Friday, September 2, 2011

Cooking with Abuela

This is my finished project for the November issue of SFC. The story is called "Cooking with Abuela" and it is by Rebecca Gomez.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Dance Machine"

My poem, "Dance Machine" has moved on to the second phase of acceptance at SFC! *CHEER*

Monday, August 1, 2011


A couple of weeks back I submitted my test to be accepted to the Institute of Children's Literature and I have been waiting to hear if I was accepted. Well today was the day!! I was accepted!! WHOO HOOO!! I will do my official online registration later this week and I will start my one on one program in September!! I AM SO VERY EXCITED!! This is huge for me! I am ready to go!!

If that wasn't enough this comment was in my letter "Your essay entitled "The Dad Map" impressed all of us. Your work was rated acceptable or higher in all test parts you completed."

Feeling on top of the world!!

A Call For Friends

Today I looked up fellow writers and illustrators that live in Canton, Woodstock, Ball Ground, Acworth, and Alpharetta. I found 21 people! I sent out invites to try to see about starting up a in-person critique/support/friendship group in this area. It would be so nice to have a group of local people to meet up with. I love my online group, but in-person groups are a whole different ball of wax. I miss that face to face element.

Also, the Southern Breeze conference is coming up in October and it would be great to have a person or a group to go with! I had so much fun when I went my friend Joy back in '08. Our tiny little 2 person crit group was so nice. We talked about writing, contests, successes and failures. I looked forward to our meetings!! I hope to create that again with this group!

Here's to hoping some are interested and a nice little group show up out of this invite! :)


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Keep on Truckin :)

Nothing really new to share. I got critiques back from YBR for a story I wrote called "Cut a Rug Doug." I am going to do some work on it and get it out to magazines. I still really don't feel it is hearty enough for a PB. I was thinking about getting it out to Ladybug or Fun for Kids... Maybe both. That is a goal for next week :)

I have not received the reply cards from BABYBUG to let me know that my poems got there yet, but I am keeping a keen eye on the mailbox. It feels good to get those cards and remind myself that I have my work out there.

I did get notice that I can register now for the conference in October, but I have to wait for some paychecks to come in so I can make that possible :) They said that there is a special class on Friday night, I am going to see if I can do that too. It would be nice :)

That's about it. Just going to Keep on Truckin!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Inspiration!

I am feeling so very inspired right now. I have 2 poems being considered by SFC, 2 that are off at BabyBug magazine, an entry to both the writing and illustration contest for Wik'11, and I have 2 illustrations that will be published for SFC this fall. It has been a great summer.

I have also found a wonderful blog called Query Shark that has really got me on the right track as far as my Query letter goes (which was totally awful by the way lol).

I am plotting out the school year to make sure that I allot time for my writing and illustrating. That has been a struggle for me in the past. I have a full time teaching job and a special needs child, on top of being a foster parent the secretary for our foster parent association, and oh did I forget, I am a wife too!! Add all that to writing and illustrating and it is nearly enough to knock you over!

But not this year!! I have a plan, I have everything laid out! And though I know that sometimes the best laid plans go askew a plan is also the first step to making it all happen. I am moving closer to the life I want and the success tastes great!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bugga Boo

Working on my piece for SFC for the October issue. Likin' it!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011


#1: I got an email saying that my illustration and writing entries had arrived at the WiK'11 address :) Whoo hooo! I am so looking forward to that conference in October!

#2: I got another call for illustrators for SFC. My precious illustration will be in the September 2011 issue and this next one will be in the October 2011 issue. The September issue is the story "Benjamin's Birthday Wish" and the October illustration is for "Bugga Boo." I am so looking forward to seeing my work in a magazine! How exciting.

#3: The poems that I submitted to SFC were reviewed and they liked "Dance Machine"!! Whoo hoo!! I am doing a small rewrite for them this weekend and then it is on to Phase 2 of the publishing process. NICE!! It will be good to have some current creds out there!!

#4: I will be submitting my short story "My Very Own Marine" to the YBR (Yellow Brick Road) critique group this week. I hope to get some good suggestions for it so I can tweak it and get it ready to go out to some mags before the summer is over.

I have to say I feel really good right now! All is going well!!

IF - Stay

She will Stay by the door all day dreaming about the outside world :) The life of a housecat!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

This will be in the September issue of SFC :)

Starving Artist

I received and email from the art director at SFC (Stories for Children Magazine) and was asked if I could do a illustration to fill in for an artist who was unable to complete an illustration they were assigned. I am so glad it was today! I have a whole day to myself and my daughter is at her grandma's house. It was perfect timing!

So I glued myself to my laptop and my tablet and got to work. I didn't stop to check the time or even breathe until I was happy with it. I actually forgot to eat!! I didn't eat anything until 5 hours later when I was happy with the illustration and ready to send it off!

WHOO HOO for my first paying gig, and a salami sandwich I made when I was finished :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


So my illustration and writing entries for the WiK'11 conference should have arrived today via priority mail... I get silly butterflies just thinking about it. I wonder if they'll like it, I wonder what other people submitted, I wonder if I will win?? It would be nice to win, but it is more important to me that I did it! I got it in on time and that is more than I have done so far for this particular contest :) I am proud of my work and I just can't wait to read their feeback and make it better!!

I am also wondering about the poems I submitted to SFC. I know not to expect to hear back within a week, but it just puts you on pins and needles wondering if they are going to be accepted or if I will be asked to re-write or if they will just say no... any of those possibilities are ok. They only make you better :)

As soon as I know anything from anyone I will be posting :) I also will be working with my crit group for the first time in a long time :) Feels good to be back on the yellow brick road not as an observer, but as a participant!! It has taken me quite a while to get used to being a mommy and getting all settled in :) I am so glad that we have a good solid routine and I can go back to doing some more fun stuff :)

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July planned :) We will be in Disney, so there wont be any posts past this Friday for about a week, unless I get some down time I am not expecting! So have a great week!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

IF - Midsummer Night

Nothing like a "Midsummer Night" with a good friend, a tent, and a flashlight. I can almost hear them laughing :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hotdog Dog

It is no secret that "Hotdog Dog" is my pride and joy as far as my picture book manuscripts go. I have been wanting to illustrations for it for a long while now. I did a couple of ideas a while back, but nothing that I was totally happy with. Now with my new toy it is back to the drawing board, literally! I am liking the progress so far.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Go me! Go me!

So I heard back for SFC and I am on the illustrators call list!! ***HAPPY DANCE HAPPY DANCE*** Now I will be checking my email box like every 2 seconds waiting for a call for illustrators :) Whoo hoooooo!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Moving along

Well I have found 2 additional writing contest I want to get in on, found about 10 paying magazines that I am looking into to match stories and poems I already have with their themes, and I have printed my illustrations for the WiK illustration contest. I killed my ink in the process so I had to make a run this evening to get some more so I can get "Hotdog Dog" printed and my cover letters ready. I am so very excited!

I am also working on some illustrations for "Hotdog Dog." Now that I have the Intuos4 things are so much easier. Maybe I can have a basic dummy ready by the end of the year :) NICE!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It' On!

A fire has been lit!! I hope this continues! It has been a really productive day. I submitted 4 poems to SFC magazine (which is now a paying market WHOO HOOO)! They are entitled "Sick," "Favorite Things," "Soundly Sleeping," and "Dance Machine." I have also submitted 5 art samples to SFC to be considered to be one of their freelance illustrators. I have another poem "The Water Cycle" that I want to send off to Highlights this week. I am going to get my submissions for the WiK conference contests off this week too. I am going to send "Hotdog Dog" for writing and "PJ tugged open the hatch and set the fairies free" for illustrations. I am ready to start getting some updated creds! I have not been published since 09! That is my own fault. I have not been taking time to do what I love. But no longer! Wish me luck!!

with 10 days to spare :)

I will be submitting this picture to the WiK '11 conference for Southern Breeze SCBWI illustration contest! My title is "PJ tugged open the hatch and set the fairies free!" This was done totally in photshop with my Intuos4. :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

IF - Launch

Ok, so I know it is not inventive to draw a rocket when the IF word is Launch, but hey, I am working on learning to use my new Intuos4 so I needed to go with the first thing that entered my brain. So here it is. :) Had fun making it.

Working on relaistic

I know that usually my stuff is a little more "kiddy" but I have been toying with doing more detailed drawings... here is one.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Back in the swing

Hard to believe that it has been over a year since I have posted here! Life sometimes gets away from me it seems. Now that we have finalized our adoption of our daughter, school is out for the summer, and I have a new Wacom Intous4 due to arrive at my house next week, I will be posting much more often.

I have not written any new picture books lately, but I have really been on a poetry kick! When I get back in town on Friday I am going to start getting poems ready to go. I have a couple to submit to Stories for Children magazine, which is my default :) Everyone is just so nice there and the amount of feedback is amazing!! You just can't help but love them all over!! I also have a poem that I am sending off to Highlights Magazine. I have the cover letter ready and I think it is a good fit. I wanted to research some additional magazines that take poetry, since that is my first love, to get some creds other that SFC.

I am also planning on submitting "Hotdog Dog" for the Wik'11 conference picture book contest in Alabama this year. I have to have it in their hands by June 30th. They also have a poetry contest, so I thought I might jump on that wagon too! I have to go through all my poetry and see what I think is contest worthy.

Well, WiK'11 has a contest for that too. The theme is "PJ tugged open the..." As you can see in older posts, I did the one for a couple of years back and didn't get it mailed off in time. The theme for that one was "PJ reached in and pull out..." I wish that I would have gotten that one submitted. Not that I thought it would win, but more valuable than that is the critique you get from the judges!! There is some amazing talent there and it is awesome to get feedback from them. That is worth it's weight in gold!!

So my idea for PJ is that he will tug open a hatch and set some fairies free. That is my general idea for now. Not sure if I will thing of something different before then.

The most exciting news is the arrival of my Wacom Intous4!! Scheduled to arrive between between June 16 and June 21st. Talk about inspiration!! Whoo hooo!! I am so very excited!!

Well, wish me luck and I will keep you posted on all that comes of my submissions and new toys.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Just playing with photoshop again :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Feeling a little bit crabby about love? :)

I am enjoying photoshop so much. This is another 100% digital piece. I think they are getting better :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

IF - Adrift 2

Yeah for making time :) I am working on doing more 100% digital stuff. I love experimenting!!

IF - Adrift

Wish I had more time... Maybe I will do another one before Friday :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ready to go!

After several revisions, and tons of thought and work, my story "Hotdog dog" is ready to go out to publishers. I am making a list this week and going to get it out ASAP! I know that the start of the school year is crazy for me, so I wanted to get my submissions out before the year started. I am happy to say that I am very proud of it and I really think it is going to make it somewhere. Hopefully one of the editors on my list will agree and I can start off 2010 knowing that I have a book that is going to be published!! Wish me luck!! :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I am a member of the Cherokee County Foster and Adoptive Parent Association and volunteered to do a little logo for them and this is what it turned out to be. Thought it turned out pretty cute.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Late but it's still cute.

Well I have had a plan ALL year to enter the illustration contest for SCBWI Southern Breeze conference in October. I knew what I was going to do, had the picture in my head and even had some rough drafts. But it never fails, life steps in and makes you busy right when you need the most free time. So, here is the entry that would have been submitted if life wasn't so distracting! :) Just more motivation to become a full time author/illustrator :)

The prompt was "PJ reached in and..."

My title is "PJ reach in and pulled out a rabbit, or so he thought!"

Monday, June 15, 2009

IF - Unfold

Though summer has just begun, it wont belong before the next season begins to "unfold." And when it does our friendly scarecrow will be there to guard our harvests!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Gift That Keeps On Giving!

Well my poem "Oodles of Poodles" has been (1) My first publication, (2) My first award, and now (3) My first feature in a book! "Oodles of Poodles" will be in the Stories For Children Magazine Best of 2008 Anthology!!! Here is the email that stole my heart today:

Hello Shannon Griffis,

It is with great excitement I contact you today. After reviewing all the stories, articles, and poems published throughout 2008 and Stories for Children Magazine’s second year of publication, we finally have the results of our top stories, articles, poems, and crafts. So without further ado, here are your published titles from 2008 we would like to include in our second volume of Stories for Children Magazine Best of 2008 Anthology:

Title(s): Oodles of Poodles


Another option for IF that I was toying with

Sunday, April 19, 2009

IF - Impossibility

A true "Hot Dog Dog" is an impossibility :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First Place!

I received an email from SFC Magazine on April first announcing that I had won FIRST PLACE in the Granny Awards for Poetry!! I couldn't believe it! Here is a link to the video where you can see my picture and here is my acceptance speech that is also posted on their site! Whoo Hoo! What a great surprise!

“To receive this award is truly an honor. The people at SFC are wonderful and I owe them so much for being my first place of publication. I would like to send a big thank you to Virginia Grenier, Marie Letourneau, Gayle Jacobson-Huset, Angelika Lochner, and all the other wonderful people at SFC. You have all been great to work with! I would also like to thank my caring and supportive husband, Phil, who has been my biggest cheerleader all along. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my first grade class at Eaton Academy for providing the best inspiration I could ask for as a children's writer! I look forward to submitting many more poems and stories to SFC in the future.”

Sunday, March 29, 2009

IF - Subtracted

With a little wiggle and a final pull, Zack subtracted one tooth from his smile!

Too bad I was a couple of days late on this one, but I thought he was cute so I posted it anyway. Maybe I will be able to get one in on time this week :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

To the drawing board... literally!

As I have mentioned, I am very new to illustrating. I have only been tinkering with illustrating for about a year and I am still learning some basics. So, I was out at Cracker Barrel with my family this weekend and came across a "How to draw easy animals" book. With the great price tag of 3.99 I thought I would give it a try. So with that said, I used the book, gave the toons my own spin and I think they are pretty cute. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Been away - Updates!

Hello there! It has been forever since I posted so here are the updates. Oodles of Poodles was released in the December 2008 issue of Stories for Children Magazine. The illustration was done by Marie Letourneau and she did an amazing job!

My poem "Mail" was published in the February 2009 issue of Stories for Children Magazine. The illustration for "Mail" was done by Sara Barnes. She has a very unique style. I thought it was really cute!

I also received some good news from SFC just last week. I have been chosen to receive one of their "Granny Awards" for 2008. This award is given to the top three editor favorites in poetry, fiction, non fiction, and illustrations. I have a trophy on the way and a picture of me will be in their slideshow starting on April 1st. Though I dont know what place I won, I do know that it was for my poem "Oodles of Poodles" since it was the only thing I submitted to them in 2008.

All-in-all, life is good! I have plans to enter several writing contests over the next couple of months and I will be teaching some writing classes for 4th - 8th graders over the summer. I am going to do my best to blog more often and to get back into participating i IF. I really enjoy seeing what others come up with!

Thanks for taking the time to give this a read :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Illustration Friday - Wise

After meeting her new neighbor Thelma the bird thought it would be wise to find a new place to live.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Illustration Friday - Vacant

I guess Barbie wasn't included in the bailout either! Now her house is 'vacant'.

I love political humor with kid illustrations... cracks me up!

Monday, November 3, 2008


My Poem "Mail"

I sent a poem to Stories for Children Magazine called "Mail" back in September and received a notice saying that I had passed phase one of the submission process. A week or so later, I got another email about phase two. I was asked to do a rewrite of the poem. I needed to sub out 2 lines and change the rhyming pattern a bit. I was very happy that I was given this opportunity! I mean, so many editors would have just said "not what we're looking for" and sent me a great big "Not for us, sorry" email. But not SFC! I was able to complete the rewrite in the same day (lucky for me I had 3 or 4 other versions of that particular poem so it was easy to revise) and got it right back to the managing editor at SFC. I was happy to get a follow-up email from her saying that she LOVED the rewrite! Love is a pretty strong word, and boy was I happy to hear it! I was able to do a formal resubmission to her directly and was moved on to phase 3 of the approval process. I just love the people at SFC. They are kind, helpful, and very knowledgeable. I hope to one day be able to say that I am a writer by trade (meaning that I can actually get paid for it!LOL) but I think I will always write for the good people at SFC, pay or no pay! They have done so much for my confidence as a new writer and have always had a quick acceptance time and great feedback. I recommend them to any writers or illustrators, newbie and pros alike!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pig in Photoshop

So my wonderful, wonderful brother-in-law has been giving me Photoshop lessons over the phone and this is what has come of it so far. I am really liking this! I think it looks better than my colored pencil stuff. I love the shading I was able to do and the details I could add! I will post more as I get them finished.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In The Mail!

At the Southern Breeze conference I had the pleasure of meeting Andrea Welch of Beach Lane Books. I really loved the titles that she has selected for publication in the past. "Rhyming Dust Bunnies" is one that will be out in the spring that I know I will purchase! I laughed out loud reading that one and thought that it was a great, simple, funny story. Another that she showed during our workshop was "What Will Fat Cat Sit On?" Another laugh out loud kind of story. I have actually ordered this one from Amazon and it should be here in a couple of days. I will be sure to post a review under Favorite Picture Books.

So, with all that said, I think my story "Hot Dog Dog" would be a good fit for Beach Lane. I did some editing, submitted it for critque, editied some more, and mailed it out! I can only hope now that Andrea feels the same that I do. I really feel that their simply, funny, style is right up my alley. Keep your fingers crossed for me! I feel really good about this one :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Home from the conference!

The SCBWI conference was wonderful! I had an amazing time. I met some wonderful writers and illustrators and I feel like I have learned so much! Each workshop gave me some new information and made me more confident in my knowledge of this industry. I truly have a feeling that good things are coming. I feel more confident about my query letters (which was really bothering me), I met a wonderful editor that I think is perfect for one of my stories (wish me luck), and I believe we will be adding a couple of new members to our critique group (the more the merrier). I really love the feeling of belonging to such a wonderful group of people. Everyone was so helpful and nice. I think it was also nice to be around people who love what I love, children's books! It's great not to be the only adult (that doesnt have a kid present) who has their arms full of picture books at the checkout counter! All-in-all, I believe that this conference did all that I wanted it too! I feel inspired, educated, and ready to take on the world :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Southern Breeze Conference - SCBWI

I am on my way! Leaving from the good ole town of Canton, Georgia to head to the big city of Birmingham! HA! I am sure I will have a blast! I will be home Saturday night and will blog about all that I have learned! :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting Ready

I will be attending the SCBWI regional conference in Alabama this weekend and I couldn't be more excited! I will be carpooling with my fellow picture group critter, Joy, who I love to death. She has a great personality, she is fun to talk to, and a great writer as well. I am lucky to have her in my life!We are planning on leaving Friday afternoon from Atlanta so we will have time to go to the dessert "meet and greet" that will be going on that evening. It will be so nice to tell people that I am published! I know that many people work for many years in this field and never get to say that, even for a small poem in a children's magazine! It is a great step in the right direction and a huge boost in confidence.Since I do not have to teach today, three cheers for long weekends, I will be going shopping for my trip! Nothing makes me feel better than a new outfit for an important day! I think I will get my hair cut again too. I really want to go in there feeling like a million bucks! You never know, I might rub elbows with the right person :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oodles of Poodles

Good news graced my inbox yesterday in the form of an acceptance letter! About 5 weeks ago I sent a poem entitled "Oodles of Poodles" to Stories for Children Magazine. I was surprised to receive a email only a couple of days later saying that I had passed phase one of the acceptance process! That alone was enough to make me do a little happy dance around the living room! I expected to wait at least a few more weeks before hearing anything about the second phase, but was suprised again only a couple of days later!! *Happy Dance Happy Dance* Just getting that far was a great boost in confidence. The second email said they could take up to 8 weeks to get back to me to tell me weather or not I had been accepted to the magazine. So I was not even expecting a reply so quickly! Only 3 weeks from the second email, I get this:

Dear Shannon,
Thank you for thinking of us and for being patient to hear back about your manuscript. We are always pleased to see new ideas and have completed our review of your manuscript. I am happy to inform you, Oodles of Poodles will be in our December 2008 issue. We look forward to working with you again in the future.

All the best,
VS Grenier Founder & Editor-in-Chief

I could not be more excited! I know that this is only the beginning for me!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Welcome to Stories by Shannon

Let me start by telling you a little about myself, I have been writing children's stories and poetry for several years. In February of this year I joined the SCBWI, which has offered a vast amount of information and given me some wonderful resources. Since then, I have joined three picture book critique groups. Two that are online and one in person.

I have a poem, Oodles of Poodles, that will be published in the December 2008 issue of Stories for Children Magazine and another poem, Mail, that will be in the February 2009 issue of Stories for Children.

My goal for this blog is to post ideas, inspirations, thoughts, achievements, and discoveries that cross my path as I continue to pursue my dream of being a children's book author. Questions, feedback, suggestions, and encouragement are all welcome.

Thank you for taking time to stop by. Please use the links on the right hand side to see more about Stories by Shannon, or feel free to visit some of my favorite sites.