SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

How has the Blueboard Helped You?

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I have learned so much from this site I don't know where to start. 

The members are wonderful and helpful.  I have found answers to questions I have, and to questions I never knew I should have.  I'm always amazed at the knowledge everyone has and their willingness to share it with others.

I like that many touchy subjects have been discussed and everyone remains professional and sensitive towards others.   

The most important way this site has helped me is by putting me in contact with people who love reading and writing. 

It's nice to read posts from others who are having similar struggles - the whole "You mean I'm not the only one who..." Yeah, that's always great. 

I also enjoy it when Verla sends me messages requesting that I rephrase something I posted.  It's only happened twice, and I wasn't meaning to misbehave, but it's good to know the Mod's are indeed moderating.

So thank you to Verla and everyone else for allowing me to visit, lurk, learn, and laugh. 
#31 - August 05, 2009, 08:19 AM



It's nice to read posts from others who are having similar struggles - the whole "You mean I'm not the only one who..." Yeah, that's always great. 

That about sums it up! Plus there's so much I never knew about on the business end of things. Thanks, Verla, for giving us such a great resource!   :snoopy
#32 - August 05, 2009, 08:27 AM

I joined in 2007 and it was the best thing I ever did for my writing sanity.

These boards gave me moral support when I was down in the dumps. Sometimes I asked for a cyber-shoulder to cry on and got more shoulders than I thought possible. Sometimes I read about others struggles and offered what little support I could and again, learned more about how awesome my fellow writers are and felt not so very alone.

These boards gave me information when I needed it (and sometimes when I didn't know I needed it), celebrated successes with me, helped me when I was agonizing over the waiting, waiting, and more waiting (No Newsers are da' bomb) of this business and again, kept me sane.

Thank you Verla and all the BB's who make this place the wonderful community it is. :thankyou
#33 - August 05, 2009, 10:01 AM
THE BREAK, Available Now!
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This board has helped me put my writing into a very realistic perspective.  It has helped me realize there are far more great writers out there trying to get published than I ever realized, and has forced me to accept that the likelihood of ever getting published is pretty remote, even if my writing is good, or even really good.  This board has helped me realize how good my writing really has to be to ever get published, and given me the realization and acceptance that I may never get that far.

This board has also given me the opportunity to rub shoulders with some really excellent writers who I admire and respect, and be part of the collective pleasure we all share whenever another member of this group gets an agent or a contract.  It has also made me a lot more patient with the process we're all going through.
#34 - August 06, 2009, 07:11 AM

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I've delayed responding to this thread because the thought of trying to put it all into words (yeah, I know--that's what writers are supposed to be good at) seemed overwhelming.  It still does.  So I'll mention just a few.

I discovered Verla's forum in 2005.  One of the most concrete things I gained from the interactions here was an introduction to children's magazine writing.  Before that, I'd had a few publications in professional journals, but I knew almost nothing about the children's magazine market.  Reading about other writers' experiences inspired and challenged me to try it.  More than 150 acceptances later, I can definitely say that my knowledge level has grown.  I have to give credit to places like KMW and ICL's website also, but I found out about those places because of the Blue Board.

I've also learned a lot about writing and targeting submissions for pbs.  Not that I've had any yeses in that area yet, but I've definitely improved my chances.

More important to me than either of these, however, are the friendships I've made here.  Wonderful, caring friends who understand about the ups and downs of this writing life.  Wonderful, caring friends who encourage me and help me grow as a writer.  Wonderful, caring friends who are there for me when I need someone--who weep with me when I weep or rejoice with me when I rejoice.

Thank you, Verla!!  I hope you realize how much you're appreciated.  And thank you, all of you who participate here, helping to make it a wonderful community.
#35 - August 06, 2009, 09:56 AM

Traci Dee

I've made lots of cool writer friends on these boards, and I've learned a lot from reading other people's experiences, particularly about the publishing business. Mostly it's helped me to feel less alone cuz writing is a very lonely business.

That doesn't sound like much, but seriously, it means pretty much everything. :D
#36 - August 06, 2009, 12:59 PM
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 01:01 PM by Traci Dee »

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If you mean our group, I think we're the ones who found fabulous you!!

Of course I mean our group! Who else would have me AND say I'm fabulous?! Thanks!  :hug
#37 - August 06, 2009, 05:02 PM
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What have I learned here? Let me count the things . . . Actually, that would take all night, so I'll focus on three:

1. I've found out about and read some fabulous books.

2. I've learned a huge amount about the business end of agenting and publishing.

3. I've gotten fabulous ideas and advice to help me with my writing. Most notable for me right now is the help people gave me when I was stumped about how to rewrite the beginning of a novel after I'd gotten my editorial letter. I simply could not figure out what to do, and I was getting more and more frantic. But when I posed a question here, I got excellent, professional advice that helped me write a new opening, one my editor really liked.

Thanks to Verla, and thanks to the Blueboarders!
#38 - August 06, 2009, 06:28 PM

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 :thankyou Blueboarders keep me sane, motivated, and (mostly) working. You've expanded my horizons (zombie books, vampire books, Jasper Fforde) and just when I think there's nothing new to learn, somebody introduces a whole 'nother thought-provoking topic or links to a new blog and I'm off again. :thankyou :thankyou :thankyou

Edited to add: Somebody introduces a whole 'nother thought-provoking topic or link---such as Laura Manivong's, where she posts her book trailers because the quality is better than YouTube....!
#39 - August 06, 2009, 08:03 PM
« Last Edit: August 07, 2009, 05:57 AM by AnneB »


On the Blueboards, I have found insight into the hidden parts of the publishing world.

I've found that my questions and concerns aren't (all) dumb or unique to me.

I've found writers who are supportive of each other's journeys, who celebrate the individual paths each has taken.

I've found that I really like to use smilies--need to, in fact.

I've found a haven where many artists, of diverse personalities and opinions, can come together to share their thoughts and ideas, successes and need for consolation, in a respectful, embracing, encouraging environment.

The Blueboards are a valued jewel--by writers, agents and editors alike.  Thank you so much, Verla!

#40 - August 07, 2009, 05:32 AM

What a great thread!

I joined here after I had just gotten an agent, and my book was out on submission. I was SO GRATEFUL to find a place where there were other people in that position, because I suddenly realized that after concentrating so hard for so long on getting an agent (I wish I had found this place earlier!) I had no idea what happened next, and I was having trouble finding information anywhere online.

I still don't post here that often, but I have been very thankful for the many threads about both the business and craft sides of writing. I am also particularly grateful to the BlueBoards for introducing me to:

1) Other writers (especially the 2009 Debs and the Enchanted Inkpot).

2) Lots of great books!

3) A constant source of good energy when I am feeling down.

Thank you all!
#41 - August 12, 2009, 10:06 AM
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I've been here for five years now. I served as a mod for two so that I could give back a little bit to this wonderful community.
Why do I still come here? Let me count the ways (in no particular order):

1. It's the best place to hang out with other children's writers, to talk about craft or just listen and learn.
2. Get great book recommendations/discussions.
3. Make new and wonderful friends from all over the world.

Thank you so much, Verla, and to all of you wonderful Blueboarders.
#42 - August 12, 2009, 10:33 AM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags

I've been here since day one. 

Harold's site sent me to Yella, and Yella sent me here. I can't quantify how much I've learned during that time, but I have built a writing career that is more satisfying and fun than I could have imagined six years ago. In many ways, this forum was my writing campus, where I met with colleagues and talked craft and business and found and gave support.  Most importantly, I've made lifelong friends. This was a put-the-writing-on-the-back-burner-because-life-is-in-the-way year, and my Blueboard friends have given me professional and personal support that has been priceless, at a time when I needed it most.

Thank you!
#43 - August 14, 2009, 08:44 PM


Blueboards have helped me with everything!

This is where I learned about really everything in the business of writing that I know so far. I also found out there were people like me in the world when I found the blueboards. A whole site filled with kindred spirits--can't beat that! Also, my agent actually scouted me out right here from the boards. Also, I've come here Anon when I've had personal things to talk about because I knew I'd get great answers and support here.

So what do love about Blueboards? EVERYTHING! :grouphug2
#44 - January 07, 2010, 03:58 PM

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Wow! Just discovered this thread. In fact, I'm being featured in an upcoming blog interview next month and one of the questions was any special on-line resources? I gushed about Verla Kay boards and how it's the reason my book is being published.

It's my favorite site. period. Thank you Verla!  :love
#45 - January 07, 2010, 04:06 PM
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I have learned that DREAMS do come true and that I fully believe because of all my blueboard family that I one day too will soon have a book published.

There is so much information and great people on this site I seriously thought Writer's Digest was sooo wrong when they left this site off of their list. (I meant to tell them and should go tell do it now!)

This is the best site for anyone who is or wants to be published in children's books!
#46 - January 07, 2010, 04:12 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

Just found this thread. The blueboards are my connection to writing. I found a terrific CP here (thanks Amy) and have learned everything I know about writing from the boards or from book suggestions from the boards. But the number one thing I get from the blueboards is the hope that I can do this. Watching people get query help or title help then to see those books on the shelves. Incredible.
#47 - March 13, 2010, 09:00 PM


This place is one of the most affirming and knowledgeable forums on the internet.  And, of course, it was very helpful during my agent search.
#48 - March 13, 2010, 09:11 PM


I've been coming here since 2007. I was waiting to hear back from an agent with a partial request and the waiting was killing me. I wondered how everybody else coped, so I googled the agent's name and found Verla Kay's. 

I hardly know where to start myself, when I think about how useful this site has been to me. If I want to whine about something no one else will understand, I come here and that is a huge help. As for all I've learned here, here are just a few of the things:

How important it is for writers to network, to talk with other writers and learn from each other's mistakes.

How important it is to 'build a platform' and why.

How to write a compelling, succinct query letter.

How to jettison stuff that is weighing down my prose or jamming up my narrative, i.e. how to 'kill my darlings'.  I'd heard about this before, but only got up the courage to do it after frequenting VK's.

How (and how not) to go about the whole business of trying to get published -- agents, editors, publishers, etc. I had only the vaguest idea of how the system worked before I came here.  (I'm amazed I got any requests at all.)

How kind other writers are to newcomers. How generous published writers are with their time and how they are willing to share their hard-won knowledge to help complete strangers.

So thank you very much for having this board, Verla. Every day is Thanksgiving here as far as I'm concerned.

#49 - March 14, 2010, 01:57 AM

I've been hanging around a long time.  I have made great friends here, received valuable feedback on manuscripts, received encouragement.

I think the best thing the board has done for me is help me feel a sense of community and remember that this is a journey, not an event or destination.
#50 - March 14, 2010, 06:45 AM
Stephanie Theban aka Leeth

How HASN'T it helped me may take a lot shorter time to explain.  :giggle

Where to begin? I've gotten so much information from links provided, then there's the agent's/pubs/magazines response times that help gauge how long I'll have to wait until my acceptance  :smile . If I need info on a particular subject, it's always here. (I just recently found out how to change a ms from Word to pdf format.)

Plus, I've met some great writers on this board. Seriously, I can't even explain how much this board has helped me as a writer.

Thank you to Verla and all those on here.
#51 - March 14, 2010, 08:12 AM
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This board has helped me in so many ways! Let's just say I don't know where I'd be today if I'd never found it. So, thank you Verla!  :bear2

#52 - March 22, 2010, 06:22 PM
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Let's see: fabulous crit partner, marketing info and SALES to magazines (I check her first to see who's looking for what), lots of nuts and bolts info., general life encouragement, agent and publisher info, contests!, excitement over others' successes spurring me on to keep writing . . . so many ways! This is the trunk of my writing tree! I've branched out all over the place because of the BBs. When people ask me how to get started, I always include Verla's!

Verla, you are too awesome. Thank you!
#53 - May 13, 2010, 01:15 PM

From the amount of posts and ridiculous threads I have put up, I think you can clearly see that I am greatly thankful this forum exists.  Getting in contact with other writers here has been nigh on impossible.   Also no-one else has a clue what I am talking about most of the time.
Thanks for all your help.
TE  (and Moggy)
#54 - May 14, 2010, 03:53 AM

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It's been a long time (over three years!) since anyone posted their success story here. If any of you would like to add your more recent experiences to this thread, it would be fun to hear from you.
#55 - July 14, 2014, 07:55 PM
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You helped me join the boards yourself, Verla, when we sat next to each other at a SCBWI event in Spokane a few years ago. Since then, I've sold two middle grade books, found an agent, went through the terror of having to switch agents, and a whole host of other writing experiences. Through it all, the blue boarders have been there to cheer, sympathize, reassure, explain, and rant with. It's a wonderful community and support group that I'm honored to be a part of.  :thankyou
#56 - July 14, 2014, 09:29 PM
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:verla waves back to Dianna. (Will I see you again this September in Spokane? I'm speaking at that conference.)
#57 - July 14, 2014, 10:28 PM
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Let me count the ways--

1. First, there's Verla. I'm just so happy I've had a chance to know her--plus hear about her life and her books, and follow the ups and downs of this website over the years.

2. All the BB-ers. I've made so many friends here. I don't dare list them all for fear I'll leave someone out. But you know who you are.

3. I've really enjoyed hearing about everyone's publishing adventures. You guys make me feel less lonely or give me perspective when something negative happens.

4.  Over the years you've helped me with:

Buying a printer
Recommending good books (waves to Olmue)
Finding a humane way to capture a mouse
Choosing the best refrigerator
Sorting out the complexities of grammar (waves to Lill)

And a whole bunch more that I'll no doubt remember at 3:00 am.

5. You've shared links to hilarious videos. You've made me laugh about the things your kids have said. You've made me laugh about the old things that are no longer with us. You've just made me laugh. Period.

6.  I've gotten WFH through this website. I've sold books to publishers I wouldn't have known about without this website.

7. I've felt that I could be of use here. And maybe that's the most important thing of all.

P.S. Seems I've already posted on this thread--way back in 2009. Pretty much said the same thing then. Just consider this an update...
#58 - July 15, 2014, 12:46 AM
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 12:57 AM by Betsy »

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The Blueboard has been a great source of companionship on this lonely journey!

And creatively, it has helped me branch from writing middle grade to writing picture books too (still unpublished!). I don't think I could have gained the confidence or craft to do more than dabble without the great critiques and encouragement from the highly accomplished writers I've met here.
#59 - July 15, 2014, 05:02 AM
Kell Andrews

THIS OR THAT, Tilbury House, 2021
THE BOOK DRAGON, Sterling, 2018

I think I joined the blueboards in 2008--the year after I joined SCBWI.

I have made many good friends here and the contests and other sub opportunities I found out about through this board kept me going all these years.

I also found my first crit group through this board. That was essential.

And in 2012, I submitted to an agent that I found out about on this board. After she signed me, I made my first PB sale.
#60 - July 15, 2014, 06:07 AM


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