August 4th Webinar News!

badge50We have four amazing authors lined up to join us for the Webinar this coming Monday! Do you have a question for these authors? Leave it as a comment below before 12:00 pm EST on Monday, August 4. We prefer general questions that any of our panelists could address, but we are certainly open to genre specific questions too! So who are these fabulous featured authors? Let us introduce them to you:


W.H. Beck is the author of the humorous middle grade mystery MALCOLM AT MIDNIGHT, its upcoming sequel, MALCOLM UNDER THE STARS, and several nonfiction titles. She splits her time between writing books for kids and reading and recommending them as an elementary school librarian in Wisconsin. Visit her website by clicking HERE.

Joanne Levy headshotJoanne Levy’s love of books began at a very early age. Being the youngest and the only female among four children, she was often left to her own devices and could frequently be found sitting in a quiet corner with her nose in a book. Now that she’s a grown up, Joanne is most often at her computer, channeling her younger self into the books she writes for kids who enjoy reading in quiet corners. Joanne still lives in Ontario with her husband and kids of the furred and feathered variety. You can follow Joanne on Twitter or find her on Facebook.

Shannon_Wiersbitzky_Author_Photo_2012Shannon Wiersbitzky is a middle-grade author, a hopeless optimist, and a believer that anyone can change the world. Her first novel, The Summer of Hammers and Angels, was nominated for the William Allen White Children’s Book Award. What Flowers Remember, which released in May, tackles the subject of Alzheimer’s. Check out her website for more information.


DSC_0223 A. C. Gaughen is the author of Scarlet. She serves as the Director of Girls’ Leadership for Boston GLOW, a non-profit organization that creates opportunities to encourage and engage teen girls in the greater Boston area. She holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from St. Andrews University in Scotland and a Masters in Education from Harvard University. You can find out more about her at and follow her on Twitter at


This webinar is open to all who signed up for Kidlit summer School. If you haven’t registered, and still want to, click on REGISTRATION in the navigation bar above (under the big eraser).

If you haven’t registered for the Webinar, click HERE to fill out the three blank form. EASY!

Now that you’ve checked out their bios, you can start asking questions. (Leave them as comments.) One Two Three GO!


35 comments on “August 4th Webinar News!

  1. pattywaymedic says:

    After sending a bio/ query to an agent, followed by a no thanks, do I include the same bio for future querues to that agent? Always feels redundant but I don’t expect them to remember me a month later.


  2. Laura Rackham says:

    At what point do you “put your baby to bed” for lack of outside interest? Where do rejections and faith in your own work find a happy middle ground?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mine’s the opposite group of questions. When did you start submitting the books that ultimately got published? How did you know that it was time to submit? Did you continue to polish even after submitting to agents and editors?

      Liked by 3 people

    • Mary Zisk says:

      Since we’ve been focusing on characters, do you ever imagine the reader’s character when developing your fictional characters?


  3. Joanne Sher says:

    How many different writing projects are you generally working on at once? Any tips for keeping them straight?


  4. stacey gill jacobs says:

    sorry I started to post this on the FB page, Here’s my two part question. In YA, is it acceptable to use text-speak abbreviations as part of conversational dialogue since kids have incorporated this into their language? Example: “Well, do you think he’s cute?” She rolled her eyes. Shrugged. “Idk, maybe-kinda-sorta…” Also in this same vein how would an agent or editor feel about text conversations as part of the story? ( and how would an author note this in a manuscript?)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The Nerdy Chicks says:

    Wow, some great questions already!!!! Keep them coming!


  6. What suggestions do you have for persevering while striving for that first publication? Learn, connect, what else?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Samantha says:

    It seems most of my ideas come as plot “what-ifs?” Any suggestions or advice on what to consider when I’m trying to flesh out a character arc to match the plot?
    Thank you all so much for taking the time to chat with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a two part question…should a writer ALWAYS secure an agent before attempting to submit to a publisher? What should a writer look for in a good agent..i.e. editing skills? Marketing skills? Established sales?

    Thanks for this opportunity!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. shellysteig says:

    What is the difference between a mystery and thriller when it comes to the MG audience? I’ve heard thriller is where the MC thinks they have one goal, but that goal changes mid-book. I can’t seem to confirm that anywhere though! That is the case with my story–although there are mystery elements there also–and I don’t want to classify it incorrectly.
    One more question: looks like some of you (yes I went stalking!) have had some amazing critique groups. How did you find members and what suggestions do you have for forming groups?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. How important is it to peg your genre within the Middle Grade realm?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. kateywrites says:

    There are some really great questions here. I’ll be trying to get the webinar to work while on a layover in Phoenix, so keep your fingers crossed for me! So
    Excited to hear from these authors.


  12. kpbock says:

    How important do you think it is to have a “platform” established prior to securing an agent? Is it necessary to have a blog/website/author facebook page?

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Andrea Brame says:

    Oh, so many good questions! I am looking forward to hearing the responses.

    To piggyback on lexicalcreation’s question … How long did you take, from concept to completion, before you sent out the manuscript that would become your first book?


  14. Pauline Tso says:

    Particularly interested in hearing the response from the PB side, but all genres welcome – how many books did you sell to the publishers before you felt you could quit your day job? Thank you!


  15. I am working on a pretty quirky picture book story that will require strong illustrations. Can I include character actions in a parenthesis? Can I include who is talking in a parenthesis too? Thanks.


  16. When typing a manuscript heavy with dialogue should I just keep typing or give each statement one line?


  17. W. H. Beck, Joanne Levy, Shannon Wiersbitzky and A. C. Gaughen: Thank you for your time and your expertise. I feel so fortunate to learn along with the pros.

    So many excellent questions that are posed. Hopefully, my questions are too many nor repeats by others.

    1. How long did it take to get an agent/editor? Can you tell us about the process of finding and signing with an agent?

    2. What words of wisdom or advice do you have for *writers under construction?*

    3. Mem Fox states states, “Unless you’re an art school trained illustrator don’t even think about doing the pictures yourself.” I enjoy painting lessons from artists, however am not a trained illustrator. Since I like to sketch, draw and paint [acrylics and watercolor] do you have any thoughts to share?

    Thank you Nerdy Chicks Write!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Rosie says:

    After you found an agent, how long did it take your agent to sell your first book? How many editor rejections did you get and was there a moment when you started doubting the project’s sale?


  19. To our traveling Phoenix-layover moderator @ KateyWrites & all the author panelists, thank you for answering the Qs. Some soft stuff here, since my serious Qs are beautifully covered by my creative compatriots in

    d) all of the above

    for your personal reading – paper book OR digital/e-reader mainly? sometimes? why?

    do you ever write longhand? if so, is this note taking or do you Actually. Write. Longhand?

    your own book purchases – walk-in shop OR online mainly? sometimes? why?


  20. Sue Frye says:

    Do you have an element checklist that you use to make sure your picture book reflects more than just a run-of-the-meal, ordinary flat storyline?


  21. What do you think about multiple POVs in MG novels? Do you think it’s best for newer writers to stick with one POV? Thank you for your thoughts!


  22. hmmmmm says:

    Thanks all four of you! (And Shannon: if you have not read the classic (and great) picture book, ANDREW HENRY’S MEADOW (Doris Burn), check it out — you last name figures in it!)
    A questions about PBs: despite the new mantra being “400 words or less!” or “500 words or less!” etc., I do still see lots of picture books coming out that break that rule. Some are definitely school-market ready in the sense that they are biographical or historical or whatnot, and some are by established authors who have always written longer texts, but I’m wondering if you have other thoughts about where/why/how the shorter-is-better rule doesn’t hold. Thanks!


  23. hmmmmm says:

    One other quickie: any thoughts about submitting work in August to agents/editors — given that so much of the world is on vacation?


  24. Eisen says:

    Hello, my first question is kind of related to Joanne Sher’s question above (Aug 2 post).

    Balance of drafting and revising: What is your schedule like when you’re planning or drafting a new story and revising an old one for submitting?

    Writing a series: Do you think it’s a good idea to start drafting Book 2 of a series before Book 1 sells? (Or should I focus on drafting a completely new project altogether?)

    Revision process: How do you tackle revising the 1st (very messy) draft and how long does it typically take? At what stage (or draft) of the revision process do you submit your material to your critique partners for review?

    Thank you most kindly for your time and insights! 🙂


  25. Eisen says:

    Yikes! I hope I can squeeze this in…
    Were there any drastic changes between your pre-published years versus your published ‘author’ years? What are some key lifestyle or writing/working habits (or skills) that you would advise us to develop to be successful?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. The Nerdy Chicks says:

    Thanks for all of your awesome comments! The time to leave them is up now. 😉 We’re looking forward to getting some great answers from our panel.


  27. Eisen says:

    By “drastic changes” – I mean, things you did not expect or things that surprised you about the whole writing & publishing world…like expectations suddenly placed upon you? (Anything really that sticks out for you.) Thank you all very much 🙂


  28. Poppy Wrote says:

    Great webinar!


  29. Nat says:

    I’m just starting to catch up now– I’m looking forward to seeing the webinar!


  30. Thanks to all for a terrific webinar!


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