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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dear Future Picture Book Author

Dear Future Picture Book Author,

“If you’re lucky enough to do well, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down.” I love this quote from Kevin Spacey. And while I don’t consider myself at the top, I have been very fortunate since signing with my agent, Lori Kilkelly, two and a half years ago. In 2016, I have six books coming out (three picture books and three chapter books). Those books will be followed by six more picture books in the following years. Call it fortunate or lucky or blessed, my dream of a career writing for kids has come true.

Now it’s my chance to send the elevator back down. I’d like to offer a (free!) mentorship to an unpublished picture book writer. 

What:   I’ll assist one writer with his/her PB manuscripts. I will also answer questions about the industry and help with query letters and pitches.

When:  Over a six month period (approx. January-June 2016)

Who:    I’ll be the mentor. The mentee should be someone who has been writing PB manuscripts for at least a year. Must be over 18, living in the USA (so we can talk on the phone), and serious about writing. This is for those who write picture books—no novels, no easy readers, no chapter books, no magazine articles. I prefer to work with fiction or a combination of fiction and non-fiction, and I’m not the ideal mentor for an author who writes in rhyme.

How:    The writer will email me PB manuscripts for critique. I will write my suggestions, send them back, and then allow for a follow-up phone call. We will work on a maximum of three manuscripts and one query letter.  The writer may also send me questions at any time.

Why:    I actually like to critique. (Warning: I can be brutal!)   And see Kevin Spacey quote above. Also, I expect the writer to send the elevator back down when he/she reaches his/her goal.

Cost:     Free! No purchase necessary. You don’t even need to “like” me on Facebook or Twitter.

Please Note: While I’m willing to help a new author with craft and share my industry experience, I am not offering to recommend the writer to my agent or any of my editors. And there is absolutely no guarantee of success. Working with me will not land you an agent or get you published.  

I reserve the right to change these guidelines at any time.

How to Apply:
Simple. Send me an e-mail ( and tell me why you’re interested in working with me. (Subject line should read: Future Picture Book Author) And I need to know the answer to these two questions.
·         * How long have you been writing picture books? (Minimum one year.)
·         * How many picture book manuscripts have you written? (Minimum of 8.)

And here are some other questions you might want to answer.
·         * What organizations do you belong to? SCBWI? 12x12? PiBoIdMo? WOW?
·         * Why do you want to write for kids?
·         * What have been your struggles so far?
·         * What interests you?
·         * What’s your favorite dinosaur?

I’ll be accepting emails starting today until December 30th. I may follow-up and ask to see a sample manuscript. I will make the final decision in January.  This final decision is mine alone and will be based on my opinion of who I think I can best assist.

Feel free to send questions by email (or comment below).

Stacy McAnulty

Saturday, November 14, 2015


My first chapter book--THE DINO FILES--hits shelves on January 19, 2016. As part of the pre-launch fun, I've been Tweeting pics of all my dinosaur belongings using the hashtag #99daysofdinos. Yesterday was day 33. I'm a third of the way through and wanted to share the fun pics I've posted so far.



Monday, October 12, 2015

Book Festivals

I've compiled a list (with help from Facebook friends) of book festivals that are either exclusively for children's literature or have a strong kidlit program. Support and enjoy these fun festivals.

Hanging out with author/illustrator Eddie Hemingway at Bookmarks

Baltimore Book Festival in Baltimore, MD
Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC
Boston Book Festival in Boston, MA
Brooklyn Book Festival: Children's Day in Brooklyn, NY
Chappaqua Children's Book Festival in Chappaqua, NY
Children's Lit Festival in Warrensburg, MO
Columbus Children's Book Festival in Columbus, GA
Gaithersburg Book Festival in Gaithersburg, MD
Hudson Children's Book Festival in Hudson, New York
LA Times Book Fair in LA, CA
Morristown Books in Morristown,NJ
National Book Festival in DC
Plum Creek in Seward, NE
Princeton Children's Book Festival in Princeton, NJ
Roanoke Author Invasion in Roanoke, VA
Rochester Children's Book Festival in Rochester, NY
Texas Book Festival in Austin, TX
Texas Teen Book Festival in Austin ,TX
Virginia Festival of Books in Charlottesville, VA
Wisconsin Festival of Books in Madison, WI
Word on the Street in various locations in Canada
Wordstock in Portland, OR
Word Vancouver in Vancouver

I'd love to grow this list. Please write other book festivals in the comments (also, feel free to let me know if I've made mistakes). THANKS!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Few Covers to Share

The Dino Files #1: The Mysterious Egg will be released in 154 days. (I have an app that tells me this.) And The Dino Files #2: Too Big to Hide will be out 105 days after that. (I found a website to calculate this.) Not that I want to wish my life by (it moves fast enough), but I can't wait to share these books with you. To hold me over for these 154 days (plus 105), I'm happy to share the covers of these two books.

If you love the covers, wait until you see the illustrations inside. Mike Boldt has done a fabulous job of capturing the fun and sweet moments of the stories. Your kids will be begging for a dinosaur (and a cat).

 Available January 19, 2016
Pre-Order IndieBound or Amazon

Available May 3, 2016
Pre-Order with IndieBound or Amazon

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

101 Reasons Why Amy Schumer Needs to Invite Me to the Trainwreck Movie Premiere

1. Because I asked nicely…

2. We are both… writers
3. …women
4. …blondes
5. …feminists
6. …funny (but in a head to head, you win)
7. We are both on Twitter
8. And over the age of 30
9. And under the age of 60
10. We are both from America
11. We both drive on the right side of the road
12. We both have a single chamber stomach (cows have 4)
13. I’ve never been to a premiere
14. My friends would be jealous
15. My mom would be jealous
16. My dogs would be jealous (or just mad that I’m not home)
17. My husband would be jealous (assuming I had only 1 ticket)
18. I promise to give Trainwreck 4-stars
19. We both know squat about the NBA
20. We have a similar upbringing: I was also told by my mother not to shave above my knee
21. I have a birthday (sometime this year)
22. It’s national give premiere tickets to a stranger day
23. I’m good at hiding candy in my purse
24. I’m good at hiding chardonnay in my purse
25. I will get you popcorn refills
26. And I’ll tell you if you have a  kernel between your teeth
27. This could be lifesaving, the mob will never look for me at a movie premiere
28. I’ve never asked you for anything before
29. I’ll never ask you for anything again
30. I did donate to NMSS charity (I’m just unlucky with raffles)
31. Because you, Amy, are my “SQUIRREL!”
32. I promise not to ask to take a selfie with you (however I may just take one without asking)
33. I have to pick up my kids from camp on July 17th so I need to see the flick pre-release
34. It’s a win-win (don’t think too hard on this one)
35. Amy, this the universe telling you to invite me
36. Free material for future sketches – I’m sure to embarrass myself
37. May I suggest an even exchange, premiere tickets for…  an autograph copy of one my books
38. …or a dedication in one of my books
39. …or my recipe for artichoke dip
40. …or one of my children
41. I can be the DD — my minivan holds 7 (even have room for LeBron)
42. I want to meet your sister
43. And your mother
44. Because your stand-up has no tour dates
45. Because I asked nicely again…

46. It’s good karma
47. And I’ll stop being mad at you for not taking over for John Stewart
48. And I need a pick-me-up now that Inside Amy Schumer is done for the season
49. There’s probably somebody your mad at — give me his ticket
50. I’m a polite movie goer —  I will not talk during the movie
51. …or text
52. …or Tweet
53. …or Facebook (Can ‘Facebook’ be used as a verb?)
54. …or drink so much I have to get up to use the restroom
55. …or illegally record the move (it is NOT a victimless crime)
56. If there is a collection for the Will Roger’s Institute I will donate any change I find at the bottom of my purse
57. Chris Pratt didn’t invite me to Jurassic World
58. Channing Tatum didn’t invite me to Magic Mike XXL
59. Girl power!
60. You’re so cool. You say the things other women will only say in front of their Bunco group.
61. BTW, you’re invited to my next Bunco night. August 8. Private message me for directions.
62. I made a wish that I’d get premiere tickets when I … tossed a penny in a fountain
63. …saw a shooting star
64. …found a four-leaf clover
65. …pulled a grey hair
66. …poured orange juice in my coffee instead of creamer
67. …ran over a skunk
68. …lost a toenail when I dropped the couch on my foot
69. I’m feeling lucky!!!
70. Equal Opportunity – you need a children’s book author from NC on the guest list
71. A payback promise – I shall invite you to my first movie premiere
72. I’ll add you to my Christmas card list
73. I’ll even mention you in the Christmas letter
74. I’ll start a petition to get you on the $10 bill
75. I’ll stop claiming to be your slightly older cousin
76. I’ll fill in for you for any court-order community service
77. I’ll let my kids watch your show (in about 10 years)
78. YOLO
80. YGTI
81. Because I use my manners… please (in English)
82. Por favor (in Spanish)
83. S’il vous plait (in French)
84. Per favore (in Italian)
85. Bitte (in German)
86. Woof Woof! (in German Shepherd)
87. I’m out of legitimate reasons I’ll use slogans. Just Do It!
88. I’m lovin it
89. Let your fingers do the walking
90. Good to the last drop
91. It’s everywhere you want to be
92. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is
93. Have it your way
94. Keeps going and going and going
95. It’s the real thing
96. The best a man can get
97. Taste so good cats ask for it by name
98. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking
99. Now I’m out of slogans, so I’ll just ask nicely again…
100. Because this list took me longer to write than my last novel
101. No one believes this will work

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Potentially Deadly Effect of Teagan O'Henry - YA Now Available on Swoon Reads

It’s Minority Report meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Teagan O’Henry is a banshee—an inherited ability she’s not exactly proud of. Armed with knowledge of the future and a deadly kiss, she stops would-be killers before they strike.

But when Teagan refuses to curse her next victim she puts Clint—the boy currently starring in all of her fantasies—in danger.

As her mortal self, Teagan tries to undo what cannot be undone. She’s warned that there are no second chances, but don’t underestimate the power and determination of a teenage girl who is desperate for her first (non-lethal) kiss.

If you like it, please leave a review.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

So This is 2015

I know. I know. You're not supposed to wish your life away. I need to enjoy and be grateful for each healthy day. So I will be. But I'll admit it is really difficult because I cannot wait for 2016. 

2016 is scheduled to be an awesome year for my career. I have 6 books slated to be published. That's pretty exciting considering I've published 1 in the last 30-some years of my life.

Winter 2016: The Dino Files: Book 1 (chapter book)
March 2016: Excellent Ed (picture book)
May 2016: Mr. Fuzz Buster Knows He's the Favorite (picture book)
July 2016: 101 Reasons I'm Not Taking a Bath (picture book)
Fall 2016: Beautiful (picture book)
Late 2016: The Dino Files: Book 2 (chapter book)

But this post is about 2015 and just what am I going to do with this year that lies ahead of me.

This is a no-brainer. I will be writing and revising all year long. Hi Hi Ho. I'm lucky to do the job I love full-time. And while I may not work 8 to 5 Monday through Friday, I essentially work every day. 

Other goals I have for my non-publishing 2015.
TRAVEL: already have 3 trips planned
SEE JIMMY FALLON/TONIGHT SHOW: IM me if you know when tickets will be available
EXERCISE: at least once
TAKE A CLASS: screenwriting and basic drawing are on my list
GET ORGANIZED: reduce the number of useless gadgets and free mugs in the kitchen
GET A THIRD DOG: probably not going to happen but a girl can dream
VOLUNTEER: I do some, but it feels so good, why not do more
LEARN TO TYPE:  the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog
USE BULLET JOURNAL: only been a few weeks but loving it so far
BLOG MORE: will try
BE THANKFUL: so simple yet so hard to remember
LOVE THE MOMENT: yesterday is history and tomorrow is not a guarantee, so I will try to love the moment