina, jewelry maker

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Hanna in The Nutcracker

Meet my friend Hanna. She’s 16 years old and lives in Texas.

If you thought home-schooled teens might be out of touch or uninvolved with what’s going on outside, you don’t know Hanna!

Here’s your chance to get to know her.

Welcome, Hanna. Tell us a little about yourself.

Well, I was born in Washington, but we moved to Texas when I was a year old. I learned to read when I was three and started writing when I was eight. My mother had started writing her novel, Moonfall around that time, and I guess she was one of the initial reasons I got into it.

I think one of the biggest parts of my life, one that’s affected me as a person, would be the complications of my health. When I was five, I was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and when I was 14, I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia, as well as peraformis syndrome.

It’s important for anyone with a disease or a disorder to remember that you are not your disease/disorder, it does not define you. What defines you is how you react to it. And I like to try and live by that, because this is something I have to live with every day and it can be more than just hard, but I’m doing it. I guess that’s what makes me, me.

Do you read a lot? Which kinds of books do you like to read?

I try to read as often as I can; most recently I read Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: the Sword of Summer. I’ll read more often and faster if it’s something I find compelling or interesting. That goes for both fiction and non-fiction.

Would you like to write a book like any of those someday? Or if you’re writing one now, what is it about?

I love writing just as much as I love reading, if not more so. I mainly write sci-fi and contemporary fantasy and I have a huge folder on my laptop just for book-y stuff. It’s kind of overflowing actually.

I do have a couple I’ve put most of my focus into though. The main one I’m working on is about a soon-to-be 16 year-old girl, named Valentine Arzela. Her mother disappeared when she was very young and ever since then, a string of related disappearances have occurred. At least until the day she kinda accidentally blows up a supermarket parking lot and two winged teens pay a visit, both with very different agendas and both wanting her to join their cause.

Which character in the Bird Face series of books did you like the most? Is that because she (or he) reminds you of yourself or because you’d like her (or him) as a friend?

I think I liked Wendy the most. I liked being inside her head. She was cute and funny in her own way and reminds me of myself at a younger age, haha. She’s relatable.

What are your hobbies?

Outside of reading and writing, I love dancing, hanging out with my friends, listening to music, and singing. Mostly dancing though; I love ballet, pointe, and contemporary.

I also make jewelry. I’ve been doing that for several years, probably since I was about 8 when my grandmother bought me some stretchy string and a small bead kit and asked me to make her a necklace, hehe. The next Christmas, my parents loaded me up with beads and tools. Now I’ve made quite a bit in bulk and I’m about to start an online store to sell everything I’ve made.

What is the best thing about being home-schooled? What is the worst thing?

Best thing? Well there are a lot of things I love about it. I like getting to sit on a couch instead of a hard chair and not having to work as long as my friends who go to the local public schools. I like getting to choose my curriculum and having my parents around to help me if I’m having trouble. It’s pretty cool, in my opinion, haha.

(I would’ve enjoyed that!)

The worst thing about it…either not having school clubs or having a harder time getting into, as well as finding information on, SAT/ACT tests and Dual Credit at local colleges. There are more forms to fill out and it can get very confusing.

Do you do things with teens who are homeschooled and/or with other teens?

I haven’t met many homeschooled teens, but last year I took dance with one and we starred in the Nutcracker ballet together. Most of the teens I know are from my dance classes, and they all go to public school.

As for what we do…we mainly just hang out at dance since we see each other there every week, haha, but sometimes we’ll go out to eat after competitions or weekend classes. With my two best friends though, we’ll go to each other’s houses and birthday parties. We’re actually planning a shopping trip soon.

Do you have a lot of friends or one or two close ones? Why?

I can count my friends on one hand and my closest friends with two fingers. I do love socializing and meeting new people, but I’m also really picky about who I consider a part of my inner circle. And, personally, I feel like having a small, tight group is better than having several ‘friends’ that you don’t really know and can’t rely on.

What makes a good friend for you?

Someone who will keep your secrets, give it to you straight, and voice their opinions, but won’t judge you for yours. A good friend is someone you can rely on and someone who won’t lie to you or go behind your back. And someone who’s quirky and funny and original is totally the bomb, in my more personal opinion.

Are you friends with any boys?

Yes, one, he’s my best friend actually. I’ve known him longer than any of my other friends and I’m closer to him than anyone else I know.

What is the best thing about friendship with a boy?

Well, being someone who always wanted a brother, it’s kind of like having one. That’s one of the best things to me, having a guy who will stick up for you and be that big brother figure even if he’s younger than you (by a year and a few months, HA) and also give you advice on guys if necessary.

(I always wanted a brother close to my age, too. Just like my character Wendy.)

If you’ve ever had a bad argument with a best friend, what was it about?

Yes…the details I would rather not talk about, but yes, I have fought with a best friend before. And because of what caused the fight and their actions since then, we are no longer friends.

What do you look forward to this summer? Next year? After you graduate high school?

For the summer, it’s having my school done, ha! Next year: SAT and PSAT tests and starting dual credit at the community college. After high school: I can’t wait to go to college and live in the dorms and have the big textbooks – I LOVE TEXTBOOKS…and now I probably sound like a nerd, ahaha.

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Earrings created by Hanna

I hope you enjoyed meeting Hanna. Visit her jewelry website, coming soon: http://handmadeeclectic.com

 

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