Thank You, Bullock School!

On Monday, February 27, 2012, I had the pleasure of visiting the Dorothy L. Bullock School in  Glassboro, NJ to participate in the Authors as Mentors program. I shared my experiences as a writer with the first, second and third grade students, who are in the developing their own stories and learning the importance of editing and revision.They asked questions about where ideas for stories come from and offered some endings to an unfinished picture book I read to each group.  They were a wonderful audience.  I had a great time.  Thank you Bullock students and staff.

Authors as Mentors workshop at Dorothy Bullock School Media Center.

Students from Ms. Romalino's and Ms. Procopio's second grade class at Dorothy Bullock School

Publisher’s Guidelines for Submissions

The Children’s Book Council has an excellent alphabetical listing of Publishers of Children’s Books and the submission guidelines required for each. Here is the link to copy and paste onto your browser. Then book mark it for easy reference:

Writer’s Tip From Literary Rambles

This post was sent to me via the website Literary Rambles. You can find the link for it on the blog roll.

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 07:21 AM PST

Tip Tuesday features writers’ tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you’d like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

I have another fantastic tip from Ryann Kerekes today. I posted one from her a couple weeks ago (Tip #116) and she also sent in Tip #101. Ryann blogs at Novel Addiction where she last posted on what makes a writer succeed. While poking around her blog, I also noticed she’s now represented. Congrats, Ryann!! After you read her tip below, hop over and check out her latest posts.

How to Plot – free writing course!

Can’t afford to attend a conference? Check out the free video tutorial series, How to Plot a Novel, Screenplay or Memoir by the Plot Whisperer, Martha Alderson.

I watched all 27 videos (they’re short, around 6-8 minutes each) and highly recommend them.

A few things I’m working on this week:

– Defining my characters and their short term and long term goals.

– Giving my character a flaw that’s going to work against them achieving their goals.

~Ryann Kerekes

Literary Agents

Here are some excellent websites for writers looking for Literary Agents. Each one lists specific agents, what they are looking for and how to contact them.

1. Literary Rambles:

2. Mary Kole’s sight for all things in Children’s Literature, including how to edit and rewrite before submitting:

3. Absolute Write Water Cooler: Agents accepting unsolicited YA:

4. Rachel Gardner, Literary Agent:

5. Pub Rants, Kristen Nelson, Literary Agent:

Let me know if you’ve come across any other valuable sites for writers in search of a Literary Agent.





Last week I visited the Art Museum on the Princeton University campus. It was great for three reasons. First of all, it’s free. There aren’t many places of culture and enlightenment nowadays that can boast that. And, the collection has something for everyone.  There are sculptures and pottery over 4,000 years old, paintings done by ANDY WARHOL, and everything in between.

The third reason it was a great visit is because where else but an art museum provides peace, quiet, and contemplation along with some magnificent objects of beauty? Being in such an environment frees the mind and allows all sorts of creative energy to enter. Writers who are struggling with writer’s block might find all sorts of inspiration looking at any painting or sculpture, and stories begin to spring into mind. WHY did the artist choose such a subject? WHAT IF the subject were alive today? WHAT would she/he have to say?  The possibilities for story are endless.

So, if you feel as if you’re in a rut and need some change to jump start the muse, visit the Princeton University Art Museum – or ANY art museum and let your imagination run wild. Take notes, snap photos and just doodle in a notebook. You never know, it may be the start of something wonderful.


To get the kids away from TV and video games when you’re stuck indoors due to bad weather, try some old fashioned fun. BUILD A FORT: Throw a sheet over the table and you have an instant hide-out. A backpack or shopping bag can hold all the survival items such as a flashlight, paper and crayons, books, snacks, bottled water, camera. Eat camping food like hotdogs and beans, and help your child toast marshmallows on the flame of the gas stove. Bring in a sleeping bag or blanket and pillow and it becomes a sleepover they’ll talk about for days afterwards.

Try some different table activities to while away the time. Color, draw, and make silly “creatures” out of paper, Popsicle sticks and whatever scraps are available. Put On A Show, using these creations as puppets.  Or, let the stuffed toys become puppets in a show. Sing, dance and tell silly jokes, just like they did in the days of Vaudeville.

Make Your Own Play Dough: Here are two variations – one of which is edible!

PLAY DOUGH – Let your child help measure and mix: 1 C flour, 1 C water, 1 T. veg. oil, ½ C salt, 1 tsp. Cream of Tartar, food coloring.

– Cook over med. Heat until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and looks like dough.

– Knead until cool. Store in airtight container.

Or try this recipe for Edible Peanut Butter Play Dough

-1 18-oz. jar creamy peanut butter, 6 table spoons of honey, 3/4 cup non-fat dry milk.

– Mix all the ingredients together, using varying amounts of dry milk for desired consistency. Kids also like to add other foods like M&M’s, raisins, or peanuts for facial features, etc.

– From Crysteannah R.Carpenter, age 9, Cincinnati, Ohio

You can get more ideas for rainy day edibles from this awesome website: