Camp Not Allowed visits Washington, DC!

My publisher, Doodle and Peck will display my book, Camp Not Allowed, at her booth at the annual American Library Association (ALA) Conference in Washington, D.C., this month.

See below, the Indie Catalog of titles that will be distributed to all attendees. Camp out on page 20 (wink, wink)!


Camp Not Allowed is now an E-book!

Fourteen Doodle and Peck books were uploaded to Amazon/Kindle this past week. More will follow soon! You can still order a hardback or softcover copy from, but now you have choices!!

Froggy Bottom Blues, by Sharon Martin

Scanner, by U.B. Townsend

Let’s Follow Them!, by M. Jones

Grrr…Night!, by Susan Meyers

Joshua and the Biggest Fish, by K. Morrison

Camping With Bigfoot, by Matt Judkins

Mila Denton’s Worst Week Ever!, by Sandra Lawson

Mila Denton is an April Fool, by Sandra Lawson

Camp Not Allowed, by K.J. Williams

Stone Girl, by Susan Meyers

The Potbelly Pig Promise, by Barbara Shepherd

Down on the Ranch, by Nancy Pyle

Scanner and the Icky, Sticky Gum, by U.B. Townsend

Just Playing, by Anita Schlaht

Suki and Sam, by Dr. Lisa Marotta

Space  Station Vacation, by Darlina Eichman

What’s happening?

-Just attempting my first nonfiction book with a joint author, to be named later.

-Revising picture book & middle grade manuscripts…always.

-Applied to sign and sell my book at the Enid Author Fest on March 2nd. I’ll let you know if I get selected!

-Applied for a Picture Book mentorship with Writing with the Stars. Fingers crossed!!

-Registered for the SCBWI Spring Conference in Tulsa, April 5-6. Excited to learn more about the craft of writing. Go to and find the Oklahoma region to check it out.

-Latest books read?

MG: Inkling by Kenneth Oppel and the creepy Serafina Series by Robert Beatty

PB: Pig the Pug Series (my 6 year old grandson loved all of them!) by Aaron Blabey and The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith (hilarious)


What’s in it for me?

Here are a few basics I gleaned at Oklahoma SCBWI Conferences.

  • Set realistic writing goals. A paragraph a day is better than writing pages every 2 or 3 weeks.
  • Start with a hook.
  • Show don’t tell. Telling: Jimmy felt afraid. Showing: Jimmy’s hands shook and his hair stood on end.
  • Read the kind of books you want to write.
  • Put your story into a sentence stating the character and the conflict. ___________overcomes ________.
  • Point of View is driven by the story not the writer. You may need to rewrite your manuscript in different POV to see what is best.
  • Don’t use adverbs.
  • Use specific nouns. Use Pines not trees.
  • Use active verbs. Sang is stronger than was singing.
  • Be careful when writing in first person. Every word has to come from the character’s mouth and has to show the character’s personality.
  • Do not overuse figurative language such as alteration, similes and metaphors.
  • Voice is the spirit of the story. It is a combination of dialog narrative, characterization and writing style.
  • Plot out your story arc.
  • For picture books, make a picture book dummy to see pacing.
  • Word count for picture books should be under 300 words.
  • Leave room for the illustrator when writing picture books.

This is just the tip if the iceberg. If you are serious about writing for children, these conferences are worth your time and money.  For more details go to  and click on the Oklahoma region. 

Karen’s Chaos

Taken from SCBWI publishing standards:

  • Board Books (1 or under manuscript pages) for 3 year olds and under
  • Picture Books (2 to 3 manuscript pages) for ages 3 to 8
  • Easy-to-Read (10-20 manuscript pages) for ages 5 to 8
  • Chapter Books (40-60 manuscript pages) for ages 7-9
  • Middle Grade (100-250 manuscript pages) for ages 8-12
  • Young Adult (200-350 manuscript  pages) for ages 12 and up
  • Nonfiction (manuscript pages varies by age group)
  • Poetry for younger readers (15 to 40 manuscript pages) with only one poem per page
  • Poetry for older readers (50 to 150 manuscript pages) with one poem per page.

—-typical genres, manuscript reference


Good News!


My first every published book was released Feb. 15th! It is a 48 page Chapter Book called Camp Not Allowed for 2nd and 3rd graders. It is a light-hearted, summer fun story about gender equality with a Native American theme. It is available on Amazon. Teachers and Media Specialists get 25% off the retail if they buy directly from the publisher at