December 3, 2016
Welcome to the Winner's Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Help us celebrate with Lucy Simkins.
Congratulations on getting published! Tell us a bit about your road to publishing success.
Rosie Rides the Rainbows was published through Wynwidyn Press in 2014. I
self-published because I wanted this book completed with Darren Wheeling as my illustrator. He does vivid colors which fit the rainbow effect I wanted. I believe in books with appropriate words, beautiful illustrations, and with a plot all ages can enjoy together. This book has sold as such and I felt amazing. I am focused now on traditional publishing and I have had some bites so this is good!
How long have you been writing?
I have stored images in my head and began adding the words more seriously in the past ten years.
How has your ICL course helped with your writing?
The ICL courses directed me with professional feedback and prepped me for manuscript submissions to publishers. ICL guided me and gave me confidence with support.
What will you do with what you've written during the course?
I have sent these stories out after polishing them up and revising to various publishers. I have had encouraging replies in a very competitive arena. I go back to them often especially when I feel I need ideas. It's like, "oh my goodness, look at those stories from my classes at ICL."
Where is your favorite place to write?
I have an extra bedroom in our home that I turned into my own office. I painted it lavender and I like to write early. I'm an early bird who loves my morning coffee!
Do you have a favorite writing tip you'd like to share?
Read the story out loud! This catches so many errors and all those "not so smooth" reads.
What's your favorite genre to write for?
Picture book/ Early Reader
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
Don't be shy. Put yourself out there. Embrace the rejection from publishers. Keep revising and don't give up! Be patient!
I would of told myself all of the above 15 years ago! It saves frustration.
Please tell us what you enjoyed most about your ICL experience!
I took two courses. I loved the honest critiques. Being too sensitive to critiques from the professionals is just taking the wrong road in my opinion. How else does one learn if one is not open to suggestive sound direction? The instructors from ICL give great advice! Listen to them.
How do you handle rejection from publishers?
I keep every positive comment from any publisher or instructor from ICL in a notebook. When I'm ready to give up, I open that notebook of positive thoughts and read it. It gets me back to my writing chair every time.
Lucy Simkins is a Graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and a retired elementary teacher. She has completed two courses with The Institute of Children's Literature and is a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Her author motto is "Humor, vivid illustrations with adding the right spice of words is page turning."