I Am So Proud of My Work

Every year the Carolinas Chapter of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) holds a contest: send in ten five (they changed the rules) pages of writing and receive feedback.

Also, technically you can “win” 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in one of the contest’s three categories — picture books, novels (MG & YA), and nonfiction — but since the prize is a CERTIFICATE SUITABLE FOR FRAMING, you can decide if this constitutes a victory for you, personally.

I usually use this opportunity for the free feedback on whatever’s percolating in my brain (there’s no entry fee) and THIS YEAR DID NOT DISAPPOINT!

SCBWI Feedback Sheet

I am particularly enamored of my “score” in the category of “marketability” — which is “NO IDEA.”

I am OFF THE CHARTS, and not in a good way!

This made me grin the moment I saw it; I’m still tickled by the fact, upon reading my submission, the judge just threw up his hands and went

"neil degrasse tyson"


This may be my proudest achievement in writing to date. Not the story itself, which I gather from the scoring sheet is mediocre, but the fact that the reader, who works in the publishing industry, has absolutely no clue if this is a thing that would sell and/or be read by anyone.

Bonus: if you can’t read the comments at the bottom, they are (I think): “This is [rhygrigaly] (instagram??) and I’d want to read nose (?). The amount of difficult to pronounce foreign language in the beginning is a bit of a berrier (barrier?), I’d say. Too much seasoning for this stags (stays? stage??), perhaps. Fool (?) start overall.

However, the main takeaway — beyond any assessments of nebulous (“voice”) or subjective (“hooks reader”) qualities — appears to be “too many ethnics, too often speaking not-English,” which…well, I’m not sure if that’s a thing I could or would fix

To quote one of my high school peers: [my] freak flag NEVER flies at half-mast.

I still got it, baby!

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