Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Announcing the Finalists for the PB Party 2020 Agent/Editor Showcase

Welcome back, everyone!

Make sure you read to the end for the list of winners of another great contest from our rhyming expert, Lori Degman. 

Just like last year, Mindy and I gave this much thought and fought for a good variety of stories and artwork. We kept an eye out for diversity, but also for unique concepts or interesting methods. We consult with the agents on what they are looking for and what might not be selling at the moment. We found entries that made us laugh and those that made us cry. You, the writers, are amazing!

There were way more fantastic entries than there are spots. We had so much trouble narrowing down the field. In fact, we were making the last picks just this morning. 

And we did increase our "budget" of entries because we had so many agents and editors signed up this year. Plus everyone needs a dose of happy right now. So we will have 29 entries! 

Before the reveal, I just want to remind everyone that contests are for fun and meeting other writers, building contacts. In no way are they a reflection on a story. There are only 29 picks out of 526 entries. Maybe people have entered contests and gotten no love, only to get an agent from the query slush--like me. For one thing, we are limited to the number of picks we can showcase, while an agent is not. So keep querying, keep writing those adorable picture and chapter books.

It's very tough. I know the disappointment. Hugs. Use it to keep going.

Please if your title is on the list, watch my blog early on Wednesday and check your entry for typos or formatting problems. Let me know as soon as possible what needs fixed either commenting here or @ me on twitter. All the writer showcase posts will be up before 8 am.

So here are the 29 picks for the Writer Showcase, listed in no particular order and color coded like a rainbow just for fun.

Little Robot's First Day
Into the Deep : The Mysteries of the Mariana Trench
Magnificent Mary: The Story of Olympic Boxer M. C. Mary Kom
Moon Bug, The Spotted Zebra
Luna's Green Pet
Cecy Speaks Spanish
A Pair of Plastic Bags
Iggy Crane: The Case of the Missing Bolt
Arabella's Space Webs: The True Story of a Space Spider
Ashe on the Outside
Hannah's Hair
Say Goodbye Hairy Fly
Chicken Coupe
Massimo: The Mighty Thundercloud
A Weed's Worth
Sergeant Diggs and the New Recruit

Arlette Best, Magical Pet Sitter
Diwali Away from Home 
Let's Go Adventuring
Lord Fluffington
Sky Pie
The Loud Librarian
The Underwater Guide to Starting a Rock Band
Dear Human
Always Be Yourself
Sincerely, Seahorse
Firefly Surprise

For finalists only, if you want your entry deleted after the agents/editors are done, please leave a comment below so I have a nice neat list of what to take down. If you want to leave your entry that is great too, as others can read next year and get an idea of what works. (All non-finalists will automatically be deleted from our files.)

But wait, there's more! 

Here are the picks for the Illustration Showcase (artwork only), also listed in no particular order and color coded like a rainbow just for fun. These 12 will be posted before 8 am on Thursday. 

Hilda the Aqua Chick
Hector the Inventor
A Different Kind of Nut
Finding Zero
An Otter Failure
As Young Groundhogs Do
Let Me Out!
Wild Wanda
The Go Away Rain Dance
Deal with a Dragon
Belle and the Dancing Robot

(All of these will be removed a few days after the showcase ends.) 

Congrats to the finalists! 

I hope everyone will stick around #PBParty to cheer during the showcase, which lasts three days and starts tomorrow. Mindy and I are going to keep the party flowing with more daily questions each morning. 

Lori's contest winners!

We’ve had so much fun reading your PBParty entries, chatting with you on Twitter…and seeing your hilarious and witty monster manner tips for the giveaway with our PBParty 2020 rhyming pro, Lori Degman. If you are a winner, please DM Lori on Twitter. 

Here’s Lori with the winners:

Let me start by saying thanks to everyone who entered!  These were all fun entries, which made it so hard to choose.  Now, without further ado, here are the winners:

Best Monster Manner and winner of a critique – Heather Kinser @hethfeth

I chose Heather’s entry because it was clever, with fun rhymes and perfect meter!  I liked the extra rhyming line at the end!

Monster dear, do not be rude, when camping in the park
and commandeering hikers’ food discreetly in the dark,
compose a friendly thank you card, explain “it was delicious!”
Before you go, it isn’t hard to wash the dirty dishes . . .
You wouldn’t want your victim to believe you were malicious.

Monster Manner Runner-up and winner of TRAVEL GUIDE FOR MONSTERS – Shira Zwiren @ShiraZwiren

I chose Shira’s entry because it was well-written rhyme and the surprise at the end was subtle and funny!

When coming inside, your feet may track mud,
Or garbage or leaves or animal crud,
But no matter what, if you catch my drift,
Don’t enter a home without bringing a gift!

Honorable mentions – 

Brenda Whitehead @Brenda@_Prof

Monsters, take care not to stare, we can’t all have 3 eyes.
Or purple horns, or 16 arm, or feet of massive size.
Celebrating differences is both polite and fun!
So look your new friend in the eye, say hi, then play and run!

I chose Brenda’s entry because it was imaginative and a timely “be kind” message!

Elizabeth Pagel-Hogal, Author @ElizPagelHogan

Monsters should be seen . . . and heard.

K. Marcus found comp titles! @kmarcuswrites

Monsters please remember to pick up any fingers and toes that may have dropped on the floor while you were eating.

I chose Elizabeth and K. Marcus’ entries because they were both simple, yet funny!


  1. Thanks and congratulations to the finalists!

  2. Thanks so much for this opportunity! It’s been great fun! I’ll be querying again ASAP so please delete my entry FINDING GRAMPS. Thank you! ��

  3. And Congrats to the awesome finalists! Well done!

  4. Thank you for this opportunity and party! Please delete Willard, the Wheeling Weenie Dog.
    Thanks, Dedra

  5. Congratulations to the finalists! And thank you this wonderful contest and opportunity. Please delete my entry GRANDPA SUNDAYS as I will continue to query. Congrats again!!

  6. Thank you, ladies, for hosting such a fun, inspiring, and encouraging contest! I'm so excited to be a finalist! I am requesting that my entry be deleted at the end of the viewing. Thanks, again!! "At the moment of laughter, there is nothing wrong in the world."

  7. CONGRATULATIONS to all the finalists! And to all who entered! The kidlit community is the best!

  8. Michelle and Mindy, thank you so much for doing this every year! I'm so thrilled to be one of the finalists. Looking forward to tomorrow :) Thank you!

    1. Hi Michelle, after the agent/editor round, it would be great if you can delete my entry "Magnificent Mary." Thank you.

  9. Thanks for the opportunity!! It's a dice game!! Congratulations to those who were picked!

  10. Congratulations to the finalists, and thanks for hosting this fun learning opportunity. P.S. Please delete my entry, THE VERY BEST SEASON, as I will continue to query. Kudos!

  11. YAY! Congrats to everyone! I can't wait to read them all. Michelle and Mindy, I'm handing you glasses/mugs (or pitchers!) of your favorite wind-down beverage. I'm sure you need it!

  12. I think you might be only talking about the entries that were selected, but if not, please remove Jake's Conundrum.

  13. Thanks for the awesome opportunity to get my story in front of the pros. I'm already looking forward to trying again next year. Congrats to the finalists. Please delete my entry, "Albert and the Big Race".

  14. Congratulations to the winners! Good luck in the next round.

  15. Thank you Mindy & Michelle for this opportunity. Excited to be a finalist. I would like to request that “Let’s Go Adventuring” be taken offline after the showcase ends. Thank you!

    Congratulations to the other finalists, showcase illustrators, as well as everyone who entered. Getting a MS and illustrations in shape is not an easy task. Keep doing the work, all.

  16. Congratulations to all the winners!!! First, but not last, PB Party guest. Thanks Mindy and Michelle for this opportunity. Pushed me to be a better writer. Party on!

  17. Thank you for the hard work and fun tweets. Please delete my entry Whatever, Will Bee as I will query. Thank you

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  19. I'm so excited! Please take my entry Arabella's Space Webs offline after the agents and editors have had a chance to view/comment. Thanks!

  20. Thank you, thank you for this opportunity--I know it was a great sacrifice of time on your part. Please delete my entry, THE SCHOOL SUPPLY SQUAD.

  21. Congratulations to the Winners! Please delete my story THERE'S A CRICKET IN THE PEACHES as I will be querying. Thank you.

  22. Congratulations to all who entered! Thank you so much for choosing ALWAYS BE YOURSELF as a finalist! Please take down my story once the editors and agents have viewed it.

  23. Congratulations to all the winners! Best of luck going forward.
    If you could delete my entry LITTLE BEE �� I would appreciate it.

  24. Congratulations to everyone who entered and best of luck to the winners in this next phase. Well done, all!

  25. Thank you Mindy & Michelle for this opportunity.

    Congratulations to all the finalists. I am excited to be a finalist. I would like to request that “Diwali Away from Home” be taken offline after the showcase ends.

    Thank you.

  26. Thank you so much for this opportunity, you've made my day! If you could please delete Sincerely, Seahorse at the end of the showcase, I'd appreciate it.

  27. Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate! I would like Wildflower taken down after the event. Thanks again.

  28. Thanks so much for this opportunity! I’m actively querying, so please delete PEACHES when the showcase ends. Congrats and good luck to all the finalists!

  29. Thanks so much Michelle and Mindy. The PB party was wonderful! Please delete Fireflies' Surprise when the showcase ends.

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  31. Congratulations to the winners and all those who made PBParty possible.

  32. Michelle, I would appreciate it if you could delete my entry (The Underwater Guide to Starting a Rock Band) after the agent/editor showcase ends. Thank you!

    And thanks so much for this incredible week, I have connected with so many great new people in the kidlit community and loved seeing all the finalists. Thank you Michelle and Mindy for all of the many hours of hard work, and for your encouragement and enthusiasm!

  33. Thank you so much for the honor of being a finalist! It is so thrilling and means the absolute world - thank you! If you could please delete my entry THE LOUD LIBRARIAN after the agents/editors take a look, it would be appreciated.

    Thank you!

  34. Hi Michelle and Mindy- Thanks so much for your outstanding efforts!
    Would you kindly delete the entry Into the Deep: The Mysteries of the Mariana Trench once the showcase ends.

  35. Hi Michelle, I goofed and replied to agents. I've tried to delete but can't. If you can delete them, go ahead! Now I feel if I don't reply to others that I'm being rude. But whatever is easiest on your end! (Entry #5) Also, I am happy to leave my entry up if it is of value to future contestants. Could you clarify what the downside is to doing so? Someone stealing an idea? If it's only the first 50-60 words is it considered "published" online? I'm curious!... Best, Kirsten :)