Tag Archives: contests

Call for submissions – Women and their horse(s)

My friend and colleague, Verna Dreisbach, is collecting stories of women and their horses for an anthology.

 send-to-cheri-002Here is the website for the call for submissions. http://horsesandwomen.blogspot.com.   



Seal Press, Berkeley CA
Editor, Verna Dreisbach

Dear Friends,

Here is an exciting opportunity for you to be published in a new story collection by Seal Press. Previous anthologies of this nature by Seal Press include Cat Women and Woman’s Best Friend. The expected date of publication will be spring 2010, giving ample time to collect, choose and edit stories.

I am looking for truly inspirational stories that speak from the heart and show the unique bond between a woman and her horse. Each story should be at least 1,000 words, but no more than 2,500 words in length. Please send double-spaced versions only, in 12 point font Times New Roman as a Word Document.  NO “first horse” stories please!

Should your story be selected for inclusion in the book, you will receive two complimentary copies of the book plus $100 for the right to use the story in the anthology. Your name will appear with the story as well as the option to include a high quality photograph of you and your horse. Please consider that photographs will be printed in black and white. Do not send photographs until asked to do so.

I am accepting submissions until January 15, 2009 (EXTENDED to March 31, 2009). Please be sure to include your contact information with your submission: name, address, phone numbers and e-mail address. Send stories to: womenandhorses@gmail.com. You can read more about the progress of the book at http://horsesandwomen.blogspot.com.

Due to the volume of submissions, only finalists will be notified.

I look forward to reading your stories and thank you in advance.

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Filed under contests, Non Fiction, writer markets

Kim Hix: Blog Tour & Book Giveaway!


Kim Hix, Author of: No One is Perfect and YOU are a Great Kid

About the Author:
Kim Hix is a native of Columbia SC. She graduated Lander University with a BS in Psychology 1988. She worked at various capacities at Marshall Pickens Hospital in Greenville SC from 1990 until 2004. She is now employed part time by Greenville Hospital System as a Patient Family Liaison (Advocate) and also as a part time personal trainer for Sportsclub Simpsonville. She has been Married 15 years to Doug Hix and have two children Zack 12(dx OCD, Tourettes Disorder Spectrum, and PANDAS) and Kelsie, 8, a real girly girl! She currently reside in Simpsonville SC with her family and 3 dogs.

“My name is Kim Hix and I am the mother of a very special young boy who struggles with emotional difficulties. He has experienced an array of moods from an early age, which include rages, depression, anxiety, and drastic mood shifts. In our journey to find help, we’ve encountered many specialists and interesting people. During this time, my son dealt with feeling different from his peers, isolated, and at times, rejected. My son would express to me that he felt no one understood him and that he was the only kid in the world with these problems. What started out as a project to help my son, cultivated a desire to let other kids and parents know that they are NOT alone. In fact, millions of children are suffering with mental illness, neuropsychiatric disorders, and behavior disorders. They long to be accepted, to be normal, and just fit in. They suffer, and we, the parents, suffer all the while our hearts are breaking.

“This is why I wrote a book for Zack and kids like him, who struggle with feelings of being different. It is my hope that this story will offer some measure of comfort and belonging to the children who read it.”

Author’s Websites:

Kim Hix’ website: Intense Kids, Great Kids
Book available for purchase: No One is Perfect and YOU are a Great Kid
Best Children’s Book Award: Reader Views


Synopsis: No One is Perfect and YOU are a Great Kid is a lovely book written about Zack, a young boy who struggles daily with ever changing moods. He tries to understand why he gets very sad, upset, discouraged and angry in response to what most would consider insignificant events. Zack often feels different, left out, and isolated due to his moods. He poses thought provoking questions to his audience that can spur some meaningful conversation.

This book will touch your heart and anyone who has a special child in their life who struggles with any degree of emotional, behavioral, or psychiatric disorder.
Winner of Best Children’s Book for ages 6 and under, Reader Views Award for 2007 Annual Literary Awards

ISBN: 1419631489

To purchase No One is Perfect and You are a Great Kid, please visit Amazon.com.

Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/Special Needs

Kim Hix will be here all day answering questions! Post a question and/or comment for a chance to win her book!

Interview by: Mary Jo Campbell

MJC: Kim, your son, Zack, who is adorable by the way, struggles with emotional difficulties.   Do you feel that your BS degree in Psychology was helpful in diagnosing Zack, especially with PANDAS, which I read is difficult to diagnose?

Kim: I choose to think someone or something bigger than me pushed me into the field of mental health, knowing I would really need that information some day. My first job out of college was at a Psychiatric hospital, so that experience and especially the professional contacts I made were a wealth of help as we began this journey. I knew from a very early age that something was wrong. Zack was not diagnosed with PANDAS until 2007, by a specialist, and once I began to read more about it things really made sense. He developed Tics and Tourettes disorder in 2006, after a strep infection.

MJC: As a parent, this is a very sensitive and personal topic.  At what point did you decide this book needed to be written and did Zack ask to be involved in the writing or editing process, since it’s told from a child’s point of view?

Kim: It is sensitive, and so many people are uncomfortable talking about mental illness, especially in children, but I have always felt that this is nothing we should be ashamed of. If his disabilities were of an obvious physical nature, or diabetic or something like that then there is not shame, why is there shame if your illness is of your mind, thoughts or behavior? There is shame because the behavior is usually so extreme, so outside the “socially accepted”. I know my child does not choose to behave or react in such an extreme way when upset, frustrated or anxious, yet he is treated like a bad, mean boy by strangers and peers, simply because they do not know him or what he is dealing with internally. Yes, his behavior has caused a great deal of stress for us all, embarrassment (especially in public). If you love a child suffering with a behavioral or mental illness you know all too well the chaos that is ever present in your home and life. The book was easy, simply conversations we have had after various difficult and upsetting situations he has encountered. Zack has always struggled with feeling different, knowing that his rages, mood swings and anxiety are not what other kids deal with on a daily basis. He often asks why me? Why am I like this? Why do I have these problems?  Why did GOD make me like this? All very difficult questions to answer.

MJC: You’re a married mom of two with two part-time jobs. How did you find the time to write this book?  What was the time line, from idea to publication?

Kim: I am embarrassed to say the story came very quickly. We were playing in the playroom, he had an “episode” of becoming overly upset, angry, raging over a very minor thing, our of frustration, then once he was calm he began asking, again, why am I like this? Why am I different? No one else has these problems, why are the other kids in class perfect? I had the whole story written in about 30 minutes. I have recently gone back and added some about the Tourettes, which surfaced after the book was written.

MJC: Congratulations on winning the Best Children’s Book for ages 6 and under, Reader Views Award for 2007 Annual Literary Awards.  How wonderful to win an award from the very readers you wanted to reach with this book. Can you tell us how your book was nominated and how you felt upon receiving the good news?

Kim: The publishing agent from Booksurge suggested I enter the contest, there are many categories you can enter in and I chose this particular category that targets the younger readers. It was fun to hear our book was picked.

MJC: No One is Perfect and YOU are a Great Kid is a children’s book to bring understanding and comfort to the children that read it.  Do you have any plans to write an adult book on this topic from a mom’s perspective?

Kim: I have thought about it, but if I write another book, and I already have the title (it’s a secret) it would be from the perspective of the sibling who lives with a brother or sister with a disability. My daughter has struggled to a great extent in her own life just living in a home that is so chaotic, being taken to as many as 5 doctor appointments a week with her brother, many hours in waiting rooms, many plans ruined because “he’s not stable”. The trauma of watching him throw things, cry, scream, hit himself, it has caused a very strained relationship between the two of them. He is a very loving, caring, HUGE hearted boy who wants so much for his sister to love him back, and at this time she is still very angry about her life, even though she knows these things are out of his control. It is tough on everyone.

Be sure to post your questions or comments for Kim before 12midnight Central Time for a chance at the random drawing to win her book!


Filed under Author Interviews, books, Give Aways, Inspiration

Ruth Hartman: Blog Tour

Author of   My Life in Chains: My Struggle with Obssessive Compulsive Disorder


Ruth J. Hartmanwas once “normal.” She perceived the world around her as any other person would—until she turned 27. That’s when Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) dug in its claws and refused to let her go. Her world (and her family’s) was turned inside out.

Working as a dental hygienist was difficult enough, but trying to balance her work life with the challenges of OCD was overwhelming. Ruth’s family, friends, and co-workers didn’t understand why she suddenly acted so bizarre. She wanted to help them understand, but she couldn’t. She didn’t understand it herself.

My Life in Mental Chains is moving and tragic, yet in the end, it’s an uplifting story of personal faith and inner strength. Ruth’s insight will be a great comfort to OCD sufferers, their families, and their friends.

Ruth graduated from the Indiana University School of Dentistry with a degree in Science/Dental Hygiene. Her interest in writing, which began in high school, led her to earn her diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature in “Writing for Children and Teenagers.”   She lives in rural Indiana with her husband and two cats.

Visit her website at www.ruthjhartman.blogspot.com, or contact her at RGHartman@aol.com.

My Life in Mental Chains by Ruth J. Hartman

Published by Pipers’ Ash Ltd., $13.00

Publication Date: November 1, 2008

Non-Fiction, True-Life Story Chapbook

ISBN# 9781906928001

An easy way to order the book is: http://www.supamasu.co.uk/glos.html

(then scroll down to the third book) Or you can e-mail them at pipersash@supamasu.com and request the book.
Interview by Mary Jo Campbell:

(Ruth will be replying to your comments and questions all day, so ask away! And you’ll be entered in the random drawing to receive free a copy of her e-book.)

MJC: I see that you’re a graduate of Institute of Children’s Literature.  I’m a former student as well.  Can you tell me about your experience with this correspondence school for those who are contemplating this form of education?

Ruth: I had a very good experience with them. My instructor was friendly, yet very professional. I was supplied with study guides, practice exercises, and even sample children’s books. I was given deadlines for homework completion, but she was patient with me if I needed a little more time. If someone wants to learn the craft of writing for children and teenagers, I would definitely recommend them.

MJC: As writers, we seem to obsess over everything in the process: plot, theme, wording, characterization and more.  What are the true signs of having an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Can you offer any tips from your book on how you are overcoming this disease?

Ruth: Many people have slight OCD tendencies. It’s when those tendencies grow and begin to take over your life that you’ve got a problem. Mine were so severe; I had to quit my job as a dental hygienist. I couldn’t cope at work anymore. I developed a fear of germs at work. In my line of work, you can imagine how often I came in contact with those! Then the problem started to take over my home life. I washed my hands so often, they were cracked and bleeding. It affected every facet of my life.

Thankfully, I found an excellent psychiatrist who helped me tremendously. But even more than that, I was able to find a medication, Prozac that allows me to function normally again, with only occasional, short-lived occurrences.

MJC: How do you feel that your OCD has either helped or hindered your writing?

Ruth: I think sometimes it actually helps. Although I’d never wish it on anyone! When I have an assignment or story to write, my OCD kicks into overdrive and pushes me to stick with my project until it’s finished. My husband is afraid that one of these days I will actually become physically glued to my laptop! On the flip side, It’s easy to obsess about what people think of my work. Will they like what I’ve written? Will they like me? I just have to remind myself that I can’t please everyone. If I’m happy with my work, that’s enough.

MJC: You’re a published writer of both fiction and nonfiction.  Can you tell us your experience in publishing both types of work?

Ruth: Actually, I’ve only been published in non-fiction. My short story, “A Tale of No Tail” will be published in the January-February issue of “I Love Cats” magazine. It’s about my cat Arthur, who lost his tail when I accidentally closed a screen door before he was all the way in the kitchen. I still feel awful about that! My experience with that magazine was positive as well. But fiction is what I really love to write. I just haven’t found the right publisher for my stories yet.

MJC: Your book, My Life in Mental Chains: My Struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is published by Piper’s Ash, a UK based publisher, yet you live in Indiana (USA).  How did you find this publisher and what was your experience like working with a publisher from overseas, especially since they work with a different currency?

Ruth: I found their listing in the “Magazine Markets for Children’s Writers.” My original query was for a fictional story about a girl with OCD. They replied back that serious subjects such as OCD were better suited for their “True Life Series.” I re-queried with my own experience, and it was accepted. They’ve been wonderful to work with. They’re a small, non-profit publisher, so they only work with a few clients at a time. I’ve gotten personalized attention and they’ve been extremely patient with me. Especially since this is my first book!

There were a few differences between this publisher and an American one. It takes longer for me to receive regular mail from them. I waited six weeks for my five complimentary books. I learned that when their web site lists a certain amount in pounds, as opposed to dollars, I’d be paying twice as much. I guess the good news is, when I get paid an amount in pounds, it will end up being more in our currency! (NOTE: When ordering direct from Pipers Ash, readers should expect to recieve their e-book in the mail within 1-2 weeks.)

Also, one thing I had to get used to: when we use quotation marks, they’re double. In England, they often use single quotes. When I got my page proofs from them, I thought it was a mistake at first. Then I researched it on the Internet and found out that’s a normal practice in the U.K.

MJC: Thank you so much for sharing your writing experiences and your struggles with OCD with the readers here at Writers Inspired.

Be sure to leave your comments for Ruth on today’s post before 12 midnight (CENTRAL) for a chance to win your own copy of Ruth’s e-book: My Life in Chains

MJC:  I s


Filed under Advice, Author Interviews, books

Blog Tours and Book Giveaways!

42-18845069(photo courtesy of Corbis Corporation)

I’ve become a book blog tour groupie!  Stop here to read Q&A’s with some fascinating authors, and have a chance to win their books!

Book Blog Tour Schedule:

Friday, January 30:

Janice Lynne Lundy is an inspirational speaker, interfaith spiritual director, syndicated magazine columnist, and the author of four self-help/spiritual growth books for women. Her newest book, Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be, has just been released by Sorin Books.In the meantime, visit her blog: www.awakeisgood.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 4:

Ruth J. Hartman was once “normal.” She perceived the world around her as any other person would—until she turned 27. My Life in Mental Chains is moving and tragic, yet in the end, it’s an uplifting story of personal faith and inner strength. Ruth’s insight will be a great comfort to OCD sufferers, their families, and their friends. In the meantime, visit her website at www.ruthjhartman.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 12:

Kim Hix is the mother of a very special young boy who struggles with emotional difficulties. He has experienced an array of moods from an early age, which include rages, depression, anxiety, and drastic mood shifts. No One is Perfect and YOU are a Great Kid is a lovely book written about Zack, a young boy who struggles daily with ever changing moods. He tries to understand why he gets very sad, upset, discouraged and angry in response to what most would consider insignificant events.  In the meantime, visit Kim Hix’s website: Intense Kids, Great Kids

Tuesday, March 17: (St. Paddy’s Day)

In Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers, acclaimed Southern story writer and novelist George Singleton serves up everything you ever need to know to become a real writer (meaning one who actually writes), in bite-sized aphorisms. It’s Nietzsche’s Beyond Good & Evil meets Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. It’s cough syrup that tastes like chocolate cake. In other words, don’t expect to get better unless you get a good dose of it, maybe two. In the meantime, visit George Singleton’s website: www.georgesingleton.com

This is going to be a blast!! *If you are an author with a new release and would like to stop here on your book blog tour, please email me at mjcwriter at comcast.net.  I’m a gracious hostess : )


Filed under Advice, Author Interviews, books, contests, emotion, Give Aways, Inspiration, writers, writing inspiration

Flash Fiction Contest!

  gordon  (Flash Gordan, circa 1980) 

While I will not be able to get my “stuff” together to enter before the deadline, hopefully one of you out there will!  Be quick – deadline is this coming Saturday!

The winner of the 2009 Kathy Fish Fellowship will be considered a “writer in residence” at SmokeLong for each of the four issues to be published in 2009. Each issue will include one flash by the Fellowship winner. The winner of the Fellowship will receive $500, to be paid as follows: $100 on announcement of the winner, and $100 upon publication of each of the four issues in 2009. The winner will be announced January 20, 2009.Deadline December 20, 2008. This award is open to any writer not previously published in SmokeLong Quarterly. Applications should include five samples of your flash fiction (stories of a thousand words or less). These samples may be unpublished or previously published in venues other than SmokeLong Quarterly.

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I don’t know about you, but nothing sets a fire under my butt like a looming deadline.  I may be a masochist, but lately I’ve been committing to check-ins or contests or classes with only a week if not days to submit my work. I just work better under pressure and that squelches any procrastination.

So, here are a couple contests/calls for submissions (with a very tight deadline.)  

The Muse On-Line Conference, FREE!, deadline to register: Sept 1

That First Line Writing Contest, deadline: Sept 1

Unpublished Novel Competition, deadline Oct 10

Ready, Set, Write!!

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