WMBTSD Giveaway Day 30: September 30, 2007

Welcome to the biggest day of the Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway. Today is the final day and also the day to win the most prizes! DRUMROLL, please!

Today’s giveaways are…September 30th: Writer’s Market Deluxe 2008 by Robert Brewer (Writer’s Digest Books 2007) AND Work It, Girl, 101 Tips for the Hip Working Chick by Wendy Burt and Erin Kindberg (Contemporary Books 2001) AND Oh, Solo Mia! The Hip Chick’s Guide to Fun for One by Wendy Burt and Erin Kindberg (Contemporary Books 2003) AND today’s winner will also win Wendy Burt’s Audio Course, Breaking Into Freelance Writing, which contains 33 pages of handouts and three CDs.

And btw, today’s giveaway has a cash value of over one hundred dollars. (!!!)

1520_1564_large.jpgHere’s the book description for the 2008 Writer’s Market Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition:

Here’s the one reference you need to get your work published and paid for! 2008 Writer’s Market Deluxe makes it easier than ever to connect with the people who can make your writing dreams come true!

Inside you’ll find thousands of publishing opportunities, including book publishers, consumer and trade magazines, script buyers and more. Every market listing comes packed with the information you need to know: what editors want, where to send it, how much they pay and more!

But that’s not even the best part. With the 2008 Writer’s Market Deluxe, you get the benefits of a standard 2008 Writer’s Market, plus access to an extraordinary online database for one full year.

At WritersMarket.com you’ll find every market listed in this book, plus over 1,000 more. It’s your key to the most complete assemblage of publisher listings available—and it’s UPDATED DAILY! It includes easy-to-customize search settings to help you zero in on the most promising markets for your work.

You’ll also find phone numbers, contact names, pay rates, e-mail addresses, links to useful websites, guidelines and submission tips for every lead—crucial information that can help you get published and get PAID.

Want more? 2008 Writer’s Market Online also provides you with the popular SUBMISSION TRACKER, listings and contact information for over 4000 AGENTS, access to your very own home page, tips of the day, extensive articles on sending submissions, getting published and more. You’re serious about getting published.

If you want to be read, 2008 Writer’s Market Online is the tool you need to make it happen!

And now, I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Wendy Burt, who just had her second baby, Ben Stevenson Thomas, last week. 🙂 She’s quoted often Writer Mama and I want to thank her for all her help and for her great example over the years. Wendy has been a writing-for-publication mentor of mine since I took her class in 1999 (which was where I met my husband, Jason, coincidentally).

0809297825.pngWendy Burt-Thomas is a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. Her credentials include more than 1,000 published pieces in such varied publications as Family Circle, MSNBC.com and The Writer. Her books, Oh, Solo Mia! (2001, McGraw-Hill) and Work It, Girl! (2003, McGraw-Hill) are available through www.WendyBurt-Thomas.com.

17498686.JPGOh, Solo Mia! The Hip Chick’s Guide to Fun for One offers more than 120 fun and innovative ideas for women who want to enjoy life without a man – or friend! – in tow.

Work It, Girl! 101 Tips for the Hip Working Chick offers a wide variety of fun and fabulous ways to overcome the daily grind with style.

Taken from the class of the same name, Breaking Into Freelance Writing is a 3-CD set of Wendy Burt’s live workshop. The audio is paired with a 30+ page packet, including sample queries, cover letters, agent letters and more.

P.S. One of my editors for Writer Mama, Michelle Ehrhard, also had a baby last week, her first and a girl, Bridget Joelle, born on September 18th. The message I got from Lauren Mosko at WDB letting me know about the birth said: “Another Writer Mama!” in the subject line. 🙂

(Lest we forget, editors are almost always writers…just like us.)

Here is the question that you must answer in between 50-300 words in order to be entered into today’s giveaway:

Who do you want to thank for the writing career/journey success that you’ve experienced thus far? This can be family, friends, pets, mentors–anyone who’s made a difference. Go ahead and thank them here. An attitude of gratitude magnetizes success, in my experience. (My list is about a mile long at this point, so mind the word-count.)

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53 Responses to “WMBTSD Giveaway Day 30: September 30, 2007”


  1. 1 Kris September 30, 2007 at 4:17 am

    For the writing success I’ve had so far, I thank God, for giving me the interest, the ability, and a life that allows me to pursue it. I thank my Mom for always thinking I’m smart and talented. I thank some teachers and editors that I’ve had along the way, who have taught me 1) that I can write and 2) how to do it better. And finally, I thank a friend of mine from a previous life, who encouraged me and believed in me, at a time when I had zero ability to believe in myself.

  2. 2 Darren Lipman September 30, 2007 at 5:35 am

    Not quite a mile long yet, but it’s surely getting there.

    I’d like to start with my family, of course, for all the time they’ve put up with my incessant writing, especially last November when I dared myself to write 150,000 words, and succeeded.

    Next, the great authors who filled my mind with inspiration and compelled me to want to share these stories in my head with others like they have with their own tales. If not for them, I’d have never begun writing at all.

    Perhaps most importantly, to all the awesome writers whom I have met online and had the pleasure of sharing my creativity with. Their honesty and ability to point out my weaknesses and give constructive, meaningful criticism has done more to help me become a better writer than most things ever have. For this, I am eternally grateful.

    And last, but surely not least, to you, Christina. I may have arrived to this contest later in the month than most, but it has been a wonderful experience being here. Answering your questions daily has led me to a greater understand of myself as a writer, and that’s a gift worth more to me than any of the prizes I could’ve ever won. Thank you.

  3. 3 tastycake September 30, 2007 at 5:37 am

    This is such a great question because I’ve never actually made all of these people into a list before, just thought about them separately and offhandedly (clearly I haven’t been to any Academy Awards of writing, YET).

    1. My mutti and vati (mom and dad). My mom has always been behind me (isn’t that what mothers do?) and, bizarrely, despite a demeanor that sometimes suggests I am grossly incapable of doing anything else, my dad has always actually believed that I can succeed at writing.

    2. My brother, not necessarily because he cares about my writing, because I don’t think he does, but just because he’s awesome.

    3. My boyfriend… the best ever.

    4. Wordman (AKA Jack Kreitzer) and Mark Baechtel, the two best writing teachers I’ve ever had.

    5. M.T. Anderson and Roald Dahl for writing things that singlehandedly have inspired me above all else.

    I’ll stop now, but I’m pretty sure there would be more if I actually thought about it.

  4. 4 Renee Roberson September 30, 2007 at 5:58 am

    What a fabulous day of prizes! Whatever will I do tomorrow when this giveaway is over?

    I have so many people to thank it’s ridiculous. Going way back, every one of my high school English teachers had complete faith in me and did everything they could to encourage my love of learning. My college professor Catherine Mitchell, singled me out my sophomore year and always challenged me to do turn in only the best work. My husband, Daniel, has always supported me even though he knows I get crabby at deadline times and don’t always have time to cook a nice dinner or clean the house. My best friend Amanda, who had her first baby and was diagnosed with a chronic illness all in the same year, always cheerleads for me even though I know she has more important things to worry about. My mom, who may not always understand what it is exactly that I do, always listens and says “Congratulations” when I call her.

    And last but not least, my two beautiful children, Mia and Noah. Without them, I never would have had the courage to become a freelance writer. The motivation to spend my days with them kept me from heading back to a corporate or full-time job, and they’ll never know how grateful I am to them for that!

  5. 5 Kate September 30, 2007 at 6:22 am

    As cheesy as this sounds, I owe everything to my mother and my maternal grandmother.

    My grandmother was addicted to fiction and while she was not, as they say, an educated woman, she took pride in reading well and using language properly. When she was dying and unable to hold a book, she hallucinated words onto the ceiling and read stories that way.

    And my mother, aside from loving the sad beauty of that anecdote, believes that words are the machinery of truth. And she taught me to use them carefully, to listen to their meaning, defined and implied, with equal care.

  6. 6 Tiffani September 30, 2007 at 6:35 am

    My parents, especially my mom, always enjoyed my writing and encouraged my passion. My mom has every newspaper clipping of every article/column I wrote while I worked in newspapers. As a sportswriter, I wrote a lot of stuff. 🙂 And she has it all. That’s dedication.

    My junior college English Comp. teacher was also a great influence; he told me I was a good writer, and he helped me get better. He’s the only teacher I ever had a crush on, and he wasn’t even handsome. 😉 After transferring to a 4-year school my journalism instructor took over the encouraging. She really built up my confidence and gave me the courage to go for it.

    And that’s it … my days with mentors ended when I graduated college.

    Until I found Writer Mama that is. 🙂 Even though it’s not an official mentor relationship, I have learned so much from Christina and other writers. And it’s been the boost I’ve needed to jump into the freelance pond with both feet.

    Winning today’s prizes will give me another much-needed boost, too!

    Thanks for this giveaway; it’s been great fun. 🙂

  7. 7 JulieP September 30, 2007 at 6:55 am

    This is an easy one. I really want to thank my mom. She’s the one, more than any teacher, professor, tutor, or mentor, who taught me how to express myself best in words. Growing up, she didn’t re-write papers when I asked her to proof, she sat down and talked them out with me. Later, it was my mom and I who did the same with my dad’s speeches. I certainly hope I will have the same influence on my children–assisting and never doing for them.

    Of course, these days, I have to give a lot of thanks to my husband for his patience (sometimes) with my writing. And to my kids for the inspiration.

  8. 8 Meryl September 30, 2007 at 6:58 am

    Undoubtedly, first thanks go to my parents for being my first writers and editors in life. My husband and three kids for putting up with my working during family time hours whenever I was on a roll. Neil Sakind, agent extraordinaire, for landing me the assignment that led to my first book. All the people I’ve met along the way because “six degrees of separation” does positively affect a writer’s life.

  9. 9 Cheryl M September 30, 2007 at 7:37 am

    My husband is at the top of my list to thank. We both have similar backgrounds and met in graduate school studying science. He didn’t even blink when I told him out of the blue that I wanted to spend a couple hundred dollars on a writing workshop last winter. The writing workshop was worthwhile, but even better was the group of people I met there. About five us of have continued to meet once a month. The feedback and inspiration from this group has been amazing, especially since we are all there for very different reasons. My kids are my muse, without them I don’t think I would ever have even considered writing as a possibility in my life.

    Thanks for the contest. I didn’t post for the first three weeks, but I was reading and thinking about the questions. It was fun.

  10. 10 Pattie September 30, 2007 at 7:38 am

    I would like to thank my best friends Roma and Valerie, who think I am the best writer ever! They love me and support whatever I do. I’d also like to thank my family, without whom I would not have good writing material. Other people I’d like to thank: my few but faithful blog fans, my Shepherd girls at the Women at Home Ministry, Taffy Cannon at Long Ridge for encouraging me in my nonfiction pursuits, and author Meredith Efken, for introducing me to American Christian Fiction Writers.

  11. 11 LaShawn September 30, 2007 at 7:46 am

    I really thank my husband. He is the one who has to endure going to work full-time while I stay at home with my son. He is the one whom I bounce ideas off of and who tells me if my science fiction needs to be more accurate in the science area. He encouraged me through the entire time I’ve worked on my fantasy novel and rejoiced with me when I finished it. He doesn’t gripe when I go to writer’s groups, or if I happen to be working overtime on a story. In short, he is the perfect man, and I’m sooooo lucky that he is mine!

  12. 12 Beth K. Vogt September 30, 2007 at 7:59 am

    I know I wouldn’t be as far along the writing road if it wasn’t for those who helped me along the way.
    In no particular order, I am grateful for:
    my writers group, Inkspired, who love me enough to honestly critique me–demanding that I write my best.
    my “other Beths”–Beth J., an agent and dear friend, who helped me brainstorm my book, and is always there to celebrate or commiserate with a magarita or two; and Beth L., my editor–there’s no one better. She personifies the word “encourager.”
    my husband, who understands when I get that wild “I need some time to write!” look in my eyes–and then helps makes it happen. He believes in me.
    my mentor, Kathy T., who gave me pats on the back and kicks in the writing pants–depending on what I needed.
    every person who has ever told me “You can do it.” It might have been an editor at a conference or a college journalism professor or even my mom. Sometimes those words made all the difference.
    how God has blessed me and allowed me to see some of my most-hoped for writing dreams come true.
    May your day–may our writing lives–be anchored in gratefulness.
    Thank you, Christina, for such a fun contest. I’ll be hanging around your blog from here on in, whether I win anything today or not!

  13. 13 Mary Jo C September 30, 2007 at 8:14 am

    First of all, I want to thank God, for weaving in me the passion and skill of writing well, I am obligated to use these talents.

    My mom was the first to encourage me to write. After a pre-teen meltdown, she gave me a spiral notebook with the note, “use these pages when you feel sad or angry, just write it down.”

    Sister Mary Donald who was my 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teacher, sparked the creative juice in teaching me poetry, love of words. Mrs. Warda, 6th grade teacher who had me read my first short story to the class. Miss Metanias, Sophomore English teacher who used my creative essay as the example for her future classes. Teachers and classmates in the Columbia College Fiction writing dept. for their boldness and encouragement.

    My friends, Trisha and Amy who ask weekly, “Where are you on your novel? Send me another chapter!” My writers group buddies for holding me accountable, breaking the procrastination.

    Published authors and bloggers, who I’ve never met, but encourage me with their advice, success stories (and failures): Christina Katz, Hope Clark, Jackie Moyer Fischer, Natalie Goldberg, Julia Cameron, the list goes on! And to all the writer mamas I’ve “met” this month…

    Lastly, my husband, Dave, who is a constant source of inspiration and great at keeping me “real and grounded.” And my son, David, who just this year as a 3rd grader discovered his own passion and talent for writing and wakes up and sleeps with his three-ring binder of short stories. If that doesn’t get my butt in the chair, I don’t know what will. (word count: 279, whew!)

    Thanks again, Christina! What a ride!!

  14. 14 Stephanie September 30, 2007 at 8:23 am

    I have had many writing companions, guides, and mentors:

    1. Thank you to Tim…my husband, my hero. He always says he’s my number one fan! He believes in my dreams even more than I do. He’s so confident, in fact, that he says he’s just waiting for me to get asked to appear on Oprah. 🙂
    2. Thank you to my daughter Kayla. She’s the most beautiful, intelligent, and fun-loving little baby girl in the whole world – and she inspires me daily.
    3. Thank you to my mom for modeling a love of reading. Growing up, we always knew where we could find her in her spare moments – curled up with a book.
    4. Thank you to my Honors English teachers in high school, Mrs. Cooney and Mrs. Verplank. They taught me how to appreciate great literature and poetry – and encouraged me in my ambitions.
    5. Thank you to my favorite writers – Sheldon Vanauken, C.S. Lewis, Robin Jones Gunn, T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Penelope Trunk, and so many more – for showing me that anything is possible and for transporting me into the world of pen and ink.

  15. 15 Kelli September 30, 2007 at 8:41 am

    Of course, my parents have to be near the top as my early grade school teachers that promoted creative writing.

    Strangely, one person I need to thank I don’t know his name. As an undergrad at the UW, I considered changing my major from English to communications because I thought it would be a stronger degree in the job market. I had a meeting with the head of the communications department and he told me to major in the subject I was most passionate about because in the big picture an English degree or a Communications degree wouldn’t matter; they were both about equal. I stayed with English and it made all the difference in my life and where I am. I always think about this one person speaking honestly to me and not trying to recruit another communications major, his help changed my life.

    Kelli

  16. 16 Tammy September 30, 2007 at 9:01 am

    I want to thank first, my husband. He has supported me all the way, even though I’m not earning a lot of money with my career. He’s slogged along with me and the kids to conferences, meetings and even hosted presentations in our house.

    I also love my kids for how much they inspire me to keep writing. Their passion for life and learning has reminded me that there is always more to learn and to enjoy in this world.

    My friends, both online and offline, have supported me, even when I go off on crazy rants and complaining fits. They are still there. I really appreciate that.

    Of course, my parents. They raised me and brought me to adulthood. And now, as an adult, support me even when they may not agree with my choices. How many parents do that? I am lucky to have parents who trust me.

  17. 17 Gayle Trent September 30, 2007 at 9:21 am

    First of all, I have to thank my family. They are so precious and encouraging. My children love to tell people, “My mom is a book writer.” Plus, my husband is supportive. Every time I decide to “give up and get a ‘real’ job,” he urges me to press on.

    I also would have to thank Teresa Medeiros. After my first novel was published, I was seated next to her at a conference signing. There she was with all her beautiful, glossy books while I sat with my one stack of books. Reader after reader passed by my table on their way to hers. I was almost ashamed to be there! We’d chatted throughout the day, and at one point she turned to me and said, “I want to buy a copy of your book.” I asked, “WHY?” She laughed and said, “To read it, of course!” Then she told me something I’ve never forgotten. She said, “We’ve all been where you are right now.” As I signed a copy of PHOTO FINISH for her, she got in front of my table and took a picture. She was so sweet. But, again, I was grateful for the reminder that every great writer has to start somewhere.

  18. 18 Jolynn September 30, 2007 at 9:44 am

    Today’s prizes are so GREAT! I really want the books since today is the last day, and I haven’t won anything.
    Thee people that have made me a success and help inspire me are:
    Author Rachel Ann Nunes- She was doing a school presentation at my daughter’s school, about 1 and a half years ago. I told her I write children’s books, and asked her where to send them to get published.
    She told me about Writer’s Market, which has helped me alot.
    Rick Walton, Ginger Churchill, and Tony Eldridge are my author friends that have encouraged, helped and supported me.
    I’ve been to alot of author’s web-sites, and their advice has helped me.
    And of course, my family.
    Jolynn

  19. 19 Heather Haapoja September 30, 2007 at 10:05 am

    I want to first thank God, for giving me the ability and desire to write. I try always to honor Him with this gift and I hope I am successful in doing so. I also want to thank my parents and siblings, for instilling in me a love for reading and always supporting my dreams – whatever they might be. I thank some very special teachers, like my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Elliott, who encouraged and praised my writing efforts, long before I dreamed of being a writer. I also thank my husband and children, who have faith and confidence in me to reach my goals. Without their support, I could not have made it this far.

    I thank the countless authors who caused me to fall in love with books, and still inspire me today; Dr Seuss, A.A. Milne, Beatrix Potter, Marguerite Henry, James Herriott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, just to name a few. And I thank the many, many writers and aspiring writers I’ve met online over the past few years, who have helped me through the daily struggles of the writing life. They have willingly shared their unique views, wisdom, successes and failures, and because of this support from others “in the trenches,” I never feel alone in my efforts.

    I am amazed that, in just a few weeks, I feel like I’ve come to know so many of you through your posts here. Thank you all, for sharing your thoughts, dreams and struggles with your writing. And Christina, I haven’t even read your book yet, but I’m in awe of all you’ve already accomplished. Thank you for supporting us all in our efforts to be the best Writer Mamas we can be. ;o)

  20. 20 Audra September 30, 2007 at 10:11 am

    First off, I have to thank God for not only giving me the gift of writing, but for also inspiring me to want to be a better writer. I want to say thank you to my husband and kids for believing I can actually write something that someone might want to buy. Thank you dear brother for always wanting to read what I’ve written and offering your wisdom. Thanks mom and dad for encouraging me and dad for passing on your writing genes.
    I’m on a couple of writing groups, but I especially want to thank the members of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Momwriters for being willing to share your knowledge to help this newbie grow.
    Thanks goes to the many writers of both non-fiction and fiction who give me wonderful examples of writing with passion, humor and faith.
    Lastly, (I feel like I’ve won an award or something), I want to thank my pets. Thanks to my loyal dogs, Harley and Davey, who lay at my feet or behind my chair while I write. And thanks to Lady Muse, my kitten, who likes to sit on my lap and watch the computer screen as I write – I haven’t decided if she approves or is waiting to edit.
    One more thanks: thank you Christina for hosting a wonderful contest even if I haven’t won yet lol. I’m hoping to get your book soon.
    Phew – I did it under 300 words.

  21. 21 Shawn September 30, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Come on, lucky Shawn!!!!! I need this one. : )

    OK, here I go …

    I have to thank my husband for his constant support and undying dedication to me and our family, without which I would not be at home with our beautiful daughters, trying to make a go of this writing career of mine.

    I have to thank the best editors I ever had: Jeff and Scott. Both newspaper men with hearts and who I always listened as I rattled off the best of the best and the worst of the worst in the world of hardcore news reporting. At the same time, both were great mentors in storytelling and non-fiction writing. They supported me and guided me … even when times were very rough.

    And, I thank myself. Odd, I know. But, I’m the one doing it. I’m the one who has pushed myself to go to college, to get the jobs I got, and who has worked endless hours trying to perfect the craft.

    Finally, my grandmother who even when I was just a girl supported my love for stories by turning on the tape recorder and taping me. I still have those tapes, and she’s still supporting me as she nears her 80s. She’s awesome.

  22. 22 Rose September 30, 2007 at 11:16 am

    To my high school English teacher who sat on a stool eating Grape-Nuts straight from the box while he inspired us with his love of the classics. I can still hear that crunching sound when I read Moby Dick.

    To my mother who let me check out as many books from the library as we could haul home in our station wagon. And for encouraging the travels that would change my life.

    To my husband who sharpens my senses.

    To my son whose wonder is contagious.

    To writers, musicians and artists of all times and places who echo truth, however dangerous.

    To God who is the fountain and source of all life.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  23. 23 Kathleen Whitman Plucker September 30, 2007 at 11:27 am

    I’d like to thank my husband Jonathan and my friend of twenty years, Cara. Three years ago, when Jonathan read work that I had produced for an online writing class, he sat me down and said it was time to quit spinning my wheels at a part-time job that no longer gave me joy. He encouraged me to write for publication, and even though we joke about how little money I make, Jonathan always shares my successes with others and is proud of my accomplishments.

    Despite the fact that she lives eight hours away, Cara always finds time to ask about my writing life. She, too, is proud of me for pursuing my true interests. Like Jonathan, Cara celebrates even the smallest of my successes.

  24. 24 Mrs. Jones September 30, 2007 at 11:33 am

    I have a list, that’s for sure. I’ll stick to the top three.

    Mrs. Sweick, or “Ellen” as her students were allowed to call her, was my 10th grade English teacher. I loved reading and had won awards for a few short stories, but was really becoming apathetic about it all by the time we met. She made it a point to pay special attention to me and not let that fire go out.

    A few months ago, I got a letter from an old boss, Roger. I haven’t been his assistant for over ten years, but he and his wife are still dear friends of mine. Recently, they suffered a great loss in life, which made them both step back and evaluate what is important. He wrote to TELL me to pursue writing and that I would regret it if I didn’t at least try. He’s also the one that long ago told me not to be afraid to go out on a limb. “That’s where the fruit is.” The letter came the same week I bought Writer Mama.

    None of my trying would be possible were it not for my awesome husband. We have made several important lifestyle changes over the last several months to more align with our values. I think he’s still a bit unsure of where my writing might go, but he continues to be supportive. He even built the desk I’m typing at as I could not find one that I liked (and could afford). How great is that?!

    I can’t wait to thank them all in my dedications.

  25. 25 Amanda Hyatt September 30, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Unaccustomed as I am …

    I would like to thank my husband for his undying faith in my writing abilities. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much faith in anything as he’s shown for my writing – misplaced though it maybe. I live in hope that some day I might prove him right, but I won’t hold my breath. There’s hope where there’s writing, though – and without his trust and support I probably would have given up long ago.

    Thank you.

  26. 26 Lisa September 30, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    I think back to when I was little and Mom would let me ‘write’ with her old typewriter, and I would ‘write’ as best as I could, and she would look up from her work, and give me a smile. I thank my Mom again for introducing me to books and reading at an early age, and for getting me my first library card, which I fervently clutched in my hands every week when going to the library up the hill.

    I thank the countless number of authors who’s books I read and re-read, who’s stories made me think, that I too, can do this, and who’s writings prompted me to get writing, too.

    I also thank the various musicians I listen to that provide me tons of inspiration to write, and who’s melodies create mind provoking stories to explore.

    I thank teachers I’ve had in the past who have encouraged me to write and create, and who’s praise has uplifted me in thinking that maybe I have a bit of talent.

    And, lastly, I thank my husband and children, who encourage me to pursue all and everything that I want, and who let me have some time to go after what I want. My family, too, provides me with some great writing material, and that, can’t be overlooked either.

  27. 27 Karrie September 30, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    Just to flip things around, I’ll end with my parents.

    I’d like to thank Mr. Keaton and his creative writing class from 7th grade. He has probably forgotten but I still remember that little room in middle school.

    I’d like to thank my friends who told me that I was “quite a writer” even though noone beyond their eyes had seen what I did.

    I’d like to thank my writing group for looking at what I do, asking their questions and pulling me into better writing.

    I’d like to thank God for continuing to nag at me in the back of my mind to keep things going.

    I’d like to thank my sister for sharing this love of words with me.

    I’d like to thank my son for allowing me to read and tell him innumerable stories and for the joy of watching him begin to do the same.

    I’d like to thank my father for his support of my love for language.

    I’d like to thank my mother for her model of artistry. Her gift of visual art inspires me to continue in my own creativity.

    And there are more! I feel like I’ve won the Oscar just by writing this. Marvelous idea, Christina.

  28. 28 Elizabeth September 30, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    I want to thank my husband, who believes in me when I don’t believe in myself.

    I want to thank my friends in my critique group, who are never disappointed in me, or if they are, never let it show.

    And I want to thank the favorite authors of my childhood, such as Madeleine L’Engle, J. R. R. Tolkien, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Robert C. O’Brien, who taught me that words could make magic. I wish I had never closed my ears to their wisdom.

  29. 29 contentmama September 30, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Thank you, Writer Mama, for linking it all together through these reflections. My writing exists thanks to a teacher whose dedication to journalism students goes well beyond graduation day. Thank you, Mr. Ward.

    I feel privileged to work among fellow workshop writers, Bob, Eileen, Liz, Mary, Pamela, Susan. I appreciate your expertise, patience and the opportunity to co-exist in a fiction/non-fiction arena.

    Cecilia, a writer mama and more . . . thank you for your infectious warm spirit, inspiration, ideas.

    Greg, I love you. I love our sons. Grateful thanks for raising the content bar and quietly hauling all the furniture around our house so that I could claim a writing corner to myself.

    Thanks, Mom, for always sharing your ear and combing some of the markets for me. To my mother-in-law, a soon-to-be published writer grandmama, for dropping leads my way. I thank Cindy, my gently-nudging sister, for checking in with me to review my writing production reports; and Dee, my sister, for opening my eyes to the littlest successes. I thank, Carmen, with your constant blessings, for helping me tidy up the business side of writing. Thank you, friends.

    I thank my coffee moms, breaking life open with me into shared hours; and the editors, even the ones who send rejection letters. I thank the people who open their hearts and allow me to write about their lives. I owe much to everyone who writes or has left something written. They keep the words flowing.

  30. 30 sagecohen September 30, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    I want to thank you, Writer Mama, for setting such an inspiring example and for so generously supporting and encouraging your writing community. And a big shake of the pom-poms for Pam, who has been my writing editor, teacher, cheerleader and creative co-conquistadora for more than a decade. I am grateful to Mr. Cwanger, the first person who insisted that I was smart until I believed it, and Mr. Carr, who demanded such excellence that I overcame the safety zone of mediocrity. I want to thank Marge Piercy for touching the tender bud of my poetic heart and illuminating the path of self-expression. I want to thank Gerald Stern for being my friend and mentor, and Paulann Peterson for being such a gracious and benevolent matriarch of the Portland poetry scene. And I want to thank myself for persevering through doubt, shame, failure and terror. For trusting in my calling. For letting my love of language lead the way.

  31. 31 marnini September 30, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    First I would like to Thank God for allowing me to recognize that writing was my passion.
    I would like to thank my instructor/instructors at the Institute of Children’s Literature for their very helpful teachings and introductions into the writer’s world
    The members of my critique group who have read many many submissions and always helped me see how they could become better
    A dear friend and fellow author who I was lucky to meet at a Meet the Editors-she has become a mentor to me and is always willing to help
    The Writer Mama-You immediately answered my questions about starting a blog and pointed me in the right direction. I have also gained a wealth of knowledge and tips from your personal blog and gained many new friends because of it
    My parents-They are always happy to read something I wrote and make me feel like I really could write. My father has commented on my blogs many times and I always love to read what he has to say. He is a straight forward guy so he wouldn’t hold back and I am very grateful for that as well
    My friends, They have never made me feel like pursuing writing is a pipe dream. They have always encouraged and supported
    My children, nieces and nephews for making me feel cool after hearing one of my stories read out loud to them.
    My husband for really believing that one day my dreams will come true. I don’t think he has a doubt which makes me believe in myself more.
    Now I feel like I was just at a podium accepting my first award. But I’m sure they would have turned the music up and escorted me off of the stage. :):):)
    This was a blast, thanks Writer Mama!

  32. 32 Mar Junge September 30, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    My list is short, but sweet:

    1. My mom, who advised that, if I wanted to grow up to be a writer mama, I shouldfind a career in which I could make enough money writing to “feed my babies.” That career was PR.

    2. My mentor Mike Peak, who taught me how to be a damn good tech feature PR writer and meet deadlines with no excuses, even if that meant taking my laptop to the delivery room.

    3. My good friend Claire, who recognized that I was a closet fiction writer and urged me to study under her husband, novelist Floyd Salas.

    4. My three kids, now in their late teens, who understood from the time they could toddle that, “If there’s no blood or fire, there’s no reason to interrupt Mom.”

    5. My husband, who for 20 years, picked up the slack when my freelancing didn’t pay half the bills, and who took over all the household and teen care duties when he retired five years ago so
    I could expand my writing career.

  33. 33 Laura September 30, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Hmm…a big thank you note. What a great idea!

    First off, I want to thank my sister, Cathie, for always believing that I could write, and that I would be published. She believed in me even when I didn’t. When my first (currently only) article was published, she didn’t wait til I sent her a copy. She went out and bought the magazine. Her copy is now framed on her dining room wall. Cathie is so supportive, that I keep a picture of her in my writing nook as a reminder. Thank you!

    I want to also thank my friends Connie & Sharon, for also always believing in me. Also, thank you for reading and rereading articles before I send them out, and for listening to me talk about writing, endlessly!

    Thank you to Laurie Wright, for boot kicking me when needed, and telling me that I should be a writer.

    Thank you to my parents, for always being there for me. Thank you to both also for taking me to the library often when I was a kid. Also, thank for not getting upset when two days later, I told you I was out of books to read.

    Thank you to all the authors out there, whom feed my daily habit. Thank you especially to the authors of writing books. You are my teachers, and I greatly appreciate your lessons.

    Thank you also to my new friends, the writers I have met online. I look forward to futher conversations about writing.

    (btw, today is my birthday…what a wonderful surprise it would be to win these books! If only my name was Shawn…)

  34. 34 LauraE September 30, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    I want to thank the guy I met in the elevator at work about nine years ago who told me he had just published a book and was doing a book signing at my neighborhood store called “Mysteries to Die For.” I love the name of that store and I love that he planted the thought, ‘I might be able to write a book one day’ in my head. I want to thank my mom and dad who have always told me I tell the funniest stories and are great storytellers themselves. I want to thank everyone in our extended family for all the amazing material. Thank you to my sweet peas, Candy and Mx, who have shown me new insights into life, love and understanding. But mostly I want to thank my husband. He not only puts up with discussions about the right angle on a story or proper motivations for a character, but he is my biggest fan and just wants me to be happy and there isn’t a greater gift than that.

  35. 35 Beth Browne September 30, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Golly, who to thank? First of all, my mom and dad for reading to me and encouraging my love of books and my kids for being patient with me while I was participating in National Novel Writing Month three years running. I actually have a photo of my youngest nursing while I am slamming away on the laptop, writing my first nano-novel. I would also have to give thanks to my ex-husband, who, although we are currently embroiled in a nasty divorce, did allow me much time and space to complete those three nano-novels. I also give abundant thanks and much credit to my two writing buddies, Alice Osborn and Jane Andrews. And last, but by no means least, all the great writers I have had the pleasure of working with, including the lovely and talented poet, Pat Riviere-Seel; the fine poet, John Balaban; the wonderful memoirist and poet, Sebastian Matthews; the incomparable fiction writer, Louise Hawes; our North Carolina Poet Laureate, Kathryn Stripling Byer and so many others. (I hope I punctuated that correctly. My grammar check is not complaining. Whew!) Writing seems to be a lonely profession that requires a lot of people to make it work.

  36. 36 Lorraine September 30, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Wow, what an extravaganza of resources. That’s also how I see my friends and family who are supporting me in my writer mamma endeavors. I’d like to thank my amazing husband first and foremost. When we first got together, I would have never guessed that he would be willing and supportive of me pursuing a career with so many unknowns like freelance writing. I think he used to be more focused on a steady, known salary with standard benefits. I’d like to think the change in his opinion is at least partially based on his confidence in my abilities and belief that I can make it work for us. Without his support, both financially and practically, I wouldn’t even have the opportunity to give it a go.

    I also need to thank my writing group of other writer mammas. Although we’ve only been togehter as a group for a short period of time, I’m amazed that the group already feels like a safe place to express ourselves and I’m more and more impressed by the wit, intelligence, and creativity of the other women. They give me valuable feedback and ideas, but they also inspire me to become a better writer and the confidence to make it happen.

    Finally, I’m also thankful to my nanny. If I weren’t able to trust that she is capably caring for my kids, I couldn’t be able to relax and give myself the time to pursue my own goals “in the moment”.

    Thanks to you all!

  37. 37 Lorie September 30, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    My husband has been great. I know he probably gets tired of helping me out, but when he has a chance to read over something I’ve written, he’s good at finding places where I’ve worded something oddly. Random moments when he’s been proud of my work or told someone about what I do have also made me feel validated as a writer.

    I’d also like to thank all the other writers out there posting in forums and writing blogs and helping others out whenever possible. I don’t always say much when I join a writing forum or email group, but I really appreciate all the advice and job leads I’ve received over the past few years from the online community of writers.

  38. 38 Besu September 30, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    I would like to thank…

    My Mom, for encouraging me to write books since I was four years old. She tried to read my novel manuscript, but it’s just too hard with her macular degeneration. But she tried.

    My husband, for letting me bounce ideas off him and for watching the toddler so I can sequester myself in the computer room. He told me, “This book is just like something Oprah would pick,” even though he’s never read an Oprah book club choice. He believes in me more than I do.

    My community college teachers Mr. Fowler and Bob Hall. Mr. Fowler encouraged me when I was a sixteen-year old starting college, and he took me seriously when I said I wanted to be a published writer. His English 1A and 1B classes had a lasting impact on me. I took every single geography class taught by Bob Hall – five – and he opened my eyes to the world around me, especially my native San Joaquin Valley. I still quote his wisdom.

    I could go on, but I shall stop here.

  39. 39 Laural Ringler September 30, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Gotta weigh in on the last day – thanks Christina for organizing this and inspiring all the wisdom sharing.

    I thank my kids and husband for saying “okay,” when I say, “I need to write.” (And before they could say “okay,” I thank my kids for napping well.) Also, friends & family who ask what I’m writing lately, thoughtful writing group members, editors who give me a chance, and authors who inspire.

  40. 40 Shonna September 30, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    Thank you to:
    – my mom, always with a book or two on the go, who introduced me to books as a child
    – talented authors and editors who created those books that inspired me
    – my high school English teacher who said I should enter a writing contest—just wish I heard your voice louder than the counselors who were pushing smart girls into the sciences!!
    – the unknown writer who dropped her book off to be read to a class of elementary school students. I was volunteering at that school, trying to decide if teaching was for me. I stopped observing the classroom and started watching the writer. What she was doing seemed far more interesting.
    – my kids whose love of books brings me back to my childhood
    – my husband who is finally catching on that I’m serious about this writing thing and is willing to take the kids out of the house to let me get to work
    – my critique partners who hold me accountable
    – my God who is patient yet faithful to remind me of my calling.

  41. 41 Chris September 30, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    I would thank first and foremost, my husband. He’s an amazing writer…nobody can craft a page like he can. He not only possesses precision with the mechanics of writing, he has infuses the perfect balance of intellectual and emotional in his stories, underscored by a unique voice that none other can touch. His advice, encouragement, and ability to perceive how to make my writing better is an added gift to all of the others he gives me on a daily basis. I’m so lucky to have found my perfect partner in the world–and to be one half of such a brilliant being has been nothing less than blissful. I hope to repay all that he has given me in life-fold.

    I am also so very on-my-knees thankful for my little sons, who are my mini-miracle muses and perfect love bundles from heaven. Everything they give me enriches me as a mom and a writer, and I hope they will be as inspired by me as I am by them one day.

    Everything I do is in the name of these three who are closest to my heart, and everything that I am is a result of them. I hope my gratitude can be felt in giving the best that I can be.

  42. 42 Tricia Grissom September 30, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you, son, for praying that mommy’s book gets published.

    Thank you, daughter, for reading Mom’s stuff and shocking me with your insight.

    Thank you, God, for putting this fire in my belly and love of words in my DNA.

    Thank you, Mrs. Talbert, for telling me I could write even when I couldn’t tell a comma splice from a semicolon.

    Thank you, Mom, for thinking everything I write is great – even if it’s not.

    Thanks to all the agents who blog and answer all those teeny tiny questions we authors obsess over when submitting work.

    And thanks to all the writers out there who share their time, talent, and tips – online and off. Especially the Coffee and Critique writers group, Saturday Writers, and all you Writer Mamas.

  43. 43 Rhonda September 30, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    I thank to the Lord, Who instilled in me the inspiration to write, and Who is my light and my salvation.

    I thank my husband for making sure I get my precious “morning out” at the coffee shop on a regular basis. Although I write at home, a few hours free from the responsibility of taking care of our toddler is refreshing. I can have a few hours away from home while sipping a mocha and munching on a blueberry scone in a fabulously fun atmosphere; writing away for hours on end.

    Finally, I thank all the English teachers who taught me about free writing; to do it continuously when I have something to write about, and especially when I can’t think of a single thing to say.

    Rhonda

  44. 44 Andrea McMann September 30, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    First of all, I would have to thank my mom. She has always been supportive of my writing, and her belief in me and my writing has been very important to me. She is my best friend and I can always count on her when I need someone to bounce my ideas off. She also bought me my copy of “Writer Mama,” which leads me to my second thank you…

    Christina Katz, I would like to thank you for your wonderful book, and for your support of mama writers in general. “Mama Writer” opened up windows in my brain that I didn’t know existed, and made me realize that freelance writing could be a viable career choice for someone like me.

    I have to thank my children and my husband. They bring love and laughter to my life. Without them, I would not be the person I am today.

    I only have a few minutes to squeeze in at the computer tonight, so I probably forgot someone or many someones,so thank you to all those someones out there.

  45. 45 Donna B. September 30, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    My gratitude goes to Mrs. Lucille Casey, my second-grade teacher at JHS#2 in Trenton, NJ, way back in the late 1950s. Thank you, Mrs. Casey, for assigning us the grand project of writing a book. It was my first complete manuscript (as yet, unpublished). I’m sure that in today’s sensitive world, “The Big Fat Man” wouldn’t get very far, but in second grade, it launched a love of writing that I had no idea would remain with me forever. And Mrs. Casey was the teacher responsible for instilling the confidence that I still need to draw upon to this day. She asked me to read it in front of the entire 2nd grade class. But it gets even better. She made arrangements with other teachers so that I could visit all of the 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms to read my book aloud. Wow … my first (and only!) tour! I remember my early, curly cursive on the green lined paper. The cover was half a manila folder, and the pages were held in place with brass toggles. The big fat man graced the front cover in all his Crayola glory. Fifty years later, I still give thanks for Mrs. Casey and to all the teachers who make a difference in young lives. – Donna

  46. 46 Content Maven September 30, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Undoubtedly, first thanks go to my parents for being my first writers and editors of life. My husband and three kids for putting up with my working during family time hours whenever I was on a roll. Neil Sakind, agent extraordinaire, for landing me the assignment that led to my first book. All the people I’ve met along the way because “six degrees of separation” does positively affect a writer’s life. And my d, Itzy, for keeping me company in my quiet office.

  47. 47 Terra September 30, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    There are many people to thank for supporting me on this writing path.
    My dad is my writing hero, still writing his newspaper column at the age of 88, after retiring at age 65. What a way with words, and he needs no editing.
    My husband is supportive in this difficult path, and my BBs writing group of 6 women cheerleads and offers practical ideas.
    Each editor who loves my work, thank you!
    C.S. Lewis, the world’s most gifted writer, is a divine inspiration.
    Anne Lamott for the occasional needed kick or insight, through her writing.
    Reading the Holy Bible leads and sustains me.
    Most of all, I follow what I am led to write, after prayer.

  48. 48 Cath September 30, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Here, in the order in which they came, are those to whom I owe a word of thanks:

    1. My mother, who took me to the library (and not the little library…the BIG library on Bull Street with the wide staircase and stacks and stacks of books and pictures and records and said, “Of course,” when I asked if I could check out books from the adult side). If I had not fallen in love with books, I would never have had the dream to write them. Thak you, thank you, thank you, mom!

    2. The principal of the middle school where I worked who said, “Cathy’s leaving us to write a book.” I could have smacked her upside the head at the time. But after she went and told everybody I was leaving to write, I had to go out and actually write. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Nancy!

    3. My most beneficent husband who said, “You should write.” And then bought me office supplies and a new computer and bragged to his friends everywhere that I was a writer. Again, when I think of throwing in the towel, I think of how much my husband believes in me and supports me and even agrees to read my stories which he really doesn’t like that much but reads anyway because sometimes I miss spelling errors. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dave!

    4. Deb and Kathie and Deb and Martha and Nita and Lone and Arleen and Lucile and Lisa and all the other friends who have ever said, “I loved when you wrote…” You lift me up always. Thank you, friends.

    5. Writer Mama, for the giveaways, but mostly for the questions. So much I’ve gained from other writers’ insights and sharing of dreams, hopes, and ups and downs on the writng journey. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Christina!

  49. 49 Linda Harris September 30, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    I’m going to squeak in here at the end to finish off this month. Thanks for the thought-provoking questions all month.

    First and foremost, I thank my muse, otherwise known as the Holy Spirit.

    Second, I appreciate so much my critique group. Thanks, Gaylyn, Beth, Scoti, Tiffany, Sharon, Gloria and Colleen.

    My mom didn’t read a whole lot, but she made sure my brother and I got to the library regularly. That, I’m sure, inspired my love of books.

    Miss Moore, my high-school English teacher.

    Jewell Patterson, who taught the first writing course I took at a junior college.

    Marshall Cook, who taught a course at the University of Wisconsin.

    All those teachers and mentors at the writers conferences I attended.

    David Clarke, who gave me my first writing assignment–writing titles for daily Bible readings.

    My husband, for taking care of the baby and cooking one day a week so I could write when I first started.

    And my children, who are my biggest fans.

  50. 50 Megan September 30, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    Oh, yay, I love reading acknowledgments pages in books! They always make me weepy. 😉

    So here’s my rough draft:

    – To my parents, for bringing home extra blue books from the university for me to write and illustrate my first books in. Especially my Writer Daddy, who always tells me I’m a better writer than he (although I beg to differ).

    – To my husband, Alex, for tying with me for the eighth grade graduation speech — he is still a witty jingle writer and I am still a sappy essayist, and we’re still a great pair.

    – To the teachers who supported me: Mr. Patchell, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Pointevant, Mr. Antenore, Mr. Gould, Prof. John Hyman, Prof. Rose Ann Robertson, and that great woman writing prof in college whose name I’ll remember before I write this for real!

    – To my friends, who have cheered me on and read my drafts over the years: Ashley, Amy, Merle, Toja, Tonya, Karsha, Jenna, Joshua, Sharon, Ron.

    – To my daughter, Senna, for already knowing at a year and a half that Mommy working sounds like “click, click, click.”

    – To the new writer mamas in my life who are generous with time, wisdom and encouragement: Miriam Peskowitz, Christina Katz, the Platform Gals, and the WMU.

    – To something bigger than me, that gave me a gift and a spark, and that keeps it coming. Thank you.

  51. 51 Laura B. September 30, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Where to start? I can trace my desire to write to many sources, for which I am eternally gratfeful.

    To my grandmother who gave me old copies of all of Gene Stratton Porter’s books as a child. I loved the idea that books were valuable. I loved the old smell and the way the pages yellowed and fell apart like flakes off a croissant.

    To my father who failed English and Shakespeare in college.

    To my mother who has saved every letter and thank you note I’ve written her.

    To my English teachers who allowed and directed great conversations about literature and encouraged me to submit my writing to competitions.

    To my high school journalism teacher who smoked cigarettes during his planning period and called me Blondie and Tex.

    To my children who write because they see me writing.

    To my husband who reads what I write and every now and then thinks he might be able to quit his job one day because I’ve written something good.

  52. 52 Abbey September 30, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    My husband — who completely supports every decision I’ve made. He’s been my sounding board, my proof reader, and my biggest cheerleader.

    My parents — for putting me through college and being completely okay with me being an English major. They never asked, “What are you going to do with THAT degree?”

    My kids — they are my inspiration — having two busy toddlers in my life fills me with stories and ideas.

    My high school English teacher, Mrs. Bullock — for instilling the love of reading, teaching me how to write effectively, and sharing her extensive book collection.

    All of the writer mamas who have come before me — you are inspiring and show me that I can have my cake and eat it too — a successful writing career and raising a successful family can happen.

  53. 53 Kathleen E September 30, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    I owe my writing career to my brother Doug. Now a professional artist, he taught me how to write when I was four just to keep me out of his new set of oil paints. Over the years he has encouraged me and, most of all, he has inspired me. You can’t be around Douglas Miley for any length of time without wanting to go out and create something.

    It was a great atmosphere to grow up in, with such a talented older brother. I give him all the credit for starting me on the path of creativity.


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