I have been very fortunate this past year. I discovered an opportunity and was actually prepared to grab that opportunity when it presented itself. It may seem like a lucky break. In a lot of ways it was. I had entered an online contest through NPR. Someone happened to post in one of their online forums about another contest, one for children's storybooks.
I have spent years scribbling away in private. I have worked and re-worked several stories. I have one screenplay that I have been working on for eighteen years, in fact. I have written stories as gifts for friends or their children. I have even tried my hand at illustration. Until recently, the writing was my secret passion, my happy little hobby. Now it has become something so much more.
When I saw the notice about the storybook contest, I took a look at all my fragments of stories and polished a few of my favorites and then surveyed family and friends, asking for critiques and guidance. Through these conversations I determined which two stories I would edit once again and then submit for consideration.
Both stories made it through the first round. One of the stories made it through the second round. It was picked as a finalist for the third round. I knew weeks in advance that there was a possibility it might be chosen, but could not say a word. Anyone that knows me or my family, knows that at times certain members of us have a tendency to be canaries. I sometimes sing my little heart out. I have been known to avoid people for weeks if I have a news scoop that is not ready for public consumption yet. This possible good news was an easy thing to keep quiet about, however, as I was so close to finally having one of my dreams come true. I was able to reign in my natural tendency to chatter.
My story did not win the ultimate prize of the contest, but I received a great prize none the less. I found out that my story earned a publishing contract. On my birthday, I received the notice that it had been posted for online sales. Truly one of the best birthday gifts ever!
Now I am busily trying to learn how to market and promote my storybook. I have a page set up for the book. I am trying to grow that page. As part of that, the publisher of the storybook is helping me sponsor a contest. If my storybook page gets 236 fans before the 4th of July, there will be a contest on or about the 4th and a lucky winner will receive a 4th of July gift pack of 6 downloadable books about America for kids from the publisher MeeGenius.
This is the event invitation-please feel free to join the contest, "like" the page, and share with others. We really want to be able to give away this gift pack! :)