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Published Graduates

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Rene Diane Aube

Published Work: Slug Love

Rene is a graduate of Institute for Children’s Literature. View Course Catalog >

Welcome to the Winners’ Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are celebrating published author Rene Diane Aube and her article published in Nature Friend magazine.

nature-friend-2019august-Rene-Aube

What is the name of your book/s or article/s? Who is the publisher?

My slice of life story, “Slug Love,” was published in NATURE FRIEND (August 2019) magazine.

 

Give us a short summary of your book or article.

When a little Korean-American girl, Kimmy, meets a slug for the very rst time, it proves to be a slimy situation. She, her sister Nicole, and American grandmother are fascinated as they witness an amazing scene unfold with two of God’s sticky and less appreciated creatures. creatures.

 

Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to submission to published.

I came up with this idea after experiencing the marvelous demonstration of love that a slug has for one of its own.

After submitting it to my instructor, Andrea Vlahakis, for the second and third assignments for my “Beyond the Basics” course, I revised according to her feedback and immediately submitted it to Nature Friend along with some photographs as documentation.

About eight weeks after submitting, I received a notification that my story would be held for one year for possible future publication. Since I was recovering from a long season of care-giving and had lots of other projects in the works, I left the manuscript in their hands.

About eight or so months later, I started to question my decision to not shop the story elsewhere. Then, almost a year to the day, the editor called and said they would like to print my story, if it was still available.

“Of course,” said I.

It was published about a month after the phone call. I received payment and contributor copies that are tucked away for my granddaughters to enjoy again when they are grown.

 

How long have you been writing?

I began writing poetry as a melancholy teenager. Once I married and began raising a family, the three little boys I chased for the next twenty-five years were my main focus.

Aside from prayer journals and an occasional poem, I didn’t begin dabbling with writing again until September of 2011.

The catalyst into my present writing journey began with the rebuilding of a 1960 camper that somehow brought the little girl in me to the surface. A story took root and grew out of the character that developed in my mind while involved in that project.

After submitting the very not-so-well developed story with some very, VERY AWFUL query letters (talking THREE pages — yes — I said THREE! Uggh!) The song of crickets helped me realize I needed help in a very big way. That is when I applied to the Institute for Children’s Literature and was overjoyed at
being accepted into the program.

 

What’s your favorite genre to write and why?
I enjoy writing action packed picture books and narrative non-fiction.

 

Please list the course or courses you’ve taken with us.

Writing for Children and Teens
Beyond the Basics: Writing and Selling Short Stories and Articles
Presently enrolled in: Writing and Selling Children’s Books

 

How has taking our courses helped your writing and/or career?
I learned how to write far better material, what makes a story publishable, and how to properly submit my work to editors. One-on-one tutoring through the Institute of Children’s Literature has been invaluable in the progression of my writing journey.

Often I have felt extremely incompetent, but the encouragement and feedback from my instructors helped me push through the doubts and continue writing and submitting.

 

Have any of your class assignments been published? If so, where and when?
Andrea Vlahakis instruction and encouragement during “Beyond the Basics” brought “Slug Love” into publication by Nature Friend magazine in August of 2019. Andrea loved how my main character popped off the page, however she showed me several minor edits that needed to be addressed before submitting. I wasted no time and sent the story right out the same day.

 

Do you have a favorite writing tip you’d like to share?
Take your time and write from your heart.

 

If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, how far back would you go, and what would you tell yourself?
I would go back to 2012 and tell myself that publishing is NOT a race, it’s a journey. A long, slow journey with lots of lovely people to meet along the way, SLOW DOWN AND ENJOY!

 

Please tell us the best or most valuable thing you learned from your experience with ICL and IFW.
This is a difficult question as there are so many wonderful reasons to take these courses.

I would have to say that really working on the development of a story to make it satisfying was invaluable. And learning how to target and submit my work for the various publications holds equal,
value.

 

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.)

This is a difficult question as there are so many wonderful reasons to take these courses.

I would have to say that really working on the development of a story to make it satisfying was invaluable. And learning how to target and submit my work for the various publications holds equal, value.

 

How long is a query/cover letter?

ONE page with three or four short paragraphs.

 

 

Rene` Diane Aube loves dreaming up drama to scribble into stories for children of all ages. Many of her characters croak, creep, crawl, y, scamper or gallop in Western New York where she lives with her crazy yellow lab and fat, lazy cat.

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