Hi everyone, and welcome back to ZCN! AGW hopes to make this a monthly series, and word on the street is, Paris will be joining ZCN soon! In the meantime, I’m your host, Ziana Yang, here with the fan-favorite segment Around the Blogosphere!
We all hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving! Life got in the way, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a Thanksgiving post up during our first non-hiatus November. However, the reader is still filled with orange, gold, and brown from when bloggers celebrated the thankful holiday!
Carlye from Silver Fox Studios is hosting a photo contest! This contest will work like AGNDM: Each week, there will be a new theme and an elimination until a lucky doll-photographer is declared the winner! The deadline to sign up was November 10, but you can still read and enjoy the series. Thanks for the tip, Natalie!
Maya from Life Behind a Camera recently finished her novel, titled Hide and Seek, and had an awesome blog tour launching it! As her book’s synopsis reads, Hide and Seek is about: “Amara Clark is haunted. When her childhood friend, Asher, vanished during a seemingly ordinary game of hide-and-seek, she was left bewildered and alone.
Now, eight years later, memories of Asher are coming back to haunt her and she struggles to decipher the meaning of his disappearance…Before they know it, Amara and her best friend, Rowan, are whisked away on a journey to find Asher and take down the sinister group that is holding him captive. But time is running out, and saving one friend could mean losing another.”* This fantastic read is available at Amazon for just $10.12 paperback and $5.99 Kindle! ** Thanks for the tip, Natalie!
Speaking of self-published authors, Allison from A Farm Girl’s Life has written and illustrated her very own book of poems! As the author’s note in Unfurling: A Little Book of Poems says, “A poem is a flower bud – such a small package, yet it holds so much in every petal, every word. When the outer layer unfurls, the old, familiar scales fall from your eyes, and everything is transformed. Perhaps that is what beauty is: a transformation.” The book is available at Lulu for $7.99 in paperback.***
Rose from The Bright Bookcase recently wrote a thought-provoking post about the struggles of blogging and blogger jealousy! You can check out her post here! She also is starting a competition called 25 Days of Blogmas. You can sign up for the posting challenge/competion here!
Madison from Madi Grace, Delightful World of Dolls, and Madison Grace Author is still on hiatus, and we hope to see her back soon! Be praying for her health, you guys!
AGs In Alaska is cutting down on her post frequency to prepare for what she calls ‘the best Christmas post ever’! Everyone is waiting in anticipation for the awesome post, and here at ZCN, we can’t wait to find out what it is. “Hmm, I’m not exactly sure [how long I will be gone]! I will try to post a few times during December but most of my work will be spent on the Big Surprise,” she says of how long the break will be, dubbing her Christmas post the same name as FPC before it was revealed.****
And of course, our Big Surprise has been revealed: it’s a photostory competition (FPC, or Fall Photostory Competition)! You can check out parts 1 and 2 of the intro photostory by clicking on the numbers, and you can sign up and check out the rules and how it works here. Stay tuned for an interview with the creators of the series, coming at the end of this post!
Now that we’ve caught up with the latest blogosphere happenings, it’s time to check out our next segment: What’s Up, AGW?
“I’ve been sick for the last week or so,” Emmie says. “With Thanksgiving break and not going out too much, I have a lot of free time! I’ve been working on a video, did a super fun photoshoot, and obviously have been making this post! My mom and I just got back from my grandparents’ house, where my sister and dad are staying until Saturday. We’ll drive back up there, watch the football game, and then bring them home!” She told ZCN on Friday, November 23.
“I’ve also completed 114 pages of my NaNo novel’s structure! I decided to skip the scene outline. I’m usually a panster/minimal plotter, so I really just want those key moments mapped out and the rest I get to creatively make up as I go. Today is the LAST DAY of NaNo (!!!!), and I really need to catch up on the actual writing part – I’ve completed page 1, which is only 876 words of my 6000 wordcount goal.”
She’s using today’s home day to furiously type a novel into existence in hopes of conquering NaNoWriMo once again. “I really don’t want this to be the first year I lose, even though I wasn’t as serious about it this year!” Emmie says.
Emmie’s also planning another surprise, coming this Christmas alongside the 2018 Emmie Awards.”All I can say is that it’s a mega-AGSM! It’s been scripted, and some of the characters have been cast. I plan to get some filming done when school gets out for winter break in two weeks.”
Thanks for reading What’s Up, AGW? And now it’s time for some breaking news!
Emmie recently received a mysterious letter from American Girl, announcing that American Girl Magazine’s (and I quote the letter’s heading) “FINAL ISSUE” will be in January/February! Here’s a photo of the letter:
“We’re proud of our amazing 25-year run of American Girl magazine, which has given voice to millions of girls since its debut in 1992. However, just as the broader print magazine industry continues to face serious declines, American Girl magazine is equally challenged with decreasing subscriber numbers as more girls turn to alternative forms of entertainment,” says American Girl Magazine Customer Service in a recent interview with the ZCN team.
“Although we’re sad to say goodbye to the magazine, we look forward to finding new ways to deliver the same type of fun and inspiring content for girls in new and relevant formats. We’ll have more to share about this in the months ahead.”
American Girl magazine is offering three options for customers to get their annual subscription money back: A magazine subscription to National Geographic Magazine, a refund, or American Girl books valued at $40.
The only problem with the last option is that AG selects the books for you, which means you could get $40 worth of books you already have.
The first and most recent issues of American Girl Magazine, interestingly both featuring redheads holding something. Credit (Magazine #2) Credit (Magazine #3)
When ZCN asked American Girl magazine’s customer service about this, AG responded, “Sorry, but no returns/exchanges/substitutions can be made to the books included in the bundle. They are free to choose another replacement option, or you may consider donating the books to their local library or give them as gifts for other girls to enjoy.”
Emmie and her mom have decided to go with the refund option and spend the money on books they can pick out themselves. “Just like the AG magazine Customer Service, I’m sad to see American Girl magazine go. I’m going to miss waiting for the next issue, starting contest entries that never get sent in, and reading the latest issue for hours on end. My favorite part was the Help! advice column and According to Aggie comics, and I loved the spotlights on real girls from across the country.”
Are you sad to see American Girl magazine go? Leave a comment at the end of this post! But first, we have our Spotlight segment, featuring no other than Natalie from The AG Spot and our very own Emmie from American Girl World!
Z: Hi, guys, and welcome to the show!
E: Um, was already here in the first place to help you with the episode, but…hi again!
N: Hey, Z! It’s great to be on the show!
Z: What sparked the idea of Fall Photostory Competition?
E: When Natalie had to leave Standing Firm in my Faith for personal reasons, we missed each other and I emailed her about doing an AG collab. When we were discussing how writing/photo contests like HARPS and CPC were so popular at the time, I had an idea: what if we did something similar, but a photostory competition? In the end, it turned out to be almost nothing like those competitions, but that’s how it began!
N: We were also trying to spark some more interest and add a little more excitement in the doll blogiverse, in addition to having internet friend fun together!
Z: That’s really cool – the blogosphere has been sort of quiet. How long do you think it took to create this competition?
N: A looooooong time. I believe we came up with the idea in February or March, and then decided to work on it in May to make it a summer contest. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize just how long it actually took to plan these things, and there were lots of things to tweak and agree on. Then, when one of my dolls suffered an unfortunate accident, we weren’t able to photograph the beginning photostory…
E: …So then I had an idea to turn it into fall photostory competition! We changed the name, images, and gave the audition round a fall-y theme, did a ton more, and then we were all set! It was a long and complicated process, so it finally being ready is super rewarding.
Z: Wow, that sounds crazy! Besides what you mentioned above, what kinds of things did you have to do to get the competition ready?
E: Making graphics, coming up with scoring and prizes, figuring out rules, creating photo stories, fixing issues, getting a top-secret surprise that we’ll reveal at the end of the competition ready, taking pictures, and more!
N: There were a lot of little things we had to do that we hadn’t even thought of – like figuring out how to cc/bcc in emails and finding a fake text message generator (the weirdest thing I’ve googled yet).
Z: Why did you decide to create the competition?
N: The doll blogiverse has been at a bit of a low ebb lately, with many bloggers leaving or posting infrequently. We wanted to jazz up and add some excitement to the AG community, and this was the perfect way to do it!
E: Yup! I also hope it inspires lots of great ideas, stories, pictures, and friendships through all the readers and participants!
Z: How does the competition work?
N: You can sign up on our blogs, and create a photostory using our prompts. During this first round, which is the ‘audition’ round, we’ll score the photo stories and pick six (or more!) stories for people to vote on. The top three receive awesome prizes!
Z: That’s awesome! When will the competition end? Can you still sign up?
N: The deadline for photostories to be submitted is December 1st, which was recently extended so that more people can enter.
E: And that’s just for the audition round! The finals will overlap into December, (Fall doesn’t technically end until December 21, right? :P) where everyone will get to vote on the photostories (even the participants, but they can’t vote for themselves!)
Z: Where can you sign up? Where can you find the rules?
E: You can sign up right here
or here! The rules can be found in those same posts!
N: After you sign up, you’ll receive a confirmation email from either me or Emmie. When your photostory is finished, you’ll submit it to us, and we’ll email you the results!
Z: Thanks for the interview!
E: No problem!
N: My pleasure! It’s been super fun!
This has been Ziana “Z” Yang, star reporter and anchorwoman for the Z Crew News. Have a blessed day, and Z Crew, Out!
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*Blurb from Goodreads.com
**ZCN and American Girl World are not sponsored by or affiliated with Goodreads, Amazon, or the author. This mention is not part of a blog tour.
***ZCN and American Girl World are not sponsored by or affiliated with Lulu or the author. This mention is not part of a blog tour.
****Comment reply used with permission.