Friday, October 23, 2009

Wise Words from Tate Author Barb Smitherman

Click here to read ideas and suggestions from Tate Author Barb Smitherman.

Local Artist Wins International Award

Local Artist Wins International Award

CHICKASHA, OK – Local illustrator and author Kurt Jones, of Chickasha, Oklahoma, was recently awarded third place in the Concept Art category of the 2009 Digital Artist Awards, among entrants from across the world.

His entry, titled “Post Destruction,” was painted using Photoshop CS4, and he created it as an environmental concept for the post destruction of Earth.

“Expertly rendered and executed, you can almost hear the silence in this piece,” Gregory Staples, a judge for the competition, said.

The Digital Artist Awards are conducted by leading art and design magazines, such as “Computer Arts,” “Computer Arts Projects,” “ImagineFX,” “3D World” and “.net,” in association with Intel. The 2009 Digital Artist Awards ceremony was conducted in London earlier this month, and Jones’ winning entry will be featured worldwide online and in the sponsoring magazines with a brief article about him.

A resident of Chickasha, Oklahoma, Jones currently serves as an Illustrations Associate at Tate Publishing and Enterprises in Mustang, Oklahoma. He is the author and illustrator of “A Tree Tale,” which explains a tree’s life journey and growth to young readers.

Kentucky Authors Win National Award

DOVER, Ky. – A Kentucky author and her two grown daughters have recently been awarded the Bronze distinction in the “Young Adult Fiction – Religion/Spirituality” category of the 2009 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards.

Songwriter Jackie Alley, of Dover, Kentucky, and her daughters, Shawna Lippert and Kalli Dow co-wrote “Nana's Tomato Patch,” a thirty-day devotional that offers an opportunity for the whole family to interact as they learn to apply our Lord's great word to their daily walk with Him. Nana's Book Builders have a mission to provide family entertainment through books and songs that acknowledge God as the center of the family, which is a gift from God.

Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available at any bookstore nationwide or can be ordered through the publisher at or by visiting, or This is also an eLIVE title, meaning each copy contains a code redeemable for a free audio version from

Other winning books in the “Young Adult Fiction – Religion/Spirituality” category were “Redefining Beautiful,” by Jenna Lucado with Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson), which won the Gold Award, and “Night of the Indigo,” by Michael Holgate (MacMillan Caribbean), which was awarded the Silver distinction.

This is the third annual Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, presented by Jenkins Group and Independent Publisher Online. The Moonbeam Awards ceremony took place on October 10, 2009, as part of the West Virginia Book Festival in Charleston, West Virginia.


Helpful tutorial link for!

Author CO Sage Feature Article

Friday, October 16, 2009

Freelance Writing Tip

We get a lot of requests from authors to have their book reviewed by magazines, especially national magazines. Yes, many magazines do reviews, but authors seeking them are faced with at least 2 challenges:

1) There are 8000 books released every week. No magazine can possibly review them all.

2) Reviews are a flash in the pan, so they don’t often turn into large sales.

Fortunately for the enterprising author, there is a better way to get exposure from magazines: become a freelance writer. Magazines use freelance writers all the time, and they often pay for articles they print. When you write an article, you get to write your own bio, and you can use that bio to plug your book. Here’s an example:

Bob Smith is the author of The Book You Can’t Put Down, published by Tate Publishing and available at stores or at He is a lifelong reader and has enjoyed writing since college. He lives with his wife, 3 kids, 2 dogs and his favorite pen in Anywhere, USA.

The more you do this well, the more you’ll be asked to do it. One of our authors has just gotten her second regular columnist job.

Rebecca Ingram Powell ( is the author of Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose. Listen to the great news she just shared with us: “My family will be featured on the cover of ‘Home Educating Family’ magazine, the Nov/Dec 2009 issue. There will also be an article about us and our ministries. My books, including Season of Change, will be promoted in a sidebar.”

As great as all that news is, it’s still just a one-time feature that’s here today and gone tomorrow. Now here’s the best part: “I have also accepted a position with this magazine beginning in January as a columnist. I will write a monthly feature called, ‘The Middle School Mom.’ The magazine will also be promoting my book at 26 home education conferences during the spring and summer of 2010.”

This is a perfect example of what doors are open to you now that you are a published author.

Fiction authors, don’t think this is only for non-fiction. There are plenty of magazines that feature short stories, which can help you keep your skills sharp while you’re marketing your book. Furthermore, you wrote your book to make at least one point, and it is an illustration of your main theme. Identify your main theme and your sub-themes, and now you have key words for non-fiction magazine articles.

That doesn’t mean it is easy, however. The best way to start is to identify a few key words for your book. Type them into your favorite search engine followed by the word “magazine”. The results that come up will give you a great place to start positioning yourself as a recognized expert in your field. After all, you wrote the book on it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tate Author/Artist Slideshow!

Author Idea!

From a Tate Author--

She ordered signs for her vehicle from a company called Fast Signs. She found them online and then located them in her area. They were reasonably priced and had the signs finished in a few days. They also did the lettering for the back of her car. She said the lettering was very affordable!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Author Judy Drewett Featured in Local Paper

Retired elementary school teacher writes children’s book

The Palestine Herald

A local retired school teacher has started her second career — writing children’s books.

Judy Perry Drewett, who retired after 28 years of teaching elementary school — including 21 years at Northside Early Childhood Center, has written a full-color children’s book called “’Til the Cows Come Home.”

“This book was inspired by a kindergarten student’s curiosity — a little boy with a vivid imagination,” Drewett said. “Thomas, the little boy in the book, begins to see cows everywhere he goes.”

While the book won’t be officially released until Nov. 10, a book signing will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at Northside Early Childhood Center’s library.

Drewett got the idea to write the book from a kindergarten student who wasn’t paying attention to his work in class. She told him to start doing his work or he wouldn’t get finished ‘til the cows came home.

The little boy then raised his hand and asked “What does it mean ‘when the cows come home’?”

In the book, for example, he’s not paying attention when the teacher asks him to get in the line to leave the playground. When the little boy looks at the other students already in line, they are all cows — even the teacher.

“As a teacher, I know young children are mesmerized by books with animals dressed like humans,” Drewett said. “That’s why I wanted to write this book.”

“’Til the Cows Come Home” is appropriate for children ages 3 to 9, Drewett said, but will appeal to all ages.

Drewett was born in Abilene to parents who were missionaries — traveling all over from place to place. Even so, Drewett has lived in Texas for 32 years.

While getting her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Harding University in Searcy, Ark., she met her husband, Roy Drewett. They married in 1969 and have been married for 40 years.

Drewett began her career teaching first grade in Memphis, Tenn. and later second grade in Concord, Ark.

She then stopped teaching for a few years to rear her children. For 15 years of their marriage, her husband was a preacher. Their daughter, Jennifer, was born in Rome, Italy while they were serving as missionaries. They then moved to Texas and a son, Roy Drewett Jr., was born in Hearne.

When the children were older, Drewett went back to teaching — first for a private school in Athens, then spending one year teaching music in Dallas.

They moved to Palestine in 1986 when her husband got a job as a probation officer.

“Then I started 22 years of teaching in Texas schools — first one year at Athens teaching fifth grade and then I started my 21 years of teaching at Northside.”

At Northside, she taught second grade for 12 years and kindergarten for her last nine years.

She retired last May from teaching. Her husband also retired last year as the director of adult probation.

“It’s been a lifelong dream — wanting to write — but after teaching at Northside I knew I wanted to write children’s books,” Drewett said. “And that’s why I wanted to have the book signing at Northside — because of my principal Barbara Dutton.”

Her book, published by Tate Publishing Co. in Oklahoma City, will be available to order from major book chains including Barnes & Noble, Border and Amazon, among others.

Drewett also has a new Web site in the works where you can pre-order the book:

“This is a second career for me and I hope to continue as long as I can. I want to keep writing,” Drewett said, noting she hopes to do rhyming books in the future.

Drewett and her husband enjoy spending time with their family — daughter Jennifer and Mike Austin of Tyler and their children, Drew Austin, Julia Austin and Claire Shultz; and son Roy Drewett Jr. and wife Meredith of Gresham and their children, Anna Grace Drewett and Abigail Drewett.

“I love reading to my grandchildren, baking, spending time with my 88-year-old mother and teaching Sunday school to kindergarten and first graders,” Drewett said.

Drewett attends Court Drive Church of Christ and is a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma teacher sorority.

The public is invited to attend the book signing at Northside’s library on Sept. 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. During the event, her books will be sold for $10 (normally the price is $10.99 plus tax). Refreshments will be available.