Of Poseidon winner, WriteOnCon, and do your childhood favorite books live on?

Sher A. Hart here. For those writers who don’t know what I mean by WriteOnCon, you’re missing something awesome right now. It’s free, and just take a look at the agent and editor faculty here. I submitted questions to one live chat yesterday, but missed many others while I attended live forum events and polished my submissions. No worries though, all the online chats with agents, editors, authors and such will remain available even after the conference ends tonight. And the critique boards are still open so you can post your work for critique as long as you critique five others in return. You never know, a ninja agent might see and request your pages.

There are two contests from other sources posted in the contest forum. They’re coming up soon (August and September), so mark your calenders now and start polishing your work.

I never thought I would submit my rhyming picture book Cat Amounts for critique because I’ve heard how agents don’t want any rhyming stories. But after a great live forum from two authors of rhyming picture books, Corey Rosen Schwartz and Tiffany Strelitz Haber (you can see their bios here), I tweaked my meter and posted my query and my book. I also posted 5 pages of my middle grade fantasy, Earth Won, after scrambling to remove an important character. I stayed up very late to get all my posts submitted because there’s so much to do and so little time! Now I have to go back and critique other writers’ work, but it should be fun.

I know some of you are dying to know if you won Anna Banks’ signed hardback Of Poseidon. Too bad the first two winners Rafflecopter picked didn’t actually do the tasks they said they did. On the third try, Rafflecopter picked Denise Zaky, so she has three days to send me her address. Congrats, Denise!

Now for the question I want every reader to answer. Do you remember your favorite books from childhood? My new blog partner Paul R. Hewlett asked this question in his last post, and we’d both like to get a list together for another post. Any books your teacher read to you in school or those your parents read at home count as much as the ones you read yourself. We’re looking for any books that brought you comfort or excitement and made you want to read other books. In fact,we’d like to post any books that children would enjoy today, along with whoever recommended them (with your permission).

That’s all for today. I’m in a hurry to get back to WriteOnCon! But I’ll be back to see what you have to say. Thanks!

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. I took some time to think about this one, as it has been a long time since I was in elementary school LOL and then I thought of the first series that made me want to read it was;

    “The Boxcar Children Mysteries” by Gertrude Chandler Warner, started these in about third grade and they were great, I believe there are about 12 books in the series and it can be purchased in a set. I will always remember these books and be forever grateful to the author for giving a lonely little girl a world of adventure.

    After that I had to remember back to my son and his friends reading enjoyment in elementary and middle school and of course we have the Harry Potter series,which I believe he began in about fourth or fifth grade and of course I have seen your posts on Artemis Fowl. I will admit that I snitched the reads and enjoyed them right along with the kids.

    Some other series that were hugely popular in our household include; The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis, The Adventures of Captain Underpants (8 books) by Dav Pilkey (these are a hoot and always have a life lesson), The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, The Sword of Shannara series by Terry Brooks.

    A series I remember being very popular when reading with the middle school kids at the school was the Goosebumps, although I did not care much for them, nor did my son.

    My niece loved The Babysitters Club series by Anne M. Martin and the Amelia Bedelia series (younger kids) by Peggy Parish.

    Hope these help. My son was so lucky in that when he was in kindergarten he had a teacher that was never meant to teach children that age, as he did not have the patience with them not being able to read, so he taught them to read LOL It was his only year teaching at that level and when those babies graduated to the first grade they were already on their way. The swore he would never go through that again ;=D However, this was a huge benefit to our household as we have been and continue to be readers. I really believe it is so important to introduce the kids to fun reads now and cultivate that hunger to learn. There is so much out there in the world of books where anything is possible.

  2. I’ve been trying to participate in WriteOnCon as much as I could these past few days. I’m glad you’re getting so much out of the experience. The live forums and critique forums are so wonderful.

    My favorite books from my childhood years include the Ramona books, the Encyclopedia Brown books, and stuff by Judy Blume, Lois Duncan, and Christopher Pike.

    • Thanks, Cynthia. If you submitted anything for critique, send me the link(s) and I’ll see if I can add anything helpful. I’ll be busy all day today and maybe tomorrow finishing up my 25 critiques I owe for my 5 submissions. Another won’t hurt.

      And thanks for the book recommendations too!

  3. WriteOnCon is so exciting. I have been trying to find my way around it the past two days. 🙂 Good luck with your submissions! It sounds like you are working really hard.

    As for books-
    In 2nd grade my teacher read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to us and I loved it. It really got my imagination going.
    In 4th grade- Island of the Blue Dolphins was a favorite read aloud, along with Ralph and the Motorcycle. In 5th grade- The Bridge to Terabithia and A Wrinkle in Time (I was a bit obsessed with A Wrinkle in Time- I loved how anything could happen).

    I did a ton of reading on my own and read all the Ramona books- I could relate to her and reading those books was like reading about a friend. Judy Blume- I read all of her books, too. I felt they helped me through the growing up process.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks for taking time out from WriteOnCon to share your books! I think we actually have enough books for two posts now, and since you have a writer’s blog, I’d like to quote you verbatim and link up with your permission.

      If you send me the link(s) to whatever you submitted for critique at WriteOnCon, I’ll try to add something helpful. I still have 13 critiques to finish to make 25 for my 5 submissions. Thanks!

    • So sorry I missed this reply! You can certainly quote me verbatim from my post- but I just noticed you wrote the post about the childhood books, so you may not need to use my words. 🙂

      I hope you were able to get all of your critiques done. I won’t send along my link because I am sure you are done- but thank you SO much for the kind offer! 🙂


  4. Between work and family during the day and trying to fit in a little writing at night, I haven’t been able to keep up with WriteCon as much as I would like. Fortunately, everything is archived on the site for future reading.

    Of course, this means I won’t be participating in any of the live forums, but until I finish my Hogwarts book and move on to books I can actually publish, I probably don’t have many questions to ask yet. Or anything to send in for critiquing either, since all I have to offer is fan fiction.

    I’m hoping all this will change by this time next year.

    • I hope it changes by next year too, but it might happen faster if you find another critique partner in WriteOnCon’s match up board. I know my advice alone isn’t enough.

      I think there was a lot more information about the New Adult category than what I saw because I only attended one live event due to the forum events. I’ll be going through the archives for a good while.

    • Another CP won’t fix my slow writing pace. I have to fix that problem myself, although I suppose it would probably be a good idea to find another CP anyway. BTW, your advice is excellent and has already improved my story dramatically.

    • Oh, I forgot. I enjoyed the Brains Benton mysteries when I was a kid. Still have all 6 books at home.

    • That’s good news on your story because I’m hooked and waiting for more. And I think I remember Brains now that you mention him. My younger brother might have read those too.

  5. Wow Sheryl you sound busy. I hope I get to read your rhyming picture book soon.LOL Send it to me if you have the chance. As for my childhood books
    Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins and Little Women, was the first book I cried as I read it.

  6. Thanks, Suzanne, I am busy. Since I haven’t revised all of chapter 5 in my book yet, I might send my queries and my PB to the whole group to see if the same stanzas trip you up that tripped up the two who critiqued it on the WriteOnCon board.

  7. Thanks for offering to critique my stuff, Sher. I didn’t get the queries or writing samples together in time to post anything on WriteOnCon, but maybe next year. Thanks for commenting on my blog earlier today.

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