Scholastics Arts and Writing (Dramatic Scripts and Journalism Submissions)


I decided to create an extra post this month just to give all you writers information about the amazing Scholastics Arts and Writing Competition. I will post on Tuesday during October and November to give you information on submission requirements for the various writing categories for the competitions. 

Dramatic Script  This includes scripts for television, film, or stage. Excerpts from your script may be submitted but should be clearly labeled as excerpts.

Limits: 500–3,000 words. If the script exceeds 3000 words, provide a 250-word summary and attach full script PDF.

Journalism Writing that informs and educates about newsworthy topics or current events, characterized by a presentation of facts or description of events.”

“Writing intended for publication in newspapers, magazines or online media and characterized by a presentation of facts or description of events.” Works cited are not considered part of the word count.

Limits: 500–3,000 words.

Deadline: December 5, 2018, if you live in New Jersey. Please go to for more information. 

Prize: Gold, Silver, and Bronze keys and medals, your work published, plus bragging rights. 

DV Pit YA and Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – Opportunity to Find an Agent



Hey, everyone, I know this is late notice but the day isn’t over yet so I thought I’d post this information. Today is DV Pit (teen and children’s books). DV Pit is a Twitter pitching event where writers who have a completed unpublished manuscript and illustrators can pitch their projects. This event is for marginalized writers who have a completed unpublished manuscript. It’s for writers who have been historically underrepresented in publishing. This includes (but is not limited to): Native peoples and people of color; people living and/or born/raised in underrepresented cultures and countries; disabled persons (including neurodiverse); people living with illness; people on marginalized ends of the socioeconomic, cultural and/or religious spectrum; people identifying within LGBTQIA+; and more.

You pitch 6 tweet-pitches per project. Your pitch must: (1) fit the 280-character max, (2) include the hashtag #DVpit, and (3) include at least one category or genre hashtag.

Create a pitch and include #DVPit,  #YA (young adult), OWN (own voices), POC (people of color), #MG (middle grade)  #LGBT, #DIS (disability). Go to DV for more information.

October 17, 2018, will be for Adult Fiction/Nonfiction (all genres, commercial and literary). 

Good Luck!

Scholastics Arts and Writing Competition (Sci-Fi and Fantasy submissions)


I thought I’d start posting info about the writing categories for the Scholastics Arts and Writing Competition. What the judges are looking for in each category is “ Work that breaks from convention, blurs the boundaries between genres, and challenges notions of how a particular concept or emotion can be expressed.”

“Work that uses technique to advance an original perspective or a personal vision or voice, and shows skills being utilized to create something unique, powerful, and innovative.”

This competition is for students in the 7th to 12th grade and is 13 and up. You need to create an account on the Scholastics Arts and Writing site.

Science Fiction & Fantasy (Category Description)

“Writing that uses supernatural, magical, futuristic, scientific, and technological themes as a key element of the narrative.”

“All work in which science fiction/fantasy is the key element should be submitted in this category. Do not base characters or plots on already published works (books, movies, comics, etc.). “

Word Length: 500–3,000 words.

Prize: Gold keys or medals, your work published, and bragging rights.

Deadline: December 5, 2018, if you live in New Jersey. Deadlines vary depending on where you live. Check for more information.



Teen Book Review- Paper Towns by John Green


Paper Towns by John Green is a great coming of age story that doesn’t involve any special powers and it’s not set in a future dystopian world. It’s a story about ordinary teens with a close friendship who take a big step in finally taking chances to help their best friend find the love of his life after she disappears after their al night adventure.

It’s a feel good book with teens that feel like real teenagers. The magic is in the beautiful writing that makes you wish you had friends like Q, Radar, and Ben. Great book.

Teen Book Review- As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti


As You Wish by Chelsea Sedotti, centers on the life of Eldo Wilkes, a seventeen year old teen who lives in Madison, a small town in the Mojavo desert. From the outside the town looks like a boring desert town, trip to nowhere but the people in Madison are keeping a secret. Everyone gets a “wish” on their 18th birthday. However, there are a few rules to wish making. Everyone in town looks forward to that special moment when they can make their wish but there wish can’t change the outside world, they can tell outsiders about wishing, and they definitely can’t harm another person or bring back the dead.

Everyone cherishes the moment that they finally get to wish except Eldo when he discovers that some wishes are more like curses than rewards. His sets out with his best friends Merrill and Norie to find the truth about wishes and uncovers the secret about wishing.

I won this book in a Twitter contest and for that I am grateful. It’s a unique and fantastic story that keeps you interested from beginning to end. Eldo, the story’s protagonist isn’t like most protagonists. He’s not a totally perfect and likable guy most of the time. He has flaws and it’s his flaws that make the journey fun. I think you’re really going to love this book.

DV Pit- A Twitter Pitching Event

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On October 18, 2018 DV Pit for Children books is coming up. Literary agent, Beth Phelan created a Twitter pitching event where writers can pitch their children’s books: middle grade, young adult, picture book writers , and illustrators who are from an marginalized group are eligible. 

This includes (but is not limited to): Native peoples and people of color; people living and/or born/raised in underrepresented cultures and countries; disabled persons (including neurodiverse); people living with illness; people on marginalized ends of the socioeconomic, cultural and/or religious spectrum; people identifying within LGBTQIA+; and more.( taken from DVpit Twitter profile) 


Your pitch must: (1) fit the 280-character max, (2) include the hashtag #DVpit, and (3) include at least one category or genre hashtag.

Agents/editors will like your pitch if they’d like to see material from you, so please don’t like other authors’ pitches. Please also do not retweet. To show support, you can always reply or quote-tweet with compliments.

Many writers have found agents and publishers during this pitching event. If you’re not from one of the marginalized groups don’t worry. Pitch Wars is open to writers of all backgrounds. Stay tuned. Go onto Twitter and check out some of the tweets so that you can learn how to pitch your manuscript. Good luck.

Teen Book Review- The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken



I just finished reading The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. It’s X-Men meets Push. The story takes place in modern-day America where a disease IAAN has killed most of the children in the U.S. The ones that didn’t die have developed special powers. The government fears them and ends up placing the children in camps, where are the tested on and tortured, while their parents believe that they are being rehabilitated.

Ruby, the story’s protagonist discovers her powers on her 10th birthday when she accidentally erases her parents’ minds leaving them to have no memory of her. Psi agents sent by the government end up capturing her and placing her in a camp where children  are separated into groups based on their ability: Greens who have high intelligence; Yellows who can control or create electricity; Oranges that can control your mind,; Blues who have telekinesis; and Reds who have violent powers. Ruby uses her powers to make them belive that she’s a harmless Green, knowing that they will harm her if they discover her real powers. 

Ruby escapes from the camp with the help of Cate, a resistance fighter, and member of the Children’s League, a resistance group who wants to use her and others like her. Ruby discovers Cate’s betrayal and eventually meets up with Zu, Chubbs, and Liam, fellow “freaks” who are also on the run. 

This story has loads of action and even has a touch of romance.  It’s a great read. 

Teen Book Review- Dear Martin by Nic Stone


I just finished reading Dear Martin by Nic Stone. The story centers on the life of Justyce McAllister, a young African-American teen who’s attending a prep school in Georgia. Justyce finds it difficult to fit in this world of rich kids and bias white students who don’t understand that racism really does exists at a time when Justyce’s targeted by racial hatred.

At the start of the story Justyce was handcuffed by a police officer after he was trying to help Melo, his drunk bi-racial girlfriend who looks white. The officer accuses him of trying to steal from her. The handcuffs sink so deep into his skin he feels the pain from them weeks after. Justyce is haunted by the experience and as racist incident after another incident builds, so does his patience for trying to hold back the urge to find a way to fight back.

Justyce tries to deal with how to deal with the situations by writing letters to Dr. Martin Luther King. Each letter is an honest look how African-Americans feel about the seemingly unending bias being directed towards them.

So much happens between the pages of this book sand all of it is good, very good.  It’s a beautiful and powerful story. There are a few books out there dealing with African-American teens and police violence but this novel takes a different path to tell this difficult story.

I am sure you’ll love this book. The characters are people you care about and their journey is important. and moving.

Teen Writing and Arts Competition – The Young Arts Mentorship Program


The Young Arts Mentorship Program is now accepting applications. I post about this every year. This mentorship program is for young arts ages 15 to 18 who are writers, dancers, musicians, filmmakers, artists, actors, and designers.

This mentorship program also offers fellowships. It’s the ultimate hook up for anyone wanting to have a career in the arts. A few years ago a friend of mine won and he received an all expense trip to Miami for a year! He was mentored by two professional photographers and even had an exhibit of his photographs.

This program is a big deal. Young Arts alum have gone on to win Academy, Tony,  and Grammy awards. Exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, have their films screen at Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals. Danced for Alive Haley and the New York City Ballet.

Go for it? And Good luck!

Why Apply?

  • ​Receive up to $10,000 in cash awards

  • Take master classes with accomplished artists

  • ​Become eligible for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

  • Receive a lifetime of mentoring and professional support

  • Achieve national recognition

The Rules

  • Be a citizen of the United States or permanent resident/green card recipient (copy of documentation is required in the application)

  • Be 15–18 years of age or in grades 10–12 on December 1, 2018

Deadline: Friday, October 12, 2018

Teen Book Review- Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon


I think that Nicola Yoon is the new go to person for teen romance. Everything, Everything  is the story of Maddy Whittier, a teenaged girl who can’t leave her house because she has no immune system. Maddy lives with her mother; her brother and father died when she as a few years old. Maddy’s home is sanitized and sterile. Maddie or the other hands craves more color in her life. Her mother is also her doctor and she controls her entire life. The only friend she has is Carla, her nurse and Rosa Carla’s daughter. Besides her mother they are the only people who Maddy comes in contact with.

One day new neighbors move in next door and that’s when Maddy’s life changed forever. She befriends Ollie, the teenaged boy next door. Soon Ollie and Maddy fall in love leading Maddy to take more chances. With the help of Carla, Ollie and Maddy have the opportunity to spend time together in person. Standing across the room, leads to being seated next to each other, followed by a first kiss and so much more. This story is about falling in love and taking chances.

I don’t want to reveal spoilers so I’ll stop right there. The actually saw the movie before reading the book and I think the film is a pretty good adaptation but still nothing beats a book. The book was so good, actually it’s creative and EXCELLENT.  I know you’ll love it  just as much as I did.