Hi. My name is Ken. I'm a member of SCBWI. I'm your tour guide into Brianwoods, a blog dedicated to my children's writing endeavors. Thanks for stopping by.

Just for a minute, close your eyes and imagine you're walking along a forest trail. Listen to the forest animals, as they call out to greet you. Welcome to Brianwoods!

This blog includes some of my other writing and details on my published materials.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Time to Send in my MS!

Well, I finally finished my entry for this year's Highlights for Children Fiction Contest. Now all I have to do is get my letter postmarked with tomorrow's date, 1/31/12, the last day entries will be accepted.

I'm feeling pretty good about my entry, but I've had that feeling before and, well, you know the results. I really do enjoy the process and one of my friend's younger daughters read the story and gave me some invaluable feedback. The girls are in the targeted age group for the story so that was great.

Now I'll have to start that long wait to see if my story is good enough to get published or place in the top three in the contest. Who couldn't use the publicity and the $1,000 prize money. But I have to be realistic about my chances because to make the top three entries you need to be somewhere in the top .2 %.

No matter what happens, I'm building a nice portfolio of my writing and I feel like I'm improving with each step. I'm already working on my next project, which is to polish and finish my middle grade novel that I started two years ago.

I just got a rejection letter from Pockets today too. I had submitted one of my old Highlights entries to them after a little tweaking. Patient persistence. That's what I keep telling myself.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Highlights For Children-Fiction Contest-2012

It's that time of year again for the Highlights fiction contest. To officially enter the contest, one must submit an original fictional story under 475 words (beginning readers) or 750 words (older readers) to Highlights between January 1st and 31st, 2012. This year's theme is "A funny story inspired by an unusual newspaper headline".

I've been thinking about ideas for over two months. I also wrote three different stories. I liked my first story, but it wasn't funny. Strike one. The second story had promise in my mind. It didn't have that "WOW" factor though that you see in some of the winning entries. Strike two. So I tried to incorporate some of the elements that I liked in story number two, with a few surprises and VOILA, I had a third story that just might work.

Last year, I didn't enter after 5 consecutive entries because I was working on my entry for one of the SCBWI writing grants. Even though I didn't win, I learned a lot.

One more thing before I sign off. I just noticed that the word count for the 2012 contest has been reduced from previous years. I guess it is good practice to double-check the contest rules. I'd hate to be disqualified because of the word count.

Good luck to all those who enter this year!