Social Media Sea Legs

This weekend, our local SCBWI region organized a Social Media Day. We talked about websites, personal branding, and different marketing strategies. My presentation covered social media, and how to connect with the #kidlit community on different platforms.

Whether you’re published or pre-published, having a social media presence can connect you to a larger community. It can help you get noticed and discover new opportunities. But many of us have different comfort levels when it comes to setting sail on social media. Some take to it right away, enjoying the ride and the passengers they meet along the way. giphy

Others have boarded, they participate in a few deck-side activities, but when the waters get rough, they get queasy and head to their cabins. Then there’s the group that isn’t boarding at all. Sure, they know where the boat is docked, they know it’s about to depart without them, but they’ve seen Titanic—no thanks!


If you’re trying to find (or strengthen) your social medial sea legs, I hope this post can help. While preparing for my presentation, I found a great article about what an agent is looking for when they google potential clients. It boiled down to these three P’s: positivity, professionalism, and personality.  Whatever platform you choose to board, keeping the three P’s in mind will help you gain confidence as you set sail. Your posts will get more likes, you’ll find new followers, and industry professionals will discover a positive professional with a personality they want to work with.

Some things to consider:

  1. Post a profile photo that is a clear picture of YOU.
  2. Include words in your profile bio that will encourage others to connect with you. For example, are you a member of SCBWI? Many SCBWI members are looking to connect on social media.
  3. Lurk to get comfortable, then join the conversation. Imagine you’re at a party. If someone struck up a conversation with you, how would you respond? Genuine kindness builds strong sea legs. Trolls sink ships.
  4. If there’s something in your feed that makes you feel queasy, don’t abandon ship. You can hide that person’s posts or choose to unfollow them. You’re the captain here.

For more information about all things Social Media visit this page on the KidLit411 site.

silhouette photography of boat on water during sunset

Photo by Johannes Plenio on

Happy sailing!

A Picture Book Month

Yesterday was the final day of Storystorm! I’ve participated for a few years. It’s always a fun month, full of inspiration. I have my 30 + 1 ideas to ponder over. I’ve even started working on one idea.

This month has brought more picture book fun and excitement with the Snappsy the Alligator book team. Our SCBWI region (Inland Northwest) is putting on a webinar series for picture book writers and illustrators. This year we’re giving our attendees the big picture on picture books. Our first event featured the Snappsy illustrator, Tim Miller.

Tim was very generous with his time and information. He shared his personal experience  illustrating his first picture book. There were ups and downs, moments of self doubt and boosts of self confidence. It was inspiring to hear how his journey began at the NY SCBWI portfolio display.

The following week we hosted Denise Cronin, Executive Art Director and VP at Viking Children’s Books. She shared her perspective on the design and artwork for Snappsy. She gave our illustrators tips and advice on how to get noticed in a competitive arena.

This Saturday I’ll be introducing the Editor, Joanna Cardenas followed by Author, Julie Falatko on February 10th. It’s been such a great experience seeing how these 4 creative individuals worked together to create 2 fun picture books.

Little Miss Candy Corn

A little Halloween fun for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest. 

Little Miss Candy Corn

by Rachel Hamby


Little Miss Candy Corn practiced her wave from her perch atop the Trick-or-Treat float.

Cecelia was the Queen of Halloween, and soon, everyone would know it.

As the float chugged toward Main Street, Cecilia picked one candy corn from her tiara and savored the moment.

But a dark shadow was moving up the street.

A raindrop hit Cecilia’s cheek. She looked up. A monster-sized cloud covered the sun. In a flash, rain splashed down in buckets.

The Trick-or-Treat float chugged through the storm. Cecilia waved from her perch. Waving goodbye to the fleeing parade goers, as candy corn colors streaked down her cheeks.


Magazine Writing & Work-for-Hire

For our upcoming SCBWI conference in Spokane, I’m leading a small group session about Magazine Writing & Work-fir-Hire.  Here are a few great resources I found during my research.

The ‘bug‘ magazine submission guidelines & wish lists.

This interview with Patricia Stockland on Harold Underdown’s site.

This article by Christine M. Hepperman on The Horn Book website.

This thread on the SCBWI Blueboard.

Submission Guidelines for: Capstone and ABDO

Happy writing!