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Hello, friends!!

I am so excited to tell you about Angela Pham Krans's debut book, FINDING PAPA that releases TOMORROW! Angela is our second member of PB23Bunch to release and we are all so thrilled for her! To help celebrate, I sat down with Angela to talk about her debut book. Make sure to ORDER FINDING PAPA if you haven't already!

And now, join me in welcoming Angela to the blog!

Kailei: Hi, Angela! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing journey?

Angela: My writing journey started on a scrap piece of paper in a Six Sigma training class at work. Clearly I was not paying attention, but to be fair, it had been a week of training, 8 hrs a day! 🙂 In those unfocused 10 mins, I had scribbled down book titles of stories I wanted to tell. I don’t remember why or what ignited my writing interest, but I suspect my inner child was urging me to get back to a more creative life, one that I passionately exercised as a child. When I got home that day, I slipped the piece of paper in my night stand where it stayed in the dark for a couple of years, but never remained silent. When I could no longer ignore it, I made a firm decision to explore writing. This led to attending webinars and conferences, googling everything writing related, finding CPs, creating a Twitter account and of course, writing, writing, writing! Then one day, I found Justin Colon’s PBChat Mentorship program where I applied and was selected as a mentee by Cori Doerrfeld. She helped polish my MS and through the Mentorship Showcase and agent introductions, I met my agent Katherine Wessbecher. I signed with her in February 2020 and FINDING PAPA was sold to HarperCollins in May that year. The 2nd book, WORDS BETWEEN US, will be released Fall 2023.

I currently live in Atlanta, GA with my husband and two wonderful dogs. With a full time job as a business consultant, I fit in writing time anywhere I can! But my favorite time to write is on Saturdays, at a coffee shop or on my front porch, flanked by coffee and dessert!

Kailei: Wow, Angela, I love that! How amazing that those stories just kept calling to you. I am SO glad you listened. Tell us, what inspired your debut book?

FINDING PAPA was inspired by the real-life journey that my mother and I braved by foot and by boat to find my father. I grew up hearing bits and pieces of this story from my parents so I wanted to tell a story that is close to my heart, and relevant to what's happening in the world today.

Kailei: Oh my goodness. How very special. I am seriously chomping at the bit to go pick up my copy tomorrow! What message would you like for your readers to walk away with?

Angela: I hope readers can see and feel the characters’ courage throughout the story. Even when things are scary, I think people find courage within themselves to get through hardship, especially when it’s fueled by love. Another message is the importance of leaning on the community for help. There’s courage in asking, and beauty in giving and receiving from others.

Kailei: Oh Angela, that is absolutely beautiful. I'm going to remember that... "There's courage in asking, and beauty in giving and receiving from others." Truly, that will stay with me. So... when does your debut hit shelves?

Angela: Tomorrow!! February 7, 2023. I am so excited!

Kailei: EEEEEEeeeee! I am seriously SO excited! Before I let you go, where can we follow you online?


Twitter: @angelakrans

Instagram: @angela.p.krans


Kailei: Wonderful!! Well, Angela, I am SO happy for you. Thank you for taking the time when you are so busy launching your book. I can't wait to read FINDING PAPA and wish you all the best on this journey!!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY!! Angela is generously offering one lucky reader a PB MS critique! Winner will be selected AFTER Angela finishes her debut launch on Twitter.

To enter:

Follow Angela on Twitter

Follow PB23Bunch on Twitter

Like and Retweet THIS tweet

For a bonus entries:

Tag a friend in THIS tweet. Up to 3 bonus entries, 1 per tag.

About Angela Pham Krans

Angela Pham Krans is a consultant by day, chicken farmer on weekends, and a children’s book author in all the time and spaces in between.

Her stories are inspired by life experiences, family interactions (she has a huge family), lots of animal videos and just moments that make her giggle. Ideas spark any time of the day but hot showers are the best time!

Angela is represented by Katherine Wessbecher from Bradford Literary Agency.

About PB23Bunch

The PB23Bunch is a diverse group of 12 authors and illustrators with Picture Books debuting in 2023. We cannot wait to get our books in your hands!!

Hello, wonderful KidLit friends!!

*Please read through everything carefully before entering the contest*


The 2nd annual #KidsChoiceKidLitWritingContest is LIVE!

While not at all required for entry, I’m asking that all who enter consider making a donation to help give the 290+ kid judges a THANK YOU GIFT for their time, sacrifices, work, comments, and amazing efforts in judging this event.

This would not be possible without them!!

I’m *hoping* to send each child a book and to support local indie bookstores to do so. But that will depend on the amount of money we receive. Just know that 100% of donations WILL go to getting these awesome kids a gift. What that gift will be just depends on how much money we can raise.

You can donate in two ways. You can make a “purchase” through my shop HERE. The shop requires that I set a dollar amount, so you will see that reflected on that page. I have options for $5, $10, $15, $20, and $25 donations. But again, no amount is too small.

If you would like to donate another amount, or don't want to go through my website, you can Venmo me (@Kailei-Pew).

I can also take donations through PayPal or Zelle, just reach out for that information.

Now… the reason you are here!!!


If you need to review the rules, go HERE, and then enter through the Google Form linked below. While I hope you will also post your story in the comments below and encourage each other there, you MUST enter through the form this year to be considered by the kid judges.

Also, if you missed it or want a refresher on the awesomeness, you can check out the incredible list of prizes from our amazing donors HERE.

Important dates to note:

January 26th-28th: Contest Form is open

March 3rd (ish): Finalists announced

March 20th (ish) : Winners Announced

Feel free to download this participant badge and post on social media using #KidsChoiceKidLitWritingContest so that we can all chat about the experience and lift each other up! Then comment on THIS TWEET to help us generate buzz and excitement.

After entering (or before), please consider pasting your entry (***or a snippet***) into the comment section below so that everyone can read and comment on your work. Consider adding your social media handles so that other entrants can find and follow you.

You can also post your entry on your own blog or website if you like, but again, you MUST enter officially through the Google Form below.

(***NOTE: If you have a PB entry that you are planning to query/submit as it is, you should ONLY post about 50-60 words as a sample in the comments below. Do post the ENTIRE ENTRY in the Google form, knowing that it will be kept private).

Now... it's time!! Click the button below and GOOD LUCK! I am so grateful to each and every one of you. No matter what happens, please remember that your work is enough. YOU are enough. The world needs your stories. There is room for all of us in this industry and you just have to keep going. I believe in you.

About Kailei Pew

Kailei Pew is a wife, mother, and children's book author represented by the amazing Emily Forney of Bookends Literary.

Upcoming books include:

THE MONSTER ABOVE THE BED (Clarion/Harper, Fall 2023)

I SEE COLOR (With Valerie Bolling, HarperKids, Winter 2024)

KID-VENTORS (F&F/Macmillan, Spring 2024)

Learn more HERE

Hello, friends! Sorry for a post two days in a row. But the #KidsChoiceKidlitWritingContest is fast approaching and I want to make sure that everyone is prepared. I've been getting a lot of questions recently, which I don't mind at all, but a lot of them are repeat questions, so I figure a lot of you have the same queries. So read these FAQs and if you have a question that I don't cover, feel free to ask it in the comments below!

Q: Can I submit the same story from last year's contest if I have changed it a little bit?

A: No. You need to submit something new so that none of the judges are swayed from reading your story last year. If you took a very small element from last year's story (character name, setting, or something like it) and wrote an entirely new story, then you may submit that this year.

Q: Can I submit a story that has been published?

A: No. You may not submit a story that has been officially published in a book, journal, magazine, or online, whether traditionally published or self-published.

Q: Can I submit a story that is currently under contract to be published but not yet published?

A: No. Even if the story is not yet published, it is still going to be published. You may not submit stories that are currently under contract for publication. Trust me, you don't want to get in trouble either.

Q: Can I submit a story that has been queried to agents or submitted to publishers but never published?

A: Yes. So long as you stay within the word count, you may submit stories (or portions of stories) that you have queried or submmited that have NOT gone on to be published.

Q: Can I still enter the contest if my child is a judge?

A: You may not enter in the same category that your child will be judging. However, you may enter in a different category. If your child is judging Picture Books, you may enter a Middle Grade or Young Adult story. If your child is judging Middle Grade, you may enter a Picture Book or a Young Adult story. If your child is judging Young Adult, you may enter a Picture Book or Middle Grade story.

Q: Can I use art notes?

A: Yes, but please remember that they count toward your word count. Also remember that kids will be judging this contest, so make sure the art note makes sense to your audience.

Q: Will I get feedback from the kid judges?

A: Most likely not. This is a HUGE endeavor for the kids and they will be reading SO MANY ENTIRES. While there is an option on the judging form for kids to leave any comments, it is not required, only there for those who have a deep desire to pass comments along. I DO send comments along to the authors who receive them, but I would say that was less that 2% of entrants last year. All of the winners did receive at least a handful of comments on the final round, so they all received those.

Q: Did any of last year's winners go on to get book deals, agents, etc. with the pieces they used for the Kids' Choice contest?

A: YES! I can't share details yet, but hopefully soon we'll be able to share some "success" stories. But truly, having kids read and love your work is the true point of this and a great success on its own.

Q: Do I have to post my entry on your blog?

A: No, you do not. If you choose to enter only through the Google Form, that is more than okay. I do encourage you to post your story (or an excerpt of it) on my blog to foster community. Then everyone can read and encourage each other while we wait for news from the kid judges. NOTE: IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO QUERY THE PB ENTRY YOU SUBMIT TO THE CONTEST AS IS, YOU SHOULD ONLY POST ABOUT 50-70 WORDS OF IT ON MY BLOG.

Q: How do you decide which kids read which entries?

A: Since we receive hundreds and hundreds of entries, it's too many for all of the kids to read. So I randomly create groups of 10 entries and send them to groups of 7-12 kid judges (depending on how many entries we get and how many kids are judging) who will vote on that set. Then the top 2-3 winners from each of those groups go on to a middle round where again they are put with 10 entries and voted on by about 15 kids. Then the winners of that round go on to the final round. In that round, ALL of the kids in each category will read and vote on the final 10 entries in each age group.

Q: Only 200 words? Really? What if I submit something longer?

A: Yes, only 200 words or less. Any entries that don't follow this guideline will not be considered by our kid judges.

Q: Why is the submission window shorter this year?

A: Honestly, to make the contest a bit more manageable on the administrative side. I know it's a lot shorter this year, but it is still three full days, so hopefully you can find time to submit within that window.

Well, I think between that and our Rules Post, things should be pretty clear. But if you have any additional questions, don't hesitate to ask. I am more than happy to help!

Good luck with your writing and I truly can't wait to see what you create! Make sure to subscribe to my blog so you are ready to come back here and submit your entries between January 26th and 28th.

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