TO RETREAT OR NOT TO RETREAT In November, I attended my first writing retreat. Weekend on the Water Retreat on Bainbridge Island was offered through the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). The retreat was held at Islandwood, an immense, wooded park equipped with cabins, an education building, a dining hall, and several cabins.… Continue reading

The Real Meaning of Success

Hello – I’ve been busily writing, but slooow to blog again. This little article really lifted me.
If you are moving forward, then you are a success.
Cheers!

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

I’ve spent the last several months with my head deep in a dictionary, editing THE WHIZBANG WORDBOOK, so excuse me if I’m a little definition-sensitive these days. But hear me out. This is important stuff.

How many of you have done this—set arbitrary goals that signal, in your mind, that you’ve become a success?

If I get a literary agent, then I’m a success.
If I get one book deal, then I’m a success.

And then you hit those goals, and suddenly, that definition of success gets tossed out the window.

No, one book deal isn’t successful! Two book deals would be!

And then you get those two deals. But again, it’s not enough to be deemed a success in your eyes.

So you compile an entire list of criteria for success.

A lead title!
A starred review!
Two starred reviews! Three! Four!
An Indies NEXT selection!

A Junior…

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Follow Your Genius

Genius: “1. An exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially as shown in creative and original work in art, music, science, etc… 4. Natural ability or capacity, strong inclination.” – Random House College Dictionary, 1975 I just read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Christopher, the main character in this… Continue reading Follow Your Genius

I’ve Done it Again

Happy March, Everyone! Another month, another contest. This time it's author Vivian Kirkfield's #50 Precious Words contest. Inspired by the fact that Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss has only 50 unique words (the word count totals 700), our aim is to write a children's story in 50 words or less. My story, Clarella,… Continue reading I’ve Done it Again

2019 Valentiny Contest WINNERS!

I’m a winner! Check out all the great stories on Susannah Leonard Hill’s website. Thank you to all of the judges and contributors!

Susanna Leonard Hill

Do you know what Thursday is perfect for?

Barely squeaking under the wire of Last Day of February to announce the winners of the 4th Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest for Children’s Writers!!!

valentiny writing contest 2019!

. . .but first a few words from our sponsor (me) which I know shocks you (not!) 🙂

As always, I was thrilled to see so many wonderful stories!  (Did I mention there were nearly 170?!)  Really!  It is amazing and inspiring, not to mention VERY entertaining!  There is just so much talent out there amongst you all!  The other judges and I are blown away anew each time!

But with large entry numbers, all of high quality, come hard choices.  My assistant judges and I worked hard to winnow the total down to a manageable number of finalists that we felt were truly all-around deserving of that distinction, and those were the ones…

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