Can you believe Charming Academy first came out 5 years ago? It's hard to believe that much time has passed. Now the series is completed and you've been able to learn the stories of all your favorite characters. Okay, maybe most of your favorite characters. We've laughed together. We've cried together. Some of you have thrown books across the room in fits of anger. Some of you have written me beautiful notes about how Charming Academy has touched your life. In some way or other, if you're reading this right now Charming Academy has probably made some kind of impact and as an author, that makes me positively giddy with excitement.
So, it's time to celebrate. I've got a lot of really fun activities planned. One has already started. If you've been following my Facebook page, you have hopefully seen the daily trivia game. If you haven't been, what are you waiting for? But here's a list of all the wonderful things going on this month:
Charming Academy Daily Trivia
Each day on my Facebook I will post a trivia question. Some will be really easy (like, Where is Lucian from?) and others will be far more challenging. All of the answers can be found in Charming Academy, which is free on Smashwords, Kindle, and other eBook distributors. I will be keeping track of how many questions you answer and how many you get right. Each question you get right will give you a point. The person with the most points will win. If we have multiple people tied, I will draw a random winner for the Charming Academy Fan Pack. Each of the others will receive a free eBook of their choice. On September 1st, I will announce the winner. What is in the fan pack? There will be a special, signed copy of Charming Academy with illustrations/doodles. (This is as close to the original notebook I started Charming Academy in as you're likely to get.) There will also be a Charming Academy mug, hand-painted horse with fairy tale themes, bookmarks and a letter from me.
Fan Art Contest
I love being creative and I know several of you do as well. I will be having a fan art contest starting right now until the day of the party (more details coming). That still gives you a few weeks to get something together. Now, I like to be creative in the visual arts, but not everyone is so here are the "arts" you can submit:
The rules are pretty simple. Your art has to be in some way inspired by one of the Charming Academy books. It doesn't have to be the first book, but must be one of the books in the series. This also does not have to be a piece that you created after the contest started. Do you have something you drew last year? Go ahead and submit it! I would love to see your art. Remember that there are young people who visit my website and read my books, so keep your entries clean. Entries with profanity, nudity, hateful/racist, or otherwise inappropriate content will be disqualified and will not be featured on the website or my Facebook page. Submissions will be judged based on creativity, quality and resemblance to the series. Winner will receive a print copy of Charming Academy.
Last year I did this and it went fairly well, although there was some confusion with going back and forth between the website and Facebook. So this year I've made it much easier. Go to the Facebook party and nominate your school in the poll. Then share it with all your friends and family and ask them to vote. You may nominate any public, private, or charter school. Home-school co-ops are also welcome to participate. You can also vote for more than one school. The school with the most votes will win a print copy of Charming Academy as well as a day of author visits via Skype or Google Hangout. I had a great time visiting with Snow Springs Elementary last year and look forward to seeing who will win this year! Voting will close on August 18th with the Facebook party. If you nominate your school, please be sure to contact them and let them know about their nomination so they can participate.
Charming Academy Birthday Masquerade
This will be the party of the month. I have some authors joining me to celebrate five years of Charming Academy. This will be where I announce the winners of the School Contest and the Fan Art Contest. There will be games, prizes, and lots of fun. So be sure to join the party and invite your friends. Just to encourage some invites, I'm going to do a random drawing for a $10 Amazon giftcard. Let me know how many people you invite and for every 10 people you invite, I will give you an entry in the giveaway.
If you've been with me since the very first edition of Charming Academy, then you might remember Donovan. He was one of my favorite characters, but I had to make the painful decision to cut him from the novel. A couple of you have asked if he would ever come back. I can now tell you that yes, Donovan will be coming to my blog every Friday throughout the month of August to tell his tale. I know you're all excited for The Sheriff and Mrs. Jannsen to begin, but I thought for this month you might like to hear Donovan's story. I will also be conducting character interviews every Tuesday and Thursday (except today since I have this post). So be watching and ready to ask questions for your favorite characters. Have a character you're dying to hear from? Be sure to comment below and we'll see if he/she can visit for a day.
I hope you're looking forward to a month of fun. It's crazy to think that it's been five years already. I've certainly learned a lot in that time and gained many new readers. I love your comments on my blogs and Facebook. Your emails and notes mean so much to me. Let's have an awesome August and enjoy some happy endings and great beginnings!
Jessica L. Elliott
Author, artist, mom and super-genius