My Steady Support and Motivation Group for Children’s Writers on Savvy is Starting Soon!

Steady Support and Mentoring Especially for Children’s Writers

with Irene Roth

Registration Information
Click to register
December 1, 2014 – December 31, 2015
SavvyAuthors Forums
Just in Time for 2015 planningDo you have a difficult time to stay motivated with your writing projects? Are you trying to juggle too many things and just don’t know how to commit to your writing?  Have you been trying to write and just can’t seem to get anything done?Are you having a difficult time to find a permanent support for your writing?  Do you have a difficult time to stay motivated?

Join us for a year-long goals group, designed to give you the support, guidance, and accountability that will help you stay motivated over the long term—right past Nano and right into the winter and spring and then summer and fall of next year.

How the group works:

The first month, we will cover goal setting for the year.  You will get a chance to determine what you want, why you want it, and what’s currently happening in your life to prevent you from getting there.  It will consist of an assessment of how work, what works best for you (and what doesn’t,) and most importantly, what might work if you changed some habits and made some fresh new changes, creating new habits which will make you successful.

Every month, you’ll get a lesson on setting goals, staying motivated, and focused on your long and short-term goals.  It will cover many common pitfalls that you as a writer may fall prey to. We’ll also set monthly goals which directly relate to your long-term goals.

You’ll have check-ins a couple of times a week, Mondays and Wednesdays.  On Friday, you’ll be able to reflect on what worked and what didn’t, and how to change habits that don’t work for you.


We will have weekly sessions, homework, feedback, and chats, with the opportunity to set our own goals, learn to be accountable to those goals, and try writing for various age groups, including nonfiction topics for all ages. I will also include a lot of instructional forums on where to send your manuscripts, and you will get the support and mentoring that you need to get your manuscripts to children book publishers that will give you the most success as a children’s writer.

So, get prepared to take your writing career to a whole new level. You don’t have to feel alone every again. You will have the support you need and crave.

There is nothing worse than writing yourself without any support. You can change all of that by joining this stead support mentoring group. We will all be here for each other and we will be cheering each other on.

Where:  The Savvy Forums

To Register, please double click on this URL:


Write Despite the Distractions During the Christmas Holidays

free-download-christmas-cardMost time, a writer cannot afford to write full-time. Therefore, you have to get motivated to write, despite distractions by juggling work, family, and different writing projects. And many times, your writing comes last. This can cause frustration and resentful feelings. One way to avoid distractions is to make sure you don’t get interrupted by other things when you sit down to write.

It can be especially hard to get some writing done during the Christmas Holidays. However, it is essential to your success that you keep writing and that you keep your writing time sacrosanct, even during the holidays.

One way that I learned to do that is by making sure that my writing time is still in place in the earlier part of the day. That way, no matter who wants me to do something, I still could partake in family activities, but only after I finish my writing for the day.

Here are a few tips to deal with distractions most effectively during the holidays.

1. Focus

Kristi Holl in Writer’s First Aid says “When you focus, you’ll accomplish writing projects in half the tie, and your concentrated efforts will product better work. Focusing also builds momentum and enthusiasm, urging you to move steadily toward finishing your stories, articles, and books.”

Your ability to focus will make the difference between constantly being side-tracked to doing other things, and actually focusing. As Stephen Covey says in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

2. Isolate yourself

Be steadfast and resolute and set up a time to continue writing every day, even on holidays. Many of you may be distracted by outside noise or traffic. If this is the case, pull the blinds and close the window. Or, if you’re distracted by people sitting around and drinking and goofing around, go outside and sit and write on your laptop. Do whatever you need to get some writing done. But never write with other people in the living room or in your writing space. Always try to set up a space for yourself alone.

3. Don’t do anything but write during your allotted time

Many of you start writing for a few minutes, and then feel compelled to do something else. This duplicitous mindset can interrupt creativity and flow. Further, these activities will force you to not be as productive because your attention is split into too many different directions. This can take you away from your writing goals and ultimately frustrate you.

4. Change your schedule

Many of you may be writing when you’re not refreshed or too distracted, such as after dinner when the kids are at home and your hubby is trying to get your attention. Instead, you may want to get up earlier in the morning, or stay up later at night after everyone is in bed and write then.

By following these tips, you can avoid being side-tracked by distractions during the holidays so that you will be get motivated to write on a daily basis. You owe it to yourself to master the art of carving out the time and space to write even when vacation and life gets in the way. Only then will you be productive, successful, and happy.

This adapted version of the serenity prayers says it best. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the distractions I cannot change, courage to change the distractions I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

~ Irene S. Roth

NaNoWriMo For Children’s Writers

JournalMany children’s writers don’t think that they could take part in NaNoWriMo.  But this is not true. All children’s writers can take part in this important event, but on their own terms.

Obviously, most children’s writers don’t need to write 50,000 words. However, depending on the kind of writing that you do, be it middle grade novels or short stories or even picture books, you could definitely decide on the parameters of what you will create and take steps to create it.

For instance, if you write middle grade novels, go ahead and plan your novel. Outline your story and then figure out your plot and how you will solve your problem. Then plan your chapters. Write all of these down, open folders for each chapter, and open up your files on your computer. Then, when November 1st comes, you could plan to write your middle grade novel during the month.

Or, if you write picture books, you may decide to write 2 or 4 picture books during the month of November. Decide on how many books you could write, and then sit down and write them. You could set out the parameters for your own productive month, and get a lot done.

So, regardless of whether you are a children’s writer or an adult writer, you can write during NaNoWriMo and get a LOT of writing done. November is usually such a dark and dreary month weather-wise so why not get productive.

That is precisely what I plan to do. Each November I get really productive in writing a couple of manuscripts. Last year, I wrote a nonfiction book from start to finish in addition to two picture books. So, I know you can do too. So, start planning, and let me know how the process if coming along!

~ Irene Roth

Here and Again by Nicole R. Dickson

Here is an example of a wonderful novel.  It is written beautifully and an example of excellent writing.  I recommend that you read this book yourself.  What a treat!  Thank you Nicole for  writing such a wonderful book!

HereAgainCoverHere and Again
Nicole R. Dickson

This is a great historical novel with a twist. I loved the story and I was glued to the book until I finished reading it. Nicole weaves past and present wonderfully in this book and transports the reader back in time.

The story is about Ginger who loses her husband in the Iraqian war. The story also follows all the historical details and the descriptions uniquely shift between Ginger and a male’s perspective. It is great to see the differences in perspective of similar events. That always fascinates me because men and women are truly so different in how they view the world and what is important.

Ginger is like so many women who lose their husbands. She is left to take care and raise her three kids. She is lonely and grief stricken with no one to turn to. So, one day she decides to pour out her grief in her husband’s special spot on the farm where she lives with the kids. There she meets a very special man who will change her life for the better.

They start a profound journey together and the book highlights that beautifully. It is in many ways a journey of love, healing and coming together. The book is so beautifully written and the story comes together like a marvellous piece of beautiful art. I absolutely commend Nicole on writing such a beautiful novel.

The story does show that we never know what will happen in our lives and what our future will hold. But if we are hopeful and live the best and most graceful life possible, things will probably work out for the best.

Thank you Nicole for such a GREAT and inspiring book!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Getting Motivated to Start a New Writing Project

NaNoWriMo is the perfect month to start a brand new writing project. But it is time to start preparing for the even right now. Because once November 1st hits, you will have to know what you are writing and how much you have to write each day in order to complete your whole manuscript in one month.

There is something about November, isn’t there? When the weather is getting cold and dingy, as it is here in the North Eastern part of Canada, it is time to get indoors and get creative.  It is during such fertile times, that many writers get the urge to start a writing project. It is just a very inspiring time for writers.

However, starting, and especially completing a writing project, is not an easy task. It is easy to be excited at the beginning. Who doesn’t like a brand new idea floating in our minds? It’s so new and fresh. But how can we feel inspired to keep working on the project persistently so that we can complete it.

Here are a few tips to try out when starting a new project.

1. Decide to work on the project from beginning to end right now. It is hard to be steadfast with our writing project as life can cause many unnecessary interruptions. The only way for writers to be successful is for them to be able to move past interruptions to a place of calm and peace so that they can successfully create a firm intention to complete the project.

2. Rate all other priorities both on the desk and outside with family and friends as 1, 2, or 3. Then create an agenda for the 1′s immediately, and immediately delegate the 2′s to someone else. Put the 3′s in a drawer or folder designated the 3 file. Set aside a few hours once a month to go through them and see what’s still important enough to deal with. Most of these things, especially in the 3 file, are even less important than they were.

3. Postpone procrastination! Many times, perfectionism can cause procrastination. We, as writers, want to do our best with our writing. But we can’t be perfect since it’s hard to get any writing done if it always needs to be perfect. There is nothing harder than aiming for perfection all the time. It can make writers feel disempowered and unproductive.

4. Have fun with the new writing project. Writers may want to try playing some special music as they write. Or, they may want to reward themselves after they finish writing their word count for the day. Whatever it is, just celebrate. The celebration doesn’t have to be big. But it does have to make a difference and inspire writers to keep writing the next day.

November and the all the winter months could be a time for new fruitful beginnings. Writers should start a new project and take the time to regroup their priorities. They should also rethink their overall priorities and make this season their most productive yet.

Now it’s time to step out of the negative writing mindset and attitude into a more positive and productive one. Are you ready to commit to a new project?

Irene S. Roth
Author, Editor, and Freelance Writer

Meet Nicole R. Dickinson


NicoleRDicksonI welcome Nicole to my blog.  It is such a pleasure to have you here Nicole. I look forward to getting to know you better in the next few minutes.

First of all….

1. What are your hobbies?
I run – not a marathoner or anything, but I will run up to six miles at a time. For me, running is when I can remove myself from every demand in my life and center my place in this world. I never run with anything like music or talk radio pouring into my ears. Always I need to be outside. I listen to my feet hit the ground on a trail somewhere and feel the earth hold me steady as I pass. I hear the wind replying to my breath. Deer and squirrel and bat and owl move with me at times and it is while running that I sense the effort it takes to be in this world. My body aches from that effort. Yet even when it rains or snows or the sun beats down heat upon my road and I grow weary, I feel with most clarity the absolute wonder of life.

2. What inspired you to want to write Here and Again?
A couple things inspired me to write this novel. One was the terrible but honorable cost military families pay for their service. Remember, when a family member joins the military, the entire family joins the service in one way or another. I wanted to acknowledge that service and honor that truth. The other was to walk into the Civil War. I study this time in our history. I consider myself a serious student of it. So as I was driving through the Shenandoah Valley one day, I finally had a character from that time enter my head and finally had a story to write that would lead me wandering those pivotal years in our history.

HereAgainCover3. Can you summarize the book for us?
Here And Again is a story of two people who have lost their future. Both are wandering around as ghosts, stuck between their beginning and their end. For Ginger Martin, widowed by the Iraq War, the struggle to keep living in her husband’s dying dream carries only the hollow pain of his loss. For Samuel Annanais, a soldier lost in the Civil War, the duty of service has left him a wandering specter without an end. These two souls meet on the banks of the great Shenandoah and realize, though separated by time, they are essential to each other as they seek a future in their own lives and find their purpose in each other’s.

4. What are your future writing projects?
Currently, I am working on a novel that deals with Sherman’s Special Field Orders, No. 15, which, back in the Civil War, was a military order that allotted 40 acres (and a mule but that is questionable) to the newly freed black slaves in Georgia, South Carolina, and several other states. This history has become the tale the Red family of Antres Vast, Georgia tells each generation as to how they came to own the property on which they live and that same 40 acres is now at the center of a major family battle. As with most family stories, the telling changes in time and is rarely reflective of the reality way back when. In fact, sometimes family history is nothing but a myth and the truth is deeper, darker, and more defining of who we are than even we ourselves can possibly imagine

5. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Find the purpose. Every story has a purpose. To finish a story, there must be the purpose to bring it into being. For me, I never finish a story unless I have the end. Sometimes the end changes a bit, but without it, I have no road and no horizon and with no horizon, there is no purpose and so, no story. When you have the purpose, the story lives. Find the purpose.

6. Could you share your website with our readers?

Thank you Nicole!  It was a real pleasure getting to know you better. What a wonderful person you are and a GREAT writer as well. I am SO enjoying reading your book, and will have the book review here shortly.

All the best of luck!



Meet Nicole R. Dickson and Her Wonderful New Book

HereAgainCover NicoleRDicksonHere and Again
By Nicole R. Dickson

Deep in the Shenandoah Valley, the present and the past are as restless as the river mists. And when they collide, the heart is the only compass pointing home.

For nurse Ginger Martin, her late husband’s farm is both a treasured legacy and the harbinger of an uncertain future. Since he was recently killed in Iraq, every day is fraught with grief that won’t abate. Keeping the farm going and nourishing her children’s hopes without him seems as impossible as having dreams for the future—or going back into the past…

By a curious coincidence, a stranger appears in Ginger’s life, always showing up to help in unexpected and much-needed ways. He says he’s a soldier, lost and trying to make his way home, but Ginger understands that Samuel is a kindred spirit, longing to repair a life interrupted. The challenges of their hopes and longings will test who they really are in the most heartbreaking of ways. And only by coming to terms with their losses and the necessity of change will Ginger and Samuel be able to each make a future of their own—and discover at last where their true home lies…

Author Nicole R. Dickson creates an indelible, delicate world filled with heartbreak and hope, seamlessly weaving past and present, and tying together the personal price we pay for legacy, war and duty.

Praise for Here and Again

“If you could seamlessly blend the movie Field of Dreams with Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife and season liberally with John Jakes’ North and South, you might find yourself with this unputdownable book. Dickson deftly draws the humanity out of two wars in which the U.S. has seen many horrors and places Ginger’s story against a backdrop that blends scars from the two… Ginger’s pain will resonate and stick with readers who will want to move to a farm – with horse-drawn plows – and hug each and every one in Ginger’s circle.” — RT Review, June 2014

“Ginger Martin lives on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley with her children and working as a nurse. Now her in-laws want to sell the farm and Ginger wonders how she can keep it. But the farm is her children’s legacy, and Ginger is determined to hold on to her home. The appearance of a stranger dressed in a Civil War uniform will change everything. Dickson seamlessly blends past and present in this deeply satisfying novel of a family coming together after a devastating loss, finding strength in the most unexpected of places, and discovering exactly where they truly belong.” – Booklist, June 2014

About Nicole R. Dickson

Nicole R. Dickson is the author of two novels, the first of which, Casting Off (2009), was a top ten entry in the first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in 2008. Additionally, as a business executive, she writes essays on leadership and defining brand. An avid student of history, she can most often be found buried in that section of the library and finds many of the books there follow her home to rest on her bedside table. Here and Again is her second novel.

NAL Accent/Penguin
Trade paperback, $15.00/$17.00 Canadian
Kindle $15.00
400 pages
ISBN: 978-0-451-46677-8
June 3, 2014
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound and Powell’s
Complimentary Digital Download for Review available at NetGalley [For press, professionals & bloggers only]
Genre: Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Facebook: /nicolerdickson
Twitter: @nicolerdickson

For interviews and press assets, please contact Darlene Chan at