When Tara was wanting to break into the kidlit world in 2014, she was doing all the right things: Going to SCBWI conferences; meeting people; educating herself on the industry, etc. But she says that she realized that what she needed --the missing link, was a mentor. She was fortunate to meet Stacy McAnulty, who agreed to mentor her. They worked together for six months, and soon after, Tara got an agent and sold her first books.
She wanted to pay it forward to other people who were also trying to break in-- but in a bigger way. So she created the contest, Writing with the Stars.
Denis and I worked with Cassandra Federman, whom I know you will all be seeing a lot of in the future. We loved her story which she submitted with her application. She was a great mentee -- so open to constructive criticism, highly enthusiastic and very hard working. We helped her polish her manuscript, and got to know her along the way via our Skype mentoring sessions and social media.
We were SO SO thrilled when she submitted her manuscript to a handful of agents this fall and received an immediate positive response. She had the wonderful dilemma of trying to choose between several who were interested. She signed with Jenna Pocius of Red Fox Literary a couple of months ago.. I know we will be seeing her manuscript as a book in the future. :)
To enter the Writing with the Stars contest, and find out more about it, visit Tara's site. There is a new group of mentors and some repeats from last year like Denis and me. The application window is January 8, 2018 to January 13, 2018, midnight EST.
Good luck! :)