Student Success Stories: Nadia Salomon

I'm thrilled to be able to share a Success Story interview with Nadia Salomon today. I think many of you already know Nadia. She filmed a Master Studies video on bedtime book mentor texts for us a few weeks ago. If you missed it, you can click on the link in my last sentence to get the blog post with the video, or you can just watch the video below. I will be giving away a copy of Nadia's own bedtime book at the end of this post. So if you missed it on her Master Studies post, you have another chance.

Myrna: What is your background?

Nadia: My background is in journalism.

Myrna: What drew you to writing for children?

Nadia: I had one! Then, said child challenged me to write a bedtime story. And the rest is history.

Myrna: I love that! Would you be willing to share how you ended up with your agent? Do you have any advice to share for those who are querying? 

Nadia: My agent faved one of my pitches on #Pitmad. I pitched in March 2018. I sent the requested manuscript within minutes of being faved. Then she requested more writing samples. I sent her my entire body of work (21 polished manuscripts). We had THE CALL. And before I knew it, she offered representation. We’ve been hitched ever since!

Advice: Just do it! Put yourself out there. Twitter pitching is one way to query, but the traditional route is okay too. Be sure your manuscript is polished and ready. Also be sure to have some polished writing samples on tap before querying. 

Myrna: Thanks for sharing that! You mentioned that you’re writing in different formats for multiple age groups. How did that happen? 

Nadia: That happened when a couple of my ‘concept’ picture book manuscripts were returned with comments like, “Have you considered writing this in middle grade?” or “I think this topic would be better suited for middle grade.” Pish posh . . . seeing that I envision these stories in a visual medium, I opted to rewrite them in graphic novel format instead. I figured the latter would be the lesser of my two evil choices. I sure was wrong. But as I tell everyone to just do it . . . I’m just going to do it. Let’s see what happens?

Myrna: Philomel just published your debut picture book, GOODNIGHT GANESHA, and it’s gorgeous. We’re going to share your virtual book launch. Is there anything you want to add to what you’ve already said?

Nadia: I’m thankful Liza Kaplan fell in love with the manuscript and Philomel trusted her with bringing it to market. And thankful she too was excited to work with Poonam Mistry. All the way around, we each are proud of how the book turned out.

Myrna: What are your plans to promote your book? Do you recommend joining a debut group? 

Nadia: I’ve been promoting since I wrote Goodnight Ganesha. It’s been a conversation and sharing of my journey more than anything. So, the people following me and rooting for the book’s success know every single step of the process. Now that the book is physically here, I’m just having fun with it. We’ve been playing I SPY #GGInTheWild or asking folks to take selfies with the book or the book by itself. I am planning to put it all together on a page off my website or possibly on the Goodnight Ganesha IG. I haven’t decided yet. But I want to keep it fun. And I love that everyone’s participating.

Yes. Join a debut group. Not just for the promotional aspect of amplifying your book, but for the camaraderie, support, and lasting friendships you’re going to make with members. If you’re unable to find a group, start one. If you’re not inclined, find a group you like and mimic what they are doing.

Follow how they introduce themselves. What are things that are important to them? Cover reveals. Launches. How are they handled? Pay attention to the things you like or think would be comfortable for you to do.

I’m currently in two promo groups, but it’s tough to pull off sometimes, because I get sidetracked with so many things. While I love both of my groups, they each have a different platform and process. One is mostly all newbies debuting, and the other is a mix of different authorship levels that also has more of a social awareness element. And when in doubt . . . follow Soaring 20’s PBs—they really set the bar for what the rest of us are doing. 

Myrna: One of your manuscripts won an award from SCBWI. Would you tell us about that process, please?

Nadia: Yes. I vied for the WOOP award. It’s the Work of Outstanding Progress award. It’s a grant SCBWI gives out to regional volunteers to help them complete a work-in-progress. I had been working on one of my “heart” manuscripts, a picture book biography, MYRLIE: A VOICE OF HOPE. After so many rejections (YES, REJECTIONS) and revisions (I lost count)—I started to feel like I was losing my way. I completed the application and entered it for consideration. I even forgot about it. Imagine my surprise, when I found out I had won the WOOP Honor. It’s just been such a positive for me. I soon hope to have more news about this.  

Myrna: Exciting. Has Storyteller Academy helped you at all? If so, how?

Nadia: I can’t even begin to tell you how influential Storyteller Academy has been in my writing journey. It started the day I met Arree presenting his Ninja series at my local community center. The day I became a member and met all these wonderful people (Myrna, Kathy, Cindy) who lift and support me in ways I can’t even express my gratitude. The same for the mentors (Carter, Ken, Vanessa, Tim) – people first, then mentors. Everything is done with heart first. A gentle hand and they all share Arree’s nurturing quality and that voice that always challenges you to do you, do your best, while at the same time guiding you.

Myrna: Do you have any advice for our readers?

Nadia: Read. Read. Read. Face your fears, and take a leap of faith. You don’t know what possibilities lie ahead for you until you try. Stop looking at what is happening for someone else, and focus on what can happen for you. Be persistent. Develop a thick skin. And when in doubt, reach out . . . there’s always someone in the #writingcommunity there to lift you up. Sometimes, that lift comes from someone you least expect was paying attention.

Myrna: Thank you for that advice. I totally agree. What’s next for you?

Nadia: Waiting on a couple of announcements. Still writing while on sub. Looking forward to mentoring a class with Jarrett Lerner’s #KidsNeedMentors program. Also have some fun events in the works with the Pajama Program and some libraries. And trying to take in all the excitement with debuting.

Myrna: That all sounds wonderful. Where can we find you on the Internet?


Instagram: NadiaSalomon.Author

Twitter: @Nadia_Salomon

Myrna: Where can we buy your book?

Nadia: KEEP CELEBRATING! BUY THIS BOOK AT: Flashlight Books|Mrs. Dalloway's| Rakestraw Books |Barnes & Noble| | Amazon

Myrna: Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Nadia!

Book Giveaway!

Share something you’ve learned from Nadia in a comment, and I’ll enter you to win a copy of Goodnight Ganesha. This giveaway will close on September 20th at midnight, PDT. You can share this post on social media for extra entries. Just post a link (or let me know) in a comment below. 

Thanks for reading!

Picture of Myrna Foster
Myrna Foster

Myrna Foster writes and edits content for Storyteller Academy and the WriteRiders Newsletter for SCBWI Nevada. She has spent a lot of time teaching and coaching children, including five years as a preschool teacher. She's also worked as a journalist, and Highlights High Five has published six of her poems.

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24 thoughts on “Student Success Stories: Nadia Salomon”

  1. I learned from Nadia that I must face my fears and take a leap of faith. I have been discouraged with my writing. Even though I am published, my fear of not being able to publish again has made me wonder if I should bother to continue. Thank you, Nadia. I must face my fear and do it anyway.

  2. I learned that the “universe” can surprise you when you dream big. I LOVE that she got the illustrator she dreamed to work with.

  3. Just watched the video of Nadia sharing about mentor texts. I have always wanted to write a children’s book; I’ve had difficulty knowing where to begin. Nadia’s talk about mentor texts and getting started have given me some much needed direction. Thank you!

  4. I learned that Nadia’s originally followed Goodnight Moon’s book format and that other people challenged her to make it her own. The fact that Nadia went on this rewriting journey inspires me because I do a lot of rewriting too.

  5. My take away from this was two fold: it reinforced a need to read, read, read and also to believe that I am enough-I can make it through the process . Don’t compare myself to others,

  6. Learned a several things. Just do it and put yourself out there. Join a debut group (didn't know these existed). The debut groups reminded me of critique groups that give you a lot of support. I was very impressed with 21 polished manuscripts – and I'm just working on one.

  7. I learned a lot from this interview but this: “Nadia: Read. Read. Read. Face your fears, and take a leap of faith. You don’t know what possibilities lie ahead for you until you try. Stop looking at what is happening for someone else, and focus on what can happen for you. Be persistent. Develop a thick skin. And when in doubt, reach out . . . there’s always someone in the #writingcommunity there to lift you up. Sometimes, that lift comes from someone you least expect was paying attention.” really inspires me and lifts me up!

  8. I love that you are doing the I Spy thing! What a fun way to promote! That’s a big take away for me from this interview! I also loved the comment on being persistent. So important, not just in writing but in life!

  9. I love this book. I am so happy to have learned about the style of art and the serendipitous way that collaboration with the artist happened. There is more at play in the universe than we can imagine! This was a beautiful interview. Thank you for sharing it!
    I shall be brave and continue with audacity and keep going. We make of our life, what it is!

  10. I remember Nadia talking – maybe at the closing session in July? – about meeting Arree at her community center, just as she did in the interview with Myrna. It makes me think there really is an element of luck to finding your way as a writer. Nadia's story is also one of hard work and revision (congratulations on the WOOP award!), but it seems to be that sweet spot, the intersection of talent, hard work, and luck, that leads to success. Congratulations, Nadia, and I look forward to reading your book!

  11. I finally was able to watch Nadia's launch party video on YouTube. I love her energy and exuberance! Very infectious. Makes you feel you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Her “can do” attitude and “follow your dreams” story which included her father was quite the inspiration. I did not know about debut groups so that is now filed away for future reference. Sooooo many polished manuscripts. Impressive does not begin to describe what I think about that! I am learning that Jim Averbeck's Hierarchy of Revision is my friend when it comes to polishing manuscripts. Congratulations, Nadia! Looking forward to future offerings by you!

    1. I have been writing a while now but haven’t published anything. I think I am too hard on myself. I wanted to self publish but I a little weary about getting an illustrator. I thought about the traditional route but I was told the story will get ripped apart.. I want an editor but finding one has been difficult. I prayed and then I saw this article. This article reminding me of my life as a foster child and I almost died as an infant. Doctors were giving up hope of my survival. I fought and I lived. I have always fought to overcome obstacles and succeeded. This article renewed my spirit to write and start to submit.

  12. Now, every time I put off working on my story or think that I can't do it, Nadia's words will be pushing me to do better. Her comment about putting yourself out there and getting out of your box really hit home. I can't dream about being an author while sitting idle hoping for a miracle. Nadia has a great attitude and work ethic which is infectious. She introduced me to the term debut group and I learned that you can pitch on Twitter. Congratulations, Nadia!!

  13. I really love how, in the Master Studies video, Nadia manages to combine the intensive study of the bedtime story with the pure joy of reading it with a little one. I'm sure both her hard work and her love for stories and books are present in “Good night Ganesha”. Thank you so much, Nadia!

  14. This was very inspirational, thank you! I learned from Nadia how important it is to not give up, that getting rejections on your book is normal but if you keep going the right person will come along and things WILL fall into place. I admire how many times you re-wrote the book without getting discouraged or feeling bad about not “getting it right” in the first place, thank you so much for that reminder! ♥

  15. I just watched Nadia’s book interview on you tube and it was very inspiring! I especially love how she learned to dream from her Dad! Be resilient, read read read and then read some more! I admire how Nadia gave such wonderful credit to her illustrator, whom she truly admired and was so excited at the collaboration in making her book. A great lesson in Team work in making it all happen. When she spoke of rhyming, not being an easy task, but she went ahead to conquer and compared it to song writing and aced it! Truly an inspirational interview! Thank you for sharing your writing journey with us!

  16. Storyteller Academy team is, as a whole, supportive and caring. “Everything is done with heart first.” I will add that during the free week of classes I took, that was evident to me. Not only on the material presented but how it was presented by all members of the team.

  17. I enjoyed reading Nadia's advice to ” face your fears and take a leap of faith. You don't know what lies ahead until you try. ” I am truly going to keep her advice close to my heart and most definetly apply what she is saying to my everyday life. A big thank -you to Nadia for giving me some encouraging words of wisdom.

  18. I enjoyed reading Nadia's advice to ” face your fears and take a leap of faith. You don't know what lies ahead until you try. ” I am truly going to keep her advice close to my heart and most definetly apply what she is saying to my everyday life. A big thank -you to Nadia for giving me some encouraging words of wisdom.

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