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Monday, October 15

Organization Tip: Agent Lists #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop


Submitting to agents and publishers is time-consuming. When you’re doing this process, you need to be organized. You don’t want to send to the same publisher twice in one month or send to multiple agents in the same agency. (Many say if it’s a no from one agent, it’s a no from all.) And most agents want the right to say yes or no before you give it to another agent in their house.

Something to keep you orderly during this process is a simple notebook or binder with loose leaf paper and dividers.

Create a list of agents you want to send to. Include the agent's name, the agency’s name, the submission email address, and what is required for the submission (query, # of manuscript pages, synopsis, etc.).

Whenever you submit to an agent, cross that agent off your Submit To list and move the agent’s name and agency to your Submitted list. Next to their name, write the date you sent the query letter. I do this in red.

If I receive a rejection, I write “REJECTED” in bold letters cross the agent’s info on the Submitted list.

I also have lists of small publishers to try.

That’s it. Just lists of info to remind you of where you submitted, when, and who responded.

I keep this notebook on my desk at all times. Whenever I look for more agents to send to, I add them to my Submit To list. And when I get into a submitting kick, I have this notebook opened to keep track of my efforts.

TIP: If you're tech-savvy and love spreadsheets, you can create Submit To, Submitted, and Rejected spreadsheets to stay organized on your submission journey.

QUESTION: How do you keep track of your submissions?

Friday, October 12

Terracotta Warriors Facts / Guest Post by Sherry Ellis / Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China

It’s a pleasure to be participating in author Sherry Ellis’ BUBBA AND SQUIRT’S BIG DIG TO CHINA Blog Tour through MC Book Tours today.

Sherry Ellis is offering a tour-wide international giveaway featuring five autographed copies of her book. More information on the giveaway is listed below.

Welcome, Sherry!

The Terracotta Warriors


Sherry Ellis

Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog today! I thought I’d share some information about the Terracotta warriors that are featured in my book, Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China.

When Bubba and Squirt arrive in Xi’an, China, they discover they are in the pit of the Terracotta warriors. These clay soldiers were discovered in 1974 by local farmers digging for a well. To date, more than 8,000 have been found and pieced together by archaeologists. 

Here are more facts about them:

            - They were buried with the first Emperor of China, Ch’in Shi Huang-ti.

            - Their purpose was to help the emperor rule another empire in the afterlife.
            - No two are the same.

            - The statues found include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, and musicians.

            - The hairstyles indicate rank in the army. Officers usually wear hats. Warriors have their hair pinned in a knot. Those with knots on the left side are kneeling archers.

            - Construction of the army began when Ch’in Shi Huang-ti was 13 years old and lasted until his death 37 years later.

by Sherry Ellis

Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press
◊ Print & eBooks
Paperback: 94 pages
◊ Grades 3-5

Squirt doesn't believe Bubba can dig a hole to China. But when the hole swallows them, the kids find themselves in Xi'an, China, surrounded by Terracotta Warriors.

          It gets worse when the ghost of the first emperor of China appears. He tells them they can't go home until they find his missing pi. The kids don't know where to begin until they meet a girl and her grandmother who promise to help find the pendant.

          Soon they realize they are being followed. And they are no closer to finding the missing pi. Will Bubba and Squirt ever make it back home?

Book Links:

About the Author: 

Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano.

When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Sherry, her husband, and their two children live in Atlanta, Georgia. 

For more on Sherry and her writing, you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, her blog, her website and her Amazon Author Page.

This tour-wide giveaway is for five (5) autographed copies of BUBBA AND SQUIRT’S BIG DIG TO CHINA. The giveaway is open internationally.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to follow Sherry on her month-long tour HERE. You never know what you might find out.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 3

Bactine for Writer’s Burnout Part 2 (Write YOU) / IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.

What is writer’s burnout?

Burnout is very different from writer’s block. It’s worse. Writer’s burnout is something you feel deep down…bone-deep. It’s just like when athletes burnout from working themselves too hard and too much for too long. They can lose their love of the sport, physically and mentally. You can get writer's burnout from doing anything related to being an author.

To read my story and the 3 tips I previously shared check out: 

More Tips to Help You START Reversing Writer’s Burnout:

BACTINE #4: Write about yourself.

I know many people hate the rule “write what you know” for how restrictive it is, and I write about things I have to research all the time, but in this case…writing what you know really does help.

When you write about yourself, things you know and have experienced, you don’t have to worry about being vivid or creating good dialogue. You don’t have to worry about hooks, passive voice, slipping tenses, or all the “rules” that are floating around. Just write what you remember. You can add all the details you want, though, including what you saw, smelled, tasted, felt, and all of the emotions you had then, but there’s no pressure to be perfect. And you don’t have to worry about revising what you wrote. This is for you.


To get yourself writing again, don’t push yourself to write your current WIP.

I did this. A lot. And it just made my burnout worse.

Don’t try to write another project.

I did this, too. I would be positive about it for a couple of days and then plummet, which would make me feel even more worse about myself.

Don’t even try to write flash fiction.

It may work for some time, but if you have writer’s burnout, forcing yourself to write flash fiction, especially if you have a goal to write one flash fiction piece a week or a month, it can burn you out even more than before you started.


Start slow.

Start small.

Start with YOU.

After I shared my truth and my struggle on Facebook (see Part 1), I started to write about me. Young me. Elementary school, middle school, and high school me. It was cathartic and revealing. I wrote about being bullied by my siblings and by other kids in school. I wrote about growing into a little woman. I got to explore lessons I learned and my hardships and how things from my past have shaped me.

I wrote these memories into essay form. Some were a single page. Others were a few pages long. Length doesn’t matter as long as you write.

BACTINE #5: Write essays or journal entries. There’s no pressure with this simple format as there is to write a novel or short story.


- Memories. Those memories that pop into your head at random about your childhood, school life, or work life. Things that you have maybe even said you should write down for yourself or your children or grandchildren.

- Lessons. What were some tough lessons you learned as a child, teen, young adult, man, woman, parent?

- Experiences. What are things you’ve done?

- Thoughts. What do you think?

- Your writing journey. Start from the beginning and write about your hopes, dreams, and struggles all the way to where you are now. Yes, even write about your burnout, your struggle, and how much it sucks.

BACTINE #6: Create a meaty list of topics/memories you can write about and work your way down the list one essay at a time. No pressure.

I had a list, and when I would write one essay on a similar topic/memory, I would then want to write another. This is how I wrote 7 essays on my first attempt to reverse my burnout.

BACTINE #7: If possible, write at least one memory a day. Remember, the length doesn’t matter. Just write what you remember.

BACTINE #8: And, again…reward yourself. Always.

More Bactine posts for Writer’s Burnout coming soon!

QUESTIONS: Have you ever written down your childhood memories? Or wanted to?

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