Winners' Circle - Stephanie Gibeault

July 8, 2017

Welcome to the Winner's Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we're celebrating Middle Grade Adventure Fiction Winner Stephanie Gibeault! 

What contest was your winning entry submitted to?
Middle Grade Adventure Fiction

How many writing contests have you entered?

Tell us the title of your entry and a short summary of the story.
"The Treasure Map"
My story is about four kids following a treasure map, along the beach and through the woods, to an unexpected result.

What inspired your winning entry?
A photograph of a beach made me think of buried pirate treasure and the story grew from there. 

How has entering this contest helped your writing?
Trimming my story down to only 750 words was a great exercise in discipline. I could only keep what was absolutely necessary and needed my words to serve multiple purposes. Those lessons apply to any writing project.

What will you do with your piece now that it's been recognized?
I will be submitting it to children's magazines in hopes of publication.

What do you do when you're feeling discouraged or blocked? Do you have any tips for your fellow writers?

I don't seem to be able to force creativity, so I take advantage of it when it comes. When I'm feeling blocked, I take a break if I can and do something else like reading a book. Distracting your conscious mind can give your subconscious the chance to problem solve and recharge. But when there's a deadline involved, there's nothing like putting your butt in the chair and pushing through.  

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 visit the Grinch's yard sale. I don't think he would have much to offer after his great gift return to the Whos down in Whoville. But I would love to meet his dog Max.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your ICL experience?
The webinar that accompanied this contest was so valuable. It was wonderful to get detailed feedback on my story and to learn what I did wrong, but especially what I did right.

To enter our latest contest for children's writers, check out the details HERE.

Add Comment

Sign up for our weekly tips & market leads. 

If you write for children, sign up for our ICL newsletter.

Writing for adults? Sign up for the IFW newsletter.