Welcome to the Winners’ Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are celebrating published author Debby Shade and the publication of her article “Koala Prints”in Skipping Stones magazine!
What is the name of your book or article? Who is the publisher?
The title of my article is “Koala Prints.” It was published in the 2021 January-March edition of Skipping Stones magazine.
Give us a short summary of your book.
“Koala Prints” is about a scientist who discovered that koalas have unique fingerprints just as humans do. The article gives possible scientific reasons why koalas possess fingerprints. It concludes with a fingerprint activity that helps readers determine their unique fingerprint types and patterns.
Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to submission to published.
I’ve always been fascinated with the more unusual aspects of nature. I love animals, so as I was researching unusual facts about the koala, I came across the fingerprint feature. This intrigued me, so I decided to share the information with others. I carefully targeted my market and followed their guidelines, and my article was accepted!
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for children around two years.
What’s your favorite genre to write and why?
I enjoy writing both fiction and nonfiction, but lately I have really enjoyed nonfiction. I love the research, and I always learn something new.
Which courses have you taken with us?
How has taking our courses helped your writing and/or career?
I have gained so much valuable information from taking these courses. I’ve learned to make my writing tighter as well as stronger. With fiction, I’ve learned to “show” more and “tell” less, and with nonfiction, I’ve become more skillful at presenting facts in an entertaining way. Also, I have become better at targeting markets that are the right fit for my submissions.
Have any of your class assignments been published? If so, where and when?
The published “Koala Prints” article was an assignment I wrote in the basic course.
Do you have a favorite writing tip you’d like to share?
Always choose a topic you are interested in. Your excitement and enthusiasm will come across in your writing!
What is your favorite piece of writing advice?
Since I have been consistently writing only around two years, I would tell myself, “I wish I had begun writing sooner because it is so fun and rewarding!”
Please tell us the best or most valuable thing you learned from your experience with us (i.e. why a course or contest was so educational for you, changed your writing habits, etc.)
I have really learned a lot from my instructors’ feedback. Their positive comments gave me confidence, and their suggestions helped me to improve upon my writing. I don’t think I would have had any of my writing pieces published without the guidance of my instructors.
Which course would you recommend for writing for children and teens?
I would recommend ICL because you receive one-on-one instruction tailored to your individual needs.
Debby Shade is a native Texan and has been an educator for public and private schools. She wrote science and history curriculum for public schools for several years. She enjoys writing, reading, walking, arts and crafts, and playing the piano.