Runneth Over


I’m on deadline and should be writing my novel right now but I am just SO DARN GRATEFUL, it’s just spilling out of me. I woke up today to find this on the header of the NYT Best Seller’s page. WHAT?! This is crazy.


NYT Header with fish


Also, last week, I attended The American Library Association’s conference where I received The Schneider Family Book Award. This is an award that means a great deal to me as I have followed all of its winners since 2007 when RULES by Cynthia Lord won. I loved that book


Cropped Schneider


so much. Because it won the Schneider, I’ve taken note of the Schneider winners every year since and you know what? The list of winners are among my favorite authors EVER. I have learned so much from authors such as Leslie Connor, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Joan Bauer, Kimberly Newton Fusco, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and Cynthia Lord. And, it turns out that these very talented writers are truly stellar people. Seriously folks. How did this happen?


If this wasn’t enough, I recently won the Crystal Kite Award, an award given by the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators). Again, this award means SO MUCH to me because it is won via votes from other writers and illustrators in one’s region. Crystal Kite seal on FIATAND this organization transformed my life. I don’t mean the writing thing. Yes, that was cool and a very welcome and amazing and unexpected treasure but it’s the people of SCBWI who I treasure most. The people who have stood by me through rejection and success. The people who are STILL my go-to people. I adore you. I have so many things to be grateful for in this career, but you top the pile.


So, I really want to give back today. I want to help other children’s writers who are trying to figure it out and who are still waiting for publishing lightning to strike. It’s a long haul, I know, but we really ARE all in this together. (You may be interested in this from my website about the vulnerability of writing)


SO WRITERS…In the comments section below, post your title, genre, and first line. Then include your Twitter name (preferred) or e-mail. I will choose a couple and reach out to those writers to send me the first five pages. I’ll read them and contact the writer with some feedback about character, beginning, pacing, etc.. It’s likely I’ll ask for a phone # as I’d rather have a two way chat rather than write an e-mail.

Also, please RT / share this to spread the word – I would very much appreciate it J

Yours truly,

the ever-grateful, I can’t believe all that’s happened, goofball,


86 Comments on “Runneth Over

  1. THE PRICE OF FREEDOM. MG. The metal pellet zipped though the trees, fluttering the leaves beyond its human target. @pursuingthemuse


  2. Being Bailey Rae
    Mama says I am really good at “being Bailey Rae.”


    Thank you for this offer and thank you for your middle grade novels. My daughter and I love them! (especially One for the Murphy’s, as we have fostered and adopted)


    • You’re very welcome, Tina! And THANK YOU for your sweet words about the Murphys. Much appreciated. 🙂 I am in awe of fostering families ❤


  3. I retweeted. What a wonderful opportunity. Thank you. The premise of your story is dear to me because I’m a special education teacher. I’m happy the story is getting so much attention! Congratulations!

    IN THE ZONE – MG Contemporary

    When your name is Lincoln Ledbetter and you’re labeled a Special Ed Kid, boys, like Ray Enrique, find you an easy target.



  4. I wasn’t going to comment, because I don’t feel like I’m quite ready with this WIP, but then I thought, I shouldn’t just turn away from this kind of generosity! Thanks, Lynda!

    THE BOY WHO MADE TEA, MG Magical Realism (I think!).

    Sometimes the sky seems to know just what you need.

    Not on Twitter, so email:


  5. That’s pretty darn cool!! I’m “loaning” my personal class set of FIAT to another teacher to read next year. Maybe I’ll throw in my class set of Murphys ,too!! @hapyeaster


  6. Amaryllis Mars and The League of Scientists – Early Chapter Series

    “I think being a nerd is awesome,” nine year old Amaryllis Mars insisted, refusing to let her brother see the tears stinging her eyes.”




    Some say you should face your fears, love who you are, but when it comes to the humiliation of THAT, well, there was no way I could stay.

    (Congrats on a beautiful day and thank you!)


  8. Thank you for taking a look! And how fun to see your book on the NYT bestseller’s page!
    Laurie Ditton

    MG Fantasy
    Three Drops of Magic
    That August evening, when she first saw the fairy, she was crouched beneath the parlor window, oblivious to the bramble thorns scratching her legs, and the darkening sky that would likely bring rain. @LaurieDitton


  9. MG contemporary realistic

    Michael and Grandma stood in the driveway and waved us off all smiles, but my parents looked like they drank a bottle of vinegar.


    Congratulations on well deserved recognition. I’m a huge (is it still okay to use that word?) fan of both of your books. As I write, I go back to reread sections.


  10. Throw-away Cat, PB free verse, Hooting, yapping, howling, woods alive with danger, cowering in a hollow log, so hungry, tossed out of a speeding truck like a handful of garbage, I’m a throw-away cat.


    Congratulations on your wonderful awards and accomplishments. Much deserved.


  11. Mystery
    No Ghosts?
    Old was what went through Jo’s head as she followed her parents up the crumbly, old steps to the front door of the old schoolhouse.


    Congratulations! Your books deserve the awards. My students and I love them!


  12. Scrambled Eggs

    Middle Grade

    I dropped to my knees in the center of the coop, sending chickens scattering in every direction.



  13. Susan Benton

    SOS MG Historical Fiction

    Thursday, October 20, 1932
    Davy dashed over the damp bricks of the Liverpool streets, brimming with new-found confidence, bursting to tell his good news to Ma.



  14. Congratulations! And thank you!


    I kiss on the first date.



  15. Hi Lynda! I love this post. You are just so cool and it’s awesome of you to offer to help other writers. Teachers Write just started and I’m feeling the love there but I’m happy to join in here. I’m open and appreciative of any feedback I can get!


    YA Contemporary

    I drag my paintbrush across the canvas in a wavy line, up and down like I’m floating in the water of Lake Louisa.

    @mentortexts – Jen Vincent

    Thanks! xoxo


  16. Thanks for this amazing opportunity!

    Finn, The Misunderstood Shark
    Picture book fiction
    Finn was not your typical lemon shark.



  17. I’ve heard such great things about Whispering Pines. I need to escape Jersey and join you one day.

    The Art of Being Remmy
    Middle Grade historicalish (1965)
    “What does a New Year look like?”


  18. MOO-VIE STAR, PB. Each day Marilyn Moo-rtensen grazed, produced milk, and when the farmer wasn’t looking….Nosed through moo~vie magazines.
    @Literally_Lynne (,


  19. Thanks!
    The Ups and Downs of Andrew Lane
    Tick tock tick tock, Andrew had laid in bed for hours listening as each tick brought the day closer; each tock sent him hurtling toward disaster.


  20. Title: Mama Wears A Hijab
    Genre: non-fiction picture book
    First line: Mama wears a hijab, it’s a sweet smelling garden, fragrant and lush.
    Twitter name: @Pouttrout


  21. Congratulations, Lynda! And what a wonderful gesture to pay it forward – I’ve found the kid lit community to be one of sharing and caring!


    Trojan was not a typical kid.



  22. Emma Bemma in the Middle: Beach Vacation
    Early CB
    The smell of old bananas and older barf floated through the car, where Emma Bemma sat smushed in the backseat between her two brothers, Big and Little.

    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!


  23. What a great idea! Thanks so much. I love your work and use it in my classroom.
    Here’s mine:

    Lenny Winklehoff, One-Eared Monster Catcher Lenny VS. The Big Hungry

    Early MG

    “Get up! Get up! Get up!” my mom was running down the hall, banging on the wall and yelling like a crazy woman. She does it all the time though so I’m used to it.



    Fiction, MG
    Have you ever noticed that when people set out to build a town they put the most important things high on a hill?


  25. Thanks so much for this opportunity!

    The Finkleman Plan (How Amanda Finkleman Saved Christmas)

    “This year will be the best year ever for Finkleman’s Department Stores,” Rathbone Finkleman said.




    Some people had hammocks, Huey had Martha’s left tusk.


    — What a fun idea! Thanks so much. Congratulations on your well-deserved successes.


  27. Congratulations, and thanks for this opportunity!

    YA, speculative thriller

    My mother dies just after sunrise, her knees pointing north through her wintry silk sheets.



  28. Congratulations, Lynda – and thank you for giving back to the writing community!

    MG, historical fiction
    The S.S. Gothic was no more than a looming shape in the distance when Joseph Todd poked his head out of the bakery to escape the ovens’ heat.

    Katey Howes @kateywrites


  29. Rune Library
    MG Fantasy
    Their heavy winter boots crunched through the top layer of snow, as Max followed his grandfather out onto Saginaw Bay.


  30. I stayed up late last night to finish Fish In a Tree. I’ve worked with children who struggle in school for over 20 years and you captured it perfectly. It was beautiful. Thank You for the writing and the opportunity.

    MYSTERY AT THE WHITE HOUSE – MG mystery with touches of history

    This was supposed to be one of those once-in-a-lifetime, best in the world, as good as Christmas days.



  31. HI! Thanks for this opportunity!


    Middle Grade, realistic fiction/elements of fantasy. This is written in the form of a graphic novel (text only from me! It would be illustrated by someone else).

    First line:

    They say there is nothing to see beyond the walls. All that matters is inside. Which means… there must be something out there.



    • Pb
      If you mail a cheeseburger
      If you mail a cheeseburger,
      The mailbox will grumble and growl until …

      Thanks for paying it forward ☺️
      ( not on Twitter)


  32. Congratulations on all your success. You are so deserving as your books are wonderful! And so generous of you to offer your insight to other authors!

    I’m currently working on a picture book.
    Title: Teeny Tiny
    First line: Teeny Tiny was small.

    Happy 4th of July!


  33. Congratulations on all your success, and thank you for this opportunity for feedback!

    I’ve written a picture Book.
    Title: Presenting Paisley
    First Line: Paisley and her father lived in separate stories.
    Email: @v_law

    Thank you again!


  34. Title: Awake
    Genre: YA
    First line: When Mom finally stopped the car, I was immediately embarrassed, looking at the sea of blue-legged teens all wearing jeans, packed under the awning like a sale rack at The Gap.


  35. Title: Code Name 355
    Genre: MG/ YA Historical Fiction
    First Line: My name is Catherine and I have a dangerous, life or death secret.
    Contact: @Madkatmom0305

    Thank you so much! What an honor to have you read our stories. Congratulation on your awards and to many more to come!


  36. Lynda, thank you for your generosity.

    Title: The Krackle
    Genre: Young Adult
    First Line: The seasoned grey stone facade of the two-story cottage, with its stark, empty windows, stared back at her.
    Twitter: @loneriter


  37. Secrets of SAM; The Mods (YA)
    If all the schools I’ve ever been in, this one sucks the most.

    Thanks for this opportunity. I’m new to this process and would love some feed back!


  38. Congratulations on your success. Both these books are so important and beautifully written. Thanks for supporting the writing community.

    Title: What I See (Contemporary YA)
    First Line: I glance up from my phone at the shrieking girls in front of the Starbucks.


  39. Struggling children’s author. Just fearful of rejection. Any help overcoming this would be appreciated. Getting older by the minute and would love to see my work in book form.


  40. Congratulations! Wonderful acknowledgements…

    And Then This Happened (YA)

    You could say I am a person of few words. As in, I realized one evening last fall that I could actually count the number of words I’d said in school that day.



  41. So happy for you, Lynda!!


    YA, Magical Realism

    The more my parents tried to convince me Second Nature was not a boot camp, the less I believed them.



  42. My Teacher Is An Alien (PB)
    My teacher Mrs. Hammerdash is an alien.


  43. Congratulations, Lynda!! Looking forward to following up on the Schneider winners. Thanks also for your support and encouragement!


    The sheep were tired of the sheepdogs.




    The woozers had struck again.


    Congratulations on your award and especially for your wonderful books! Thank you for this incredible opportunity.


  45. Where does all the money go?
    Children’s picture book
    Frilly, Trilly and Mumma were out shopping one day when something caught the girls’ eyes.


  46. PB

    “Mom, we’re out of milk!” Robbie yelled, and every cereal box in the pantry groaned.


    Congratulations on your successes! I’m looking forward to sharing Fish in a Tree with my oldest son, who is also dyslexic. Thank you for all that you do,


  47. HENRY BUILDS A HENHOUSE PB; Henry looked into the box in his classroom and watched as the the tiny chicks pushed out of their eggshells. @_lisafurness

    Thank you for this opportunity Lynda!


  48. Oh, how wonderful that you’re getting such accolades for this lovely book. Congratulations! And how kind of you to pay it forward like this! Thank you!
    Mine is THE GREAT WOODS, a middle grade contemporary fantasy.
    It began with the fireflies, as magic often does.


  49. THE BOY WHO SAW WORDS. Picture book.
    “On a quiet leafy street…

    ​…lawn mowers buzz, sprinklers hiss and fizz, mosquitoes whine, and the voices of children bounce between houses.”


  50. Congratulations on your amazing success!
    And thank you for your generous offer of help for those of us still struggling.

    The Slobbery Kiss of Doom, PB
    Dudley searched for the survival kit he made after his last visit to great aunt Bertha.


  51. Thanks for doing this. What a nice idea!

    Mine is part of a series I’d like to do based on kids who have adventures and when they get home their mom always says “You have such good imaginations!”

    The first is Prince Nicholas the Ticklish and the Dragon who wanted Cake
    “Nicholas was a prince who lived on Sutton Place.”


  52. What a great offer–thank you. It’s also really inspiring/intimidating/fascinating to read all the first lines. It’s a great collection.
    Middle Grade
    The screen door slammed behind me as I entered Nana’s kitchen.


  53. Congratulations! And thank you for this opportunity.
    YA–magical realism
    “The night they ripped my heart out was the worst.”


  54. Congrats on all your success! The Writing Gods are smiling down on you! Thank you for being so generous! Twitter handle @writeloudly

    YA—speculative fiction
    “I feel the cold first.”


  55. What an amazing opportunity. Thank you and congratulations on all of your successes!

    Contemporary, realistic MG
    Gramps told me once that coyotes regulated their body temperatures by panting.


  56. Congratulations and thank you for paying it forward.

    YA – Magic Realism

    Shimmering Silver

    “Gordon left the little market; his baby was gone.”


  57. First of all, congratulations on the recognitions on your hard work and amazing word weaving!

    And thanks for the opportunity…

    “I am on the lookout for lions.”


  58. Congratulations on your success! Thank you for paying it forward.

    For as long as Sherman could remember, being a sheep meant doing sheepy things.



    • I’ve been reading and some are REALLY blowing me away, too! Good luck picking, Lynda! lol And CONGRATS! LOVE seeing you in that “fishy” trio headline 😀


  59. Congratulations and thank you for such a generous opportunity, Lynda!


    PIZZA?!?! My favorite! Gimme! Me! Mine! YUM! @MSegalbooks


  60. Attended your SCBWI Workshop last year and knew you were a stellar gal. Loved One for Murphy’s and lucky me got you to sign Fish in a Tree 🙂

    middle Grade

    (And I just went to write my first line and realized — egad! — it sucks! — Time to revise again! And see, you’ve already been a big help! THANKS!)


  61. Congratulations! Fish in a Tree has been named as one of our North Carolina Children’s Book Award nominees this year. I’m excited to read and discuss it with my students. Both of my daughters enjoyed reading it, as did I!

    Glad to hear your praise of SCBWI–I just discovered it and am planning to join and attend a conference in October!

    My WIP:

    picture book biography
    Vollis clomped down the front porch steps with his big sister, Layla, dragging his feet and letting his lunch pail beat against his legs.
    Thump/thump/thumpa thumpa/thump.


  62. Congratulations! I remember being at a round table with you at NESCBWI conference 2015 and your advice about staying true to your novel and character. Thank you.

    The Sarah Show – MG
    Sarah Zolbowitz didn’t see the egg plummeting toward her and how it would change her plans for musical stardom. (not on twitter)


  63. Title: Minnow
    Genre: MG Fantasy (Magic Realism?)
    First line: It’s become a nightly occurrence: I drift off to sleep and then I sink through my mattress. Through my bedroom floor. Through the kitchen and down below the foundation of the house. Into dirt.
    Twitter handle: @Chachar0o

    What a fun way to pay it forward. I’m a K-8 librarian and I am so glad to have books like yours to share with students!


  64. THE WISH MAKER’S COMPANION, middle grade fantasy.

    It was gone midnight when the mother birthed her first child into a shuttered bedroom, and during the hours of her labor, she’d been almost alone.




  65. Congratulations on your success. I discovered your books this summer and devoured them both in a week. Thanks for giving back to the writing community. 🙂

    SUPERCASH, contemporary middle grade

    I clutched my hall pass and glanced at my watch with thirty seconds to the top-secret rendezvous.



  66. What exciting times and so well deserved–congratulations! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a certificate as beautiful and personalized as your ALA award.

    ROLLER BOY, contemporary middle grade

    If he’d been asked eight months ago if someday he’d be called Roller Boy, Mateo García would have said: “Definitely not. Inconceivable. As in no way, José.”

    Thanks, Lynda!



  67. Thank you so much for this opportunity and congrats on your accomplishments!

    Baxter the Banana, PB

    Baxter loved to get dressed each morning, his parents would often make suggestions but he always knew exactly what he wanted to wear.



  68. Your generosity is overwhelming! Congratulations on all you’ve achieved. Your books are very much loved at my school.

    The One In the Middle is a Chicken, MG

    Like most days, I climbed on the long, metal gate before Dad unlocked it, beginning the slow swing into the barnyard. That was the easy part; the difficult part? Jumping off against the swing.



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