SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

How has the Blueboard Helped You?

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Randi Pink
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I didn't consider myself a real writer, so I stalked the Blueboards before I found the courage to post anything. I read story after story about the journey, not only to publication, but finding critique group partners, figuring out Twitter, navigating book signings, and most importantly, supporting each other through sickness, sadness, and even death. That support is number one for me. There ain't nothing like it nowhere!

Professionally, my journey has played out in the Blueboards. I began a thread on May 28th asking for advice on querying agents and publication, and by July 8th, I was agented and published. I'm relatively new to the Blueboards, but without that advice I'm not sure if I would be in such a wonderful position!

THANKS VERLA! AND THANKS GUYS!!!
#61 - July 15, 2014, 06:47 AM
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 06:52 AM by randi-revill »

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Wow, I'm not sure I've got time to list all the ways the Blueboards have helped me... I'd be here all day!! He he he.


1) I would definitely not have signed with my agent, Tricia Lawrence, without this board. 
2) I would not have met the wonderful people who critiqued my work, supported me, cheered me on, and generally showed me how to be a better kidlitter... resulting in the above signing with EMLA. But most importantly, I wouldn't have met some of the wonderful friends I've made here.
3) I would have gone utterly and completely bonkers, not being able to come here and rage, commiserate, moan, as well as celebrate and laugh. 
4) I would never have known the joy of using random smilies at the end of a post.  :meditate :muscles :! :giggle

#62 - July 15, 2014, 10:08 AM

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Let me count the ways ...
1. the friends I've made here
2. being able to share the joys, commiserate over sorrows
3. WFH gigs announced here
4. and most recently an open window to Cartwheel announced by Debbie that landed in a contract!
5. Did I mention the great friends?

I just looked at my profile and I've been here 10 wonderful years. How the boards have grown!
Vijaya
#63 - July 15, 2014, 10:13 AM
TEN EASTER EGGS (Cartwheel/Scholastic, 2015)
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Author of over 40 books and 60 magazine pieces

An agent contacted me through my website shortly after I posted on these boards that I'd soon be looking for an agent... Probably not a coincidence. :) I signed with her and it has proven to be a great match. She sold my debut to Penguin in September.

I also have found some great discussions here and gotten really valuable professional advice. I have learned so much from the ups and downs people have shared. And I've found some great reads!! Love these boards.
#64 - July 15, 2014, 05:45 PM
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I read on the Blueboard that Capstone was looking for chapter book writers. I contacted them, they signed me on, and I have since published 14 chapter books with Capstone.

 I also asked for critiques on the Blueboard for another book. I got two great critiques, revised, and sold the book plus a sequel. (Haven't formally announced the deal yet.)

I also love the moral support and quick answers to my research questions.
#65 - July 15, 2014, 08:07 PM
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Community, community, community!  :grouphug2:
I live in a big city with a large SCBWI chapter that meets monthly and has a regular stream of author book-launching events at bookstores, yet we still mostly remain home and write in solitude. At any hour of the day or night, I can come here and bask in the camaraderie--the celebrations, consolations and general book talk. I am constantly amazed by the knowledge and generosity on these boards. If there is anything I need to know about this business, this is the first place I'd ask my question. I love the Blueboards! :love5:
#66 - July 16, 2014, 04:05 AM
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 07:20 AM by Vonna »
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Let me count the ways!


I joined the boards one year ago. I had been working on my craft for a few years and anonymously stalking the boards before they were part of SCBWI. Once I realized how warm & inviting everyone was, I took the plunge and finally joined. I'm so glad I did! I have learned so much about so many things here and feel like I am in a community, even though I'm still a relative newbie. People in my life are interested that I'm writing, but everyone here just gets it, if you know what I mean. It's very encouraging to have that when so much writing is done in solitude.
#67 - July 16, 2014, 04:38 AM

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It's been so fun to read through these posts!

As I've thought about how the blueboards have helped me, it's struck me how the answer is different depending on where I've been in my "writing life." When I first joined (in December of 2005!), this was a place to come for solid writing advice, and basic information about the children's lit industry. Things a newbie needed to understand, like querying and what an agent was actually for, and also learning about what NOT to do. At other times, I've received daily encouragement to finish a project (The 1000 word-a-day club), or looked up an editor, agent, or writing book I was interested in learning more about. And during times where, because of "life," I couldn't spend time actually writing, I could still visit the blueboards on a daily basis and feel like a writer.

Of course, it's the friendships that have developed over the years that mean the most to me. And the fact that our little space on the web is a safe and supportive community where we all help each other go for goals we otherwise wouldn't know how to approach (at least not in any rational way!).

Cheers to Verla and the blueboards! And to SCBWI, too, for providing a way for the boards to live on, and not only keep its place in the children's lit community, but thrive.


 :yay

#68 - July 16, 2014, 07:15 AM
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When I first joined the blueboards in 2008 I was devoid of knowledge, and I acquired a vast amount of it here. I knew nothing about craft, representation, publication, promotion, etc. - the blueboards served as a series of deeply informative master classes on all those topics.

I also learned a lot about how to communicate online, and being a member/mod/admin here played a huge role in the development of my philosophy and approach to being part of the online kidlit community. I developed good habits here, mostly because I followed the lead of other blueboarders who showed me the way. Not all of those people are still here, but their influence on me remains, and I'm grateful to them. And like Whizbee, my agent is someone I first encountered here. (PSST, WE HAVE THE SAME AGENT)

More than anything else, my first real friendships in the world of children's literature began here on the blueboards. A lot of people I first interacted with on the blueboards years ago are among my most cherished friends and colleagues now.
#69 - July 16, 2014, 08:53 AM
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 08:56 AM by Mike Jung »

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I joined early this year, and I wish I'd joined sooner. They've given me a chance to connect with other people who share the same interests. In non-Internet life I don't have writer friends so it's great to be able to have a group to pose questions to. I also really enjoy hearing about other people's success stories and hurdles along the way. I'm pushing very hard to be able to start querying my YA MS by the end of the summer, so checking in here daily is a great source of motivation. Lastly, I feel confident that I'll have the resources to query and hopefully go through the publication process smoothly by making use of the all of the knowledge that I've gained here. I'm so grateful for this warm and supportive community! :)
#70 - July 16, 2014, 08:54 AM
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I joined in 2005 and even though I read lots of books about the publishing business, nothing came close to what I have learned here. Not once did I feel embarrassed or scared to ask a question. Everyone was (is) always so eager to help! It wasn't hard to quickly fall in love with this place and its people. And speaking of people, I've made some really great friends here!

 
All these years later I have two books published and honestly, if I had not found The Blue Board, (I have no idea how I found big blue. Probably stumbling around the internet praying for HELP) I'm not sure I'd be published today.

 
Danette & Big Blue together for evahhh!
 
 
#71 - July 16, 2014, 04:22 PM
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I can't begin to thank Verla and the Blue Boarders enough. Almost everything I know about the industry I have learned here. What I haven't learned here, I have learned from conferences and websites that people here have pointed me toward. When I have had a question, educated people here have willingly helped with answers. This is a safe, incredibly helpful place, which makes it a rare duck indeed.


I am not yet published, but my present WIP has had several requests for fulls, and I owe much of that to Blue Boarder help.


Laurel




















#72 - July 16, 2014, 05:28 PM

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So many ways...
Access to generous and thoughtful people's opinions and experience
Insightful critiques
Learning about new publishers and open windows to submission, competitions, etc.
Somewhere to ask my industry questions
Somewhere to come if I'm feeling writer's isolation
Meeting new friends (last, but definitely not least).
#73 - July 16, 2014, 05:32 PM
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When I first joined, I liked to hang out on the response times boards. And then I meandered around and found some great people, some, I've met in person and they're just as genuine and warm as they are here.
It's a place where others asked the questions I was too shy to ask and I found the input validating and informing.

- Was part of a wonderful writer's critique group after I saw a post on the boards. I sent writing samples to join and was mentored by a wonderful group of published and unpublished writers. Unfortunately, a dastardly life experience had me bow out.
 
- Joined an illustrator's group through the board and received input from a trio of brilliantly amazing women. I was encouraged to change my medium by one of them. After I did, I spent one and a half years mastering it and received my first contract with a traditional publisher. The book is releasing in two months.
 
- Hoping to get an agent after I get a book dummy completed that I'm currently working on. Fingers crossed . . . and I'll head on over to the response time boards and industry news boards to start my research.
#74 - July 16, 2014, 06:07 PM
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 06:09 PM by Cynthia Kremsner »
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I've gotten answers to my questions that are targeted just for those of us writing for children, questions like how to leave room for an illustrator in PB texts, how to avoid being episodic, and many others. The comments of those who've been there and done that have been so insightful.

Critiques on my queries have been great and reading other folks' queries and figuring out what works and what doesn't has also taught me a bunch.

The BlueBoard has directed me to amazing resources like Publishers Weekly Children's Bookshelf, Operation Awesome and Literary Rambles. I've even got hooked on blogs like QUERY SHARK and JEN REPRESENTS (*waves*) because of links posted here.

Thanks Verla! 
#75 - July 17, 2014, 07:36 AM

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I've been here since the beginning, September 2003. Here's some of what I've gained from the Blueboard:

- advice and information about publishing, querying, response times, etc.
- made lots of friends, some of whom I've met at conferences or otherwise in person
- found my online critique group, The Feathered Pens
- attended one chat in 2005, which led to my first agent request for a full
- started my Live Journal blog, made friends there, including the person who eventually became my cover designer
- discovered the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, and attended it twice (and met Donna Gephart there!)
- information and support for my venture into self-publishing a book of humorous poetry
- learned how to be a sommelier to a skunk (an experience that I later turned into an essay for a humour writing contest)

Thanks, Verla!    :hurrah:owl
#76 - July 17, 2014, 07:58 AM
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 08:04 AM by Barbara Etlin »
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Wow I hadn't seen this before! The Blueboard has done nothing but help me!! It's impossible to list the all the ways and I'm sure I'll forget some.


The Blueboard has:
-Made me stick with writing and not give up!
-Introduced me to SCBWI and writer conferences!
-Introduced me to other online writer sites
-Connected me to pretty much all of my writer pals!
-Introduced me to new authors I love reading!
-Taught me about online presence
-Taught me about writing and the revision process
-Taught me about the importance of having critique partners, and all of my critiquers have come from the Blueboards!
-Taught me about the agent search and query process
-Given me the support and love to stick it out, hang on for the downs and downs and downs and downs and ups and ups...
-Given me comfort when I was rejected so many times!
-Given me comfort when my agent rejected me the first time
-Cheered for me when my agent offered and I signed with her!
-Given me support through agent revisions/submission prep
-Cheered for me when I sold my book!
-Given me support on the road to publication


 :)
#77 - July 17, 2014, 03:40 PM
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What everyone else said.


We tend to sit in our own homes struggling to write by ourselves. Cannot always afford to go to a regional conference to meet other writers, so talking to other writers of children's books on line gives you a life line and a group of friends that when you can make it to conference you look forward to meeting in a way that is so hard to explain. They have been their through your odd questions, your ups and downs, your success stories, and your personal struggles. A group of writers like no other group.
#78 - August 11, 2014, 11:47 AM
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Like Debby G, I read Blueboard posts from publishers looking for writers, and this helped me get published, too. And, I've learned sooo much from others - re: submissions, the various markets, contracts, etc, etc, etc.  :wow

Thanks, Verla and Blueboarders!
 ::-)
#79 - December 27, 2014, 08:58 AM
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Oh my goodness, it's a while since I have seen this thread. One thing that has happened is that our national SCBWI has been increased in members (non-members, technically). It's tiny and erratic but it exists and based in my city, so that's a real bonus. Leprechauns do exist, after all! :lurk
It's also given me the opportunity to chat and create some ridiculous threads and encourage me to write more.
Oh and I just noticed my last post chatted about Moggy. That will always put a smile on my face.

Thanks and happy creating! And New Year! :clover
#80 - December 28, 2014, 03:33 AM

What a nice thread to find! These boards have helped me immensely in ways I cannot measure. I've always loved writing, but it has been an on-again, off-again affair for me, as personal and professional needs take precedence. Since I've joined the boards, I've learned so much  - about writing, about dealing with rejection, about persevering, and about this warm, fuzzy group feeling that tells me I don't have to write all by myself and never talk about it.  Wanting to write is not my guilty secret anymore. I spend some time almost every day doing writing-related activities now. I'm motivated, I'm happier, and I feel very privileged to be part of this group.

Thanks to all you board magicians who keep this group alive and well and to everyone else for helping keep this such a warm and inviting place!

I hope that 2015 is a wonderfully happy and successful year for all!

~L.P.
#81 - December 28, 2014, 09:57 AM
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 10:32 PM by L.P. »
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Oh Gosh.  So MANY ways.  First the "Reductions." You have REDUCED my feeling of being alone in the vast world of writing.  You have REDUCED my ignorance.  Of which there might be no end.  You have REDUCED the feeling that I might never get published. 

Now, to the ADDITIONS.  You have added a community.  You have added wisdom from sage voices and an infusion of encouragement and happiness through the Generous Spirit the SCBWI/Blueboard Community possesses.  Not to mention adding these things:  :stars3 and :goldstar and :grouphug2 and all of the above.  You have even Added some lovely Twitter connections. 

So in other words, you have MULTIPLIED my writing experience and life.  Could not thank you--and everyone here--enough.
#82 - December 28, 2014, 11:02 AM

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I stumbled upon this community through the agent response boards, and then posted a query. Up until then, I treated writing as a "Maybe I'll try it" hobby, or at least that's what I told the rest of the world. By asking for feedback and offering my own comments to other writers, my perspective shifted. I started seeing myself as part of a community of real writers, and started working in earnest to climb the learning curve. I can't imagine this journey without my wise friends and cp's from the BlueBoard. The isolation, rejection and doubt would have likely pushed me back into my former job, and I would have quietly let the dream die.

I'm getting a little sniffly here, I LOVE this place so much! Thank you, Verla, you changed my life.
 :love4
#83 - December 28, 2014, 01:56 PM

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I'm getting a little sniffly here, I LOVE this place so much! Thank you, Verla, you changed my life.
 :love4


And now you are making me all sniffly, too! :love4
#84 - December 28, 2014, 04:33 PM
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Me, too!  :bluesad :love4 It's so easy to quit when you're starting out. It's a fragile time. Here's to keeping dreams alive!  :xmascheer (And hooray for Verla!)

And LP, I kept my writing secret for years! I only came out of the closet to family and friends after I won an SCBWI grant. But yeah, it was always so nice to have a place to go where you could share with people who understand.
#85 - December 29, 2014, 06:54 AM
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I found a beautiful online friend who supports me with my writing in Michelle Karene!
#86 - June 06, 2015, 02:07 PM

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Oh my! Just spotted this thread. These boards have helped me in so many ways! Here are the ones I can articulate right now:

*Making writer friends-- It is so awesome when I go to the Western Washington SCBWI conference to know that I will meet up with a group of wonderful friends from the Blue Boards.

*Knowing about the world of children's writing  -- So many things that I know about how the world of children's writing worked, I picked up from these boards. Other writers generously shared information and I picked it up. (Sometimes I only realize how much I know from these boards when I talk to other writers who aren't on them and they ask me, "How did you learn that?")

*Building my confidence as a writer-- When I first wanted to submit a proposal for a nonfiction article to Cobblestone, I wasn't sure. So I posted a question on these boards. And people helped me and encouraged me.  And Cobblestone accepted that proposal. :thankyou

*Letting me know about opportunities-- Many years ago, I found out about the Smartwriters W.I.N. contest through these boards. I entered and got a huge confidence boost when some of my manuscripts placed (Nikki Grimes even commented on one. Yay!). I only found out about opportunities like that one and so many others because I was on these boards.

*Celebrating together!-- I have loved coming to this board through the years to celebrate good news. It is so inspiring to see people who have worked so hard at honing and polishing their craft come to share their good news. And it is so much fun to get to share my own good news with people who really "get it". I absolutely love what a supportive community this is in so many wonderful ways.

 :thankyou for these wonderful boards!
#87 - July 01, 2015, 09:22 AM
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Without the Blueboards I could have found some of the information about navigating the business of kid-lit eventually, but it would have been---
-Slower
--lonelier
----friendless

THIS is the kidlit writers & illustrators' café bar none. Verla's rules kept it from ever rolling down the path of Internet barking & biting trolls. She made it safe. 
In a virtual way--it's the real deal.  :goldstar
#88 - July 01, 2015, 09:45 AM
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Without the Blueboards I could have found some of the information about navigating the business of kid-lit eventually, but it would have been---
-Slower
--lonelier
----friendless

THIS is the kidlit writers & illustrators' café bar none. Verla's rules kept it from ever rolling down the path of Internet barking & biting trolls. She made it safe. 
In a virtual way--it's the real deal.  :goldstar


Awww, :thanks, 217mom. :embarrassed3
#89 - July 01, 2015, 05:52 PM
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It's being part of the tribe of writers; finding immediate support or advice when needed. It's the happy and generous shouts of joy when someone succeeds in their long journey of getting published.
#90 - July 02, 2015, 07:17 AM

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