Monday, April 22, 2019

(Not Really) The End

What has happened? I've unwittingly abandoned my little blog that I started so many years ago at the encouragement of my wonderful critique partners. It sure has been a fun journey. How things have changed from way back when I would shudder to post a word anywhere online. Now I blab all over the internet and moderate Sub It Club where I am just happy to be able to keep up in the chat room when I can.

'My' Library
photo courtesy of Zeke & Torsten
The thing is, I've been a full time Branch Librarian for a year an a half now and that work (along with being a parent of three busy kids and helping run a garlic farm, ever so slightly as my husband tries to make it for me) can be all consuming. Patron use of 'my' library has grown tremendously over the past year and a half. I am proud to have helped it become an even bigger part of the community and am so pleased that so many people are using the library to their advantage. Of course, I may say 'my' library but it belongs to everyone, that is one of the fabulous things about libraries! I am just the caretaker. Be that as it may, with all of this newly used energy going to the library, something had to give. And though it was not in my plan it seems that blogging has been it.

But I have managed to keep writing books. I mean, I suspect my agent would be disappointed with me if I stopped and frankly, I would be unhappy with me as well. I am sad to say that I have posted none of my news here until now, but my agent Sean McCarthy and I have sold a series of books to the new Scholastic Acorn imprint for beginning readers and it is so very exciting! UNICORN AND YETI: SPARKLY NEW FRIENDS releases on April 30th! I feel so lucky to be working with amazing editor Katie Carella and the fabulous team at Scholastic. Hazel Quintanilla is Unicorn and Yeti's illustrator and I could not be more thrilled with how she has brought them to life. I just love them so. The release of two more Unicorn and Yeti books: A GOOD TEAM and FRIENDS ROCK follow in July and October. Pretty cool huh? If you want to see the info and happenings with my new series I invite you to come check out my new website In the news section you will even find a book trailer that I, for one, am totally in love with and would love for you to see!

Thank you to all of you who still frolic here for writing advice, critiques, agent and publisher listings, and even sign up for my newsletter. I have not decided what exactly I will do with this blog. But this is not really the end. I, of course, have ideas for migrating the well used info to my other sites where it can still be useful, but for now and really the foreseeable future, I am leaving it up for you to use if you need it.

Write on my friends!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Goodreads Giveaway!

My adorable puppy who I still love even though she eats everything just bit through my charging cord so I'm going to make this quick! There's a giveaway for Kick! Jump! Chop! The Adventures of the Ninjabread Man on Goodreads. Go enter! :)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Kick! Jump! Chop! The Adventures of the Ninjabread Man by Heather Ayris Burnell

Kick! Jump! Chop! The Adventures of the Ninjabread Man

by Heather Ayris Burnell

Giveaway ends December 21, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Monday, December 4, 2017


Not too long ago I followed someone on Twitter because she looked interesting. I found her because she entered the giveaway for my book, KICK! JUMP! CHOP! THE ADVENTURES OF THE NINJABREAD MAN, that was happening through Ninjas Read. Miss Gee, known as @MsGeeLvsBooks on Twitter, is a 2nd grade teacher and an aspiring teacher-librarian. Sounds just like my type of gal! When I followed Ms. Gee I had no idea I was entering a contest. And a really cool one at that! Not long after I received this tweet:
Unexpected and exciting! I got in touch with Ms. Gee and soon this cute little pink package arrived. I had run to the post office before work so I went straight to my favorite part of the library, the children's section amongst the picture books, of course, to find out what was inside the package!

I opened it up and there was the most adorable snail I had ever seen! (I put the book up on my shelf to admire it while I read the card!) Ms. Gee's class chose ESCARGOT written by Dashka Slater and illustrated by Sydney Hanson as their favorite book!

Now, I see a lot of books every single day in my work at the library and I was super excited not only because of the beautiful illustrations and the fact that this is a book about a snail. I love snails! I was excited because I had never seen this book before and oh my gosh do I love the story! You see Escargot is a beautiful snail from France and he simply wants two things: to be your favorite animal and to eat the fabulous salad at the end of the book. But wait! There is a carrot and that is trouble. Big, big trouble!

Oooo, la la! I cannot wait to share this story with the kids who come to the library for storytime and tell them about Ms. Gee's 2nd grade class in Virginia and how they chose this very book as their favorite!

Want to hear one more amazing thing? Miss Gee won the copy of my book in the Ninjas Read giveaway. I had absolutely nothing to do with picking the winner on that. It was completely run by the amazing ninja writer, Corey Rosen Schwartz. I'm no mathematician but there has got to be a mathematical lesson in probability on that! Maybe Corey could help us out. Her new book, TWINDERELLA, is a mathy fractioned fairytale.

Mathematics aside, I love that luck, Ninjas Read, and Twitter connected me with this fun new book and let me have a peek into what a second grade class on the other side of the United States from me loves.

A huge THANK YOU to Ms. Gee and her second grade class! You are magnifique!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Enter to Win a First 5 Pages & Query Letter Critique!

Today's the day! KICK! JUMP! CHOP! THE ADVENTURES OF THE NINJABREAD MAN is out from Sterling Children's Books! Here's the back cover blurb: When sparring gets stale, Sensei whips up a new challenge--the Ninjabread Man. The mouthwatering martial artist may be fresh from the oven but his skills are sweet, spicy, and sure to bring some kick to the dojo.

The book is illustrated with cut paper illustration created by an artist team known as Bomboland. I want to show you more! You can look inside the book on Amazon if you like.

So, what can I do to celebrate?

Ninjas Read is doing a Twitter giveaway. It ends at 10pm so if you're on Twitter jump on over and retweet this real quick:

I shared my query letter for THE NINJABREAD MAN on the Sub It Club blog. Plus my agent Sean McCarthy and I talk about why it worked! So, if you're writing a query letter go take a look at Sean's insights.

Here on my blog I'm doing a critique giveaway because, why not? I want to do something! Yes, I specialize in picture books but I've written and edited in all sorts of genres so, writers of all genres are welcome to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 18, 2017

Kick! Jump! Chop! The Adventures of the Ninjabread Man

Well, here's something amazing. I've been going about life, writing, taking care of my kids, growing and shipping garlic, administrating Sub it Club... I've also got a new job as a Branch Librarian which is super fun. And now, all of a sudden I realize that I have a book coming out very soon. It's funny how fast it has come up. It's time I showed you lovely readers of my oft neglected blog my book cover! 

This is a glimpse of the awesome YA section.
I'm still working on ordering more books to fill in the shelves!
It's red! I love red. Red is actually the accent color in my library. (My library. Hee hee! It belongs to everyone. I am just there the most.) We have these big comfy red chairs to sit and read in. They are amazing.

Anyway, back to the book! The illustrations are cut paper, which gives it a kickin' look (if you ask me). They were created by Bomboland. an illustration studio in Italy that has done tons of amazing work. Check it out! I love the way the ninjabread man is kicking right through the M. High-ya! And the dot on the i is a throwing star--cookie style of course.

The book is a retelling of the classic Gingerbread Man story, with a ninja twist. Here's the description from the publisher:

CRUNCH! CRUMBLE! CRACK! Cookie attack!
Get ready to crumble! Filled with high-spirited hijinks, Kick! Chop! Jump! brings a whole new spice level to the fun, familiar tale of the “Gingerbread Man.” When sparring in his dojo gets stale, Sensei bakes the ultimate fighting partner: the Ninjabread Man! One by one, all the masters battle the Ninjabread Man to see who can gobble him up. But when Fox snatches the crafty cookie, who can save him then? With its punny text and gorgeous cut-paper art, this tasty tale is perfect for kids who love action, adventure, and cookies!

KICK! JUMP! CHOP! THE ADVENTURES OF THE NINJABREAD MAN is set to release on October 10th, 2017 and is available now for preorder. I am so excited!

Friday, April 21, 2017


It has come to my attention that I have not written a post on this blog in a very long time...

Alright, I knew that but I've just been busy. Obviously. My family's garlic business has pretty much become a year round thing now instead of seasonal. I work at the library and have been working more and more since the head librarian is looking towards retirement. I've been writing when I can. Not always as much as I would like but I do try my best to look at it as a job now instead of simply something I get to do in my spare time, because frankly, I do not seem to have any spare time! But I do need to write if I want to sell more books, right?!

I do spend a lot of time at Sub It Club. I'm in the submission support group everyday. I've have done some blog posts over at including a basic query letter breakdown, looking into publishers before submitting, and the always popular Contest Roundups. I'm really excited that we've finally begun to start adding some new amazing people to help over at the Club with blogging and other things. Not only will it be fantastic to have a broad variety of knowledge shared on the blog, maybe I'll even have a chance to post over here from time to time. I can always hope!

If you are wondering, yes, I am still doing query letter and picture book critiques. So if you need one just email me. I promise that I actually do answer my emails in a timely manner.
I've been having family time too, of course!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Kidlit Summer School is Coming Soon!

Kidlit Summer School is starting soon, and if you haven't heard about it already,  you will definitely want to check it out! 

Kidlit Summer School is a fabulous free way to learn about writing for children. It is put on by a fabulous kidlit faculty. There will be daily lesson posts with writing exercises and more. You'll want to register because it comes with some great perks:
  • eligible to win any giveaways or books, critiques, or other swag that they’ll be handing out during the month
  • eligible to participate in special Summer School events like webinars
  • able to access the Kidlit Summer School exercise book
  • invited to join our private Kidlit Summer School Facebook community where you can connect to other children’s book creators and lovers of kidlit
Even if you miss out on registration (it ends July 15th) you can still take part in class by going through the blog posts and doing the exercises. This year's theme is Heart & Humor. All stories can use those elements!

Kidlit Summer School runs from July 11th through August 5th. I'm all signed up and excited to get started. You can read about Kidlit Summer School here and sign up using their form. Hope to see you there!

*Bonus info! BEDTIME MONSTER illustrator Bonnie Adamson is this year's Kidlit Summer School Art Director. She created the adorable logos!