www – Wednesday – South Georgia Writer’s Guild

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www – Wednesday
South Georgia Writer’s Guild

Today I wanted to share another organization I’m a part of. It is call South Georgia Writer’s Guild. (SGWG)sgwg-logo-final

SGWG was formed by a handful of writers who all live in South Georgia. (Bet you never who have guessed that, right! *laughing*) We write from all different genres and have all different experiences. But that what makes this organization so amazing!

We have found that we can pull from each other and grow.
Over the past few years we’ve gone from a handful to almost 100 members.
We meet two times a month and have video meetings too.
There are writers from kidlit to romance to sci-fi to fantasy to gamers to (fill in the blank)!
We have hobbiest to intermediate to experienced. Indie and traditional.

YOU NAME IT!

Feel free to check out the South Georgia Writer’s Guild website and join the group, if you like!

Are you a member in a great group? Let us know who they are!

Until next time…
Happy writing!
~t


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Wednesday www – SCBWI

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Wednesday www – SCBWI

Wednesdays I like to share websites that I have found beneficial. If you have been following me for a while, these will probably sound familiar. But I must say the ones I repeat, I repeat for a reason.

My first website to share for the year is SCBWI.org.

logo-scbwi

SCBWI stands for The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and is a world-wide organization and is broken down into different regions. I happen to be in the Southern Breeze Region, which is Alabama, Georgia, and the Florida Panhandle.

SCBWI holds two major conferences a year, and then most regions will host a conference separately. These are amazing opportunities for writers and illustrators. You get to take various workshops or attend different speeches. These can be from other writers/illustrators or agents, editors, and art directors. You get to meet people who will actually GET you! You have the opportunity to present yourself in front of the very people you submit too. You know, to make that personal connection.

You also have an opportunity to volunteer for your region. I volunteer with mine.  😀   Not only is it a great way to pay-it-forward, but the main speakers will see your name and know that you take your job, be it writing or illustrating or both, seriously and are not afraid to go the extra step.

There are dues every year, but I have found that it is well worth it. There is a bi-monthly newsletter, a monthly Insight newsletter, access to The Book, the opportunity to submit to many awards and grants, and much more.

For more information click over to SCBWI.org and check it out. If you are serious about writing or illustrating for children, you won’t regret it!

Until next time…
Happy Writing!
~t

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Marketing Monday – NEW Writing Contest… #FicFest

#FicFest

Marketing Monday –
NEW Writing Contest…
#FicFest

There’s a NEW Writing Contest on the horizon. AND this one is for everyone. When I say everyone, I mean… E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E!

Picture Books… check_mark.svg.med

Mid Grade…        check_mark.svg.med

Young Adult…   check_mark.svg.med

Adult…                check_mark.svg.med

It’s called #FicFest. It’s getting some shout outs across social media.

What is #FicFest?

#FicFest is an online writer’s contest which helps put manuscripts in front of literary agents. This contest, unlike most, is open to manuscripts in ALL genres (including those usually excluded such as Paranormal Romance or Erotica) in the categories of Picture Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult.

#FicFest mentors are structured into fifteen (15) teams. Each category that I listed has three teams. Each team is comprised of a team leader, and two (2) team members. Once the submissions open, each team will choose three (3) finalist manuscripts and one (1) alternate manuscript to advance to the agent round. This means that an equal number of manuscripts for each category will move to the agent round, guaranteeing that one category does NOT overpower another when it comes time for the agents.

45 manuscripts total move to the agent round, with 15 manuscripts being held as alternates in case one of the main finalists drops out of the contest for any reason. This is one of the things we stress in promoting #FicFest because most contests are overrun with Young Adult. In many contests, they may advance 40 manuscripts to the agent round, but the problem lies in the fact that 30 of that 40 are all Young Adult. That won’t happen with #FicFest.

Nine manuscripts from each category will make their appearance in the agent round. No more, no less. NINE each. Let me stress this one more time. In the agent round, you will have 9 Picture Books, 9 Middle Grade, 9 Young Adult, 9 New Adult, and 9 Adult. Everyone gets a fair chance.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Have I got your attention now???

Tiffany Hoffmann is the brains behind this contest. All I can say is… WOW! She is a great leader and I can’t wait to see the entries.  😀  Did I mention I’m a #FicFest PB Mentor!!!!

Keep a look out on her website  and blog  for updates, the AGENT ANNOUNCEMENT, and so much more!

Here are some SAVE THE DATE dates to be on the look out for:

  • March 20, 2016 @ 12:00 PM EST
    Guidelines & Theme Reveal
    (Host Blog)
  • March 27, 2016 @ 7:00 PM EST
    Meet the Team Leads & Their Members!
    (Team Lead Blogs & Host Blog)
  • April 3, 2016 @ 6:00 PM EST
    Agent List Announced
    (Host Blog)
  • April 17, 2016 @ 7:00 PM EST – 10:00 PM EST
    Q & A with Team Leads & Host
    (Twitter – Using #FicFest)
  • April 24, 2016 @ 12:00 AM EST – April 25, 2016 @ 11:59 PM EST
    SUBMISSION
  • April 26, 2016 – May 3, 2016
    Teams will chose their finalists/alternate
  • May 4, 2016 @ 10:00 AM EST
    Finalists/Alternate Reveal
    (Team Leads Blogs)
  • May 5, 2016 – June 30, 2016
    Revisions
  • July 8, 2016 @ 12:00 AM EST – July 14, 2014 @ 11:59 PM EST
    Agent Round

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
What do you think about #FicFest?
Are YOU planning to enter?
If you are, which category will yours be?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Thinking Thursday – Thoughtful Writer Gifts

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Thoughtful Writers Gifts

Tis the season.

As a writer, we all know we can be quirky. Why not have some writerly gifts under your tree? So if your wondering what to get the writer in your life or might like some ideas for yourself, I have a board in Pinterest that has some great gift ideas.

Writers’ Wish List

::: LEAVE ME A COMMENT :::
What did you like on my board?
Know of any other great gift ideas for writers?

Happy Holidays everyone!

Until next time,

Happy Writing,
~t

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COVER REVEAL! The Children at the Playground #TCATPG

Blog- Cover Reveal TCatPG

~COVER REVEAL~
of The Children at the Playground
#TCATPG

It’s here! It’s here. I have had so many amazing things going on in the background that I haven’t been able to share. This is one that I’ve been sitting on!!!! The cover reveal of…

THE CHILDREN AT THE PLAYGROUND!

What can you do at the playground?  The Children at the Playground is a fun picture book set to the rhythm of “The Wheels on the Bus.” Perfect for active story times or to read before, after, or during a playground visit.

Dolores Costello did an amazing job on the illustrations and I cannot wait for you all to be able to see it!!!! Thank you bunches, Dolores!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND NOW, without further ado…

The Children at the Playground

The Children At the Playground

 

Written by: Tracey M. Cox (that’s me!!!)
Illustrated by: Dolores Costello
Published by: Xist Publishing

Thankyou for celebrating with me on this new reveal!

 

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think of the cover!
Would you be interested in doing a review of it?
Stay tune for the BOOK TRAILER!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

 

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~World Read ALOUD DAY~ March 4th!

litworldWRAD15logo-web

Did you know WORLD READ ALOUD DAY is approaching fast?

Well, it is!
~ March 4, 2015 ~

And I’m participating!

I’m offering 15 minute *FREE* Skype visits that day.

What will I do?

  1. Smile and wave
  2. Read one of my stories
  3. Allow your students to ask questions

What do you need to do?

  1. Contact me! email me at authorvisits@traceymcox.com or leave a comment below
  2. Pick out which  BOOK  you would like me to read
  3. Prepare questions

Check out my EVENTS PAGE on my website to see what times are available. Book your spot N-O-W!!!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think of this idea.
Are YOU participating in World Read Aloud Day?
How? What are you doing?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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ALA Awards!

So for some reason, I had this post set to draft instead of scheduled post.  😦  I’m so sorry. It must have been from all the excitement of watching the ALAYMA live. Yeah, that was it. I was hyped up on adrenaline, and the old noggin didn’t function properly.   😉   😉

So here’s the post that should have been on Wednesday… in case you haven’t heard.

shutterstock_102813506 [Converted]

 

And the winners are…

Click 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards to download a complete listing of all the wonderful winners and honorable mentions. You can also watch the event and relive the excitement on the ALA website.

One of my favorite things is to listen in on the phone calls…

Don’t you love the feel?    *happy tears* *laughter* *applause*

Here are the winning books cover art:
*some won multiple times

The CrossoverEl DeafoBrown Girl DreamingBeekleNana in the CityThe Noisy Paint BoxSam & Dave Dig a HoleViva FridaThe Right WordThis One SummerHow I Discovered PoetryHow It Went DownFirebirdJosephineLittle Melba and Her Big TromboneI'll Give You the SunA Boy and A JaguarRain ReignGirls Like UsAll The Light We Cannot SeeBellweather RhapsodyBingo's RunConfessionsEverything I Never Told YouLock InThe MartianThe Terrorist’s Son- A Story of ChoiceThose Who Wish Me DeadWolf in White VanMe…JaneMikis and the DonkeyHidden- A Child’s Story of the HolocaustNine Open ArmsH. O. R. S. E. A Game of Basketball and ImaginationFive, Six, Seven, Nate!The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow PlaceA Snicker of MagicLittle Roja Riding HoodGreen Is a Chile PepperSeparate Is Never Equal- Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for DesegregationI Lived on Butterfly HillPortraits of Hispanic American HeroesThe Family Romanov- Murder, Rebellion, & the Fall of Imperial RussiaNeighborhood Sharks- Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon IslandsThis Day in JuneBeyond Magenta- Transgender Teens Speak OutMorris Micklewhite and the Tangerine DressYou Are (Not) SmallMr. Putter & Tabby Turn the PageWaiting Is Not Easy!Gabi, a Girl in PiecesThe Carnival at BrayThe Story of Owen- Dragon Slayer of TrondheimThe Scar BoysThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava LavenderPopular- Vintage Wisdom for a Modern GeekLaughing at My NightmareIda M. Tarbell- The Woman Who Challenged Big Business—and Won!The Port Chicago 50- Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights

 

 

I’ve been going around doing my

~ S n o o p y   D a n c e ~

for all you win-nahs, win-nahs, win-nahs out there!!!

 

Did you see some of your favorites? I know I did. Now I have got a great reading list to go scavenge around my library with.   🙂

 

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Thinking Thursday… Getting Established

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Getting Established

Getting established (or re-established) can feel overwhelming. There are so many things we need to do or can do.

  1. Website
  2. Blog
  3. Social Media
  4. Word of Mouth

First thing first though!

Google yourself to see what (or who) is out there.  Check out websites, social media outlets, and blogs to see what is available. You want to become consistent with your name throughout your visual presence if possible. I was very fortunate, I have:

  1. Website
    www.traceymcox.com
  2. Blog
    www.traceymcox.wordpress.com
  3. FaceBook
    (personal) www.facebook.com/traceymcox.1
    (prefessional) www.facebook.com/traceymcox.author
  4. Twitter
    www.twitter.com/traceymcox     or
    @traceymcox
  5. Pinterest
    www.pinterest.com/traceymcox
  6. YouTube
    www.youtube.com/user/traceymcox
  7. Skype
    traceymcox.author

Just to name a few.  As you can see, I was able to keep my name “Tracey M. Cox” in the search.

What if my name isn’t available?

You can do a variation. [Your Name] writes or [Your Name] author/illustrator. Or do the reverse. Maybe you have a pen name or a quirky name you want people to remember you by. Use that.

Be Consistent! Be, Be Consistent!

Not everyone will be coming from your website. You do have all your links on your website, right? Some people will be searching for you from a search engine. Some can be coming from another link, perhaps from someone else’s blog or website. You want them to recognize you!

Not only should you have your listing match, try matching or similar pictures too. This will help visual recognition! I’m more visual than anything. I can remember a face. Names??? Can be sketchy.   😉   That doesn’t mean you can’t change your pictures. Just remember to do it with all of them. Or have a few grouped together and a few others grouped together. You want people to know it is you when they are searching.

Putting your best foot forward

Your website is your face on the internet. You want to be presentable and allow people to get to know you.

Blogging is a great sound board. It allows you to talk about what you are passionate about, what you stand for, what you want in life. It is a great building block of your platform and branding. Remember to bring your message forward. We all have bad days and you can sound off about it too… just try to do it in a constructive way. Remember people will be reading your posts. Hopefully, some will be agents and/or editors that you will want to present a good image to.

Social Media is a handful! (Zoinks! There goes that constructive whining!!!   😉   ) It can be time consuming and overwhelming. I took it a little at a time. I researched each outlet and gave it a whole-hearted try for at least a week solid before I decided on it. Do I like them all??? NO! Do I use them all? NO! There are a few I’m on, barely. There are some I’m learning to like too. Then there are the ones I wish would be better, because I really like using them.

Word of Mouth is probably one of the best! Really. I think it is, because that means someone else thinks enough about you to pass your name on. To me, it’s one of the best compliments one person can give another. “Oh, so-and-so is really good at (blah). You should check them out!” Or there is “Such-and-such has a new book out called (TITLE). Go read it!” When you say good things about people, they notice.   🙂
While on Social Media, I try to keep it a 1:5 ratio, if not more. Which means for every one promotional post, I will post at least five other posts about somebody else or something else.

Be Friendly

One thing I will say is this…

Don’t constantly talk about yourself!

Talk about others… in a good way!!! Lift each other up. Promote someone who does something really well. Reciprocity RoCkS!

So get out there and let people know you, know what you are about, and who else you like.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about this post.
What are some of the steps you’ve taken to get establish?
What are some ways you would like to learn about?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Tuesday Tip: Paying It Forward

one-lovely-blog

Paying it forward

Sometimes you never know when you have helped people. Sometimes you do. Being recognized isn’t the reason why I have been posting though. I have learned things… sometimes (more than most) the hard way. When I was starting out, I had a few people who were gracious to me. They answered questions and gave me some helpful hints. One author wrote to me to say thank you for my kind words about her. *fan girl scream*

Last week I was pleasantly surprised by Keila Dawson. She nominated me for the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD.

THANKS YOU LOTS AND LOTS AND WHOLE BUNCHES, KEILA!

I think you rock too!

I nominate the following bloggers, because I find them paying it forward and just want to say, “You guys RAWK!” Thank you for the time and dedication you put into the KidLit Community! Take a moment to visit their blogs and you will definitely find useful information and inspiration.

  1. Julie Hedlund (12×12 Founder)
  2. Susanna Leonard Hill (PPBF & Making PB Magic)
  3. Tara Lazar (PiBoIdMo Founder)
  4. Carrie Charley Brown (ReFoReMo Founder)
  5. Beth Stillmore (Writer and Champion of Writers)
  6. Kathryn Howes (#RaisingReaders, Writer)

Now, I’m suppose to share…

7 things people might not know about me: 

  1. I was a cheerleader in elementary school and can still do a split.
  2. I know how to snowboard and rollerskate.
  3. My eyes are so brown, they are almost black.
  4. When I was little, I wanted to be a Roller Derby Queen when I grew up. Or a mime. HA!
  5. I can play the keyboard and use to be in a band.
  6. My favorite class in elementary school was Performing Arts. I love to draw, paint, create puppets, perform, etc!
  7. I know how to yodel.

 

Pay it forward! Here are the rules for accepting this award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate up to 15 bloggers you admire and inform the nominees by commenting on their blog.

Well done fellow bloggers! Pass it on!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about my crazy 7 things.
What other blogs do you find valuable?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Marketing Monday – Have a Website

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Why You Should  Have a Website

In my video, 12 Marketing Tips to Marketing Yourself with Little to No Money, my #1 tip is to have a website.

It doesn’t matter if you are pre-published or published. If you are in an industry where you are submitting your work,as we are, people will look you up. You want to be visible and have a good presence. Trust me, chances are you are not the only one with your name.

Here’s a little test:

  • Click here to go to GOOGLE
  • Type in your name
  • Hit enter
  • See what is on the first few pages

Were you there?    Did you see others?

When I did this (after I had a few magazine articles under my belt), I was shocked and began blushing on who was pulled up.  SPOILER ALERT: It wasn’t me. Or a the little green men. Let’s just say, it wasn’t my genre. I wanted people to know me for what I do, not for what someone with the same name does.

“But I’m not published yet…”
I wasn’t either when I started my own website. And you should too, if you haven’t already. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy. In fact, most people get aggravated by the bells and whistles. You have to think of the ones who, like me, live in the boonies and don’t have the best internet connection. It can be slow, people.

You can have as little as one to two pages to start with. Something simple.

“I’m published!!!…”
All the more reason to have a website. You can begin to expand with a ‘books’ or ‘credits’ page. You can be published in a newspaper or magazine and give links back to them. When you have books out, give each of them their own page. Include book trailers, awards, and reviews on their individual pages.

What Should A Website Contain

  • Picture of you
  • Description of you
  • Credits you have pertaining to your field
  • Video
  • Supporting material
  • Extra

Picture:
~Have a good headshot. It doesn’t have to be done professionally. The one on this blog of me is a selfie. Yep, I took it and added a little bit of editing.   😉   The one on my website that I use for flyers, my son took when he was 13.   😉   I paid him in gum.  Yes, I paid BIG BUCKS!!!! Hahahahahahhaa!
~SMILE in your photo.  Seriously, don’t be a sourpuss.
~Good lighting always helps… editing does too.

Description:
Use your own judgement and go with what you are comfortable with. If you look over my ‘about me’, you’ll see I have the month I was born in and where. You’ll also read that my papa would tell me stories and started my love of learning.
This is where people will get to ‘know’ you. What do you want to be known for. What are your dreams? Are you involved in anything associated with your field?

Credits:
Don’t sweat this one too much. Do you have a newsletter you publish? Do you contribute to a well-known newsletter or podcast or (something)? Newspaper articles? Magazines? Volunteer reading or teaching art at a local school? All these can build you as a credible person.
You should include any organization you are involved in that is helping you further your field. This can include: SCBWI, 12×12, etc. You should also include any formal classes you have taken. This can include a number of professional artist or classes from the Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL).
Give your BOOKS a shout out when they come out. I have a ‘books’ page and from there you can go to the individual pages.

Video:
Welcome people to your website. Invite them to read about you and explore your other page(s), read your blog, etc. Tell them you are a writer/illustrator and how excited you are to be pursuing your dreams.
By having a video you use sight and sound to make a connection. Again, SMILE while you are taking your video, make it genuine. Let your personality come through.

Supporting Material:
This could go with extra depending on your experience.
You can include links to your favorite websites.
You can have links to material that support your books too, such as teacher guides, and coloring and activity pages.

This is only a suggestion and not a ‘you have to do this’ format. As you gain experience, your website can expand.

Where Can I Have A Website?
There are tons of places you can begin a website.
FREE- WordPress is an option. You don’t have to have a blog to do this. Although, you can tie the two together nicely here. I use them for my blog.    🙂
FREE- Wix & Weebly are a couple of other ones off the top of my head too.
FEE- Yahoo is what I use. I’ve been there for over 10 years and have never had a problem with my website. There is a fee for being at yahoo though.
FEE- Any server will have website service, with varying amounts.

 

Just Remember…   This is you we are talking about. Build your website to suit you, your needs, and your message. By doing this, you will begin to have a foundation to market yourself and the products you produce.

I hope this helps you see how important having a website is.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about having a website.
How important is it to you?
Are there things you include that I don’t? WHY?
I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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