Prize Donor Feature: Vivian Kirkfield, Spring Fling Kidlit 2020

Hi Spring Fling Kidlit Participants,

Today Ciara and I are super excited to kick off our Prize Donor Feature Series.

gif of a man kicking a football backwards

We asked each of the prize donors for the 2020 Spring Fling Kidlit Contest some fun questions about publishing and springtime to help you get to know them better!

Without further ado, our 1st of 18 features for our Spring Fling 2020 Prize Donor Feature Series is one of the lovely women who helped inspire this contest and one of the most generous people in kidlit. The one, the only…


🎉Vivian Kirkfield🎉

vivian with illustrated books and characters surrounding her

Vivian is donating a picture book manuscript critique of up to 1000 words–fiction or nonfiction, rhyming or prose.


Spring Fling questions:

  • What is your favorite thing about spring?

Vivian: I love spring because the days are getting longer…more time to be writing!

  • Spring is full of surprises bursting forth, what’s something you’ve found surprising about the publishing industry?

Vivian: Each publishing house is the same in that they have editors, art directors, publicity personnel, and more…but each editor/publishing house has their own process – whether they connect author and illustrator for collaboration, for example…whether they pay the advance to the author up front or half on signing and half on receipt of the revised manuscript…or actually, whether they pay any advance at all. 😅 Some publishing houses give a lot of publicity/marketing/promotion support to the author…some give almost none. Some publishers create F&Gs to send to reviewers, some create bound ARCs, and others save money by using digital PDFs. Working with six different publishing houses has definitely been an education. 😅

  • Can you tell us a bit about your current book(s) or any book(s) you are working on?

Vivian: When I visit schools, one of the questions the kids always ask is: Of all the books you have written, which is your favorite? And my answer to them is: That is like asking parents which child is their favorite. 😅 I truly love all of the books that have been published so far. However, I’m really excited about the one that launched earlier this year, MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books, illustrated by the fabulous Alleanna Harris). I’ve had such a great time sharing this story of friendship and allyship and standing up for what is right. The book provides a platform for discussion about discrimination, Civil Rights, gender equity, and more. And I love showing kids how it doesn’t matter what someone looks like on the outside…like Marilyn and Ella…we all have hopes and dreams and plans of what might be.

Cartoon illustration of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe

I’m also excited about the big nine-story compilation book launching from Houghton Mifflin in January 2021: From Here to There: Inventions That Changed the Way the World Moves, illustrated by the talented Gilbert Ford.

cartoon image of inventions like trains, cars, and boats

AND, I’m dancing (or pedaling) about another manuscript we just sold about the first woman to ride a bike around the world…stay tuned for more details.

Vivian’s Bio
Writer for children—reader forever…that’s Vivian Kirkfield in five words. Her bucket list contains many more than five words – but she’s already checked off skydiving, parasailing, banana-boat riding, and visiting critique buddies all around the world. When she isn’t looking for ways to fall from the sky or sink under the water, she can be found writing picture books in the quaint village of Amherst, NH where the old stone library is her favorite hangout and her young grandson is her favorite board game partner. A retired kindergarten teacher with a masters in Early Childhood Education, Vivian inspires budding writers during classroom visits and shares insights with aspiring authors at conferences and on her blog, Picture Books Help Kids Soar where she hosts the #50PreciousWords International Writing Contest and the #50PreciousWordsforKids Challenge. She is the author of numerous picture books. You can connect with her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin, or just about any place people with picture books are found.

And a few personal words from me:
When I was younger, I stayed up till 3am reading books – now I stay up till 3am writing them.
My favorite story character: Pollyanna because she could always find something to be glad about and I was the same way…and still am.
My writing motto: Magic Happens When You Make Every Word Count.
My advice to parents: We all need a cheering committee, and parents are a child’s best fans!
My life mantras:
Never be too busy to offer an encouraging word, a sympathetic shoulder, and a hand up.
The only failure is the failure to keep trying.
Nothing is impossible if you can imagine it.

Twitter: @viviankirkfield
Instagram: @viviankirkfield

Vivian is one of the 18 wonderful prize donors for the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest 2020, make sure to follow Vivian on social media, read her books, and review them to show your support!

In the comments, tell us your favorite Vivian Kirkfield book. Can’t think of just one? Tell us the first Vivian Kirkfield book, or the one you’re most looking forward to reading!

And get gif-searching or creating!


Kaitlyn and Ciara

PS. If you need more info on the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest, check here and make sure to share with all your writing friends!

21 thoughts on “Prize Donor Feature: Vivian Kirkfield, Spring Fling Kidlit 2020

  1. Hehehe…everyone will wonder how come I am up so early…or going to bed so late (it is 2:45am New York time)…but that’s because I am in Barcelona right now…where it is 8:45am on a bright and sunny Monday morning…soon to board a high speed train to Madrid for five days.
    Thank you so much, Kaitlyn…it is my pleasure to participate in your fabulous Spring Fling Writing Contest…I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful entries.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, Vivian, that sounds absolutely thrilling! Can’t wait to hear all about. Have fun and thanks so much again for being so generous! I can’t wait to see all the wonderful entries too as well as the ones for your #50PreciousWords contest!


  2. I’m an early bird, too. I’m looking forward to reading Making Their Voices Heard. As a child born in the mid 50’s, I have fond memories of Marilyn and Ella, and love learning that they were friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Making Their Voices Heard is such an important book with timely lessons of tolerance and kindness. I marvel at how one picture sparked the curiosity Vivian needed to make this story known. Looking forward to the contest!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a tremendous prize to offer, from one stellar kidlit author! I have to say, I’m quite partial to Four Otters Tobaggan. And I’m also very glad that you’ve posted info about your contest waayyy in advance so I don’t have to scramble for ideas, LOL! Can’t wait to see all the fab entries 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Whoever wins the Vivian prize will be the luckiest! I can’t wait for From Here to There. It is exactly the kind of book I would have loved as a kid.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Viivian is special to me because she was the first person in the Kidlit world to encourage me online! This was before she was published. So I was super excited the first time I placed in a contest and got to have her critique my work. She had excellent insight and advice. Now I am the proud owner of all her books! All are terrific in different ways, but Sweet Dreams Sarah and Making Their Voices Heard both are exceptional in the way she makes history accessible to even very young readers,

    Liked by 2 people

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