Sunday, 31 March 2013

Chapter Book Challenge 2013 Wrap-Up #ChaBooCha


Today marks the last day of the 2013 Chapter Book Challenge.  Not only am I wondering how everyone did, but, if you managed to write a complete first draft between March 1st through March 21st, please send me an e-mail or comment on this post letting me know, and you will be sent a winner badge to display on your website or blog as well as receiving a link that will take you to a hidden section of the Chapter Book Challenge store where you can buy "Chapter Book Challenge 2013 Winner" merchandise. Besides, it would be fun to look at the percentage of how many of us managed to do it.

Don't feel badly if you didn't complete a first draft in the month of March. I know some of you joined without any intention of completing a first draft. Some of you joined just to keep up to date with the guest posts and to learn from them. Some of you joined for the great community of like-minded writers that being a part of this challenge brings to you (especially if you joined the Facebook group). Some of you joined in order to get that extra push to finish a draft you had already started. Some of you joined for the chance to win prizes, which included a lot of helpful books on the craft of writing. Some of you joined in order to get help fleshing out your book idea, and some of you joined just to get further along with the writing of your book. And others joined for completely different reasons. For whatever reason you joined, we were happy to have you and for however far long you got with your goals, well done! Any progress is good progress.

If you have joined the Facebook group or "liked" the Facebook page, both will continue to be active throughout the year. Blog posts will continue throughout the year, although much less frequently until just before next March (2014), but they will no longer be e-mailed out to everyone again until the 2014 challenge begins.

If you are officially signed up now, you will remain signed up for next year and will not need to sign up again to join in 2014. Sign-ups for 2014 are allowed to start early, so if you know anyone who might like to be a part of the challenge in 2014, please tell them about us. It is thanks to word of mouth that this challenge grew from 23 members last year to nearly 100 members this year.

For those of you who would like one, I have some Chapter Book Challenge 2013 large thank you postcards that I am willing to send out to participants, but I will need mailing addresses to do so. Do not leave your mailing address in the comments. Instead, e-mail me your name and mailing address and I will do my best to mail you out the postcard. Don't be shy about it, because I already have the 2013 postcards and need to get them sent out.

I have the files to create your own informative postcards that explain all about the Chapter Book Challenge and use this year's badge. If anyone would like those files to print up your own postcards to hand out, let me know and I will e-mail them to you.

Thank you to all of our authors and agents who took the time to write up guest posts for the challenge and thank you to everyone who signed up for the challenge and participated in making this ChaBooCha the best one so far!

For those of you who did not finish your story, I have some news about this year's Camp NaNoWriMo. It starts tomorrow, on April 1st, and it has much looser parameters this time. This year, you can join and set your own word count goal and you can even use a story that you have already started to meet your goal. For example, I have a story that is intended to be a novelette that I wrote early last year. I need it to be at least 25,000 words long. It is, so far, at 17,874 words. I've decided to shoot for 25,000 or 30,000 words, which means I need to set my word count goal at 7,126 to 12,126 words. And yes, I am joining this year's Camp NaNoWriMo in order to do exactly that. ChaBooCha is not affiliated with NaNoWriMo, but that doesn't mean I can't recommend it.

And for anyone who might be wondering, I managed, by the last day of the challenge, to finish the first draft of my chapter book story, writing a total of 10,061 words.

So remember to e-mail me to let me know if you "won," to send me your mailing address so you can receive a large thank you post card and to let me know if you want the files to make your own informative Chapter Book Challenge postcards in order to spread the word.

Happy writing!

One Last Chapter Book Challenge Drawing #ChaBooCha


I have decided, mainly because I love giving out prizes, to award one more Chapter Book Challenge prize. One person will win one prize, a choice between a Chapter Book Challenge 2013 mug or a Chapter Book Challenge 2013 journal from the Chapter Book Challenge 2013 shop. I am drawing a random number through Random.org out of everyone who entered the challenge. Of the 89 entries, number 68 was chosen. Our 68th member is:

Sharon Putnam

Congratulations, Sharon, on your prize!

Announcing the winner of the Kindle #ChaBooCha


In the beginning of this challenge, I let everyone know that everyone signed up for the Chapter Book Challenge 2013 would be entered in a random number drawing to win a Kindle, Wi-Fi, 6" Display. There were 89 entries and the random number generator at Random.org chose number 56. Since everyone got the number of the order they signed up to the challenge, our 56th member wins the Kindle. She has already won a prize during ChaBooCha, so I am sure she will be happily surprised. The winner of the Kindle is:

Debbie LaCroix

Congratulations to our Kindle winner, Debbie LaCroix! 

Announcing the winner of "How to Write for Children and Get Publsihed" by Louise Jordan #ChaBooCha


Today's prize is "How to Write for Children and Get Published" by Louise Jordan. The winner was chose by Random.org out of a total of 19 entries. the winner is:
Tia Mushka

Congratulations, Tia!

Where to buy the books that were given away during the Chapter Book Challenge 2013 #ChaBooCha

As you all know, there were a lot of books given away during the Chapter Book Challenge this year. Some of you may have already had the books that were offered as prizes, some of you managed to win them as prizes and some of you might not have them and would like to go and buy a copy. for this reason, I thought it might be helpful if I made a list of all the books that were given away during the challenge to make it easier for anyone to go and purchase them. (I am using affiliate links to the products and any of the money that comes from the affiliate links will go towards next year's Chapter Book Challenge.)

UK:       US:

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UK:          US:

UK:          US:

We are also giving away a Kindle 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Black. The winner of this prize will be drawn on the 31st of March. For anyone wanting to purchase their own, here are some links.

UK:           US:

Announcing the winner of "Writing Irresistible Kidlit" by Mary Kole #ChaBooCha


Today's prize  is "Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers" by Mary Kole.

I know that many of you already have this book, so if you win this book and already have it, you may choose to have it sent to someone else in the challenge as a gift or you may choose one of the two items below from the Chapter Book Challenge 2013 shop as an alternative prize.

The winner has been chosen through a random number generator at Random.org out of 17 entries. The winner is:

Kathy Ellen Davis 

Congratulations, Kathy!



Saturday, 30 March 2013

Chapter Book Challenge Donation Drive #ChaBooCha


With the exception of the occasional prize offered by one of the guest authors, all of the prizes during the challenge are bought (and shipped) by me. If anyone would like to donate to the challenge, there is a "donate" button to the right side of the blog, but don't feel as though there is any expectation of donations. I buy prizes for the challenge because I think it enhances the experience and encourages participation, and because I love making this challenge as rewarding for its members as possible.

We've had some very generous contributions from guest authors and ChaBooCha members to this challenge:
$25
2 print books
2 ebooks
1 mock/concept book cover

I  love how much this challenge has grown in just one year's time, and I'd love to grow it even more for next year. If you can't spare a donation, that's pefectly okay. I have every intention of keeping this challenge free regardless. I would, however, like to ask that you please share this post around with others.
You can read the thank you page for those who have donated here.

To make it easy, I will include a donate button here in this post.




Another way to donate to the challenge is through buying from the Chapter Book Challenge store.

I do want to say thank you to everyone who has participated in this challenge this year and another thank you for telling others about the challenge. It is entirely because of Chapter Book Challenge members that this challenge has grown from only 23 people in its first year to nearly 100 in its second year!

Thank you!

Thank You! - List of donators to the Chapter Book Challenge 2013 #ChaBooCha



Thank you to everyone who has donated to
the Chapter Book Challenge 2013!



K. M. Weiland

Kimberly Kinrade

Satori CMaylo

Melissa Gijsbers

Kelly McDonald



Announcing the winners of "The Three Lost Kids & Cupid" & "Lexie World" by Kimberly Kinrade #ChaBooCha




It's time to announce the winner of an e-copy of "Lexie World," and the winner of an e-copy of "The Three Lost Kids & Cupid's Capture" by Kimberly Kinrade offered in this guest post.  There were only 4 entries and the winner was chosen by a random number generator at Random.org.

The 1st winner is:

Brenda Harris

Congratulations, Brenda! you get to choose which of the two e-books you would like.

The 2nd winner is:

 Melissa Khalinsky

Congratulations, Melissa!



The third prize winner to be announced today wins a print copy of "The Three Lost Kids & Cupid's Capture" by Kimberly Kinrade.

The winner is:

Kelly McDonald

Congratulations, Kelly!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Announcing the winner of "The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book" by Jo Michaels #ChaBooCha


It's time to announce the winner of the book "The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book" by Jo Michaels, which was offered as a prize in this post. This guide contains helpful tips and tricks to make your book look like it came from a major publisher. Guided sections walk you through how to format your book for all platforms, how to create a dynamite cover, how to brand yourself as an author, and how to build a perfect book for printing.

There were 8 entries for the prize drawing and the winner was chosen by the random number generator at Random.org.  The winner is:


Jarm Del Boccio

Congratulations, Jarm! I was going to buy a print copy of it for the prize, but Jo assures me that, due to helpful links within the book, the e-copy version would make a better prize. However, if you don't have an e-reader, you may choose a print version of the book instead.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Happily-Ever-Afters: What Makes a Satisfying Chapter Book Ending by Lee Wardlaw #ChaBooCha




Happily-Ever-Afters:
What Makes a Satisfying Chapter Book Ending
by Lee Wardlaw 
  • ·         If you introduced a problem at the beginning of your story (and you’d better have! Remember: Character + Conflict = Plot), it must be solved by the end of the story. Avoid dangling threads and endings left up to the reader’s imagination. Children need closure. They want to turn the last page of a book knowing that all is right with the world – even if only for that moment.  
  • ·     Your protagonist must always solve the story’s problem herself.  A helicopter parent, doting aunt, or kindly teacher may not charge in to save the day. Your book is for children – so give them the power! It’s something they have little of in their day-to-day lives.
  • ·     If the protagonist can’t solve her problem without the story coming off as phony or pretty-pink-perfect, she must at least learn how to deal with and accept the situation – and grow from it. 
  • ·     Your protagonist must change in some significant way by the end of the book. She should learn something about herself and/or the world around her; your readers will take those insights away with them, too.
  • ·     Your ending must fit the story and your characters. Avoid out-of-left-field revelations, unbelievable villain turnarounds, and sappy, sentimental solutions.
  • ·     Never, ever, use the story ending as an opportunity to whack your readers over the head with a moral sledgehammer. Yes, every book has a theme and take-home message – but those will be subtle and secondary to the entertainment value of the story.
  • ·     Make certain that your characters always land in better places than they began.  This gives your readers hope – and the knowledge that life is worth living.
  • ·     End the story when it ends.  As soon as the problem is solved or the situation accepted, your story is over. Tie loose ends quickly –and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!



Lee Wardlaw is the award-winning author of close to 30 books for children, tweens and teens, which have sold more than a million copies world-wide. Her latest novel, 101 WAYS TO BUG YOUR FRIENDS AND ENEMIES (Penguin, ages 10-14), is the recipient of the Forward National Literature Award for Humor and a California Collections Book. http://www.leewardlaw.com


Today's prize is "How to Write for Children and Get Published" by Louise Jordan. If you are already signed up for the challenge, all you have to do to be entered to win it is to leave a comment on this post no later than noon GMT on the 31st of March.

Announcing the winner of "The Secrets of Crowdfunding" by Sean Akers #ChaBooCha

 
It's time to announce the winner of "The Secrets of Crowdfunding: A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting the Most from Your Kickstarter Campaign" by Sean Akers, the prize that was announced in this guest post.

There were only four entries and the number selected by Random.org was 3, so the winner is:

ghostnapped (Ashley Howland)

Congratulations, Ashley!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Announcing the winner of "You Can Write Children's Books Workbook" by Tracey E. Dils #ChaBooCha

It's time to announce the winner of  the book, "You Can Write Children's Books Workbook" by Tracey E. Dils, offered as a prize during this guest post

 
The winner is chosen through a random number generator on Random.org and there were 13 entries. The winner is:



Yvonne Mes


Remember, if you are the winner and you already have the book, you can do one of two things; you can choose to give the book as a gift to someone else in the challenge and it will be sent directly to them instead of you OR you can choose ONE of the following four things from the Chapter Book Challenge 2013 shop in place of the book.


Announcing the winner of "From Pitch to Publication" by Carole Blake #ChaBooCha



It's time to announce the winner of  the book, "From Pitch to Publication: Everything You Need to Know to Get Your novel Published" by Carole Blake, offered as a prize during this guest post.  
The winner is chosen through a random number generator on Random.org and there were 16 entries. The winner is:



Debbie LaCroix


Remember, if you are the winner and you already have the book, you can do one of two things; you can choose to give the book as a gift to someone else in the challenge and it will be sent directly to them instead of you OR you can choose ONE of the following two things from the Chapter Book Challenge 2013 shop in place of the book.



Balancing Home Life with Your Writing Career by Barbara Mack #ChaBooCha






Balancing Home Life with your Writing Career
by Barbara Mack

I’ve been a freelance writer for a long time, and up until the last couple of years it wasn’t a problem. I had older children, and they understood that their mother was prone to muttering to herself and writing frantically on scraps of paper at dinner. They didn’t care if I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and started banging away on the keyboard; they slept through it. As long as I was up at breakfast time (however groggy and incoherent I might be), it was all good.

Then I remarried.

Suddenly it wasn’t acceptable to sink into deep thought and not speak (except to myself) for hours at a time. Plotting my character arc at dinner was perceived as rude. I couldn’t ignore the dirty dishes piled in the sink. (Well, I could, but then felt incredibly guilty when my new husband did the dishes while I wrote.)

Also, there was the common problem that work-at-home people face – You’re home, so you must be able to take care of this (insert any word here) for me. It ate into my writing time, and it caused me stress. Stress makes my writing suffer.

It got to the point where I was having trouble writing anything at all.
I loved my new husband, and I loved my writing. I had to find a way to balance my life. I set a schedule, and tried to stick to it. I wrote in the mornings, took a break for lunch, and then resumed until he came home from work.  I tried to make it clear that, though I worked at home, it is still work and it needs to be attended to. An occasional break from that is okay, but anything other than occasional cuts into my writing time and is unacceptable. 

For the most part, it works. I’m always going to be a person who thinks about writing a lot, and sometimes I’m going to be working on something in my head when I should be concentrating on other things. My husband forgives the dirty clothing piled up in the hamper, and I forgive his occasional forays into ‘You have plenty of time’ world. We try to meet each others' needs while still meeting our own, and that makes it work for the most part. 

Though I will admit to sometimes writing at 3:00 a.m. when I have insomnia and my fingers itch to type.




About the author:

Barbara Mack has been fascinated by words and writing since early childhood. the first story she put into print format was about the birds who came to nest in the gardening shed; it reviewed well with critics (the neighbors, her mother and father, grandparents, etc.) She then had a poem - Love Never Dies - published in an international magazine at age 11, and she's never looked back. A prolific author, with books under her name (and her YA pen name Barbara Rose) including cookbooks, historical romance and YA, she's currently a finalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Awards. Please feel free to read and rate her novel excerpt.

As with all of the other guest posts, there is a prize to be won with this post too. The prize to be won is "Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers" by Mary Kole. If you are already a signed up member of the Chapter Book Challenge, all you need to do to enter to win the prize is to leave a comment on this post by noon GMT on the 31st of March.

I know that many of you already have this book, so if you win this book and already have it, you may choose to have it sent to someone else in the challenge as a gift or you may choose one of the two items below from the Chapter Book Challenge 2013 shop as an alternative prize.