End of 2021 Post and GIVEAWAY

Dear wonderful readers,

I want to start by thanking you for subscribing to my blog. I have such a wonderful time reading your comments and your awesome shares on social media. Thank you for helping support such wonderful creators, and I hope you enjoy learning from those I get the pleasure of interviewing as much as I do.

Today’s post is all about wrapping up the year, sharing some advice, and supporting each other. 

As a writer, agent, contest host, and blogger, I get to see the Kidlit publishing industry from very interesting perspectives. There’s definitely some wonderful highs and lows to it all. As in life, everything is about balance.

To begin, wow, this has been a wild couple of years that all started with statements like, “You’ll be home for just a few weeks” and has warped into “unprecedented times” and “collective grief” and one thing after another. These times have been incredibly tough in so many ways, but there have been many wonderful results as well. From people coming together in unexpected ways to beautiful creations inspired by each other to proof of our tenacity and endurance to technological advances in all areas do our lives. 

I officially began agenting in February of 2020, so my entire agent career has been through this pandemic, and I have been incredibly lucky to get the chance to work with stunning writers, agents, and editors who are not just talented but who are the hardest workers and have just the most kind, generous, and beautiful souls. This is the happiness that drives me. 

Now please don’t think for a second that just because I get the chance to focus on the beauty and the positives that there isn’t negatives. There have been disappointments where we learned that going to acquisitions doesn’t always mean the book will get picked up, where we learned that revise and resubmits don’t always work out, that sometimes, as much as an editor loves a creator’s work, that editor isn’t always able to give a yes, and of course, there are many many many passes in this industry. But, the beautiful thing is  a rejection is, more often than not, a good thing. Now, don’t stop reading and hear me out. This is not something I say lightly as I’m in the submission trenches with my work as well and have had, oh I don’t know, at least three calls with my agent this year where she has had to reassure me that I am a writer and I shouldn’t give up, because let’s face it, rejections are hard no matter who you are, and writing is very personal. But, when an agent or editor passes it’s because they know it’s not perfect for them which can be hard to hear, but as Danny (Rick Moranis) said in one of my favorite movies, Little Giants, a pass allows you to be open for something different or better. The right editor/publisher is out there for your work; the difficult part is finding that match, but I’m hopeful that we will all find that match. And, luckily, when I lose that hope in myself, I have wonderful critique partners, friends, family, and my agent that remind me of that hope, and I hope you have those people, too.

For Team Sanchez, I am incredibly proud to say that we have 18 books in the works – 9 are announced, and the other 9 are in various stages from working out the deal terms to finishing the contract to finding the perfect illustrator. These things can take weeks to months and even up to a year, but when creators get to share with the world that they have a book coming out, all that time slips away, and we all get to rejoice. I can’t wait for the day when all of us get to be there.

This week, I had the joy of re-reading my clients’ work. It was something that happened by accident, and it just floored me. I am so in awe of their amazing talent and the beautiful books they’re bringing into the world. So now, this happy accident is a practice I’m going to start doing annually, and I hope you decide to do this, too. Take all the stories you’ve created – published and pre-published alike – and read them all at once. Not to search for ways to improve, but to enjoy your work and remind yourself why you’re doing this – to create beautiful books for children (and adults) that will inspire and bring hope and joy to our world. 

For my own writing this year, I edited a picture book to become the best story I’ve ever written, and it’s now out in submission. I received many passes and had one time (apparently Mercury was in retrograde? I found that info out afterwards) where I legit wanted to give up on writing and when I told my CPs and agent, they all helped me through. I can’t thank you all enough for believing in me. And there were a few other times, as mentioned above, where I wasn’t sure about being able to get published and my agent, friends, and family reminded me I can do this. I also started a new story that’s morphing and growing with the help of my CPs and my agent, and I hope to continue to dig deep into myself and find more stories of my heart as well as come back to other stories I’ve written and continue to improve them.

For the contests, we’ve had many success stories from each contest, hundreds of entries, and best of all, the most amazing communities – I am so honored to host contests where people support each other in the beautiful the way you all do.

For the blog, you all have been amazing! According to WordPress stats, there were over 37,000 website views this year and over 2,000 comments from you wonderful readers! Thank you for taking the time to support these wonderful creators and learn and grow with us via these posts!

For those of you who are creators, thank you for sharing your talent with the world, for believing in yourself and your peers, and for knowing that together we can help make this world a better place. 

I can’t wait to hold your books in my hands someday, and for those of you whose books I already have, thank you for bringing them into this world! 

I’m wishing you all a lovely winter break and an amazing 2022! If you haven’t subscribed, I hope you do today, and if you’re already subscribed to my blog, I hope you’ll enjoy our wonderful interview line-up next year, too (and maybe even a surprise one next week ;)). I know I’m super stoked!

As always, thank you for supporting such wonderful creators. Stay safe and well, and here’s to a happy new year!

Sincerely,

Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez

PS. You all know I pretty much can’t do a post without a giveaway, so in celebration of me finally getting through my query box (WOOHOO!) (and yes, if you haven’t heard from me, you’re still under consideration), I’m doing an ABOVE THE SLUSHPILE giveaway where the winner can submit to me any BB, PB, CB, MG, YA, GN, or art portfolio for my consideration.

To be entered, go to Twitter and comment on the post with your favorite thing about either the kidlit community or one of the contests I cohost and then tag some of your friends. Once you’re done, come back here and comment on this blog post that you did those things. And BONUS if you pre-order (or have already pre-ordered) a Team Sanchez book, add that into your comment here and you’ll receive and extra entry!

140 thoughts on “End of 2021 Post and GIVEAWAY

    1. I have loved getting to know people in the writing community as I re-enter after many years and technologies out! I think the best thing is the authentic encouragement of fellow writers who want you to do well in competitions and finding an agent! Competitions like yours prove it over and over again!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I just left a comment on your post on Twitter about my favorite thing about this writing community. Without a doubt it is the generosity of this writing community that I am proud to be a part of. ❤️
    Thank you for this opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Kaitlyn, for all you do for the kid lit community! I’ve commented on your twitter post, tagged some friends, and I pre-ordered HATTIE HATES HUGS. I’m looking forward to 2022! Warmest wishes to you and everyone for a healthful, happy holiday!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I commented and tagged friends on your tweet today, and also plan to check out OLD FRIENDS by Margaret Aitken when it comes out— it looks fabulous!

    It’s been an interesting year or two, but the supportive writing community and opportunities such as this one are rays of hope shining through the gloom!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kaitlyn, congrats on a wonderful year! Last year’s Fall Frenzy contest was the first contest I entered, and one of my first times to really connect with the kidlit community. Thank you for all you do!

    I just commented and tagged friends on your Twitter post, and hope to have the chance to submit either through this contest or sometime in 2022!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Kaitlyn for such a great giveaway. It’s always nice to hear that we aren’t alone, that the collective community has “been there, done that, right in the trenches too” and there can be light at the end of the tunnel. Just don’t give up!
    Thank you, for being so supportive.
    Congrats on the book too! Looking forward to hearing more about it soon.
    Twitter =done and done! 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼
    Happy holidays 🎄
    Sabrina

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So… This article found me today after I was searching for a PB story to read to my mom who’s bedbound right now. I was so proud of my own story that I said… What the heck, how about getting this thing queried. I found a list of agents and recognized your name, clicked it and it took me to this blog where your post, just today was this contest.

    I know it’s not any guarantee that I will win, but reading this post felt like a warm hug from a friend and just what I was looking for. So thank you.

    I commented on the twitter post (haven’t been on Twitter in over a year!!) And tagged two buddies.

    I did not pre-order any books yet but Old Friends looks amazing 😍

    Best to everyone. Please don’t give up on your joy! -Amanda

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What an incredible year, Kaitlyn! Agent, author, blogger, … all from home?? (Go Central Valley!!) When you sat in on the CBA story pitch sessions, you confirmed for me that you are as HAPPY as your photo suggests! Thank you for all you’ve done for writers this year. I will absolutely pre-order OLD FRIENDS — (I love OCTOGENARIANS!) 🙂 — And yes, I tweeted all about this!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful post, and I’m honored to share in elevating the kidlit community!!! I tagged lots of great folks and did not tag, but also made a great friend in @authorjolene. I am now the proud owner of BIONIC BEASTS and MAC AND CHEESE and THE PERSONAL SPACE INVADER and love them both!!! Thanks for all you do to elevate and encourage the kidlit community! You rock!!’

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You’ve had an amazing year, Kaitlyn. I love your contests because you make them fun with your subject ideas, gifs and Halloween pics. Thank you for helping me strive to be a better writer. Best to you in the New Year!

    Like

  10. Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to reflect on the kindness shown within our community. Congrats to you and your team! And also, I’m happy that you have people around you that support your writing. (I tagged a few friends on Twitter.)

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Wow, that’s a lot of cheering! How do you ever find so many fun animated GIFs? It’s been a pleasure watching your success as an agent and I would love a chance to submit to you. I’ve just preordered Mushroom Rain and completed my tweets. Happiest of holidays to you!

    Like

  12. THAT is a great year! Congratulations!

    I think sometimes authors forget the emotional drain the industry is on agents… especially agents who author. I’m glad you’ve got a team of CP to help you through.

    annettemwhipple at gmail dot com

    Like

  13. Thank you for this post and I enjoyed reading about the ups and downs of acquisitions. I commented and tagged friends for this amazing opportunity.

    Like

  14. Children’s books aren’t really my genre, but I appreciate you sharing your experience, because publishing is publishing, and I do enjoy reading about how my fellow writers are forging their own paths in this unforgiving world. Thanks so much for this, and wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing your journey and this amazing opportunity. I commented on Twitter and tagged a friend. I joined the Holiday Dance party earlier this month and it was a blast. One of the many examples of how this community supports each other!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Was wonderful to read your year-end joyous post! So happy you’ve had such a great year! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! (I commented on Twitter and tagged 3 friends)

    Like

  16. And never forget, you are truly one of the bright shiny lights in the kidlit community. You bring joy and smiles to so many. Thank you.

    Commented on twitter and preordered all 3 books 🙂 Love, love, love supporting each other.

    Like

  17. What an encouraging blog post to help end the year on a high note. Thanks for this and for the critique opportunity! I commented on Twitter, tagged people and just ordered Hattie Hates Hugs. Happy new year!

    Like

  18. Kaitlyn,
    Thanks for this wonderful opportunity! You are one of the most generous members of the kidlit community! I quote tweeted your Twitter post and tagged three friends. I also preordered Mushroom Rain. Can’t wait to read it! 😻

    Like

  19. What a year (or two) it’s been! I love the honesty in your post. Having that support system to help you through the tough times and celebrate the wins is so crucial. Thanks for all you do for the kidlit community, you rock! I preordered OLD FRIENDS.

    Like

  20. Congrats, you have had a lot to celebrate this year!

    I’m glad you’ve had people cheering you on and encouraging you to continue since you do so much of that for the rest of us.

    I commented and tagged my CPs, because I know they’ll want to read this as well.

    Like

  21. I’m so glad I read this to the very last word! Thanks for sharing the good, and the bad, but skipping the ugly 🙂 The best thing about the writing community is the people you meet, the friends you make along the way, and I’m glad you’re one of them!

    Like

    1. Kaitlyn, thank you so much for this offer and always being such a motivating guide for this community! I love your valuable and honest insights. What a happy post! You have had quite a year!
      Have a great holiday!
      Janice

      Like

  22. Kaitlyn, thank you for doing this giveaway. The person who wins will be blessed. Out of all the agents on Twitter you are so engaged with the writing community and it really helps the newbies like me feel excited about being part of the process. Thank you for being so encouraging!

    Like

  23. Congratulations on such a successful year, and thank you for sharing your struggles and doubt! It’s so easy to feel alone when I’m doubting my place in the writing community, and it helps to hear that even agents doubt their skills sometimes. Thanks for being such a supportive member of the writing community! I’ve commented on the Twitter post, and preordered “Old Friends” a couple weeks ago.

    Happy holidays!
    Andi Chitty

    Like

  24. As mentioned in my quote re-tweet, one of the many things I’m grateful for is the support of the writing community. Just as you have written, Kaitlyn, this community is incredibly supportive. Imposter Syndrome is real and thank goodness for writing friends who encourage one another to persevere. And a big shout out to you for providing us with so many opportunities such as this one. You truly are generous and I am very thankful for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thank you for sharing your journey and this amazing opportunity. I commented on Twitter and tagged a friend. I joined the Holiday Dance party earlier this month and it was a blast. One of the many examples of how this community supports each other!

    Like

  26. Kaitlyn, I enjoyed this post so much!
    Thank you for sharing, and I appreciate the chance. I have
    commented on Twitter, and tagged
    some friends. I also pre-ordered
    Margaret Aitken’s, OLD FRIENDS,
    and can’t wait to read it!
    Congratulations on all your successes!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Congratulations on having 18 books on the works and writing your best story ever! I hope the New Year brings you more success.

    I commented and tagged friends on the Twitter post regarding this giveaway. Awesomeeeee giveaway!

    Like

  28. Thank you! Among all the other things, for this fun way to end the year.
    I commented on Twitter, tagged some friends, and look forward to reading and submitting more in the future.
    Wishing you a productive, healthy and good 2022!

    Like

  29. Kaitlyn, thanks for always encouraging and inspiring us. The Kidlit community is so very fortunate to have you! I marvel at how much you accomplish ! Have a wonderful holiday with your family! 🎄
    (I’ve tweeted and I have placed OLD FRIENDS on my wish list! I think Santa will place it in my stocking!)

    Like

  30. Beautifully written blog post, and congrats on all of your success. I think you were the first agent I ever queried (lol) and you’re one of my favorite to follow. I’m always rooting for you and your team! I commented, tagged friends, and liked the post. I also preordered HATTIE HATES HUGS and I can’t wait to read it!

    Like

  31. I’ve commented on Twitter and tagged friends. I intend to order from an independent book shop. Haven’t decided which one yet. Great blog post. Thank you for the kindness x

    Like

  32. Such a great contest and encouraging post. I shared this blog entry to Twitter, liked and quote retweeted and signed up for the blog! I also found a couple of your authors I wasn’t following and was excited to post about Mushroom Rain again. Happy Holidays!

    Like

  33. Thanks so much for saying what all of us feeling lost in the query trenches needed to hear. I can’t lie, I came close to giving up this year. But then the notebook of new ideas just keep coming to me. Hopefully someday, I can afford to be a full-time writer!

    I’m so thankful for the wonderful connections I’ve made along the way. It truly makes this journey better!

    Like

  34. I’ve enjoyed your blog this past year. I commented and tagged some friends on Twitter. I’ll be ordering Mushroom Rain as soon as Amazon has the physical copies (couldn’t see how to preorder). I fell in love with the cover artwork the first time I saw it.

    Like

  35. Thanks for this round up, as well as the reminder that agented or unagented, the ups and downs (and oh the doubts) are something we all share in the kidlit community! I commented and tagged some friends on Twitter.

    Like

  36. I love the idea of re-reading once a year & will definitely fold it into my own writing practice.

    Congratulations to you & #TeamSanchez on the 18 (EIGHTEEN!) books so far. It is no small thing to midwife 18 book babies into the world. ❤

    May the new year bring many more successes and the creation of great memories for you & your family.

    Like

  37. Wow! What a fantastic year you’ve had. I’m looking forward to reading ‘Old Friends’ by Margaret. Thank you fir the great blog post and for the wonderful competition. All the best for the year ahead xx

    Like

  38. I enjoyed your blog post, and have commented on Twitter. Thanks for all you do in the kidlit community. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season, and good things to come in the new year.

    Like

  39. Hi – I didn’t know about your blog – found out about it on twitter and happily subscribed. I shared your post and pre-ordered Old Friends by Margaret Aitken and Lenny Wen as well as my friend Paul Cohen’s Big Dreams, Small Fish
    which I had forgotten to pre-order. 🙂 Thank you for a lovely end of the year post. I hope you have lovely holidays and get som R&R.

    Like

  40. I am really appreciating this unexpected opportunity and prompt to reflect on this year. I joined the kid lit community in January after randomly watching a webinar with Kaitlyn. Before that, I don’t think I’d even realized there was a community to join! I’m so grateful for that chance encounter and for the relationships that have bloomed since then. It has been a source of magic in an otherwise difficult year. I have asked our library to preorder Mushroom Rain and Hattie Hates Hugs, can’t wait for them to arrive! I also posted and tagged on Twitter. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.

    Like

  41. I love your blog Kaitlyn, and your terrific interviews. Thank you for being a tireless supporter of the kidlit community, always inspiring, encouraging and generous. I’ve commented and tagged friends on Twitter. Congratulations on your many successes this year! Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2022.

    Like

  42. Hi Kaitlyn, I would love a chance to get a PB manuscript above the slushpile. I left a comment on twitter and tagged a couple of my favorite CPs. Merry Christmas if you celebrate and looking forward to 2022!

    Like

  43. I am amazed at all the different parts of kidlit community you get to be a part of, and I am excited to check out your other posts. I commented on Twitter! Now crossing my fingers to win the contest. Thank you!!!

    Like

  44. Kaitlyn,

    Your (new) practice of rereading work with the intention of celebrating it is wonderful! Thank you for the reminder to make it a habit of acknowledging our wins. Have a wonderful New Year!

    Sue

    Like

  45. I left a comment on the Twitter post.
    I figured out I’m a recovering wounded writer, and that wound has caused me to shy away from the PB community, except my CPs, and also my own PB work.
    On the plus side I’ve spent a lot of time on an adult fantasy idea that had been hounding me for years. I’m about 1/2 way to a hopeful 175k.
    But I will get back to my PBs.

    Like

  46. Thankyou Katilyn,
    I am a newbie in kidlit but I didnt feel it. I am from Pakistan and english is not my first language. I met so many ppl and it feels like home.

    Like

  47. What a wonderful year(s) in review! It’s really amazing that you’ve accomplished all this during covid! Thank you, Kaitlyn, for this opportunity and all you do for the kidlit community! I commented on the Twitter post, tagged some friends, and I have pre-ordered Old Friends.

    Like

  48. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity and all the amazing things you do for the KidLit community. Here’s to a joyous 2022!

    Like

  49. Kaitlyn, it sounds like you’ve had ups and downs like so many of us this year! Wishing you all the best in 2022! And good luck with your submission! I don’t need an entry, because I love my agent. I’m just here to wish you well in the new year! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Thanks for a great opportunity. You are such a wonderful friend for the kidlit community! I retweeted, commented and shared. You rock lady! Happy Holidays!

    Like

  51. What a year! It was wonderful to hear of all the achievements and I know there will only be more next year. I look forward to hearing more about your own book, Kaitlyn, and wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season with many joys to follow in the new year.

    Like

  52. This post is brimming with both honesty and vulnerability. ❤️ It’s incredible how much you’ve accomplished during a pandemic! The fact that you’re an agent and a writer, means that you can understand and empathize with both “sides.” I’m sure that makes you an incredible agent for your clients and an incredible client for your agent. Best of luck in all of your 2022 endeavors and beyond!

    Like

  53. Thank you for all you do for the writing community. I hope my twitter post gets re-tweeted, too! You have the energy of the pink Energizer Bunny! Happy New Year.

    Like

  54. I loved reading your post. I have felt like giving up on writing this year but I have some amazing critique partners who have kept me going and have been my biggest supports. A new year will bring new possibilities.

    Like

  55. Wow, congratulations on your many accomplishments this year! I’ve reserved all I could at the library, and retweeted to show my support! I wish you all the good things in the year ahead, your blog is truly inspirational! 💜

    Like

  56. Thank you for your generosity again Kaitlyn! I plan to find some time to read all my manuscripts, I love that idea. I commented on your post and tagged some friends. I also pre-ordered Old Friends, it looks incredible!!

    Like

  57. I live that the kidlit community helps out no matter where you are in your writing journey. It’s amazing! I’ve commented on your tweet and tagged some friends. Good luck to all! –Melisa Wrex (@mowrex)

    Like

  58. Cheers to your accomplishments the past two years! Wishing Team Sanchez well in 2022. I submitted an entry via Twitter for the giveaway and am thankful for your guidance and support for the kidlit community.

    Like

  59. I appreciate that you give us so many opportunities to get to know you, through your blog, interviews, dance parties, and by responding to emails! It is refreshing and beautiful. Hearing about your experiences as an author lets me know you “get it” and I am thrilled to hear about all of your successes! Your dedication to agenting, children’s books, and writers is exciting and comforting at the same time. Thank you for putting yourself out there and supporting us all. You are making a tremendous impact on the kidlit community.

    Like

  60. Congrats on your success of the last two years, especially given what these last two years have been! It’s truly remarkable. P.S. Have commented on Twitter for the giveway. 🙂

    Like

  61. Congratulations on your year, Kaitlyn! It’s encouraging to hear that even the stars have moments of doubt and discouragement, and I appreciate your sharing your journey with us. Your kindness and support of the kidlit community is wonderful, and very much appreciated! Tweeted and tagged!😁

    Like

  62. Kaitlyn- you’re such a breath of fresh air! Love your positive energy! Love reading your blog! I’ve commented on Twitter and tagged a few friends! I have a funny geometry book I think you’d like so my fingers are crossed! Thanks for you generosity!

    Like

  63. What a great year for you! I’ve so enjoyed reading your reflections and found myself nodding and smiling along from start to finish! Thanks for this chance…I hope 2022 will be as fulfilling for you! Happy New Year! 🎉

    Like

  64. I enjoyed reading your blog as a wrap up of your year. I’ve followed you since you started as an agent in February 2020, entered some of your contests, and even sent you a manuscript. Thanks for this opportunity – I’ve commented on your post and tagged a couple of author friends. Happy New Year.

    Like

  65. Congrats on a great year, and thanks for this great opportunity! What a fantastic suggestion to read all our stories in one sitting. What a great way to remind ourselves of the work we’ve accomplished and the progress we’ve made! (I have commented and tagged on your Twitter post.) Happy New Year!

    Like

  66. Thank you, Kaitlyn, and congrats on a great 2021! I love reading your interviews & blog posts, and can’t wait to read your #TeamSanchez books! Have a very happy New Year!! (I tagged & posted on Twitter.)

    Like

  67. Love the idea of looking back through everything to celebrate it! Commented on Twitter, and can’t wait to read more of your posts and stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Love this post and thanks for the submission giveaway opportunity! I just posted on your Twitter page why I love the #kidlit community. Congrats on your 18 Team Sanchez books! I just ordered Bionic Beasts by Jolene Gutierrez. Can’t wait!

    Liked by 2 people

  69. Congratulations on all your successes and all that you do for the kid lit community. I believe in you and your writing. So much style and energy! Your personal YES is next. And your clients are so lucky to have you! Cheers to 2022!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.