Welcome to the Winner’s Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Give three cheers for Sue Ann Culp!
What contest was your winning entry submitted to?
Middle Grade Novel
How many writing contests have you entered?
Tell us the title of your entry and a short summary of the story.
THE SHRINKING STONE
12 year old Clancy O’Connor wants her life back! When her dad went to prison, the result of a drunk driving accident, she lost everything; her home, her friends and her trendy wardrobe. Now she lives in a shack behind the Sunoco station while her Mom works two jobs and she cares for her asthmatic little brother. Then her Aunt Maude gives her an ancient Irish artifact- stone which grants wishes—but it shrinks every time it’s used and the penalty for overtaxing the stone’s power is death. But Clancy’s wishes don’t turn out how she’d planned. Now, with the stone’s power depleted, Clancy must risk her life for one last wish. Should she save herself or her brother?
What inspired your winning entry?
I’ve always been a fan of The Monkey’s Paw. This story is a re-imagining of that story with a twist.
How has entering this contest helped your writing?
It has given me confidence to keep writing and the feedback was excellent and inspiring!
Are you a full-time writer? If not, what is your “day job”?
Writing is not my full time job—wish it was!!! I’m own my own business consulting company. I’m also a professional musician and fabric artist. I work with local and regional theaters and also teach couture sewing and quilting.
How long have you been writing?
As long as I can remember! I got very serious about it around 6 years ago.
What will you do with your piece now that it’s been recognized?
I am currently querying agents. Thus far, I have had 4 requests for the full manuscript. One agent asked for some revision, which I’ve completed, and am now waiting for her next round of feedback. Fingers crossed!
Any fun plans for the prize money?
I took my husband out to dinner!
What do you do when you’re feeling discouraged or blocked? Do you have any tips for your fellow writers?
I’ve never had writer’s block. I keep a notebook with lots of ideas—I’ve always got something to write! I do get discouraged, however, when my inbox seems peppered with rejections. My advice—keep sending out the queries, join a competent writer’s critique group and keep writing. Also, read voraciously! I find that ideas have to “percolate.” I need to give my writing the time to breathe and settle between revisions. Most of all—keep writing.
If you could go to the yard sale of any character in the history of children’s literature, whose would you go to, and what would you buy?
I would go to Peter Pan’s yard sale and buy Fairy Dust! Think what I could do if I had the ability to make people fly!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your ICL experience?
As a graduate of ICL, I have found their services and resources to be invaluable to my writing career. I look forward to many more years of relationship with them!