• Picture Book Template

    I have the great pleasure of working with some up and coming authors and speaking to students who are learning to write and I have realized two things:

    1) students are REALLY interested in the writing process, and

    2) I am REALLY passionate about sharing what I have learned with both students and aspiring authors. 

    I know the ins and out of editing a book before it is sent to the printers, and so…. I made an editing tool to help students (and writers) prepare their picture book manuscript for an editor or illustrator. This template is easy to use, and when you have finished copying your story into it, you can print it off and staple it together to get a real feel for what your book might look like!

    Whether you are considering writing your own children’s book, or are encouraging writing in your students or family, this is the perfect editing tool for your manuscript.

    Did you know 32 pages is the standard for children's books? Or that almost all children’s picture books are under 1000 words? If you check the books on your shelf, you will see for yourself!

    The word count has to do with how much is appropriate for different ages, but the number of pages is a logistical thing. It has to do with how the paper comes off a printing press before it is bound into a book. The cheapest and most efficient way is to make it 32 pages long, so that is the standard for the industry. 

    And so…. I present my 32 Page Picture Book Template. It has space for your story AND some insider knowledge for navigating the publishing world.

    Below is an overview of how the 32 pages is laid out. (It's included in the template, as well.) You can see that the first three pages are taken up by the Title Page, The Copyright Page, and the Dedication Page. That leaves 29 pages for an author's manuscript to spread across. 

    I am a visual person. When I wrote my first book I made a low-tech, stapled together, bunch of papers (32 in total). Then I printed off my manuscript and cut out the sections of text that I thought would do well on each page, and I glued them in. Very technology advanced…. I know. 

    While this may be a very simple thing, it was so necessary! I NEED to see something and hold it in my hands to get a feel for what it will look like. This “hardcopy” helped me edit my draft. It helped me make sure each page was a “page turner,” and had a flow that kept the reader engaged.

    When I wrote my first children’s book, I had NO IDEA of these printing norms. All I had was an idea, that I thought could be great, and a deep desire to make a difference. I hope this tool can help make the whole process easier for you. 

    Feel free to download my Picture Book Template and use it to educate your students and kids OR edit your own manuscript. 

    Send Me the Template!

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    Did you know that I coach aspiring authors and publish children's books? If you have a children's book you want to publish, consider submitting your idea for consideration.

  • Lifeology Interview Miriam Laundry

    James Miller | Lifeology interviews Miriam Laundry. February 6, 2020

    James Miller | Lifeology interviews Miriam Laundry. February 6, 2020

    James Miller is a licensed psychotherapist and the executive producer and host of the nationally broadcasted and syndicated radio show James Miller Lifeology. James has been in the mental health field for over 22 years. After 13 years in private practice, James left his thriving practice in the Washington, DC area and created James Miller Lifeology, where he globally helps people simplify and transform their spirit, mind, and body.

    Listen Now!

    I am very excited to have been invited to by James Miller for an interview! It's is wonderful to get a chance to chat with a fellow professional who is making such a difference in the world.

    James always has wonderful guests on Lifeology, and brings such a fresh insight with some solid info on mental health and self-care. Take a minute to listen in on our talk about The Big, Bad Bully, getting started as an author, and making a difference by reforming that inner-critic into an inner coach!

     

    One of my passions is to mentor fellow children's book authors and help them go from having a great idea for a book to having a a published book in their hands. You can find out about how to submit your idea or manuscript for consideration here: Publish Your Book

    The Big, Bad Bully is a bully story with a twist.”

    Follow a young girl who struggles throughout grade school with a bully. Every day she hears her flaws pointed out. Finally, she decides to stand up to her tormentor and discovers…. it is herself! This is not a book about the bully sitting beside you in class, but the bully living in your head.

  • Family Literacy Day

    On Monday it was ABC’s Family Literacy Day, where people took time to raise awareness and celebrate the importance of reading and participating in literacy based activities.

    I was super excited to kick Family Literacy Day off with Mary Immaculate School in Chepstow with a Virtual Author Visit! I was able to share a little bit about being an author (the kids always love that), and then read The Big, Bad Bully with them. My favourite part was at the end, when a number of students came up and asked me questions. 

    I just LOVE doing Virtual Author Visits! It’s so easy to connect with the students, and it provides just another great option for schools that are far from my home in Niagara. 

    For those of you who are in warmer parts, we had hail that morning. Hail! I love Canada, but sometimes, especially in January and February, I really miss warm Bolivia, haha. 

    I Read Canadian Day is coming up on February 19th and I am going to offer the virtual author visits again for five lucky schools. It is FREE when the school places an order for 20 of my books or more. 

    For schools that send book orders home with students or make them available through school cash online, you get a special deal where tax is included, AND, as long, as you are in Canada or the USA, I will ship those books to your for free. 

    I want to make it as easy as possible for schools to get a live author visit for their students, and Family Literacy Day and I READ Canadian Day are just wonderful excuses to do so. 

    If you would like to have me pencil in your school and reserve one of the spots for I Read Canadian Day,  let me know ASAP. I will be booking schools on a first-come, first-served basis. 

    Hugs, 

    Miriam

  • My Daughter’s Quinceañera

    Last weekend was my daughter's Quinceañera, and as promised, here are some pics.

    Photo Credit : Zaluski Designs and Photography

    If you are wondering what a Quinceañera is, it’s a coming of age party when a girl turns 15 in latin cultures. It started off in Mexico where parents would introduce their daughters to the community as young women who are now available to marry (not that Alissa is available to marry now, haha). Even though that tradition is far removed from our culture today, I still believe it is important to acknowledge the transition form girl to young womanhood and to acknowledge my latin heritage. 

    I moved to Bolivia when I was 14 so my memories are full of attending the Quinceañeras of other girls. Back then, this marked the time when the girl could now wear heels, wear makeup, and dance with a boy for the first time. It was funny, too, when the weekend after a Quinceañera the girl would suddenly show up with TONS of makeup on! Haha.

    A Quinceañera is a big party with a few formalities. The girl gets to choose a “court of honour” which is 1-14 of her “best friends.” They get ready together, take photos, have a lot of fun, and sit at the head table with the girl who is coming of age. 

    Photo Credit : Zaluski Designs and Photography

    There is the first dance, which is between the father and daughter, and then it’s followed with other significant men in the girl’s life (grandfathers, uncles, and brothers.) 

    Photo Credit : Zaluski Designs and Photography

    The weather did not co-operate for Alissa’s Quinceañera. We had a snow storm the day “of” and all day I thought everyone would cancel. I was so happy and surprised that almost everyone was able to make it, and we only had one person cancel due to weather. 

    We had a great time. It was important for me to have this party for my daughter as a way to keep the latin tradition alive in my family. Both my parents are from Bolivia, and of course, I lived there for seven years of my life. We had 180 guests, and the majority of them had never heard of a Quinceañera.

    It was months of planning, but it all paid off seeing my daughter so happy. The next day her comment was, “that was the best day of my life!” 

    I love that my family and friends were able to learn more of latin culture and that we were able to celebrate this special time in my daughter’s life. 

    A big thank you to Boutique Linen Rentals, who really made everything so beautiful and achieved the “winter wonderland” look that we were going for. What cultural traditions do you keep in your family? I'd love to hear about them. 

    Hugs, 

    Miriam

  • Virtual Author Visits

    Booking now for Family Literacy Day Jan 27th! 

    Limited Spots Available.

    I LOVE visiting schools and inspiring the students with the positive message of my I CAN books, but sometimes things can get in the way, like distance or our famous Canadian winters. I decided there HAD to be an easy, more affordable option for schools to get an award-winning author visit for their students. I discovered that visiting a school virtually is super fun and easy with the magic of the internet. Virtual Author Visits with me are the latest thing for small groups of students…. and best of all… they are free with the purchase of 20 books!
    It’s easy to reach a 20 book order with our take home order forms or the paperless option, school cash online. Your students will gain access to a special deal on all of my books (tax included), with free shipping (YES!)*, AND the chance to get their books signed.

    Students love meeting an author and being able to interact with them and ask them questions, just like an in-person visit. All you need is a projector or smart board and a decent internet connection.

    Choose from one of FOUR positive presentations! Your Virtual Author Visit will include a book reading and a question and answer period. A visit is approx. 30 min long and best suited for small groups (1-2 classes).

    Virtual Author Visits include access to all the materials and exercises that an in-person author visit does, so you will have engaging materials available to take the message further with your students. Contact us now to reserve your spot and get the ball rolling! I am scheduling five bookings for five lucky schools in honour of ABC's Family Literacy Day on Jan 27th.

    Those spots are going to fill up fast, so let me know right away if you want one!

  • Happy New Year

    Happy New Year!

    With the new year freshly arrived, everyone is looking at 2020 and deciding what they want to accomplish in this brand new year. Of course, this year is extra special because it is the beginning of a new decade as well! It can be intimidating to plan so far ahead, but looking back at 2019, I am SO THANKFUL that I set the goals I did. If I hadn't set these goals, I may not have had such a successful and fun year. 

    Professionally, I was able to publish The Big, Bad Bully with Jack and I got my six new clients to publish for 2020! I also had individual goals for each of my children, and I was able to accomplish them! For Lucas, he wanted to work on his reading skills, and I am proud to say he is reading fluently now. Aiden wanted help with volleyball and to get on a good team, and he achieved that, too! Sarina was suffering from some acne issues, and we were finally able to find a solution! Her new, clear complexion has helped her feel really great about herself.

    I am still working on Alissa's goal, which is to have an amazing Quincenera. She loved her sister's a couple years back, and hers is coming up this month. I am well on my way to helping her achieve that goal as well. Below is a photo from Sarina's Quincenera (Sarina is on the left, and Alissa on the right). I will be sure to share some photos with you from Alissa's in a few weeks.

    I am a bit of a goal-geek. I like to know what I want and have a plan in place to get it done. There is nothing like looking back and realizing that you have achieved something you really wanted. Now, I know New Year's Goals are infamous for not being kept, so here is my tip for setting goals for the decade:

    Write yourself a letter imagining what your like will be like in 2030. Think about what your family will be like, what your health will be like, and what your finances will be like when you accomplish your goals. Think about how that will feel and how your daily schedule will change. Address the letter for January 1, 2030 and put it in a safe place. Not the “safe place” that is a black hole where stuff is lost forever, haha, but a place you will be sure to find. Maybe even set a reminder on your phone with the location. 

    My suggestion: open that letter up on the first of every new year. It will help keep your goals in mind and write out your yearly goals for that new year. 

    I am very excited for this new year and decade and can't wait to see where it takes us! We can DO this!

    I know a lot of people have a goal of writing a book. If this is you, I will be offering an online six-week writing course in February, AND I will be choosing another six authors to work with and publish in May/June 2020 with my Publishing Mastermind.

    Hugs,

    Miriam

    PS – If you need some extra help with goal-setting, I have some blog post links at the very bottom of this email that can help you with setting goals you are SURE to achieve.

    1. How to set a TRUE Goal
    2. Over-coming Goal Fear
    3. How to Stay Focused and FOLLOW-THROUGH
    4. Making a Plan
    5. Getting Your Rear in Gear
    6. Accountability Partners (don't miss this…. it is SUPER IMPORTANT)

  • Sunny St. Maarten

    Sunny St. Maarten is such a beautiful place! After putting in so much work for the launch of The Big, Bad Bully, I am taking a week with my family to enjoy the beautiful, warm climate of an island get-a-way. It’s so important to work hard, but equally important to reward yourself and enjoy life, too.

    We just missed an ice storm in Niagara, so I guess we timed it perfectly! We were actually at the airport, getting ready to fly out, when the ice storm hit the Niagara Region. Goodbye ice, hello sunny St. Maarten!

    Yesterday, I read my latest book, The Big, Bad Bully, to the children at Player Development. Player Development is a program started by Tom and Lisa Burnett. It started off focused on baseball development, but now also runs as a youth service organization. Besides teaching the children baseball skills after school, there is now help available with reading, writing, math and life skills. 

    The children at Player Development have been reading my books since the start of my writing career. My first book, I CAN Believe in Myself, came out in 2013! That is 6 years now! They are wonderful supporters and always offer great feedback.

    It was an honour to spend time there and to see the love that Tom and Lisa provide these children. As a fellow Rotarian it was great to hear how Player Development started an EarlyAct Club (sponsored by a local Rotary Club) and about their desire to be of service to others. I just love seeing how people are making a difference and making this world a better place.

    I’ll be back in Niagara this weekend! I’m looking forward to getting ready for Christmas. I am sure the ice and snow will help bring on that christmas-sy mood. 

    Hugs,

    Miriam

    We are giving away two $100 amazon gift cards via random draw for the first 100 reviews on Amazon of The Big, Bad Bully! I will be giving away two gift cards, one for amazon.ca and one for amazon.com. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO ENTER IS LEAVE A REVIEW. 

    *You don’t need to have purchased your book through Amazon!* Amazon will still allow you to leave a review, as long as your amazon account is active and has made purchases in the last year. 

  • TWUC Author Visit Subsidy

    I am so excited to announce that you may be eligible for an author visit subsidy!

    The Writer’s Union of Canada offers an author visit subsidy for eligible authors to visit schools! The application JUST opened today. Applications must be submitted between November 25, 2019 and January 27, 2020 for author visits booked after April 1st of this school year. (Applications for the following school year will be available later on)

    To apply for subsidy and get the details click HERE.

    Last week I was at a school presenting my new presentation for my latest book, The Big, Bad Bully. A school in Milton had me out for HDSB Bully Awareness Week. I love, love, LOVE sharing the empowering message with students and meeting the teachers who are making a difference! 

    I have to say, this new presentation is a big hit, and because it is for grades 5-8, a full day author visit is perfect for hitting all the grades in an elementary school. I am happy to do one of my I CAN presentations for grades 1-4 and The Big, Bad Bully for grades 5-8. My full day author visits include four presentation time slots, so it’s nice to break up the grades for smaller groups and get maximum engagement.

    If you want to book me for a date this school year after April 1st and take advantage of this sweet subsidy, shoot me an email. My team will pencil you in and ensure you get the date you want. 

    To email me, reach out to team (at) miriamlaundry .com 

    Hugs,

    Miriam

    FIVE PRESENTATIONS TO CHOOSE FROM

    (Grades 5-8) The Big, Bad Bully – A bully story with a twist! Follow a young girl who struggles throughout grade school with a bully. Every day she hears her flaws pointed out. Finally, she decides to stand up to her tormentor and discovers…. it is herself! This is not a book about the bully sitting beside you in class, but the bully living in your head. Hear the gasps as students realize the twist, and discover how to turn their inner critic into your their friend! 

    (Grades 1-6) I CAN Believe in Myself – Molly avoids being the star of the day. She just CAN'T speak in front of the class …. or CAN she? Discover how she learns to shred her I CAN'T and change it to I CAN!

    (Grades 1-6) I CAN Make a Difference – Andy struggles to think of a way to make a difference when he is challenged with a school project and loses the money for it! Does he need that money or can he make a difference with his Time, Treasures, or Talents? Andy discovers the power to make a difference is within him.

    (Grades 1-6) I CAN Be Me – Maria is embarrassed when a classmate makes fun of her lunch. She wishes she could fit in, but soon discovers that everybody is a little different. She finds out the most important thing is to BE YOU!

    (Grades 7&8) The Power of Your Mind – This presentation is not based on a picture book, but rather uses exercises and powerful examples to engage older students. Miriam engages the students using a visual presentation peppered with activities. Students are challenged to transition to a growth mindset through the topics of:

    • Persistance and Overcoming Obstacles
    • Action + Attitude = Achievement
    • Three Things we CAN control: Thoughts, Imagery, and Behaviour
    • Taking Responsibility
    • Thinking BIGGER
  • Looking For a Writing Mentor?

    It was seven years ago when I first started writing and set out to publish my first children’s book. I learned so much, but looking back there is one thing I wish I would have had. 

    I would have given anything to have a writing mentor! 

    Somebody who knew the ins and outs of publishing and could help me navigate the many, MANY decisions that would come. The expert advice of someone who had done it before would have helped me avoid so many mistakes and save so much money!

    Now that I have received so much wonderful success, I want to be sure that any aspiring authors have access to something I did not: a publishing mentorship.

    I have created a program called the Publishing Mastermind. It’s a ten month mentorship where I help you go from rough draft to a finished product. My company, Laundry Books, publishes your children's book within the year, and you get access to everything I have learned. 

    I will take care of the editing and make sure your book looks amazing. You retain all the rights to your book, all the profits, AND you join five other authors in a Mastermind Group for support. It’s everything I wanted when I was starting out (and more!) 

    I am accepting six authors for the mentorship, and with three spots already taken, I am making my final decisions in the next couple of weeks.

    I am looking for empowering stories! Books for children that have a great message to them. If you have a children's book you want published, shoot me an email and let’s set up a time to talk. I would love to hear your story and help make it a reality! Your book in your hands before the end of 2020!

    A final thought: if you aren’t looking to publish, but know someone this is perfect for, please forward this email to them! If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that there are many people out there with amazing stories that need to be heard. 

    Hugs,

    Miriam

    Want to talk? Reach out to my team : team(at)miriamlaundry(dot)com

    Find out more…http://miriamlaundry.com/publish-your-book/
  • The Big Bad Bully’s Journey

    The last few weeks have been a whirlwind! I thought you might enjoy some pictures from my travels while I was promoting The Big, Bad Bully with Jack, and from my journey. The idea for The Big Bad, Bully starting back in 2015, and culminated in the launch of the book last week. 

    2015
    In the beginning, The Big Bad Bully was just a dream. I had the idea, but I wanted to co-author it with Jack Canfield, so I put it on my vision board. I took a picture that I had of us with my first book, and cut out a picture of The Big Bad Bully, and combined them. I look at this picture now and think “what a bad mock-up”, but it served it’s purpose. 
    2017 – I had the idea for the story. I had been inspired by my daughter to use the idea of “bullying yourself” and had used it to write a Toastmasters speech. Now I had the opportunity to present it as “The Bully in the Mirror” in a TEDx talk to students at Eden High School.

    2018 – Signed a publishing deal with HCI Books for The Big, Bad, Bully!
    2019 – The Big Bad Bully is finally a reality. We had such an awesome time signing an advanced shipment of books at three different book signings: St. Catharines, Toronto, and Salt Lake City. It was really wonderful to spend some time with everyone who came out. Catching up with long-time supporters and meeting new fans with Jack….. a dream come true. 
    Radio and TV interviews! Getting the word out about The Big, Bad Bully!
    Book Launch Day! We received over-whelming support of people sharing the book and buying online. We are so excited that the message is getting out! Thank you for sharing and helping to spread the word!
    The Virtual Book Reading! Everyone who purchased copies of The Big, Bad Bully got access to a live reading plus self-esteem building exercises with Jack and I. The really cool thing was seeing so many classrooms and schools participate and from all over the world too! We had people sign up from Bolivia, Sweden, New Zealand and of course Canada and the USA.

    Thank you for all that you do in helping to spread this important message. Every child (and adult) needs to be kind to themselves. 

    I feel your love, and your wonderful support through this journey. It truly was a dream come true. Patience and perseverance certainly played their part. I wasn’t worried that it took four years to come to bear. I knew it would happen. 

    One of the coolest things was being able to hang out with Jack for about a week, to spend time working together and to see a master at work.

    If you purchased a copy of The Big, Bad Bully please leave a review on Amazon if you have’t already. I am running a give-away for a $100 Amazon gift card (on both amazon.ca and amazon.com). The first 100 reviews get entered to win! Jack is away on vacation right now. I want to have a surprise for him with a tsunami of reviews for when he gets back. Before he left, I know he was reading every review. 

    A BIG thank you, again, for your help in spreading the message of The Big, Bad Bully. 

    Hugs,

    Miriam