Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nanny's Tales: The Dragon and the Unicorn

Starting with Nanny's adventures of a princess-turned-unicorn, FutureWord Publishing will be releasing the first of a series of colorful tales written by Katherine Coppinger. This time it is about a grandmother's adventures with her grandchildren, a unicorn, and a hateful, fire-breathing dragon. Nanny is not like any other grandmother. She dresses much younger than the average granny would. To her nine year-old granddaughter, Kirstin and her four-year-old grandson, Michael, she's a ticket into some dreamy, but edge-of-your-seat action. The story brings to its readers a vivid picture of warmth, love and beauty through the images drawn by the storytelling alone. Add the talents of one of the best illustrators,Valerie Bouthyette, and you have a captivating book for young readers.

Katherine Coppinger's stories were originally written to read to her grandchildren. Now she has decided to present one of them to FutureWord, who is now ready to illustrate a 22 page story that actually was first written out to take up the space of a novella for children if combined with the sequel, Nanny and the Frocodile King.

Nanny's Tales: The Dragon and the Unicorn opens with Kirstin and Michael flying kites while Nanny is working in the flower bed. Their kites look like a dragon and a unicorn. Suddenly, the kites come to life and the dragon soars upward to a castle somewhere in the sky with Michael tucked away snugly under the dragon's tail. Nanny and Kirstin are left with the unicorn who explains that the dragon is really a mean sorcerer who wanted to marry a princess. When she refused, he turned her into a unicorn and himself into a dragon. The kidnapping of Michael is a just a lure for the loving unicorn to make a rescue attempt so he can try to get her to submit to marriage. Nanny won't tolerate this. According to Kirstin's faith in Nanny, it will all be over for the dragon once Nanny arrives. So, off they go with the unicorn to attempt the rescue.

Good stories come from real life events, whether they are for children or for adults. Katherine explained how she thought of the idea for this book.
"'I always made up stories for the children because they found them more fun when I used their names or the names of their friends. This story began when Kirstin and Michael were flying kites in front of the house. I began working in the flowerbed and heard Michael call out, 'Nanny, help me.' I turned and found him with his kite string wrapped around his neck and shoulders with the kite still flying. It looked as if it was trying to take him with it. I ran to untangle Michael and I told him, 'What happened honey, did that kite try to fly off with you?' That night our story was about a dragon who did steal Michael. Since Kirstin was also flying a kite, I made her kite a unicorn and the story spun a life of its own.'"

The 8 by 10 children's picture book has 44 pages of text and pictures. The total number of pages is 52. It is perfect bound and soon will be available on Amazon. B &, Books-a-Million, Borders, and all the online book stores. Contact the publisher for more details at The release is just around the corner.

~C. Haynes

Monday, October 18, 2010

May The Best Dog Win, won . . . a contract with Futureword

Out of 21 submissions for children's stories only one made the grade. May The Best Dog Win, by Kelly Hashway was so adorable that we could not pass it up.
Kelly lives in northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets. She is previously published. Her former publications include:
  • "A Terrifying Test"-Fall 2009 issue of Spaceports and Spidersilk
  • "Friendship Junction"-Stories That Lift
  • "Adventures in Dog Sitting"-January 2010 issue of Stories for Children Magazine
  • "The Christmas Bunny"-March 1, 2010 issue of Bumples Magazine
These are only a few for starters. Kelly enjoys writing short stories and books for children of all ages and has been published in various magazines and print anthologies. She is a former Middle School Language Arts teacher with a Master’s degree in English Secondary Education, but her true passion has always been writing. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
She writes stories of all lengths for children and young adults. For more about Kelly’s published works, please visit her at

Illustrations for this picture book will be prepared by Valerie Bouthyette who says the story looks appealing to illustrate. What is the story about? Well, not until we can show you a press release! You'll find out.

Secrets for people who are submitting to Futureword. Do not submit work that is unedited and doesn't have a query letter or bios. Please follow the directions on the Futureword website.Children's stories need to stay under, well under 900 words if at all possible. Submissions are open again in the spring. I saw a lot of good stories. I regret that I can't publish them all. Not yet, anyway.