Tips for Crafting a Successful Scholarship Application

Rebecca Langston-George

The Peg Connelly Scholarship was established by Writers of Kern to both honor the late children’s writer Peg Connelly and encourage all childrens writers in Kern County to achieve their goals. Up to two $500 scholarships are awarded annually.  Applications will be accepted March 11-31, 2017.  To apply, writers must submit an application along with either the full text of a picture book OR the first ten pages of a young adult or middle grade manuscript. Full details can be found here.

What can the money be used for?
Writing conferences, retreats, and classes as well as travel expenses for research are all appropriate ways to use the scholarship money.  Applicants could also use the money for tools such as a computer or books on writing craft.  If finding time to write is a problem, the money could even be spent on childcare.  Basically, anything the applicant feels would help him or her achieve personal writing goals is an acceptable use of the money.  If you need ideas on where to attend workshops, classes or conferences focused on writing and/or writing for children, here are a few options:

SCBWI International Conference in Los Angeles
SCBWI CenCal Writers’ Day
Central Coast Writers Program
Santa Barbara Writers Program
Highlights Founders’ Workshops
UCLA Writers’ Extension Classes online

What does a successful application look like?
Applicants who express specific goals along with a brief itemized budget show they have given the task careful thought and have an actual plan they want to accomplish. These type of applications are much more likely to be awarded money.

Specific:  My goal is to work on infusing my middle grade novel “Joey’s War” with a unique voice, so I plan to attend the Highlights workshop titled “Characters with Voice” August 21-24 in Honesdale, PA.  The workshop costs $425 which includes lodging and food.  A flight from LAX costs $200 for a total cost of $625.  I can cover the additional $125 if I’m awarded the $500 scholarship.

Non-Specific:  I plan to go to a writing workshop.
In addition, applicants who demonstrate a knowledge of craft in the way they format their materials stand out as professionals. Manuscripts should follow the industry standard: double-spaced, in a 12 point serif font, with one inch margins and the first line beginning one-third of the way down the first page.  The age category (picture book, chapter book, middle grade, young adult) should be placed in the upper right corner with the word count below it.  Entries should carefully adhere to all guidelines, be free from spelling errors, be written in an active voice and demonstrate the writer is a professional with a lively interest in writing as well as growing as a writer.

This is a great opportunity for local children’s writers.  With a little thought and planning you could be this year’s recipient, and further your writing dreams.

Allison Crotzer Kimmel – Craft the Perfect 10

Writers of Kern
Monthly Meeting

April 23, 2016
Allison Crotzer Kimmel


Allison Crotzer Kimmel, author and writing workshop presenter, will teach writers how to “Craft the Perfect 10”.
Allison Crotzer Kimmel’s program is designed to remove the mystery of how to hook an agent or editor. She will help participants understand what the first ten pages of their manuscripts should contain and why these are the most important pages of their manuscript.

Using examples and discussion of successful novels that have wonderful “First 10s” and hands-on activities designed to set up participants’ “First 10s” for perfection, Ms. Kimmel expects attendees will become ready to craft their own “Perfect 10.”

A former teacher and the author of four published books for youth in middle grades, she said, “I’ve learned a lot about what worked in my manuscripts and what didn’t.  From the first drafts of my manuscripts to their published pages, my first tens changed [greatly]… “

Allison Crotzer Kimmel, a Bakersfield resident, serves as the Published and Listed Liaison for the CenCal region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. To learn more about Ms. Kimmel, see her website at

Writers of Kern monthly meetings, held at the Clarion Hotel from 9:30-12:00, are open to the public. Admission: Members, $5, Guests $10. For more information see or email

Peggy Connelly Scholarship Available

Peggy Connelly Scholarship

Calling all Kern County Children’s and YA Writers!

Writers of Kern’s Peggy Connelly Scholarship application period open until March 31!

What’s the deal?

Peggy Connelly

Peggy Connelly

Writers of Kern supports writers of children’s literature. We’ve established up to two $500 scholarships*.  Winners can use scholarship monies in any way that helps them move forward with their work. We invite all Kern County aspiring and established children’s authors to apply.

Who was Peggy Connelly?

Peggy was a member of Writers of Kern who encouraged and supported new writers. Peggy encouraged young readers to become immersed in books and often donated her books to local elementary schools.  This scholarship continues her legacy by helping writers of children’s literature.

The ideal candidate will be passionate about writing good children’s literature, have a work in progress, and be interested in growing as a writer.

How do you apply?

The application process is easy. Just go to  and begin.

The Peggy Connelly Scholarship committee eagerly awaits your application and submission.

*Judges reserve the right to make no award if the number or quality of entries is insufficient.



Bunco Night Is Loads of Fun

Come Join Us For Bunco!

If you’ve never played Bunco and wondered what it is all about, join Writers of Kern on Thursday, April 14 at 5:30 p.m. at Christine’s in the Stockdale Fashion Center. Christine’s is located behind the Outback Steak House.

You’ll find Bunco is one of the easiest games to play. If you can role three dice at one time, you can play like a champion. There is absolutely no skill necessary. You will learn about traveling, making a Bunco, winning and losing. The best part is you are eligible to win a prize for all of those things! We’ll be serving refreshments and have lots of goodie baskets you can try to win, too.

The cost is $25 a person. You can pay in advance at Christine’s or call Janet Skibinski at 664-6983 to make a reservation; but do it soon, as seating is limited. WOK keeps all of the money raised with proceeds going to the Peggy Connelly Scholarship Fund. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., dice roll promptly at 6:30 p.m., and you should be on your way home by 8:30 p.m.

You do not have to be a Writers of Kern member, or even a writer.  If you like fun, foolishness, and making new friends, Christine’s on April 14 at 5:30 p.m. is the place to be! See you there.