Debut Review Challenge with Gabi Snyder

I am delighted to welcome Gabi Snyder to the blog! Read on to learn about her writing routine and what she finds so rewarding about writing.

Gabi Snyder loves dogs, math, and unusual modes of transportation. She holds a Master of Arts in English-Creative Writing from the University of Texas in Austin. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon with her family, including one daredevil dog and the cat who keeps everyone in line. Visit Gabi at and follow her on Twitter at @Gabi_A_Snyder.
Count up to 10 and back down again in this picture book starring 10 traveling dogs and one very tenacious cat!
One by one, each dog escapes its yard and joins the adventure in this hilarious counting story. Vehicle-obsessed readers will love seeing all the modes of transportation that the pups use—until the family cat decides to round them all up to go back home.
Gabi Snyder’s charming text and Robin Rosenthal’s delightful illustrations are a surefire combination in this winning picture book. (Abrams Appleseed, 2020)


Number of years writing: I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but I’ve been writing with a focus on children’s literature since 2014, so about six years.

Number of years from contract to published book: Two

Date your book was released: May 19, 2020

Number of pages: 32

Number of launch events: TBD. With in-person events on hold for now, debut authors are getting creative with virtual launch events, using platforms like Zoom and Instagram Live. Silver lining: now friends, relatives, and potential readers far and wide can attend! Stay tuned: I have a few ideas brewing for virtual book events.

Number of days per week that writing takes a backseat to marketing & publicity: I think the most effective marketing and publicity is creating more awesome writing that people want to read, but with my release fast approaching, my current answer is probably “one.” 

Number of critique partners: I’m a member of three different critique groups, but there’s some overlap in group members, so I’d say I have eight regular critique partners.

Number of books you hope to publish over the next ten years: I’d love to publish twenty books over the next ten years, but I think a more realistic goal might be ten to fifteen. 

Number of times you’ve pinched yourself that you really have a book out: My rough estimate is 322 times!


  • What does your work space look like? Tell us about a typical work session.

I like to start my morning writing sessions with about 15 to 20 minutes of free writing. I also find that my writing “flows” better if I take a walk before writing!

Pre-pandemic, my typical day often involved writing at a coffee shop with a few co-workers for two to three hours each morning. In the afternoon, I’d usually manage another hour of writing at home with the companions pictured below and a cup of coffee (with plenty of milk and brown sugar). 

  • When you need to take a creative break, do you have another activity or hobby that recharges you?

When I need a break, I like to mix up some bread dough or work in the garden (pulling weeds). Those types of repetitive activities that don’t require a ton of brain power tend to help me “unstick” and work out thorny writing problems. Swimming, too! I can’t wait to get back to swimming. 

  • What have been the most rewarding aspects of your writing journey so far?

When you learn that a publisher has said “yes!” to your manuscript, it’s the best feeling ever. But on a day-by-day basis, the rewards are the in the writing habit. How writing can help you try to make sense of the world for yourself and for others. And the rewards are in the relationships you build with others in the writing community. I wouldn’t be here without the support and encouragement of my critique partners. And I can’t wait for the moment when my debut is out in the world and in the hands of readers!


Think about all the stories you’ve written that have hit a dead end or are hidden away in a drawer somewhere. For each of the items below, lift an element from a different story to create a weird, unexpected mash-up. Who knows? It may even inspire a new manuscript!

Character: Blue Dragon

Setting: the planet Baxwelk

Theme: confronting stereotypes

Problem: Everything makes the dragon cry and she gets teased for all that crying.

Pitch: When a freak accident results in a rare blue dragon crash landing on the planet Baxwelk, she is soon teased for what she’s always been teased for – her propensity to cry A LOT. But when a new friend inspires her to view her crying in a new light, she realizes that this “negative” might also be a positive.

A new planet with a kid-centered problem. Love it!


Leave an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other online site. Every time you write five reviews for debut Kidlit creators between May 1 – June 30, 2020, you can fill out this ENTRY FORM for a chance to win prizes. Gabi has generously donated a signed book. Thank you, Gabi!

For this week only, Gabi is offering a non-rhyming picture book critique, up to 1000 words. Enter by Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find the complete rules for the Debut Review Challenge and a downloadable record sheet to keep track of your reviews HERE.

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