Some Common Writing Terminology

Illustration copyright Samantha Kickingbird

Acronym:  a word formed from the first letter or first few letters of each word in a phrase or title and sometimes pronounced as a word.  NASA is pronounced as a word and is the acronym for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. FBI is pronounced by its letters and is an acronym for Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Alliteration: A group of words that all begin with the same sound. 
Peter Piper picked a peck of pepper pickles.
Antonym: a word with a meaning that is opposite to the meaning of another word. Love is the antonym of hate. Happy is the antonym of sad.
Euphemism: a milder word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.
Spinning tales can be an euphemism for lying.
Homonyms: a word that is said or spelled the same way as another word but has a different meaning.
Write, right, and rite are homonyms.
Duck (noun) and duck (verb) are homonyms.
Metaphor: a word or phrase that is used as a symbol to make a direct comparison between two people, animals, things, places, or a combination of any two of these. A metaphor makes a stronger statement than a simile does by stating something “is” something else.
The king is a dragon today.
The raindrops were arrows.
Oxymoron: A phrase composed of two words with contradictory meanings.
Jumbo shrimp. Act naturally. Original copy.
Pun: A play on words that relies on a word’s having more than one meaning or sounding like another word.
A good pun has its own reword.
Horses are stable animals.
Simile: a figure of speech in which two un-similar things or people are compared by using “like” or “as” to connect the comparison.
The knight was as brave as a panther.
The dragon danced like a feather in the wind.
Synonyms: a word that has the same meaning as another word. Big, large, huge, and giant are synonyms.
Small, miniature, little, and tiny are synonyms.
Personification: a figure of speech in which a something non-human is given a human quality. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings.
The unicorn sang in triumph.
Flowers danced in the breeze.

Check out dragon books for children by author Diane Mae Robinson:

The Strange English Language

Illustration copyright @ Samantha Kickingbird

Some Fun Word Stuff

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: “abstemious” and “facetious.” 

There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

“Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”.

No word in the English language rhymes with month,orange, silver, or purple.

The sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter of the alphabet. 

Hetronyms are words spelled the same as another but having different sounds and different meanings, as lead (to conduct) and lead (a metal).

Homographs are words with the same written form as another but different meanings, whether pronounced the same way or not, as row (an argument) and row (paddle the oars) and row (a straight line).

       The dragon wound the cloth around the wound on his leg.

      He could still lead the knights if he could get the thick lead door opened.

     The king had to refuse the dumping of more refuse.

     The princess did not object to the shinny object the dragon brought her.

     The royal carpenter built the door to close to the window—it would not close.

     The royal chef had a tear in his apron and a tear in his eye.

     Upon arrival, the royal dove dove through the window.

Deserting his dessert in the desert was not in the plan.

     The soldiers got in a row as they tried to straighten the row while rowing.
      The kingdom’s gardener was summoned to produce lots of produce, or else.

     The bass tuba had an etching of a bass on it’s stem.

     The prince, even in his present state, was to present the present to the princess.

     The wind was too strong to wind the kite string.

Then we could look at the word “Up”–quite possibly the strangest word in that it is an adverb, preposition, adjective, noun, and verbs: used with object, used without an object, or used as an idiom. Here are all the mind-boggling definitions of “Up”;

Want to have some grammar fun? The Dragon Grammar Book, for middle grades and up. An Bestseller in Language Arts Books.

The Dragon Grammar Book: Grammar for Kids, Dragons, and the Whole Kingdom by [Robinson, Diane Mae]

Hurly Burly The Squirrel Next Door (Squirrel Facts Edition)-Book Review

By S.S. Bazinet

Illustrated by Laura Christine Tiralla

Publisher: Renata Press (October 26, 2015)

Age Level: 4 – 8 | Grade Level: P – 3

About The Book

Hurly the squirrel is as cute as they come, but would he make a good house guest?
When Hurly invites himself into a boy’s home, the boy quickly learns that squirrels do not have pleasing inside-the-house manners.

“He chatters and scratches, he picks at the latches
of cupboards that hold all my food!
And if they resist, his teeth will persist,
and sly is his favorite mood.”

This hilarious and brightly illustrated tale of how a squirrel can create chaos will delight young and old readers alike.

What I Thought

This is an ingenious picture story book–it’s an adorable, fun story and a fact book all in one! The story of Hurly Burly the squirrel, written in charming rhyme, unfolds as he invites himself to become a house guest of a little boy. Hurly Burly is trouble, for sure, but he’s the most lovable squirrel ever. So what can the boy do to keep Hurly Burly around but cut down on the chaos in the house?

The squirrel facts (included on every page at the bottom of the story) are delightful and will educate children while they are entertained with the humorous story.

Illustrator Laura Christine Tiralla has captured the essence of Hurly Burly with wonderful artwork.

Hurly Burly The Squirrel Next Door (Squirrel Facts Edition):

Author S. S. Bazinet

S.S. Bazinet Biography

My fondest wish is that my stories entertain my readers and also provide them with moments of clarity and a deeper connection to themselves. My books include The Vampire Reclamation Project series, the Sentenced to Heaven series, as well as the YA thriller, My Brother’s Keeper, and a dystopian novel, Dying Takes It Out of You.

Where To Find The Author

Amazon Author Page:
Author’s website:
Facebook: http://

Writing Competition for Emerging Writers in Canada

Re-post from The Writers’ Union of Canada


The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is pleased to launch its 26th Annual Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers, which invites Canadian writers to submit a piece of fiction or nonfiction of up to 2,500 words.  A $2,500 prize will be awarded to the winner, and the entries of the winner and finalists will be submitted to three Canadian magazines for consideration. The deadline for entries is February 15, 2019.
The Competition aims to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of short prose. “Over its twenty-six-year history, the Short Prose Competition has served as a springboard to a successful writing career,” notes Executive Director John Degen. “A number of winners and finalists have gone on to publish many books and join the Union’s ranks.”
The Union is proud to announce an esteemed group of jurors for the Competition:

  • Peter Dubé is the author, co-author, or editor of eleven books including the novels Hovering World and The City’s Gates, the short fiction collection At the Bottom of the Sky, the novella Subtle Bodies, which was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award, and Conjure: a Book of Spells, a collection of prose poems that was shortlisted for the A. M. Klein Prize. His most recent work is the short fiction collection Beginning with the Mirror.
  • Norma Dunning is an Inuk writer, scholar, and researcher. She is a fifth-year doctoral candidate with Indigenous Peoples Education at the University of Alberta but resides in Victoria, BC. Her book Annie Muktuk and Other Stories received the Danuta Gleed Literary Award in 2018. Her debut collection of poetry titled Eskimo Pie is scheduled for release in the fall of 2019.
  • Pamela Mordecai is the author of over thirty books including textbooks, children’s books, six collections of poetry, a reference work on Jamaica (with her husband, Martin), and a collection of short fiction. Her novel Red Jacket was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award. A prolific anthologist, she has been a teacher, a trainer of teachers, an editor, and a publisher.

The Competition is open to Canadian citizens and residents who have had no more than one book published and who do not currently have a contract with a book publisher for a second book. Authors not published in book format are also eligible. Members of TWUC are not eligible to enter. The entry fee is $29 per submission, and submissions are accepted online until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on February 15, 2019. The winner will be announced in late spring 2019. For complete rules and regulations, please go to
The Writers’ Union of Canada is the national organization representing professional book authors. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers. For more information, please visit

For additional information:
Valerie Laws, Office Administrator
The Writers’ Union of Canada
416-703-8982 ext. 224



Literary Classics Announces Youth Media Book Award Recipients

Release Date: November 15, 2018

Literary Classics

SOUTH DAKOTA – The 2018 Literary Classics International Book Award recipients have been announced.  Selected from submissions by entrants around the globe, these distinguished honorees are recognized for their contributions to the craft of writing, illustrating, and publishing exceptional literature for a youth audience.  In this highly competitive industry, these books represent the foremost in literature in their respective categories.

The competition this year was extremely impressive and we congratulate all honorees for their outstanding and inspiring work.  All Silver, Gold and Top Honors award recipients will be invited to attend a writers’ conference, awards ceremony,  gala, and other related events in Rapid City, South Dakota, to be held in conjunction with the Great American Book Festival, May 10-12, 2018.

The Literary Classics selection committee is proud to recognize this year’s titles in literature which exemplify the criteria set forth by the Literary Classics selection committee.

Top Honors Award recipients are listed below.  For a complete listing of Literary Classics International Book Awards all awards, categories  levels, please visit the Literary Classics Book Awards 2018 Book Awards Listing


The Enchanted Page Book Award


Arlo Guthrie

Illustrated by Kathy Garren

Rising Son International, Ltd.

Arlo Guthrie, Top Honors Book Award, Monsters, Children’s Picture Book










Lumen Award for Literary Excellence and Gold Medal Winner Educational Books

The Dragon Grammar Book

Diane Mae Robinson

Diane Mae Robinson Ink








The Eloquent Quill Book Award

The Great & the Small

Andrea Torrey Balsara

Common Deer Press









Words on Wings Book Award

Mourning Dove

Claire Fullerton

Firefly Southern Fiction









List of all the 2018 Literary Classics Book Award recipients:

The Eighth Annual Literary Classics Book Awards will be presented in  2019

in conjunction with the Great American Book Festival in the City of Presidents.


Little Miss HISTORY Travels to The NORTH POLE – Book Review

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to The NORTH POLE

by Barbara Ann Mojica

Illustrations by Victor Ramon Mojica

ISBN-13: 978-0-9989154-2-5

Age Range: 6 – 12 years




About The Book: Ever feel like you’re standing on thin ice? Here at the northern most point on Earth, no land lies below. Are there seasons? Who lives here? What does Santa look like and where does he live? Uncover the answers in this newest release of the award-winning children’s nonfiction book series.

What I Thought: Little Miss HISTORY Travels to The NORTH POLE is another delightful contribution to this award-winning educational series! Author Barbara Ann Mojica has created another hit as Little Miss History travels to the North Pole and reveals all kinds of amazing facts that even i didn’t know. Kids and adults alike will simply love the incredible color illustrations that are a part of this series. And the word glossary at the end of the book is an extra special feature.

The Little Miss History series is the perfect combination of writing and illustrations that create this wonderful educational series.

About the Author: Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retired educator. She writes historical articles for the Columbia Insider under the banner “Passages.” Using the whimsical Little Miss History character, Barbara hopes to inspire children to learn about historical people and places. Little Miss History’s antics make reading nonfiction a fun-filled adventure for all ages. Read more about the author.







Tradition continues with the arrival of one of the most anticipated moments in the world of children’s and young adult literature. The 2018 Literary Classics Book Award Finalists and Top Honors Book Awards Finalists have been announced. Selected from submissions by entrants around the globe, these distinguished honorees are recognized for their contributions to the craft of writing, illustrating, and publishing exceptional literature for a youth audience. In this highly competitive industry these books represent the foremost in literature in their respective categories.
The competition this year was tremendous, and we congratulate all of the finalists for their outstanding and inspiring work. Final awards, categories and levels will be announced on November 15, 2018. All Silver, Gold and Top Honors award recipients will be invited to attend a writers’ conference, awards ceremony, formal gala, and authors’ book signing to be held in conjunction with the Great American Book Festival, May 10, 11 & 12, 2019.
The Literary Classics selection committee is proud to recognize this year’s titles in literature which exemplify the criteria set forth by the Literary Classics award selection committee.
List of 2018 Finalists:
Learn more about Diane Mae Robinson and her multi-award winning dragon books for children:

Book Excellence Awards 2018 Winner – Interview With Diane Mae Robinson

Meet Diane

Diane Mae Robinson is a multi-award-winning children’s fantasy author that has written over 6 books. She has emerged as an amazingly fresh voice in children’s literature, with reviewers labelling her work as enchanting, delightful and timeless. Through her writing, Diane’s mission is to inspire children to believe in the magic within themselves, realize their potential and accomplish great things. A multi-faceted talent, Diane is also an artist, editor and writing instructor.

Diane’s latest release, The Dragon Grammar Book, was named a Book Excellence Award Winner in 2018 in the Education & Academics category. The Dragon Grammar Book is an easy-to-follow grammar study guide that provides readers with a fun and engaging approach to learning grammar. With practical lessons, humorous examples and chapter quizzes, this book is the perfect education reference for kids, teens and young adults.

Book Excellence Awards - AM Madden and Joanne Schwehm Book Finding Mr. Wrong
Challenges as an Author
Tasked with the challenge of successfully launching her next book, Diane was looking for a way to set it apart from the rest.
“My biggest challenge in marketing was to gain exposure and stand out from the competition.”
Diane wanted to ensure her book was recognized among the right audiences so she could achieve her goal of making grammar easier to understand in a fun way.

To make her mark in the industry, Diane also knew it was important to increase her credibility as a writing instructor and editor.

To help differentiate herself, Diane turned to book awards. She selected the Book Excellence Awards program for its reputation in the literary world.
“The Book Excellence Awards Program is definitely the most reputable awards program out there.”
Becoming a Book Excellence Award Winner
When Diane received the news that she had won a Book Excellence Award, she was filled with enthusiasm.
“Yahoo! I was extremely excited.”
The Book Excellence Awards helped Diane gain the credibility and visibility she was looking for.
“As a winner in the 2018 Book Excellence Awards, I have gained exposure and recognition, which has resulted in more book sales and hype over social media…my book, as well as my author name, have gained a great reputation for excellence in writing.”
Book Excellence Awards - Diane Mae Robinson Fantasy Author
Diane’s Success

Diane’s success as an author is a testament to her ability to find the magic in everyday life, and bring that magic to life in her words.

Many of her books have become best-sellers, with The Dragon Grammar Book catapulting to #1 on Amazon in the Teens/Language Arts category.

The book has also received many five-star, glowing reviews stating:

“With clear examples and fun activities, this book is a must-have for readers and aspiring writers.”


Diane has also been featured in numerous newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and blog interviews including the Authors Show, Blog Talk Radio, Women of Wisdom, Kids Lit Reviews, The Write Stuff and more.

Book Excellence Awards Authors in the City

A magnetic presenter, Diane has done numerous author presentations for schools, libraries and conferences.

To get in touch with Diane, you can visit her website and social media profiles. To purchase The Dragon Grammar book, visit Amazon.

Diane’s Advice

For authors looking to gain credibility and visibility, Diane highly recommends the Book Excellence Awards program:

“I highly recommend entering the Book Excellence Awards as winning an award with them will highly increase exposure for your book and writing career.” 

Some Cool Contests To Enter!

Creative Writing Institute is celebrating their 10th anniversary with a Flash Fiction contest that runs through October 31. No entry fee and cash prizes. First prize, $100; 2nd prize $50; 3rd prize $25. See the guidelines at



The National Award for Arts Writing contest is hosting the Marfield Prize. Their deadline is October 15, 2018. There is no fee to enter and there is a $10,000 grand prize! To enter or learn more please visit their website at



Winning Writers - best resources for poets and writersIf you love poetry and humor, this contest is for you. This marks the 18th Annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. Open from August 15, 2018 thru April 1, 2019, there is no entry fee. A $1,000 grand prize and a $250 second prize will be awarded. The top twelve contestants will also be published online. To learn more or to enter please visit their website at:


American Poetry Review

The American Poetry Review is hosting the Honickman First Book Prize with a deadline of November 1, 2018. There is a $25 entry fee and specific rules for entry. Find out how to enter by visiting their website. Be sure to follow all directions!


The Dragon Newsletter Coloring Contest hosted by DragonsBook.Com. Three categories: ages 5 – 8; ages 9 – 12; ages 13- 18. Sign Up for the newsletter for the free coloring book and contest details: The contest runs Oct. 1, 18 – Jan.1, 2019. 1st place winners in each category will receive a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.


The Dragon Grammar Book – LitPick Student Reviews and Book Trailer

LitPick Student Reviews made this funky book trailer for The Dragon Grammar Book. I’ve worked with LitPick Student Reviews a few times, and their services are great. I love that the books are actually reviewed by students. The students do a great job of writing an extensive review. Thank you, Jonny and Ampster.

Here’s the two reviews.

Review by Jonny, age 12, 5 stars.

The Dragon Grammar Book by Diane Mae Robinson is a clearly written, informative book of grammar for anyone ages 12 and up. It begins with an explanation of the author’s purpose for this project and a list of important definitions that should help readers understand the grammar and punctuation rules that are well-organized into ten chapters.

To keep the book from feeling too much like a formal grammar book, each chapter begins with happy, light-hearted drawings of the characters from The Pen Pieyu Adventures series written by the same author. When they are compared with each other, the characters in the pictures seem to tell a fun story of their own about how grammar and punctuation might seem frightening at first but can be studied and learned. With an easy to understand book like this one, anyone can forget about it being a boring subject, and they can get excited about finally understanding how grammar and punctuation rules work.


The Dragon Grammar Book is a handy book to have around!

In this book, the rules are explained very well, and they have simple, sometimes silly, sample sentences about a kingdom with dragons in it. Most of the sentences show readers how to set up grammar and punctuation correctly, but in a few of the sections, sentences are labeled with (Wrong). This helps readers see common mistakes that anyone can make. The “Test Your Knowledge” sections and two tests also give readers opportunities to check how much they learned from the book. Much of each test comes from the sample sentences, so readers can review explanations in the chapters again if they can’t quite remember how to set up the sentences. The book ends with a few character sketches and positive feedback from others about the author’s Pen Pieyu series, so if readers enjoyed the theme in this book, they might decide to read those books too.

Grammar is usually hard to understand, but Ms. Robinson has made a difficult subject easy and interesting to learn. She explains why correct sentences are set up exactly the way they are, how some of the sentences are written incorrectly, and what to do to fix the mistake. When I first started studying grammar, I didn’t like it because many of the rules were complicated and didn’t make sense to me. This book has cleared up most of my confusion and has helped me see the purpose of learning to follow grammar and punctuation rules properly. I think reading this book will even help me be a better writer because it has helped me understand more about the parts of speech and how they work together with punctuation. Now I can set up my own sentences correctly more often and make sure they express the exact meaning that I want.

Review by Ampster, age 14, 5 stars.

Petra and Snarls are back for more in the Pen Pieyu Adventures. This time, they are tackling something fun and incredibly challenging: grammar. Join them and the rest of human and dragon kind in a quest to discover the secrets of words: their usage, spelling, and which punctuation goes with them. Written in second person, this book instructs you of the dos and don’ts of grammar and the English language. With exciting examples to engage readers, you won’t want to miss out of this enjoyable, easy-to-understand, educational book.


The Dragon Grammar Book was an easy-to-read informative book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Though this book was about grammar, which is not my favorite subject in school, the author, Diane Mae Robinson, did keep me engaged most of the time. It’s meant to be a reference book on grammar, not a story to be read in one sitting.

After reading the Pen Pieyu series, I fell in love with Petra and Snarls. Their unique personalities were portrayed perfectly and just as I remembered them. That was enough to keep me smiling throughout this entire book. It was an enjoyable book that kept me entertained.

The facts in this book were spot on, and I learned a lot about grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules. As an educational book to look up some quick English facts, this is perfect. And I must say that after studying this book, I’m absolutely positive I’ll ace my next grammar test. Any elementary or middle schooler who reads this will, too.

Read more reviews for The Dragon Grammar Book:

Available on Amazon in every country, Barnes & Noble and on my author’s website.

Check out my dragon books for children at