Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 16, 2015

Free Fall Friday – Vicki Selvaggio & Kudos

Grateful American PrizeThe GRATEFUL AMERICAN BOOK PRIZE is the only award for excellence in writing, storytelling and illustration for children’s historical non-fiction and fiction focused on the events and personalities that have shaped the United States since the country’s founding. They pick a winner and two Honorable Mentions from the many books submitted.

I am happy to announce that Darlene Beck-Jacobson’s book Wheels of Change which confronts Washington DC’s racial turbulence during Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency was one of the two authors who received an Honorable Mention award Certificate. Congratulations, Darlene! This is another nice award for Wheels of Change.

Congratulations goes to Carol Yoder for being the editor of the winning book  for the Grateful American Book Prize, Like A River by Cathy Weichman.  The book takes readers deep inside nineteenth-century America when the country was torn apart by civil war. With a distinct southern voice that can move swiftly and slowly, like a river. The main characters, Leander and Paul are real teenagers with joys and pains and desires. The world of Like of River is not dry and distant but vividly alive.


After publishing Pandemic, Sky Pony acquired Yvonne Ventresca’s next YA novel, In The Dark. It’s about a teen girl who doesn’t know if she is being haunted or suffering from a mental breakdown. Congratulation’s Yvonne!

vicki selI am happy to announce that Vicki Selvaggio has agreed to be our guest critique for October. Here is a little bit about Vicki:

With a strong background in business ownership, Victoria A. Selvaggio comes to The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as an Associate Agent with over 6 years of actively working as a volunteer and Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio. Drawn to the publishing scene first as an author writing all genres, with her most recent publication in the 2015 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, Vicki’s passion for honing the craft carried over into reading manuscripts for the agency. Currently, she is excited to read compelling manuscripts that will resonate with her long after she’s done.

What I’m looking for:

I am currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction but find I’m especially drawn to Middle Grade and Young Adult. I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.

How to submit:

Please email a query to: and put “Query” in the subject line of your email. For queries regarding children’s and adult fiction, please send the first twenty pages in the body of your email, along with a one-paragraph bio and a one-paragraph synopsis.

For queries regarding a non-fiction book, please attach the entire proposal as a Word document (the proposal should include a sample chapter), along with a one-paragraph bio and a one-paragraph synopsis of your book in the body of your email.

Here is an opportunity to hear what Vicki thinks of your first page. Below are the submission guidelines:


In the subject line, please write “October 2015 First Page Critique” and paste the text in the email, then attached it in a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document.

Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will not be included in the picks if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: October 22nd.

RESULTS: October 30th.

Please only submit one first page a month. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow



  1. Congrats Darlene!
    And thanks for the shout-out, Kathy. 🙂


  2. Congratulations to Yvonne and Carolyn! Thanks for your support Kathy!


  3. Congrats to Carolyn, too!


  4. Congratulations all around!!


  5. Congratulations to all–particularly proud for Kathy and Carolyn!


  6. Fantastic Darlene! Wheels is an important book. My girls love it. Congratulations again!
    Xx Dianne W


    • Thanks Dianne. So lovely to have your kind words and support. xo hugs to your girls!


  7. Definitely submitting! Just queries her so timing is perfect ❤


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