How to Write Like a Professional

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Contest

Welcome to the home of the Lucky Clover Picture Book Contest. This quarterly contest is held four times a year:
  1. WINTER (January, February, March)
  2. SPRING (April, May, June)
  3. SUMMER (July, August, September)
  4. FALL (October, November, December)
The winner will receive a free detailed critique from me. I know it's not a national contest that offers cash or publication. But it's a fun way to participate in entering a contest, get a bit of visibility, and boost your confidence.

I will announce the winner's name and story title (as seen below). I promise to give my honest opinion and follow Margot Finke's advice of what a professional critique should include (even though mine are free). But actually, you'd WIN it! So go ahead, be brave.

There will be one winner per quarter, maybe two. Please enter only one of the four categories per contest:
  1. EARLY PBs (age 2-5) Just think pre-school. (Shorter, simpler, etc.)
  2. REGULAR PBs (age 4-8) The majority of PB's in elementary schools are these.
  3. NON-FICTION PBs (age 5-10) The market always has room for these.
  4. RHYMING PBs Hard to write well. Make it shine.
Entries will be judged based on the following criteria:  proper age range, 1500 words or less, fits the category you entered, creativity, language, marketability, and stellar writing.


How to enter:
  • Follow my blog via e-mail (there's a link to the right).
  • Enter by sending me an e-mail at WILDBIKE @ NETZERO . NET, OR you may submit your story via my contact form.
  • Subject line should read: SEASON BLOG CONTEST: TITLE (CATEGORY)
    • Ex.   SPRING BLOG CONTEST: THE RAIN (REGULAR)
  • The story must NOT be an attachment.  Copy and paste the story into the body of the e-mail.
  • Once I post the winner, wait 1-2 weeks for your critique to arrive in your e-mail's inbox.
***You may enter any time.  I will read, review, and keep track of all entries throughout each contest. I will post the winners on the 22nd of the month following the end of each contest. And I will provide a link below to show off the winners!***  

Disclaimer:  I will treat all writers with a professional level of respect. All original works will be kept private and confidential and will not be shared with others. This is my promise. I may change and edit the contest and rules over time according to the number of entries I may receive, etc. 

Reminder: If ever you should get your winning manuscript published, be sure to let me know. I'd love to interview you for my monthly HIGH FIVE feature, where I interview debut picture book authors! Published authors* are allowed to enter (but only if you have two or fewer books published).

When will the winners be announced? 
Summer (July, August, September): announced in October (Deadline Sept. 30)
Fall (October, November, December): announced in January
Winter (January, February, March): announced in April
Spring (April, May, June): announced in July

CONTEST WINNER STATS

2010
August 2010:  No Sleep For Theo by Tanya Finestone (regular)
October 2010:  Sylvia Sloth, Star of the Week by Lynne Marie* (regular)
November 2010:  A Princess Tells You What to Do by Catherine Denton (early)
December 2010:  A Monster in Your Yard by Jerone Agee (early)

2011
February 2011:  A Trip to the Beach by Catherine Johnson (rhyming)
     and...Willie the Worm by Brian Cretney* (regular)
March/April/May 2011:  First Class Knight by Dave Haynes (regular)
     and...Winka the Witch by Jennifer Young (rhyming)
June 2011: The Way I Go by Rosi Hollinbeck (rhyming)
Summer 2011: Jungle Jam by Caterina Malerba (regular)
Fall 2011: Big Al by Catherine Johnson (early)

2012
Winter 2012: Cleveland, the Dirty Bird by Gail Kamer (early)
Spring 2012: Artsy, Fartsy Spider by Romelle Broas Guittap (regular)
Summer 2012: Don't Splash the Mama! by Lauri Meyers (early/rhyming)
Fall 2012: Nonna Day by Genevieve Petrillo (regular)

2013
Winter 2013: Priscilla, the Aqua Star by Jodi Cardillo (regular)
Spring 2013: Mapmaker by Lauri Meyers (regular)
Summer/Fall 2013: Get Out of My House! by Barbara N. Kupetz (regular)

2014
Winter 2014: Sprinkles Goes to School by Kimberly Cowger (regular)
Spring 2014: The Troll and the Tea Party by Susanne Whitehouse (regular)
Summer/Fall 2014: Zoo Shoes by Suwoka (rhyming)

2015
Winter/Spring 2015: Pirates Wear Tutus by Susanne Whitehouse (regular)
Summer/Fall 2015: (these entries were batched with the Winter/Spring 2016 entries)


2016
Winter/Spring 2016: Piper Pretends by Meagan Friedman (regular)
Summer 2016: Deadline SEPTEMBER 30, 2016


What others have said about my critiques…
“Thanks! I've worked on this opening a lot! So I'm pretty relieved you didn't have a ton of comments. Hopefully that means I'm getting closer. But I've totally lost perspective, so getting feedback from fresh eyes was terrific! Thank you so much!” –Laura Pauling, author of the Holly Hart Cozy Mysteries and the Prom Impossible series

“I TRULY appreciate your help with this. Thank you!” –Lynne Marie, author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten

“Thanks for your comments, Christie! It is so nice to have another set of eyes! I can definitely see some of the points you made. I will get to work starting some revisions.” –Juliette Wilk

“I also find that a lot of my stories are very similar in structure and plot. I find your comments helpful! Thanks. And thanks for sending them so quickly!” –Katie Griffith

“Great comments Christie, as always. Thanks! I'm going to spend some more time working on this next week.” –Julie Hedlund, author of My Love For You is the Sun

“Thanks for your suggestions. I agree with your suggestions about the pacing. I will keep playing around with it.” –Valerie Larson

“You did a wonderful job with the critique.  I think all the changes you made will make my story so much better. I appreciate the in depth editing throughout the entire story, the advice you supplied me with and all the time you must have put into it. I'm so glad I entered your contest.” 
-Jennifer Young, author of Poison Apple Pie

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