Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Chapter Book Challenge 2021 Badge #ChaBooCha

Sorry for the delay in getting the Chapter Book Challenge badges ready for the challenge. I've had two laptops die on me this past year and we also had to replace out desktop computer. All of the machines that went kaput on us were ones that had my picture-making program on them, and none of the new ones have a DVD player for re-adding the program from our CDs. (Also, I'm not sure we still have the authorisation code for the program anymore.)

So creating this badge was much more difficult than usual. Hope you like it anyway! I was unable to resize it, so if you use it, you may need to resize it as it is quite large. (Blogger allows me to temporarily resize your view of it, but the actual file is still large to view outside of Blogger.)


Monday, 1 March 2021

Chapter Book Challenge 2021!!! #ChaBooCha

Welcome to the 2021 Chapter Book Challenge! For those of you who are new to the ChaBooCha, I will explain the details of the writing challenge.

The Chapter Book Challenge, otherwise known as ChaBooCha, first ran in 2012. It runs every year in the month of March. The challenge is to write one completed first draft of an early reader, chapter book, middle grade book or YA novel in the month of March, starting on the 1st of March and finishing on the 31st of March.

During the month of March, there are helpful blog posts from published authors, agents and publishers to help members hone their craft, and there are prizes available throughout the challenge.

ChaBooCha has a very relaxed atmosphere where members help each other to achieve writing goals. You can sign up on the website using the sign-up form, and you can also join the Facebook page for updates and information. There is a Twitter page at and members interact with one another throughout the year in the Facebook group.

It is completely free to join the Chapter Book Challenge. 

Normally, prizes are announced at the end of the month once the challenge is ending, but this year, I have decided to announce and send out prizes throughout the month. In the last few years, my procrastination has gotten worse and I have a terrible memory, so many prizes were sent out excessively late. It will be easier for me to get prizes out in a more timely manner if I do them during the challenge itself. Prizes for the first week of the challenge will be announced on the 7th and sent out immediately upon getting the addresses to send them to. Likewise, the same will be done for the weeks ending on the 14th, 21st and 28th.

ChaBooCha's mascot: Nabu the badger

You also might be wondering about our logo. The Chapter Book Challenge logo is all about our mascot Nabu the Badger. Nabu loves to read, and he is really looking forward to all of the new chapter books, middle grade books and YA books that are going to be written and published as a result of this year's ChaBooCha. Nabu was named after the Babylonian patron god of scribes, wisdom and literature. Nabu became our "mascot" back in 2014, just two years into the Challenge.

ChaBooCha Regional Ambassadors

The Chapter Book Challenge has been growing year on year and, there are some things I cannot do because of the restrictions of my location, such as meet-ups. As a solution, in places where there are more than just one member, ChaBooCha has Regional Ambassadors. 

ChaBooCha regional ambassadors are the people who coordinate Chapter Book Challenge events within their region. In order to become a regional ambassador, there first needs to be more members in your region than just you, and your main duties are to arrange write-ins and meet-ups with other members within your region and also to spread the word about the challenge within your region.

Promotional materials, when they are in the budget, get sent out to our Regional Ambassadors, and printable files will be sent as well. A special RA badge will be created for RAs to use on their blogs and websites, if they so choose. Regional Ambassadors will receive a ChaBooCha RA badge to wear in their first year of joining as an RA and in their second year as an RA, they will receive a ChaBooCha keychain. As things move along, there may be more perks added for RAs. 

If you think this is a role you might like to take on within your region, send me an e-mail. (There is only one RA per region, but they may choose a co-RA.)

Teapot Tales anthologies

To help fund the challenge, from prizes to advertising to RA gifts, we have created a series of anthologies with stories all written and donated by members of the challenge. There are currently four Teapot Tales anthologies available for purchase. Proceeds from sales of the anthologies go towards funding the Chapter Book Challenge. The anthologies can be found on Amazon. There were also two themed anthologies written and contributed to by past members which also help fund ChaBooCha: Ghostly Echoes (Halloween-themed) and Jingle Bells (winter holiday-themed).

Teapot Tales: Volume 1

Teapot Tales: Volume 2

Teapot Tales: Volume 3

Ghostly Echoes

Jingle Bells

Chapter Book Challenge 2020 badge

Due to a computer problem on my laptop that I has my photopaint software, I am late in creating the badge for this year's challenge. I hope I can have it ready for posting tomorrow, so come have a look back then.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Prizes 2020 #ChaBooCha

Image by by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

For the prizes that were not awarded on the 31st, I promised to do a drawing for them on the 7th, so here it is:

For a copy of Teapot Tales: A Collection of Unusual Fairy Tales , the winner is: rimna 

 For a signed copy of Melissa Stoller's chapter book THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION - RETURN TO CONEY ISLAND, the winner is: Shanah Salter 

For a critique from Melissa Stoller on the first three chapters of a chapter book manuscript, the winner is: Yangmama 

Congratulations to those who won prizes! Please contact me through my e-mail.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

An Ending and New Beginnings #ChaBooCha

Today is the last day of the Chapter Book Challenge. We have reached the end of ChaBooCha 2020. But it might be the end, but it doesn't mean we don't have a lot of things still to do and new things to begin. Those of you who did not complete your novel can still continue your writing. Those of you who completed your novels need to begin editing and revising in order to advance on your path to publication. Some of you are already at the stage of beginning your next novels.

Wherever you are on this writing journey, I want to tell you that you have done well!

And now I get to announce the winners of this month's prizes. As usual, I am excessively slow at getting prizes out to people, and that will only be exacerbated by the fact that my country is currently in "lock-down" due to the pandemic. But I will do my best to get these prizes out to you before the next Chapter Book Challenge. (There were a few less prizes this time in order to make it easier for me to try and get them out in a more timely manner.)


The winner of Books and Bone by Victoria Corva is: saputnam

The winner of "Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly" by Gail Carson Levine is: elisa 

The winner of the metal charm bookmark made by me is: Kelly Vavala and Manju Howard 

The winner of a copy of Teapot Tales: A Collection of Unique Fairy Tales is: BetW 

Sadly, no one entered the give-aways for these four prizes listed below, possibly because they were posts that were later in the month. If anyone wants to comment on the posts that offered these prizes within the next week (to give some more time for comments), I can do another drawing for the below prizes on April 7th. I will then announce the winners in a blog post, but it will not be e-mailed out as the e-mails only go out during the month of March.

*a signed copy of Melissa Stoller's chapter book THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION - RETURN TO CONEY ISLAND

*a critique from Melissa Stoller on the first three chapters of a chapter book manuscript

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Top Five Reasons Why Chapter Books Are the Best by Marcie Colleen #ChaBooCha

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
I set out on this crazy journey to be a kids author thinking I would be all about picture books and only picture books. But when a super fun chapter book series literally fell into my lap (The Super Happy Party Bears) I couldn’t help but fall in love with the form.

For many reasons, I have come to realize that chapter books are where it’s at. Let me explain.

Here are my Top Five Reasons Why Chapter Books are the Best (to read and write!)

1. Chapter books are like cartoon series, but in book form. That’s right! I learned a lot of what I know about writing a chapter book series by studying cartoons—and I love cartoons! To read more about that, check out my ChaBooCha post from 2019, Three Things Cartoons Taught Me About Writing Chapter Books.

2. Chapter books create lifelong readers. When kids are young they are read to. Often with or without making the choice themselves. But when a kid becomes of age to read chapter books, you as an author have the ability to create a lifelong reader. Statistics show that people who read have increased focus, are more reflective, have incredible writing and speaking skills, and increased memory. If you can get a child to fall in love with your books, and hence reading for pleasure, you have taken part in creating a lifelong reader.

3. Chapter books create a sense of accomplishment for the reader. I remember the first time I read a book that required a bookmark and multiple sittings to finish it. I would close the book at times just to look at how many pages I had read and how many were still left to go. I felt like such a grownup reading a grownup book. And then, because most chapter books are series, I would gaze upon the books on the shelf all lined up like little reading trophies. I did that. I read all of those words by myself.

4. Chapter books empower their readers. Want to hear something cool about chapter books? They are a low price point for a reason. Not only do they empower readers through independent reading, but often with their allowance or a little extra cash from a birthday they can afford to buy the book themselves! Therefore it is super important that the production costs of chapter books stay low enough to keep the retail price low.
5. Chapter book readers are enthusiastic super fans. I love doing school visits to second, third, and fourth grade classes for The Super Happy Party Bears series. The kids get so excited and even share ideas for future Party Bear books. They ask questions about the world and specific plot points. They quote the books. They create fan art and send fan mail. They create Halloween costumes based on my characters. They dedicate their birthday party theme to the books. Having super fans is the best!

So c’mon all you cool kids! Do you have anything to add about why writing and reading chapter books is the absolute best? Share in the comments below—and then go write. There are lots of super fans waiting to fall in love with your books!


Marcie Colleen is a former classroom teacher turned children’s book author. She’s the author of THE SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS chapter book series (Macmillan/Imprint), as well as several picture books. Marcie is a frequent presenter at conferences for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Additionally, she’s a faculty member for San Diego Writer’s Ink and the University of California San Diego Extension. She also teaches online classes on “Crafting the Chapter Book” for The Writing Barn and will be teaching the first 4-day Chapter Book Intensive on location at The Writing in Austin, Texas in November, 2020 with fellow chapter book author, Hannah Barnaby (Monster and Boy Holt). Go to for further information about registration.

Marcie lives in San Diego, California. You can find her at @MarcieColleen1 on Twitter.



Today's giveaway is a copy of Teapot Tales: Pirates, Mermaids and Monsters of the Sea. In order to be entered into the drawing for this prize, you must be a signed-up member of the challenge and comment on this blog post. Your comment will be assigned a number and the winner will be chosen by a random number generator at noon on March 31st, 2020 and announced later that day.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Writing Your Chapter Book by Melissa Stoller #ChaBooCha

For those of you getting a late start to your ChaBooCha story or needing to start from scratch, or even those who need some new, fresh ideas to keep their story going, we have this great post from Melissa Stoller to share with you today.

Image by Willgard Krause on Pixabay

by Melissa Stoller 

If it’s March – it must be Chapter Book Challenge 2020! I have written several posts for the Chapter Book Challenge, including Working Your Way Through Chapter Book Challenge 2017, How to Start Writing Your Chapter Book, How to Write a Chapter Book Series, and Brainstorming Ideas.  

In this post, I will offer some strategies for brainstorming, researching, and drafting your chapter book this month. Ready, set, CHABOOCHA! 

Determine the Book’s World – Brainstorm some specifics about the setting of your story’s world. Is it fiction? Are there non-fiction or historical elements? What are the rules in this world? How does it all work? Writing reference points for your story setting will enable you to remain true to your story’s world, and offer enriching details in your chapter book. 

Draft a Character Study – Know as much as possible about your characters before you write. What are their likes, dislikes, and goals? What are their favorite foods, games, books, movies, and friends? What are their quirks, fears, and embarrassments? How do they speak and relate to each other? Before I start writing, I do a character sketch and interview each main character. As I write, I refer back to these notes to ensure that my characters are interesting, relatable, and consistent throughout my books. 


For example, in my chapter book series THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION, Simon loves games, especially cards, food, and adventure. His twin sister Emma loves solving puzzles, chatting with people, and taking chances. They both love Molly, their grandmother’s dog. I use these characteristics and more as I draft scenes and dialogue. 

Plot Your Plot – Every story needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. What obstacles will your characters face? How will they overcome those obstacles? What growth will take place during the story, both in the characters’ external journeys and also their internal journeys? Also, what themes are your including in your story? Think about how your plot and themes will resonate with young readers. 


Research – While my chapter book series is fiction, the stories also include historical elements. If possible, I visit the locations where the books take place. For example, when working on the first book in the series, RETURN TO CONEY ISLAND, I visited Coney Island and the famous Cyclone roller coaster (but didn’t ride!). I also visited the Liberty Bell while writing THE LIBERTY BELL TRAIN RIDE, the second book in the series (releasing soon!). Recently, I travelled to Washington, D.C. to research at the Library of Congress while working on the third book in the series which is set there. 

If you can’t research in person, you can also research online. Book Two of my series also takes place in San Francisco, which I didn’t visit, but I did extensive research online using Google Maps,, the U.S. National Archives online, and other sources. 

Outline Your Story – I start each book in my series with an outline of ten chapters, assuming each chapter will be roughly 500 words each. Even of you don’t normally outline, it might be helpful. As long as I have a detailed outline (which I often revise as I go along), I know that I’m headed in the right direction. 

Sit Down and Write – I usually start writing chapter one first, but when I move toward the middle of the story, I find that sometimes it’s easier to write the chapters out of order. Make sure you have page-turning transitions between chapters so the reader will keep reading, and enough action to move the story forward. I often put my chapter book project away between chapters so I can come back to it with fresh eyes. As I move along, I always think about setting, characters, plot, and themes, and I use my research and my outline to write. 

I hope this is a helpful framework in which to approach your chapter book project during the Chapter Book Challenge this month. 

Cheers to creativity! 



The first book in Melissa Stoller's chapter book series, The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection: Return to Coney Island was published by Clear Fork Publishing in 2017, and Book Two: The Liberty Bell Train Ride releases soon! Her picture books, Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush, Ready, Set and GOrilla! were published by Clear Fork in 2018. In other chapters of her life, she has worked as a lawyer, legal research and writing instructor, and early childhood educator. Additionally, she is a volunteer with SCBWI/Metro NY, a blogger and Assistant for the Children’s Book Academy, a Regional Ambassador for the Chapter Book Challenge, and a Moderator for the Debut Picture Book Study Group. She lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and their puppy Molly, who is a character in her chapter book series! 

Connect with Melissa: 



Melissa has offered, as today's two separate prizes,a signed copy of her chapter book THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION - RETURN TO CONEY ISLAND, plus a critique of the first three chapters of a chapter book manuscript. You must be a signed-up member of the challenge and comment on this post in order to be added to the drawing. The winners will be chosen by a random number generator at noon on March 31st, 2020 and announced later that day.

Friday, 27 March 2020

What Laurie Did Right: Middle Grade Magic (And a mini-lesson in The Hero's Journey): Part 2 by Alayne Kay Christian #ChaBooCha

Image by Yuri_B from Pixabay
(And a mini-lesson in The Hero’s Journey)
by Alayne Kay Christian

PART TWO OF TWO: Acts Two and Three of The Hero’s Journey

Click on image to enlarge
In part one of What Laurie Did Right, we analyzed act one of Laurie Smollett Kutscra's middle grade book Misadventure's of a Magician's Son using The Heros' Journey plot structure as a guide. In part two, we will explore the remainder of the book. This post covers the middle and the ending the the story and part one covers the beginning. If you study The Hero's Journey diagram above, you will see that act two takes up about 50% of the story, The ending and the beginning take up about 25% each. But they all flow smoothly into each other.

 The purpose of the information I’m sharing is to give you some guidelines. I offer this structure to give you direction and a sense of pacing and to make sure that your story has purpose and cohesiveness with a strong beginning, middle, and end. Please don’t let this structure limit you and your creativity. In addition, I want to remind you that chapter books can also follow most of what I’m sharing. However, for the younger audience, the plot and sentence structures are much simpler and backstory should be avoided, or at the very least, limited.

What Laurie did Right—ACT TWO (midpoint and rising action) 

In my mind, with Misadventures of a Magician’s Son, the crisis at the midpoint is almost like another inciting incident or a call to action. About midpoint in the story, without losing any continuity with the first half of the story, the tension grows and the true adventure begins. Alex’s cards end up in the hands of thugs who mistreat them. Alex must figure out who took the cards and once he does, he is challenged with how to get them back. Act two is filled with danger, adventure, action, humor, friendship, self-discovery, and more! There’s even a great chase scene.

The second half of the story builds tension and entertains throughout—always pulling the reader forward. In addition, while Alex is making his way through obstacles, challenges, and adventures, Laurie seamlessly weaves in a very entertaining adventure for Joker and his little adopted dog Ferdinand. 

Next, I will explain more about what typically happens using The Hero’s Journey. It is a lot of information, so I will only slip in a little bit about what Laurie did right. However, if you read the book, you will be able to use these notes to complete the analysis.

Act Two, the Midpoint (Rising Action)

Act two of The Hero’s Journey is developed via rising action. This section is where the protagonist’s story starts to take form and tension is at its highest. Here, the reader gets to know the rest of the characters much better. It is clear who the allies and enemies are. And the obstacles and challenges keep coming. But all of this is leading to the biggest challenge of all. In the process, the protagonist begins to learn more about what lies ahead. He makes choices and decisions and then takes action. But do his plans always work? No. And this causes him to become more reactionary than proactive, which helps build tension.

At the Midpoint, something major happens—a crisis occurs—an event where things go horribly wrong. The stakes have never been higher. If the protagonist cannot resolve the problem that has occurred, he stands to lose everything.

In the case of Misadventures of a Magician’s Son, the midpoint crisis is the disappearance of Alex’s precious cards. At this point, they have become like family to him. And they are his strongest connection to his father. If he can’t find the cards and get them back, he will not only be devastated and worse off than he was when he first moved to town (the point where the story began), he will also feel as though he has betrayed his father and perhaps even as though he has lost his father all over again. 

During Alex’s midpoint journey, first Alex achieves his highest, most rewarding, happiest moment in the book. And then the crisis happens. And for a time, he is totally lost. But this is what moves him from somewhat of a victim to a hero. Now he must be proactive and take control of the situation because if he doesn’t, who will? 

A great way to strengthen the reader’s emotional connection to your hero is to build an emotional rollercoaster ride with lots of ups and downs throughout the story. A strong emotional core is a perfect way to keep readers engaged. And Laurie does a fabulous job of that.

In Act Two of the Hero’s Journey, the hero is tested and confronted with obstacles in numerous ways, and he has a turning point. There are four steps in this part of the journey:

1) Tests, Allies, and Enemies
2) Approach to the Inmost Cave
3) The Ordeal 4) Reward (Seizing the Sword)

1. Tests, allies and enemies. Circumstances, other characters, obstacles, and the events encountered by the hero all create challenges that force changes and choices along his path. Once the hero is faced with his crisis, he works to solve it. But he tries and fails several times, and the failures create new problems. Here, the hero earns allies and meets enemies who will play a role in preparing him for the challenges yet to come. This is where his skills are tested. Each obstacle he faces helps readers gain deeper insight into his character, and over time, identify with him even more.

At this point in Misadventures of a Magician’s Son, Alex isn’t only faced with the loss of his cards, he must face scary bad guys. He must rely on a new friend (Lindsay), Joker, and eventually the cards to help him. He must believe in his ability to do magic beyond anything he has ever done before. And with each step, he meets obstacles and even danger. 

2. Approach to the inmost cave. The hero prepares for his biggest challenge yet. There is something he must do, somewhere he must go, someone he must meet in order to reach a resolution. The hero often finds himself at another threshold where doubts and fears resurface. In my mind, this is another call to action—one that is even bigger than the one at the beginning of the story. It is bigger because the stakes are higher and the hero has much more to lose. At this time, in order to muster the strength, courage, and confidence to step over this threshold and onto the treacherous path ahead, the hero may take some time to reflect on his journey. During the time of the inmost cave, readers are also given a moment to take a little break and consider what has occurred and what might occur next. And the tension builds. The reader’s emotional connection to the hero grows.

Laurie does a beautiful job of giving Alex his inmost cave events. During this time Alex reflects on what has happened and what is about to happen, he practices magic, and he gets encouragement and support from Joker. But the best of the inmost cave moment is when Alex’s father comes to him in an amazing dream. 

3. The Ordeal. A crisis erupts, also known as the dark night of the soul, or the darkest moment. Some people see it as the rock-bottom moment. The hero is confronted by his worst fear - whether literal or symbolic. He believes all is lost. Here, the hero must draw on all the knowledge, skills, experiences, and even his allies that he has gathered throughout his journey to the inmost cave. These are the things that will help him meet and overcome his most difficult challenge. If he fails, all truly is lost from his perspective. His life will never be the same again.

This is the time that the protagonist prepares for the showdown or battle. The protagonist becomes more and more aware of the antagonist’s strength. And there is some doubt in the reader’s mind, too. The reader wonders if the main character will be okay and if he will ever succeed.

In Misadventures of a Magician’s Son, Alex and friends prepare for the showdown. At this point, I believe Alex’s biggest fear is that he will never get his cards back. He has worried about this all along, but his fear grows when the possibilities of his plan to rescue his cards are threatened when the cards are locked in a safe. But even worse, he overhears one of the bad guys threatening to destroy Alex’s precious cards. 

4. Reward (Seizing the Sword). And then the battle begins. This is where the hero takes action on the choices and decisions that he has made via the inner climax that was driven by his darkest moment.

Regardless of Alex’s fears, he steps into battle. 

I’m going to be careful here and the rest of the way through by avoiding giving away too much of the ending and spoiling the story for readers.

After seemingly defeating the enemy and overcoming his challenges, Alex is now a stronger person, and he walks away rewarded on many levels. But his struggle isn’t over yet.

Wowza!!! I know that was a lot, but there is a lot that goes on in a hero’s journey, both internally and externally.

Misadventures of a Magician’s Son, What Laurie did Right—ACT THREE (the road back and resolution)

Act three of The Hero’s Journey consists of three steps.

1) The Road Back
2) Resurrection
3) Return with the Elixir (Denouement)

Act Three, the Road Back/Resolution

As I’ve said before, Misadventures of a Magician’s Son doesn’t follow the The Hero’s Journey perfectly but it comes close.

1.The Road Back. At this part of the journey, just as the hero stepped over the threshold into the special world in the beginning, he will now step through that same door to return home to his ordinary world. But he returns home with the rewards and treasures that he earned along the path of his journey. However, as I said earlier, the struggle isn’t over yet. The hero (and the story) meet one last obstacle standing between him and his ordinary world. This is where the hero may have to make one last choice, and the choice is typically a point where he must choose between his own personal goal and another cause.

In the case of Misadventures of a Magician’s Son, Jack makes a request of Alex. And although Alex would prefer to go home and get on with his life, he can’t refuse Jack. So, he steps back into the special world one more time. And this is where that exciting chase scene comes in.

2. Resurrection. Some would say, when the resurrection occurs, this is the true climax. This battle goes beyond the hero’s personal world.

In Misadventures of a Magician’s Son, Alex is purely concerned about the wellbeing of others when he risks going back into the special world. Of course, it is because he cares about Jack that he takes action, but the prize will be Jack’s and some others some other characters’, not Alex’s. If he fails, Jack and others will suffer. Laurie does a fabulous job of bringing readers into Alex’s fears, struggles, and hopes. If Alex succeeds, he will rise from this battle a new person. He will be reborn, so to speak.

3. Return with the Elixir (Denouement). In the final step of The Hero’s Journey, all the tension built through the last push back into the ordinary world is released. All loose ends of the plot are tied together. Any promises made to the reader have been fulfilled. Lessons are learned, and although the resolution may not be what was anticipated initially, the resolution is usually clear. Having learned many things and growing as a person, the hero returns home to his ordinary world a changed person with a new perspective. This is his final reward. The reader has a sense of satisfaction from observing the hero’s self-realization, or the end of his struggling. The resolution and return to the ordinary world represents three things to the hero and the reader:

1) Change
2) Success
3) And proof of the hero’s journey.

And as I’ve stated before, the hero will return to where he started, but things will never be the same as they were before he stepped onto the path of his journey.

I won’t share the final stage of Misadventures of a Magician’s Son, but I will tell you that Laurie wraps this story up in a beautiful and perfect bow. Alex and some of the supporting characters (especially Jack and Joker) definitely experience growth and change. And Alex’s ordinary world will never be the same again. This is his new normal. 

During this post, I’ve mostly presented what happens on the surface (or externally) via action, adventure, and humor. But I think it is really important to emphasize the personal growth we see in Alex. He overcomes his internal struggles as well as his external. And he will never be the boy he was when he first arrived in that foggy harbor town again. He has changed, in a good way, forever.

These are some things that Laurie Smollett Kutscera did right. And how about that beautiful art?

Thank you again for inviting me to be a guest blogger, Becky. And thank you for offering children’s novel writers the motivation to get their books written.


Alayne Kay Christian is the acquisitions editor for Blue Whale Press and an award-winning children’s book author. She is the creator and teacher of a picture book writing course Art of Arc. In addition, she shares her knowledge with writers through free and affordable webinars, at Writing for Children Webinars. She has been a picture book and chapter book critique professional since 2014, and she worked as a 12 X 12 critique ninja for three years. Alayne has spent the last thirteen years studying under some of the top names in children’s literature. Her latest picture book, An Old Man and His Penguin: How Dindim made João Pereira de Souza an Honorary Penguin, is scheduled for release in May. It will be open for pre-orders soon. Her next picture book, The Weed that Woke Christmas: The Mostly True Story of the Toledo Christmas Weed, will be released later this summer. Alayne is also the author of the award-winning Sienna the Cowgirl Fairy chapter book series. The next Sienna, the Cowgirl Fairy: Cowboy Trouble will be coming soon.