Writing quote

Sure, it's simple writing for kids...Just as simple as raising them.
— Ursula K. LeGuin

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Mira Reisberg, Literary Agent
Hummingbird Literary
     Do you have a Young Adult (ages 13 - 18) or Middle Grade Story (ages 9 - 12) in progress? Want to get it in front of a literary agent? I am once again chairing the Redwood Writers' Club Writing Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction Contest this year, and boy, do we have some fabulous prizes for you, including a chance to win the Grand Prize of a 10-page manuscript critique by agent Mira Reisberg of Hummingbird Literary. And cash ain't bad either. The 1st place winner gets $100, 2nd place receives $50, and 3rd place gets $25. Look for more information in the next Redwood Writers newsletter and the upcoming contest flyer (which will be posted soon). 

   In the meantime, here are the contest guidelines:
  • The contest is open to residents of Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Solano, Lake and Mendocino counties.
  • Submit up to 10 pages of a Young Adult or Middle Grade story. Anything after 10 pages will not be read. It can be a short story or chapter excerpts from a novel in progress. If submitting chapters from a novel, send in only the first 10 pages of the novel (not 10 pages of Chapter 3 or the middle of the novel). This is important, because a reader must be hooked within the first 10 pages in order to be enticed to read on.
  • Work must be previously unpublished. 
  • Only one submission per person.
  • Format: 12 point font, Times New Roman, double spaced. First page —  please note your category: Young Adult or Middle Grade. Center your title half way down, then begin story. Please number your pages.
  • DO NOT put the author’s name or contact information on the manuscript.
  • Contest fees: $8 for members, $12 for non-members.
  • Submit payment and upload manuscript (Word doc. or docx only) on the Redwood Writer's website. 
  • Follow submission guidelines carefully. Manuscripts will be disregarded if the guidelines are not followed.
  • Contest Deadline: Oct. 15, 9 pm.
  • Awards will be handed out at the Redwood Writers' Club meeting on Dec. 14.
If you have any further questions about submission guidelines or the contest, please email me. We are looking forward to reading your best work. So, submit, submit, submit!

And now, for our wonderful judges:

Shirin Yim Bridges has made the successful transition from author (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, HarperCollins, Chronicle Books) to award-winning editor and publisher. In addition to being the Head Goose of Goosebottom Books, Shirin is currently editing four middle grade novels, and consulting on the development of another two. She recently spoke to the Australian Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in July, and has given workshops and seminars on writing and publishing for the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, the Book Passage Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference, the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, Stanford University, San Francisco State University, Illinois State University, Dominican University, and the College of San Mateo.

Laura Atkins is an independent children’s book editor with twenty years of editorial experience. She worked at Children’s Book Press, Orchard Books, and Lee and Low Books, helping to produce winners of the Coretta Scott King Award and American Library Association Notable Book selections, amongst others. More recently, she was a lecturer at the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature in London. She currently edits for Cassava Republic Press in Nigeria, provides editorial services to self-publishers and aspiring and published writers and illustrators, and offers writing workshops. She is based in Berkeley, California, where she lives with her seven-year-old daughter.

Independent book editor and writing coach Susan Lyn McCombs has an MFA in Creative Writing and edits books for children and adults. She began working with middle-grade and young-adult manuscripts over eight years ago at Tricycle Speed Press. Currently, she works with individual writers to develop and tighten their manuscripts and edits for KO Kids Productions, Goosebottom Books, Andrews McMeel, Zoozil, and Callisto Media.  As a writing coach, Susan motivates authors, helping them to tap into their excitement for writing, find the meaning within their stories, and uncover their best storytelling/writing skills.

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