The Writer's Digest Self-Publishing Book Awards is now in it's 23rd year and offers critique and a cash prize for authors who have chosen the self-publish route. The categories for submissions range from Literary/Fiction to Poetry and New Age, and we were impressed to see one of our publishers in the Children's Picture Books category for 2015.
Author John Kitchen entered his book 'Kamazu's Big Swing Band' and although missed out on an award this time, received some great feedback from the judges. Each element of the book was given a rating 1-5, with 1 meaning 'needs improvement' to 5 meaning 'outstanding'.
- Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4
- Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
- Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
- Plot and Story Appeal: 5
- Character Appeal and Development: 4
- Voice and Writing Style: 5
One judge also supplied John with some great feedback, which was constructive as well as complimentary. This in itself is a great way to further develop your skills as a writer, and we're thrilled that John has taken the positives from this experience.
"What a great entry! This author has a knack for storytelling and I really enjoyed learning about Kamazu’s world and his desire to make his dreams come true. Loved how he kept trying to find a way to make it happen and how his animal friends encouraged him. A good lesson for kids to never give up on their dreams and how to find a way to get creative in making them come true.
My real favorite part of this book was how the author knew just how to make sounds out of words. Not a very easy thing to do if you really think about it. I found myself reading this out loud to my own children and they really got into the rhythm of the words. Two thumbs up on this writing skill.
As far as the production quality goes, this was well done from cover to cover. The design and illustration was beautifully crafted and the book is simply professional and cleanly formatted.
My only possible concern was the repetitiveness. Kamazu goes through so many friends with the same repetitive lines (I know he’s making a band here) that it starts to get a little lengthy. Just be sure you don’t lose your excited audience by doing it too many times in a row.
Otherwise, I’m on board with the journey here. Really fantastic!"
Check out John's book here in our bookstore
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