Sylvia Vardell today

Hi everyone,

Today it is my pleasure to present Sylvia Vardell as my repeat Featured Guest. Sylvia first appeared on December 4, 2009. I know you’ll enjoy and learn from Sylvia. I always do. First I’ll post her original essay. Following that you’ll find a few new remarks she sent for today’s post.

Looking back: Poetry for children 2009

By Sylvia Vardell

At the end of last year (2008), I looked back and noted, “… there is an interesting variety, with picture book collections dominating, and new trends in poetry morphed with biography growing strong. I’m also seeing more experimentation with poetic form/topic and book layout which is fun for those of us who like to provide diverse models for aspiring writers and artists.” As I review the crop from 2009, I continue to see a preponderance of the picture book format (J. Patrick Lewis’s Countdown to Summer is one exception) dominating the market. But we’re also seeing some creative variations like anthologies which include CDs of audio recordings of poem readings (like Mary Ann Hoberman’s nature collection, The Tree That Time Built and Julie Andrew’s anthology) and poetry book design that creates a visual feast beginning with the very cover and binding (like Monsterologist by Bobbi Katz).

Humor is always a big trend in poetry for children, so I was surprised to see less of that than usual this year. Notable exceptions were Jon Agee’s clever, Orangutan Tongs; Poems to Tangle Your Tongue, Robert Weinstock’s Food Hates You, Too and Karma Wilson’s What’s the Weather Inside?, among others. In contrast, it seemed like there were many collections of contemplative nature poems published this year, such as Heidi Roemer’s Whose Nest is This?, Michael Rosen’s The Cuckoo’s Haiku and Other Birding Poems, Jane Yolen’s A Mirror to Nature and An Egret’s Day (do you see a bird theme emerging?)

I’m always glad to see curriculum-friendly collections published because they appeal to teachers (and kids) and add zest to science, social studies and other areas. Linda Ashman’s Come to the Castle is one such example as are Lee Bennett Hopkins’s anthology, Incredible Inventions and Deborah Ruddell’s A Whiff of Pine, A Hint of Skunk. Not one, but two collections about jobs were welcome this year: Tracie Vaughn Zimmer’s Steady Hands: Poems About Work and J. Patrick Lewis’s The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse. And don’t forget Douglas Florian’s Dinothesaurus, fun for science (for dino-facts) or language arts (for dino-words) or any time! Publishers tell me these are the most marketable anthologies and I can see why from a practical standpoint. (Of course I’m a fan of weaving poetry from all sources into the curriculum and beyond, but themes help make the connections more explicit for the un-initiated.) Teachers sure could use more collections with possibilities for mathematics, for example.

Verse novels continue to be with us, although these may have peaked, since I’m seeing fewer now, I think. Three standouts, in my opinion, were Ann Burg’s All the Broken Pieces, Thalia Chaltas’s Because I Am Furniture and Betsy Franco’s Metamorphosis (part prose, part poetry). Tweens and teens love this format, so I hope we’ll continue to see these coming. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a graphic novel/novel-in-verse hybrid? How about a dystopian sci fi novel-in-verse?

Participatory poetry also made an appearance this year in two noteworthy collections, Messing Around the Monkey Bars and other School Poems for Two Voices by Betsy Franco and A Foot in the Mouth; Poems to Speak, Sing, and Shout compiled by Paul Janeczko. Of course nearly any poem can be participatory in some way, but I think teachers, in particular, appreciate collections that provide guidance and models for doing so with kids. More please!

Poets continue to focus on form and I enjoy those so much, seeing how poets can take one form in so many different directions. Some of this year’s examples include books of concrete poetry (Curious Collection of Cats by Betsy Franco), acrostic poetry (African Acrostics; A Word in Edgeways by Avis Harley), list poetry (Falling Down the Page collected by Georgia Heard) riddle poetry (Spot the Plot! A Riddle Book of Book Riddles by J. Patrick Lewis), definition poetry (Well Defined; Vocabulary in Rhyme by Michael Salinger), mask poetry (Button Up! Wrinkled Rhymes by Alice Schertle), and haiku (Vampire Haiku by Ryan Mecum). The amazing Helen Frost cast a beautiful new form of “stone” poems for her novel-in-verse, Crossing Stones.

Probably the most distinctive trend I saw in poetry this year was a focus on time passing as a connecting thread in poetry collections (such as in Joyce Sidman’s Red Sings From Treetops; A Year in Colors or Heidi Mordhorst’s Pumpkin Butterfly or David Harrison’s Vacation, We’re Going to the Ocean!). But that’s the topic for another posting. In the mean time, if I could offer a “wishlist” of future books of poetry that I would love to see in print, it might include some of these ideas:
• Reissues of old favorites (e.g., Myra Cohn Livingston, David McCord, Eve Merriam, John Ciardi, Turtle in July, Near the Window Tree, and so many others), perhaps mixes of these poems and new voices
• Poems about food, especially food around the world
• Call and response poetry
• Question poems, ala Pablo Neruda, in fact an anthology of Neruda for kids would be awesome
• More poetry about cultures in the U.S. and around the world, especially Latino and Asian cultures (India? Mexico?) In fact, more world poetry altogether
• Poems about hard times, about surviving
• Where are the gay voices? The poetry for teens about being gay or questioning, coming out, gay-straight friendships and conflicts
• We now have poetry books with CDs of audio recordings of poems; how about books with DVDs of poem performances or poems interpreted in American Sign Language?
Thank you, poets and publishers, for a bountiful year of poetry. (Thank you, David, for this opportunity to pontificate!) These are just a few of the gems we enjoyed this year. Keep ‘em coming!

Here’s Sylvia’s new post written for today.

As I look over my review of 2009 books, I see I was wrong about one thing: verse novels have definitely NOT peaked. I see several exciting new examples coming out this year in 2011, including:

1. Chaltas, Thalia. 2011. Displacement. Viking.
2. Engle, Margarita. 2011. Hurricane Dancers; The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck. Henry Holt.
3. Frost, Helen. 2011. Hidden. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
4. Grimes, Nikki. 2011. Planet Middle School. Bloomsbury.
5. Herrera, Juan Felipe. 2011. Skate Fate. HarperCollins.
6. Janeczko, Paul. 2011. Requiem; Poems of the Terezín Ghetto. Candlewick.
7. Lai, Thanhha. 2011. Inside Out and Back Again. HarperCollins.
8. Marcus, Kimberly. 2011. exposed. Random House.
9. Ostlere, Cathy. 2011. Karma. Penguin.
10. Ostow, Micol. 2011. family. Egmont.
11. Shahan, Sherry. 2011. Purple Daze. Running Press Kids.
12. Thompson, Holly. 2011. Orchards. Random House.
13. Van Cleave, Ryan G. 2011. Unlocked. Walker.

Not only is this a significant increase in the number of novels in verse being published, but the variety of voices is significant too. I’m particularly intrigued that this format is showcasing multicultural stories (e.g., Engle, Grimes, Herrera, Janeczko, Lai, Ostlere). In addition, many of these are historical in setting and context (e.g., Engle, Janeczko, Lai, Ostow, Shahan), an interesting blend of poetry and history. Finally, this format also marks the debut of several new voices in poetry for young people (e.g., Lai, Marcus, Ostlere, Ostow, Shahan). I’m so glad to be wrong in this case. I’m a fan of the novel in verse form and I know many teen/tween readers love it, too. So, it’s terrific to see so many choices and voices in this format emerge. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Sylvia M. Vardell, Ph.D.
Professor
Texas Woman’s University
School of Library & Information Studies
P O Box 425438
Denton TX 76204-5438
940-898-2616
svardell@twu.edu
http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com /

Brenda Seabrooke today

Hi Everyone,

I’m pleased to tell you that my Monday segment, which I’m calling WHAT ARE THE PROS UP TO? is coming along well. In it I re-feature professional writers, agents, illustrators, editors, and teachers who have appeared previously as Featured Guests on Friday. Now that I can finally post pictures, I’m inviting each of them back to tell us in a nutshell what they’re up to these days. Next Monday we’ll hear from Sandy Asher. The week following, Charles (Father Goose) Ghigna will repay us a visit.

My Wednesday segment, called Guest Readers, could use more support from you. I have a great poem to share with you ths coming Wednesday when I reintroduce Silindile (Souldose) Ntuli. But I have no one scheduled after that. If you, or another writer you know, would like to share something about his or her journey as a writer, please contact me so we can set up a time for you. This is a very popular spot that draws a lot of readers and supportive comments. Thanks!


Today I’m honored to introduce another good friend and author, Brenda Seabrooke. I asked Brenda a series of questions and she provided honest, insightful answers. I continue to be impressed by the quality of thoughtful responses we’ve seen from my Featured Guests. Now, here’s Brenda.

Q
What originally attracted you to writing?

A
I loved stories – who doesn’t? Stories are magic, conjured out of air, memory, imagination, life. I made picture stories before I could write and when I learned to write kept going first with poems, then stories and later books.

Q
Do you keep a journal? If so, when did you start? What sort of material do you write in your journal?

A
Yes, I try to write something in it every day. I started at 7 when I received a diary for Christmas. I never reread what I had written and thought I had filled the early ones with boring stuff such as got up, went to school, went to music, rode my horse, went to bed. I looked at them a few years ago and discovered a world of fascinating details! I recorded the day when my father bought our first TV and the account of that life-changing event was published in a book by Dr. Ray Barfield, Clemson University professor.

Q
Your books speak to the hearts of young fans everywhere. How would you describe your approach to creating such strong stories?

A
I’m essentially a storyteller. The stories find me. Then the work begins. With few exceptions, it is a layered process. I go over and over the story, shading, enlivening (punching up verbs!), sharpening, deepening, defining, enriching. Each time something new is revealed to me about the characters. It’s a magical process.

Q
A number of books have been written about the three pigs and the big bad wolf. What prompted you to write another one?

A
My cousins and I made up a game in which one cousin was a wolf and the rest were pigs. When the wolf blew down a house, we all had to run to the next one, etc. Years later I was reminded of the game when I saw a pig race at the VA State Fair. I wrote what became the first chapter of Wolf Pie (Clarion,2010). Then I wondered what happened after that and wrote another chapter and kept going!

Q
Who is your audience? Who is reading over your shoulder while you write?

A
I think about readers but I don’t write down to them. I read my stories aloud and try to pretend I’m the audience. Usually I can hear when something isn’t working. Reading aloud takes a long time when I’m writing a novel but it is a necessary part of my work process.

Q
How do you write? At the keyboard? Longhand? In an office? At regular times?

A
I write almost every day usually on my office computer but sometimes longhand. I write on car trips, airplanes, at dental appointments. I think it’s important to write in longhand, to connect pen to paper and I try to do it every day if only in my journal.

Q
Are there and methods you utilize to stay current with today’s young readers?

A
I watch TV shows such as Pawn Stars and Dirty Jobs that my grandson likes. My daughter and her husband work in the gaming world so I pick up info from them. And I read current books and watch current movies.

Q
What do you see happening in the world of children’s book publishing these days?

A
It’s more open than it has ever been. Few subjects are taboo today if they’re handled in a meaningful way. Quirky and cheeky are now the norm where once they were considered daring and innovative. I see this continuing but I hope there is always room for the old-fashioned story as well.

Q
Do you have advice for emerging children’s authors?

A
Read! That sounds simplistic but I‘m always amazed at people who want to write for children but don’t read books published for them. To write in a particular genre, it is paramount to read what is being published in it.

Brenda, many thanks for allowing me to feature you on today’s blog. My best wishes for your continued success with those wonderful stories you write.

To learn more about Brenda, here’s a link. http://www.childrensbookguild.org/brenda-seabrooke  

Let the voting begin

We had another stellar month of poetry. Who knew that so many poets were just itching to write a poem inspired by a single word! You’ll find the voting box below so have fun rereading all the poems and voting for your choice. To read or reread all the poems, scroll down below the ballot box. I posted them all there.

On a special note, Taylor McGowan was our only young poet who posted this month so we can’t have a vote. On the other hand, there is no law against telling Taylor if you appreciate her poem and her dedication to writing during her summer vacation!

Tomorrow I have a special treat. My Guest Reader goes by Souldose. You are going to love her.

David

JULY 2010 ADULT POEMS

1 THE WITCH’S ITCHES

An itchy witch, she never scratches,
Never scratches, never scratches,
The gnashiest of witchy rashes,
Witchy rashes, witchy rashes,
She pitches, twitches on her broom,
Upon her broom, up on her broom,
And howls unhitched her yowls of gloom,
Growls of doom to eldritch moon,
She’d gladly ditch her earthly riches,
Earthly riches, earthly riches,
Or switch her fate with sniveling snitches,
Sniveling snitches in stitchy britches,
To still that itch she never scratches,
Never scratches, never scratches,
That itch which glitches witch’s niches,
And de-mo-LISH-es witch’s wishes!
– Steven Withrow

2 BEWITCHED

Stop your itching
Mom said.
I can’t stop
I said
with a twitch.
There is a bug
living on my head
but, never in my bed.
I keep telling Mom
the itch witch
came in the night
put a curse
on my head.
Is it the
seven-year-itch
or the itchy
bitsy red spider?
I plan to ditch
the itch when I
soak my head
in be-gone soap,
removing the curse
of the itch witch.
— ©By Mary Nida Smith

A SAD TALE

Nothing frightened Bryon Biggers,
Not even lions, not even tiggers,
He spent his life exploring this land,
Knew these hills like the back of his hand.
Striding down the path he came
Always looking for bigger game
But in the end he met his match
In a lowly Ozarks chigger patch.
Byron laughed, “Ha ha!” cried he,
“No bug could be the death of me!”
But halfway through that patch of chiggers
And it was over for Byron Biggers.
He clawed those bites till his dying breath,
Sighing, “I’ve scratched myself to death.
Someday they’ll find me here alone
With chiggers gnawing on my bones.”
He died the way he lived – brave,
And few have seen poor Byron’s grave.
He’s buried high on a lonely hill
Where to this day he itches still.
Here lie the bones of Byron Biggers,
Eaten alive by hungry chiggers,
So if you see poor Byron twitch,
Scratch his bones ‘cause they still itch.
— David L. Harrison

This month’s word invites laughter! OK. I just can’t resist this. The poem below was actually written by a student of mine, in all the innocence of a first grader–years, years, years ago. It was so funny I still remember it. Maybe I’ll have an itch poem of my own to share soon.
Gay

ITCH

Kids are nice,
Kids are grand,
Sharing lice
Marching in bands.
I am nice
I am grand.
I once had lice,
Don’t hold my hand!
by Laura C.

3 ITCHY DILEMMA

Our dilemma was daunting
resembling a haunting
with twitching and itching —
positively bewitching.
We were itching our itches
on our backs and our britches,
shedding clothes (every stitch)
yet continued to itch.
So we’d run in mad dashes,
scratching patches of rashes,
all the while we were cloaked
in poisonous oak!
— Ken Slesarik

4 WHY ME?

My tasty blood attracts mosquitoes
bestowing bumpy bites in batches.
A buzzing fleet of small torpedoes
brings on a dance of sudden scratches.
They sew my skin with blotchy stitches
of polka dot embroidery.
This spotted Little Dipper itches.
Why are mosquitoes sweet on me?
— © Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

This month, I’m responding with 2–one fun, one serious. Yes, you can write a serious poem about “itch”!

IN THE MIRROR

I’m covered with spots!
They’re big red dots
On my legs and my arms.
Sound the alarms!
My face and chest
And all of the rest
Of me’s pocked
With pox!
Pass the Calamine lotion!
It’s like magic potion
To stop the itches
From head to britches.
Aaaaah!

5 LETTING GO

Sorting the stuff
Of fifty-five years
Of family life into
Boxes,
Bags,
Bundles,
What to keep?
What to give?
What to sell?
Item after item
Evaluated
For utility,
Sentiment,
Value.
Old note cards,
Keep?
Unopened Old Spice,
Give?
Silver service,
Sell?
In the coat closet, hangs
The sweater Dad always wore.
Does it have his smell?
I hold it close and sniff.
No.
Smells like wool,
Makes me itch.
Keep?
Give.
— Jane Heitman Healy

6 MR. POE’S ITCH

It started with a tickle,
An itty-bitty prickle,
No bigger than a nickel
In the center of my spine.
I reached behind to scratch it,
But my fingers couldn’t catch it.
Like an egg about to hatch, it
crackled through that bony line.
It spread faster than a rumor.
It grew bigger than a tumor.
The Itch of Darkest Doomer
Expanded its attack.
Nipping, pinging, biting,
The itching burned like lightning.
I felt my body tightening
And decided to fight back.
With ragged bitten nails,
I raked my back in wails
Of agony because I failed
To ease the fiendish itch.
I poked with fork and finger,
But still that itch it lingered.
A pin cushion of bee stingers
Zinged the itch to fever pitch.
Filled with mad frustration,
I took on self flagellation
And began the degradation
Of that aggravating germ.
I destroyed its tickling bite,
Smashed its pinch in mad delight,
And with a swing of fiercest might,
I crushed it like a worm.
Now I sit in Bedlam’s halls,
And I stare at four white walls,
As a sterile bandage falls
upon my back so raw and red.
But I don’t mind a bit.
It was worth a raging fit,
Because that vile, disgusting itch
Is at last among the dead.
— Barbara Turner

7 BLOOD BROTHERS

Under the shade
of an old pine tree,
a squishy hill of pine straw
beckoned me.
I stared for a while
at the milk-blue sky,
studied all the wild things
flitting by—
a peek-a-boo hare
and a horny toad
a big gray owl
and a two-note bird.
But one little thing
I did not see
was the half-pint
skeeter watching me.
I think he waited
till I closed
my eyes,
then he zigzagged in
and bit my hide.
I screamed like the devil
when he sucked my blood,
but none of my screamin’
did any good—
’cause all he did
was lick his chops,
and dive back in
for a few more drops.
I swatted here,
I swatted there,
but all I hit was the
milk-blue air.
Still, I think he knew
I was on his trail,
’cause that l’il skeeter
quick turned tail.
When he left
I felt my knee,
a giant skin-welt
waited on me.
It itched and burned
but that’s not worst—
worst was when
the darn thing burst.
It hissed and spat
and spurted out blood,
then it itched some more,
so I rubbed, rubbed, rubbed.
That’s what happened
when I walked in the woods—
I got pinched and poked
and gave up blood–
to a hungry little skeeter
and a horny toad—
who ate that bug
when he ditched my bones.
— Julie Krantz

8 A LADY’S FAME

The lady suffered a terrible itch,
Found no relief, it was a bitch.
Clothes made it worse, she was such a witch,
So she roamed the house without a stitch.
She cleaned and cooked while in the buff,
With no one around it wasn’t tough.
She could reach all itches easy enough
With calamine lotion and other stuff.
One fateful day the postman came,
Carrying a letter for the dame.
“Buck naked,” he would later claim.
That’s how Lady Godiva gained her fame.
— Gay Fawcett

9 WHICH ITCH?

They had an itch –
The fish, the worm
Swish, swish – went fish
And worm – squirm, squirm
Swish, swish, squirm, squirm
All night, all day –
They couldn’t scratch.
They wouldn’t stay.
Some folks who itch
Behave this way.
— Liz Korba

10 BUNKHOUSE BEDBUGS

Big Bart was a fearsome trail rider;
A rogue, a cad, and a fighter.
He swaggered and spit–
When crossed, threw a fit
And thrived on stogies and cider.
He ruled the bunkhouse with might and maim.
No one dared his manners to tame.
He hassled the crew,
Threw dirt in their stew
Then laughed as if playing a game.
One night around the campfire, talking,
The cowboys all began balking.
“This cruelty should cease.
We must restore peace
And send Big Bart on his way, walking.”
Now bunkhouse bedbugs are plentiful;
Always found by the bucketful.
They bite and they itch–
Invade every niche–
Make life on the ranch quite miserable.
The cowboys gathered bedbugs galore
From bedrolls and long-john’s they wore;
From corners and cracks–
Their search was not lax–
They intended to settle a score.
The men were pleased with their bedbug booty.
Eight to midnight, Bart had guard duty.
They’d fill his bedroll,
Discomfort their goal.
The plan was divine; quite a beauty.
The bedbugs feasted quite royally.
The trail hands laughed most heartily.
Big Bart had itches
In his shirt and britches
And groaned through the night most noisily.
Next sunrise, Bart looked like one big welt
Under his shirt, his hat, his belt.
He picked up his gear,
Beat a path from there–
Away from the revenge he’d been dealt.
— V. L. Gregory

11 I SENSE SOMETHING

I’m sitting very still,
trying to ignore it.
Telling myself to just
pretend it’s not there.
After all…
I can’t see it.
I can’t smell it.
I can’t taste it.
I can’t hear it.
But without a doubt
I can feel it.
That undeniable,
irrepressible,
unforgettable,
ITCH.
— Beth Carter

12 ITCH

Scratch, scratch, scratch
Scratch, scratch, Scratch
Scratch, Scratch, SCRATCH
Aaaaaaarrrghhhhh!
— Nancy Dailey

13 SOUL ITCH

I have an itch
A soul itch
A create-and-make-life-better itch.
At the threshold of a new way of being,
the door closes to thirty-five years.
The past I leave behind, thankful for it all.
Lightly I travel; lessons learned-
the luggage I carry.
I itch to serve in an inspiring new way;
I yearn to do something that makes Life smile.
Carefully, I listen, for direction, for guidance.
Nature blooms and bears fruit in its time,
when all the conditions are propitious.
I trust that with every step I take I am being led;
directed to where and what I need to be and do.
I venture into the unknown, knowing
in my heart, that I am on track.
The inner flame burns brightly-
a soothing balm to my soul’s yearning.
— Cory Corrado

14 ITCH IN MY SWEATER

There’s an itch in my sweater, dear granny.
It’s climbing up my arm, dear granny.
There it is moving up my back,
Help me granny, it is spreading all over.
How can I help you now, dear grandson,
When I have an itch up my own sweater, dear grandson,
There it is tickling my back,
Making me jump around and round.
It must be those ants you’re standing on, dear Peter.
Move over to my side, dear Judy.
My side does not cause an itch,
But for now, jump around and get those ants off your backs.
Silindile Ntuli

JULY 2010 YOUNG POET POEM

LITTLE NUISANCE

He buzzes loudly in my ear,
All too easy for me to hear.
He hovers right in front of my face,
It’s his annoying smirk I’d like to erase.
He flashes around, left and right,
Up and down, then out of my sight.
Suddenly I feel a sting, pain courses through my arm,
I hate that little mosquito! He’s done me so much harm.
He flies away without a sound,
then lands silently on the ground.
With one final buzz, he disappears,
Where no one can see, I shed a few tears.
His little bite begins to hurt,
The pain is intense, I drop to the dirt.
But the soil enters the tiny little cut,
It begins to throb and sting… now what?
Here it comes… that dreadful feeling,
the aftermath of the mosquito’s blood stealing!
My hand comes up and scratches hard,
then flattens out and protects, like a guard.
But the sensation is too much to bear,
I want to slap that mosquito… but would I dare?
I continue to scratch, rolling over in pain,
Moving towards the gully, which was wet with rain.
I accidentally roll into the ditch,
all because of that dreadful ITCH!
— Taylor McGowan

Who will be my next summer Guest Reader?

If you have been following my Summer Guest Reader Series, you’ve now met

Amy VanDerwater in New York,
Charles Waters in Florida,

Mary Nida Smith in Arkansas, Carol-Ann Hoyte in Montreal, Ken Slesarik in Arizona, and Wendy Singer in Montreal.

I am having a great time featuring so many talented people and, judging from your comments, you appreciate them too!

My next guest is set for July 21. She’s Nancy Gow, a colleague of Carol-Ann’s and Wendy’s in Montreal. Nancy has selected a very amusing poem to share so don’t miss her day.

Who will go next? If you have a poem to share and/or an article of up to 500 words about your journey as a writer or other subjects that pertain to writing, please let me know so I can feature you and your work. It’s that easy.

David

More on smories

BULLETIN: Some very itchy poems are beginning to come in. Read what’s posted and add your own versions. And if you know any young poets out there who might like to itch along with the rest of us, TELL THEM!

Again, my thanks to Carol-Ann Hoyte, yesterday’s Guest Reader, for her delightful poem for two voices. Not only that, Carol-Ann spread the word about my summer program to two friends — Wendy Singer and Nancy Gow — who promptly joined the fun by sending me their own poems and pictures. Both poets will be posted this month. Who else is ready? Let me hear from you!

Our friends, Ralph and Lisa are back with more excellent news about their smories project. Watching and hearing the youngsters reading winning stories is such a treat. I hope many of you have already sent something to Ralph and Lisa or are getting ready to. Here’s their update.

Hi ,Lots of news from smories.com:

[1] Competition 2 is now over. The 5 winning smories can be seen here:
http://www.smories.com/comp_02_winners/

[2] Competition 3 is now live, with 50 lovely new smories up on the website. 5 prizes to be won for this competition. http://www.smories.com

[3] We are trying to make the site a better showcase for writers, so we’re adding new bespoke author pages in coming days. Any smory that appears on the site will have an link to a separate author page with its own unique address, which hopefully will help raise your profile (if you wish to do this). If one of your smories already appears on the site, by all means email us a photo and any additional information if you’d like to boost the content on your existing bio.

[4] There are now 100 archived films on the site. They can be seen at http://www.smories.com/archive/

[5] Our SMORY OF THE DAY launches on 01 August and we’re accepting submissions for these now. Although there is no prize money to be won, we expect the daily smory to attract some PR and high traffic from all over the world. As ever, if we accept, film and put up your smory on the site, you retain all rights and you can request to have it removed at any time. More info on this and an explanation of the aim can be seen here: http://www.smories.com/faq/

[6] The format of the site will change on 01 August when we launch our SMORY OF THE DAY. We will have a tool on the homepage which will allow viewers to filter the stories by age/genre etc.

The aim of our site is to create a non-threatening new opportunity for writers, and a great safe destination for kids. We’d love for you to continue submitting your stories, and to keep watching.

Best wishes and keep writing!

– Ralph & Lisa
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