I have a cover!

This week has been pretty exciting. I got to see the cover of The Sparrow and The Trees in color for the first time. And I LOVE it. Susan has done such a beautiful job!.


My Fractured Fairy Tale Contest Entry in Susanna Leonard Hills March Madness Writing Contest


The Contest: Write a children’s story, in poetry or prose, maximum 400 words, that is a fractured fairy tale. Feel free to add a theme of spring, or mix in one of the spring holidays if you like – St. Patrick’s Day, April Fools Day, Easter or Passover, Arbor Day, Earth Day… Have fun with it! The madder* the better! :)
*as in wild and wacky, not angry :)

You do not have to include spring – that is optional.

The story can be a picture book or a short story – whatever you like.

If it’s a picture book, you may NOT include art notes, because we get into a weird area of whether that’s fair in terms of word count and added description etc. So if you write a picture book that’s wonderful, but make sure art notes aren’t necessary to understand it.
“Fairy Tale” apparently turned out to be a very debatable term, so my fellow judges and I will do our best to handle whatever you’ve come up with.
Title not included in word count.

Click here for all the stories http://susannahill.blogspot.com/

Thank you to all who read and commented on my fractured fairy tale.

My First Picture Book to be Published by Sylvan Dell Publishing!


What a fantastic day of firsts Feb.11, 2014 turned out to be. As the first big snowstorm (and hopefully the last in this case) of the 2013-2014 winter season approached my area, all was wonderful for me in the world of kidlit.

When I arrived at home, I had my first agent interview for my blog in my email inbox. The wonderful Christa Heschke took such an interest in answering each and every one of my many questions. In her answers, I can see the personality of a very nice, very sincere, very knowledgable agent.

Second, my husband walked in with the mail and handed me my contributor’s copy of The Mailbox with my very first printed magazine publication inside of it. Oh what a happy feeling.

Then if things could not get any better, as I was working on my first Chapter Book, I spotted an email in my inbox from Sylvan Dell Publishing with the subject line “We would like to publish your manuscript.” I stared at it for a second, just to make sure it was real. I clicked the email and right there in front of my eyes was a contract from the publisher that I have been submitting to for 5 long years! Over the years,  I have had some terrific feedback from Donna German, the editor and even an almost offer back in 2009, but this time it was an actual contract attached. The feeling of “Ahh…I finally did it!” was surreal. All those years admiring their books and keeping in contact through submissions to the editor and yes, of course all of those rejections…almost a dozen to be exact. My first published picture book, a folklore titled THE SPARROW AND THE TREES will be in my hands and more importantly in the hands of little kids in 2015. After all of these years, finally my dream has come true.

So yes, the snow storm may be coming and I sure hope it is the last one, but no amount of snow could put a damper on this author. Feb. 11, 2014 is a wonderful day!

The Agent Hunt and doing 12 x 12

For the past couple of years, I have been working hard on perfecting my craft in writing picture books. I have many polished picture books that have received some great feedback not only from critique partners but also from agents and editors BUT I have still yet to land an agent. My goal for 2014 is to work hard on building on those picture books that have received great feedback—and hopefully find that perfect agent for me.

That is why I have signed up for 12 x 12 with Julie Hedlund. 12 x 12 will keep me motivated in my picture book writing. If you are a serious picture book writer, you should check out http://www.juliehedlund.com/12-x-12/ Registration closes the end of Feb. so don’t delay.

January Picture Book Review

Palazzo Inverso

This month’s pick is “Palazzo Inverso” written and illustrated by D.B. Johnson.

Mauk, a young apprentice spends every day the same—awaking to the ring of a jangling bell; his boots on the ceiling and once again late for the Master. But this morning as Mauk paddles across the lake to the Palazzo, something seems strange…

What is different? Mauk wonders as enters the Palazzo. He runs from room to room through the palace and soon discovers everything in the Palazzo is all mixed up.

Bricklayers are spilling bricks on the ceiling, workers are walking on their hands down the stairs, and the Master’s Mistress is standing on the ceiling shouting at the Master for tracking mud on the wall. Even the water fountain is falling up instead of down. The tower is downside up! And the Master is furious at Mauk.

Mauk reminds the Master that he is ONLY allowed to sharpen the pencils…so how could it possibly be his fault? EXPECT…when the Master wasn’t looking or when he was napping, Mauk would turn the drawing just a tiny bit…little by little, day by day until the Palazzo drawing was upside down.

When Mauk realizes what he has done, he takes off. The Master, the Mistress, and the workers run in circles trying to catch him. But no one could. Only, Mauk knows every inch of the upside-down Palazzo. After a whirlwind chase, the others discover the humor and the beauty in Mauk’s Pallazzo Inverso…even the Master.

D.B. Johnson’s creation of Palazzo Inverso is nothing short of pure genius in the world of children’s literature. His whimsical story of a mischievous boy’s mistake allows him to escape from adults by running…on the ceiling and walls!

Just as the Palazzo Inverso is upside down, the actual book will have the reader reading from front to back then upside down, back to front. As an added bonus, reader’s can flip the book upside down on any page to discover a whole new storyline allowing an endless supply of bedtime stories.

Inspired by the master of optical illusions—M.C. Escher, D.B. Johnson creates chaotic yet serene illustrations. Readers will get lost inside the story as they discover the pictures make sense right side up AND upside down.