2021 Valentiny: Stella & Hank

By now, you probably know how I feel about Susanna Leonard Hill’s writing contests! I love them! A blank page makes my anxiety rear it’s head but a structured challenge inspires ideas to flow! The Valentiny contest rules include creating a story for children with a full story arc in 214 words or less. ThisContinue reading “2021 Valentiny: Stella & Hank”

Organization Tips From An Unorganized Brain

My brain is not organized. It never has been and it likely never will be. I mean, I’m not complaining because it works for me and it has forced me to externally organized. And I’ve learned some tips to help my brain over the years. I would LOVE to hear what you do and whatContinue reading “Organization Tips From An Unorganized Brain”

Susanna Leonard Hill’s 2020 Holiday Contest

Pulling out my coziest socks, admiring the lights around the neighborhood, making little people-shaped ginger cookies to devour… ah yes, it must be time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday Contest! Are you tired of me raving about her contests yet? There’s something so freeing and FUN about having a limited amount of time and aContinue reading “Susanna Leonard Hill’s 2020 Holiday Contest”

#KidLitHoliYAY: Day 4

I am so excited to host the fourth day of #KidLitHoliyay with some of my Critique Sisters: Maryna Doughty, Dedra Davis, Sarah Meade, Sarah Heaton, and Ciara O’Neal! And I am very excited to feature HAPPY LLAMAKAH! by Laura Gehl, Illustrated by Lydia Nichols I love this book. It’s sweet, it rhymes, it’s punny, itContinue reading “#KidLitHoliYAY: Day 4”

Happy Halloweensie!

[UPDATE: THRILLED to share that this story was given an Honorable Mention for Great Read for Younger Readers!] It’s one of my favorite times of year: Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie contest for children’s writers! I love these contests. They challenge my brain to think in new ways and almost always inspire multiple stories. Plus, thisContinue reading “Happy Halloweensie!”

Picture Book Opportunities in October!

2020, right? I’ve been working on finding silver linings, or rather, treats among all the tricks this year has brought. Here are some of my favorite October opportunities for children’s writers: Don’t miss Brian Gehrlein’s #PBCritiqueFest raffle! There are a LOT of amazing prizes and a LOT of opportunities for additional entries. Last year IContinue reading “Picture Book Opportunities in October!”

Fall Writing Frenzy 2020

[UPDATE: So honored to share that this story placed this year!] I feel like all the seasons have been a frenzy this year but, at least writing frenzies are the GOOD kind of frenzy. If you’re a member of the kidlit writing community, you’ve heard of Kaitlyn Sanchez – mom, teacher, children’s author, agent, (maybeContinue reading “Fall Writing Frenzy 2020”

On disappointment and creativity

So maybe you put yourself out there to do a thing. A big thing. A thing you thought would Really Make a Difference. And, maybe that thing didn’t work out. And you feel crushed. And you’re wondering if you should just give up.  But here’s THE THING: If you are feeling disappointed and heartbroken, thatContinue reading “On disappointment and creativity”

Talking about BIG things with little kids

Another deviation from writing for fun but very necessary things. Some of this is copied and pasted from my school social work blog (you’ll probably pick up on that vibe). Big things are going on. Big things that are terrifying and overwhelming. As adults, when we can’t wrap our minds around them, how can weContinue reading “Talking about BIG things with little kids”

Showing Up for Yourself

Sometimes I like to think that there is a parallel universe where parallel-universe-Nicole is still going to work and interacting with extended family members in person and grocery shopping without a mask while listening to news updates about our first female president. I hope she’s happy. She has a lot to be grateful for. And,Continue reading “Showing Up for Yourself”