Winners Circle: Bethany Nuckolls

September 12, 2020

Welcome to the Winners' Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL and IFW Contest winners. Today we're celebrating Bethany Nuckolls! Her entry Little Witches Must Go To Bed came in Third Place in our ICL Bedtime Picture Book Contest!

What contest was your winning entry submitted to?
Bedtime

How many writing contests have you entered?
This story, just one.

Please give the title of your entry and a short summary of the story.
Little Witches Must Go To Bed is a lyrical bedtime journey through the hijinks and mischiefs of the paranormal community at night as a mother's voice softly coaxes her daughter to sleep safe and sound instead.

What inspired your winning entry?
This story is actually an spin-off of another children's picture book manuscript I've written about a young witch facing prejudice at her school of normal children... a story meant to empower young girls. I am currently seeking an agent for both.

How has entering this contest helped your writing?
It has greatly encouraged me to keep pushing through rejection and continue writing. While I love the craft, the patience required on the publication and acceptance end of it can be discouraging, and little victories like this (especially since we all go to meet online for the announcements!) keep me going.

How did the critique in the Winners' Workshop help you?
The Winners' Workshop critique gave me exactly what I needed for revision. I am now very happy with my current manuscript version, and hope an agent will agree.

Are you a full-time writer? If not, what is your"day job"?
My day job is teaching English as a Second Language at the college level (and sometimes in classrooms around the world). This both fuels and satiates my love of world travel, which in turn inspires much of my writing.

How long have you been writing?
I've been writing and dreaming of being a writer since I was five. My first short story was published when I was 13.

What will you do with your piece now that it's been recognized?
I plan to submit it to agents and hope to get it illustrated and published. I love children's picture books and have many more manuscripts that I wish to see come to life as well.

Any fun plans for the prize money?
Once borders open again, yes, it will hopefully buy me a week's worth of tostadas at Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

What do you do when you're feeling discouraged or blocked? Do you have any tips for your fellow writers?
A writer's community is essential. I love meeting with my fellow writers every 6 weeks to share what we've been working on. As we celebrate each others' successes, it reminds us that there are possibilities waiting for all of us.

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 the yard sale of the dogs from Go Dog Go and buy the crazy hats!

If you'd like to give ICL or the contest a testimonial,this is the place!
I loved the Winners' Workshop which made placing in the contest extra special!

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