Monday, September 23, 2013

Reflecting on Peter Reynolds' DOT Day

Russell Street Elementary School in Littleton, MA celebrated Dot Day last week. Spurred on by elementary art teacher, Andrea Romano, the Dots were amazing and showcased the orginality and creativity of the kids from first through fifth grades.

I was so excited to see the Dots last week. I asked her if I could share some of the fabulous art and if she would comment on the experience. Ms. Romano reflects on Dot Day in Littleton:
“Everyone IS an artist!” has been my belief from the very beginning of my career. This statement is the backbone behind how I live and teach. I often hear young people say, “When I grow up I want to be an artist!”. What they don’t realize is that they already are! My goal through my teaching is to help develop that awareness.

the dot, by Peter H. Reynolds, captures that inner struggle of a young child. I incorporated the story into the first week of classes this year throughout grades 1-5. All of the students were invited to simply make dots...big dots, small dots, one dot or many dots! Each dot was an authentic expression of the artist and proved to be a meaningful start to the school year!

Thank you Ms. Romano!

I've had the pleasure of meeting Peter H. Reynolds--he owns and operates The Blue Bunny, a wonderful independent bookstore in Dedham, MA.

He's an amazing artist, generous with his time to fans (children and adults alike). If you're not familiar with his book, THE DOT, it tells the story of a young girl who gives up her dream to be an artist because she thinks she's no good. Through the inspiration of her teacher, she learns that anyone can make a difference.

Actually, the description on Peter's website is better..."The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing."

Since 2009, children have been celebrating making their own marks on the world on or about September 15. According to, International Dot Day, a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration, began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

The rest is history.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Twitter Pitch Contest Advice

There are so many opportunities in the twitterverse for pitching your work, and networking with agents and editors.

Back in May, I participated in #Pitmad organized by Brenda Drake. Over a couple of months, I entered a few twitter contests, and I learned a few things. Since #PitMad is happening again this week, I thought I'd reflect.

1. Have a few different pitches, try to mix them up and space them out.
2. Don't over pitch - it's annoying to others to see YOUR pitch more than once an hour or so.
3. Pay attention to the contest rules.
4. If you don't get tagged or favorited, don't let it get you down. I've had pitches favorited in some contests, and the SAME pitches completely ignored in another. It's all about timing, spacing, and what people are looking for that day.
5. Be supportive of others--RT things you like, and let people know if you like their pitch. a result of that #Pitmad in May, I had a request from Meredith Rich of Bloomsbury Spark. This past Tuesday, I announced the sale of my YA,  THE SWEET SPOT, to Meredith. All as result of that Twitter pitch. Here's the link to my announcement:

So keep on keeping on and Good Luck with your pitches!

UPDATE: Instead of THE SWEET SPOT referenced above, ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT, my YA contemp about a hockey-playing pizza shop-working teenager will be published by Bloomsbury Spark instead. See the announcement here: ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Book Deal Announced: THE SWEET SPOT

I've signed with Meredith Rich of Bloomsbury Spark for my YA novel, THE SWEET SPOT!!!

I have been holding onto this news for weeks. I'm still pinching myself that it's actually real. Here's a screen shot on Publisher's Marketplace from yesterday that proves it's real (September 9, 2013):

Here's the text, if you can't read that tiny print.

Kristine Carlson Asselin's THE SWEET SPOT, in which it is hard enough being a sporty girl in a guy's world without having to figure out who wants to destroy her family business, especially when it could mean accusing her best friend… and secret crush, to Meredith Rich of Bloomsbury Spark by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.


Some of you may remember reading excerpts of this YA manuscript on WriteOnCon, or years ago when it was a short story on Critique Circle. There have been various versions of the MS, and some of my fabulous friends have read multiple versions (I'm looking at you, Laura Pauling, Natasha Sass, and Jennifer Carson). Thank you to all of you who provided critique or insight!

I want to thank my amazing agent Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency for working out the details of the contract. I'm so thankful to Meredith Rich for falling in love with a twitter pitch, and then the novel. And thanks to Brenda Drake and her team for #Pitmad this past May--Meredith favorited my pitch and the rest is history.

Actual tweet favorited by Meredith from #PitMad: A near-miss kiss from Scott, Dad hires a hot new Brit & SOMEONE torches the 8th green. How can Kate focus on her golf game?

I looked back in my archives. The very first words of this story were written from a kernel of an idea in August 2006. I've learned a ton from reworking the words over the last seven years. Some day I'll post those early words as an interesting comparison.

In the meantime, I'm ecstatic about working with Meredith to polish up the novel. And I really can't wait to share THE SWEET SPOT with the world. I'm dying for you to know and love Kate and Scott, like I do.