Friday, November 13, 2015

23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

I entered Meowy Christmas in the 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. I didn't win. But I really appreciate the judges commentary. =)

Entry Title: Meowy Christmas
Author: Gregory E Bray
Judge Number: 5
Entry Category: Children's Picture books

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking. Our system only recognizes numerals during this portion of logging evaluations. As a result, a “0” is used in place of “N/A” when the particular portion of the evaluation simply does not apply to the particular entry, based on the entry genre. For example, a book of poetry or a how to manual, would not necessarily have a “Plot and Story Appeal and may therefore receive a “0”.

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Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4
Production Quality and Cover Design:  4
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5

Judge’s Commentary*:

Cute illustrations. Provide some background color and detail for the illustrations throughout, to give them a setting and texture, and to make the action in the images stand out. That would add a more polished look to the book.

Author writes with a light, happy voice and a nice rhythm. Sentences are nicely patterned, in kid-friendly lengths, using kid-friendly wording. Watch out for some minor typos like "one and another." It looks like an edit pass miss and is not a major problem, but in a small book, these tiny errors stand out.

We get a good spelling lesson in this book for the educational aspect, and it’s such a fun concept to think about what a pet would give as a gift if he or she could select gifts for the family. It’s a look at generosity and reciprocity, as well as an eye-opener about what is of value between loved ones.

The kiss as the return present was expected, but we’re fine with it, since it’s the symbol of the greater gift being time spent together with family. Well done here.

The voices of Charley and Franklin are nicely differentiated. The author has done a good job of personalizing them, so that the reader knows who is talking. Well done. A lovely holiday book and a unique handling of the lesson on what is of highest value during gift-giving holidays.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloweensie story reults

My story didn't make the cut. That is OK. I had fun, learned a lot, and read some really great stories. Check out the top stories here and vote for your favorite.