Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Birthday to Us Giveaway!

Last month, this blog turned one year old. The only thing better than stealing your sister's moment in the limelight is a party, so we are throwing ourselves a huge giveaway celebration.

The Kidliterati started as a small group of online beta readers. Since then, our group has grown into a wonderful community celebrating all things middle grade and young adult. It's been a wild ride and we are grateful you've joined us.

Before we hand out the goodie bags, we want to share some of the things we've learned in the past year.

On patience and acceptance:

"One major thing I learned from being part of this group: Being patient with myself when it comes to my writing / publication journey." -- Akossiwa Ketoglo

"I've learned that writing takes as long as it takes. The good news is that the people you meet along the way make every day worth it." -- Jean Giardina

"To listen to my own voice and trust it. Also, patience. I love writing, therein lies the pleasure, and to just keep writing...on and on." -- Karen Lee Hallam

"I've been learning to accept my writing process, to accept that I edit as a draft, that I create outlines and then immediately divert from them, that I can be sidelined by things like what kind of tree grows in front of my character's home...I've been learning to pause my fretting about this wild inefficiency and simply let myself write." -- Ki-Wing Merlin

"I've learned this year that the things you want to last often require the most patience. Don't rush. Enjoy the journey!" -- Rebecca Sutton

On the writing process:

"This year I learned to trust my gut. There is only one you, and that is what makes your story interesting. Let your authorial voice lead the way." -- Melanie Conklin

"Read, read, read. Then write." -- Dana Edwards

"This year I learned that it is easier to write when you surround yourself with writers."
-- Brian Sargent

"It's okay to struggle. That's a normal part of the process. So sit down and make mistakes--lots of mistakes--but try to learn from every one of them." -- Brooks Benjamin

"This year I learned that what makes the process satisfying is that it is hard. It is exceptionally hard. With an agent or without. With a book deal or without. To quote JFK (because, let's face it, we're all kind of trying to land on the moon), 'We choose to do this not because it is easy but because it is hard'." -- Paul Adams

"I've learned (and am still learning!) that it's okay--and necessary--to make writing a priority, and to say 'no' to the non-essential things in order to make that happen." -- Gail Nall

"This year I learned that writing doesn't have to be a solitary journey. Surround yourself with other writers. Commiserate with their struggles and celebrate in their successes. The writing bug is contagious." -- Ella Schwartz

"Allowing myself to fill a first draft with utter crap is key for creativity. I just make sure to commit to intense decrapification afterward. In other words, it takes a pillage to write a book."
-- Jeff Chen

"I've learned wanting to write or thinking I might write is not the same as writing. If I don't force myself to put words on the page, no one else will do it for me. Being a writer takes self-dicipline and commitment." -- Becky Appleby

On the path to publication:

"This year I'm learning (I wouldn't say it's all-the-way learned yet!) to be vulnerable. In my writing, on social media, and in the publishing realm." -- Jen Malone

"It can be tempting to throw in the towel when you've done all that you can do and the publishing world turns you down. Chin up. Shoulders back. Fingers on the keys. The most surefire way to never become a published author is to stop writing." -- Ben Brooks

"This year I've learned that it takes a village to write a book. From a family who believes in you, to critique partners who challenge you, to an agent who partners with you, to an editor who shares your words with the world. All of these people come together to help turn your vision into something readers will hold in their hands." -- Ronni Arno

Now...the goodies! 

Next week, we will pull names until we have a winner for each item listed below. Click the link and it will take you to the Rafflecopter entry.

For writers:

Six winners will be randomly selected. Winners of these critiques have one month to send their work to the Kidliterati contributor. Feedback will be returned within two weeks.
  • Query & first chapter critique by Brooks Benjamin (any category/genre as long as it's clean)
  • Query & first thirty pages critique by Paul Adams (MG only)
  • First five pages critique by Dana Edwards (MG only)
  • Query & first thirty pages critique by Ben Brooks (MG only)
  • First ten pages critique by Karen Lee Hallam (MG, YA, or NA)
  • Query & first chapter critique by Ronni Arno Blaisdell (MG or YA)

For book lovers:

Sixteen winners will be randomly selected. These prizes can only be shipped to addresses in the US unless otherwise noted.
  • ARC of Jessica Day George's THURSDAYS WITH THE CROWN from Gail Nall 
  • One pre-order of BREAKING THE ICE from Gail Nall
  • Three annotated e-ARCs of AT YOUR SERVICE from Jen Malone
  • One copy of AT YOUR SERVICE with bookmarks and a custom pressed penny swag from Jen Malone
  • One $20 Starbucks gift card from Jean Giardina
  • One YA bundle: an exclusive sneak-peek preview of Marie Lu's THE YOUNG ELITES, Rachel Harris's MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY, and possible surprise bonus books from Melanie Conklin
  • One MG bundle: Wendy Mass's JEREMY FINK AND THE MEANING OF LIFE, an ARC of Joanne Rocklin's FLEABRAIN LOVES FRANNY, and possible surprise bonus books from Melanie Conklin
  • One $20 B&N gift card from Brian Sargent
  • One $10 Amazon gift card from Akossiwa Ketoglo (open to international entries)
  • One copy of Jen Malone's AT YOUR SERVICE from Akossiwa Ketoglo (open to international entries)
  • ARC of Martina Boone's COMPULSION from Rebecca Sutton 
  • ARC of Christina Lauren's SUBLIME from Rebecca Sutton
  • Autographed preview copy of Stan Lee's ZODIAC from Ella Schwartz
  • ARC of Joyce Carol Oates's AFTER THE WRECK, I PICKED MYSELF UP, SPREAD MY WINGS, AND FLEW AWAY from Chris Brandon Whitaker

Thanks for celebrating with us!


  1. That gif makes me laugh so hard. Lucky to work with all of you! *fires cupcakes cannons*

  2. This group is the best! Hugs and huge pieces of cake for you all.

  3. Group hug!!! *fires candy and confetti cannons*

    PS: That gif is hilarious!

  4. Oh, happy birthday to us!! I'm so grateful for all of you!

  5. Yay! Thrilled to have met up with such amazing, supportive, and talented writers! Happy Birthday to us! More confetti! :D

  6. Happy birthday, ladies! : ) Congrats on the milestone!

  7. I'm so grateful to be a part of this group. Love you guys.

  8. I'm so happy to be part of this amazing group of writers. Happy birthday y'all! Let the festivities continue all week long!

  9. I love you guys so so much. Happy birthday to us, and here's to many more!

  10. Happy birthday! I'm so lucky to be a part of such an amazing and inspirational group of writers. :)

    *sneakily replaces regular candles with trick ones*
    *runs away giggling*


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