Tag Archives: Creativity

San Miguel Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival

The best thing about writing conferences and literary festivals is the luxury of learning while on vacation! If you have an itch to get away but want to keep your writing skills tuned, escape to San Miguel Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival.

As the largest and most prestigious co-cultural, bi-lingual literary gathering in the Americas, each February the San Miguel Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival attracts distinguished authors, established and emerging writers, industry experts, teaching professionals, and avid readers from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.


  • Wally Lamb: Author of six New York Times Bestsellers.
  • Jane Friedman: Co-Founder of The Hot Sheet, columnist, speaker, and Author .
  • Rita Dove: U.S. Poet Leareate and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.
  • John Vaillant: Award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction.
  • Jorge Volpi: Author of over 20 novels and an international bestseller.
  • Joseph Boyden: Award-winning Canadian novelist and short story writer.
  • Emma Donoghue: International bestseller of Room (the film adaptatoin was nominated for four academy awards).

And don’t forget, conferences are tax deductible! Get you seat fast because the conference is February 14-18, 2018. Have fun!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.


Blue Mountain Arts Biannual Poetry Card Contest


Blue Mountain Arts is holding their thirty-first Biannual Poetry Card Contest.  The winner will be published on their website and there are monetary prizes!

  • 1st prize: $350
  • 2nd prize: $200
  • 3rd prize: $100

Here are a few of the guidelines:

  • Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming.
  • Write about real emotions and feelings.
  • Poems should be original and unique.
  • English-language entries only.
  • Enter as often as you like!

You can mail your submission or use their online submission form. For complete rules and guidelines, go here. Entry deadline is December 31,2017. As always, good luck.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA Fantasy.

MasterClass With Author Judy Bloom

Image result for judy bloom masterclass

Judy Bloom will be teaching a Master Class in early 2018. While the dates don’t appear to be set, you can pre-enroll for only $90. The award winning author broke the rules. Her refreshingly honest children’s books were banned by hundreds of libraries—and loved by generations of readers, who bought 85 million copies of classics like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Superfudge.

See the source image
Learn with one of the best with 24 lessons on writing vivid characters and realistic dialogue. There will be a workbook along with the videos, and Judy will critique select members of the class. Have fun and learn lots!
P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/Fiction


Pitch America for Lantinx Voices

Pitch América

This contest will feature the first 500 words and the 35 word pitch of completed and polished manuscripts written by Latinx authors. This is a diversity contest with many well known agents and editors participating.

Submissions open at midnight on August 30, 2017 and close on September 3, 2017 at 11:59 EDT. Please check out the website for complete guidelines. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Don Freeman Illustrator Grant

SCBWI Grant and Award Logos

According to the webpage, the Don Freeman Work-In-Progress Grants are available to all members of the SCBWI, regardless of membership level, who are working on a picture book or their portfolio. They are not available for projects on which there is already a contract.

Two grants of $1,000 each will be awarded annually. One grant to a published illustrator and one to an pre-published illustrator. The money may be used in any way to help you complete your project. Acceptable uses include: purchasing art supplies, enrollment in workshops or conferences, courses in advanced illustrating or writing techniques, travel for research or to expose work to publishers/art directors, or childcare.

Enrolment is open and ends on  March 31, 2017. Visit the webpage to for complete information and guidelines to submit. As always, good luck.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Himalayan Writing Retreats

Want to whisk away to the Himalayan mountains for inspiration while writing your next novel? Then sign up for one of the Himalayan Writing Retreats, or one of the writing weeks (depending on your level of expertise). There is instruction, exercises, fireside chats, long walks, and writerly chats.

If you are looking for advise or simply inspiration for your next book, be sure to check out the Himalayan Writing Retreats/Weeks event calendar. They have more than one to enroll during the year 2017. Have fun and happy writing!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Who Can You Trust…A Charles Cumming Contest

St. Martin’s Press is giving 5 lucky winners the opportunity to be published in A DIVIDED SPY by New York Times Bestselling author Charles Cumming. Each winner will also receive $250.

A Divided Spy

The theme of trust looms large in A Divided Spy. Throughout the book, new and old confidants surround ex-spy Thomas Kell, providing him with sensitive information, and he (and the reader) don’t know whom he can trust until the very end of the book.

  • How has trusting a family member, friend, or stranger affected your life? To enter Who Can You Trust, write up to 1,000 words on how trust (or distrust) has changed your outlook.
  • Entries will be judged on originality, creativity, style, and integrity.
  • The deadline is January 17, 2017 at 11:59 ET.

Be sure to check the official rules in the small box at the bottom of the contest page! As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

So, I said I wouldn’t be back until 2015. But before I logged off WordPress, I read that Andy Mulberry (an author of middle grade stories) nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Holy-moly…and THANK YOU Andy!!!


Okay, so I’ve no idea where this award originated but I wouldn’t care if it was by a kindergarten class insisting to award me for best misfit socks. I’ll proudly except this nomination! Woot-woot! (And seriously, hop over to Andy’s site and learn about her stories!)

The award rules are:

  • Display the award on your blog
  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • State 7 things about yourself
  • Nominate 15 bloggers, link to them, and notify them about their nominations (Wow…that’s a lot.)

Okay, here it goes:

  1. I secretly love cheese more than chocolate. (Shhh, don’t tell Miss Swiss. I’ll need her this winter.)
  2. The past few years I’ve been bah-hum-bug about Christmas and have decorated only one to two days before the magical event. (You read that right. Behold. A Christmas tree erected on Christmas Eve.)
  3. My daughter had to sweet talk me into NOT taking the tree down the day after Christmas last year. (You in the corner, stop throwing stones! Refer to #1 and continue.)
  4.  I have a dog that does a front handstand when she urinates. Every. Time. (Don’t ask me how she keeps the pee off herself, but she does.)
  5. I once searched for thirty minutes wondering where I’d put the TV remote. Gave up and got a glass of tea. The remote was in the fridge. (Loosing my mind at twenty and have been going full force ever since.)
  6. While playing cards with friends on the Fourth of July (once again, in my twenties) and laughing, a temporary tooth that I thought was permanent fell out of my mouth and onto the kitchen table. Needless to say, the game never resumed because no one could stop laughing. (Alcohol may or may not have been involved.)
  7. My writing mind finds inspiration in almost anything. I once proved it by blogging an idea about toilet paper. (Seriously. My dog vomited. I stepped into the muck and imagined bacteria absorbing into my skin, causing me to grow claws and a tongue that could lick the wax out of my own ear.)

Now for my nominations:

  1. Brenda Drake
  2. Authoress (Miss Snark’s First Victim)
  3. Dan Koboldt
  4. Lauren Spieller
  5. Jessa Russo
  6. Caitlin Sinead
  7. Veronica Bartles
  8. Natasha Neagle
  9. SC Write
  10. Lucas Hargis
  11. Laura Heffernan
  12. Kimberly P. Chase
  13. Michelle Hauck
  14. Rae Chang
  15. Amy Trueblood

Okay, I was wrong. Fifteen isn’t enough to name all the wonderful people blogging great stuff! If I didn’t name you, it’s not because I don’t love you! And some that I wanted to name, I had trouble finding your blog. (Remember, I was in a hurry to post this so I could get on with Christmas shenanigans.)

Once again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA fiction