Sticks and Stones is a Four Time Best-selling Poetry Collection

Upon first releasing the poetry collection in 2020 during a pandemic, Sticks & Stones has now charted on Amazon Kindle Top 100 in Inspirational and Religious Poetry four times. The first was on Amazon India at #54 which held for an entire month following the release of the collection. The second time was on Amazon Canada at #11 upon releasing the Full Story Edition, the third was on Amazon US at #67 and the fourth time was #74 on Amazon US alongside other world renowned poets in that category such as Rupi Kaur and Morgan Richard Olivier. DeVries just held her first LIVE poetry reading last week on May 25, 2022 in Pasco County, FL in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month.

About The Book: In Sticks and Stones, DeVries paints a poetic picture of rising above toxicity, love found and love lost, and delves into what it means to find strength in the human spirit. Through poetry, the reader finds a voice of strength and the rebuilding of one’s heart a home with all the sticks and stones thrown upon it. Newly expanded with more full color photos, 41 new poems, and a rewrite of Drowning in An Ocean of No Tomorrows, DeVries shows a full poetic picture of turning pain into poetry in order so you can rise above whatever is pulling you under.

Author Bio: Chelsea DeVries wanted to be a writer at the age of 7. Her first publishing credit came at the age of 14 with a poem in a student anthology. She then wrote nonstop while doing IB classes in high school. She published two YA novels while still in high school which after over 10 years she rewrote as a NA romance that she looks to put out as her next publication. She is a seeker of justice and uses her words to free this world’s outcasted, peculiar, and underdogs from the chains that bind them. When not writing she runs and does PR for authors and musicians with her bookish brand The Smart Cookie Philes. Though she’s Florida born and raised, she has New Jersey in her veins. She currently lives in Port Richey, FL with her squad of two dogs.You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @onegirlrevolution26_, and her squad at @dasquad26. In October 2020, DeVries was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which is a form of Autism.

#GuestPost: Becoming a Freelance Writer During School or Post Graduation by Katie Conroy

Do you have a knack for writing compelling stories and engaging your readers? If you’re still in school or you’ve just graduated, you could earn money by becoming a freelance writer, working as much or as little as you’d like. Here, The Smart Cookie Philes shares some tips on how you can hone your skills, find writing gigs and attract clients: 

Enhance Your Writing Skills

Getting a degree in English isn’t the only path to becoming a successful writer. A degree in journalism, communications, or linguistics can also lead to a fulfilling and rewarding writing career. Additionally, you can take classes in creative writing at your local community college, attend workshops and seminars, and submit your work to writing contests: some of them will even give you feedback that will help you further develop your craft

Besides language arts, there are many college majors you can parlay into writing gigs: technical writers are in high demand, so if you have a gift for clearly explaining complex things, you can find yourself a niche and write about finance, technology, mechanics, cryptocurrency, or physics. And if you want to get a competitive edge, become a social media maven and learn all about SEO and online marketing, and improve your skills by writing blog posts and other content material for business websites. 

Find Writing Assignments

Build a writing portfolio with samples of your best work. Make sure its design is simple, uncluttered, with fonts that are easy to read and add thumbnail images to make each sample stand out. Don’t forget to include your email address and other contact information! 

Creating a professional-looking portfolio and posting it on online platforms dedicated to showcasing writers’ talent will help you get discovered by potential clients. Post some of your work on your social media accounts and link them to your website so that people can easily find you when they need your services. 

Attract and Retain Clients

Once you’ve decided to make a career out of the written word, you need to find a market for your work. One of the best ways to get published is to find your niche and start writing for a target audience. If you have specific knowledge on a particular topic, you can share your expertise via blogs and ebooks and start making money. Grant writing, technical writing, and ghostwriting are all lucrative options for freelancers. B2B vendors and creative agencies usually have in-house copywriters, but small businesses may not have technical writers on staff and may turn to freelancers for their white papers, blogs, advertising copy, and press releases. 

If you’ve just graduated and aren’t sure where to find your first writing gigs, the internet is a good place to turn to in order to find clients for your budding business. Browse through online job boards and find writing assignments you feel comfortable completing. Each time you deliver stellar content, your clients will keep coming back for more.

If you’ve ever thought of becoming a freelance writer, there are many avenues you can explore whether you’re still in school or you’ve already got a degree. Online platforms let you showcase your writing, and an increasing number of clients are looking for fresh content from people just like you. So get writing and get the gigs!


Image via Pixabay

#TampaPro2022: It’s All Love At Tampa Pro

Tampa Pro is my favorite event of the year. And there are many reasons for that. You can get a tattoo or a massage right at the contest. You can get free drinks each day of the contest. And you can literally walk right up to hometown heroes like Jake Illardi or Olympic athletes like Felipe Gustavo and wish them luck. Yet, my favorite thing about Tampa Pro and as an extension visiting Skatepark of Tampa is the hospitality and love you feel when you walk into the shop, the park, or talk to anyone who works there or is a fan/spectator themselves.

Heading to the shop on Friday to buy a Tampa Pro tshirt to commemorate the event, we talked to one of the guys in the shop helping ring us up for the shirts.

“It’s true. We love everyone at Tampa Pro.”

Everything about the contest screams that message including this year the course design by french artist Lucas Beaufort.

It is true. I’ve been visiting the contest since 2006 and back then the contest was run by the SPOT, they had one hot dog cart and a beer cooler.

March 12, 2006: My first Tampa Pro contest with the legendary Shecks!

And I remember how cool I thought it all was.

Then, later that year, I returned to SPOT to be an extra in the indie film Street Dreams. It was ghetto for a movie set but this was my chance to be caught on camera next to the sport’s heavy hitters. We were filming a scene until all of a sudden Rob Dyrdek was in front of me and said that I had to move to the back of the scene. He put his hands on my shoulders as everyone in that hot metal warehouse was looking at me.

It was a surreal moment of divine timing and alignment. And those are commonplace for SPOT and at Tampa Pro but what stands out is that I always feel welcomed, accepted, and a part of something bigger than myself.

One thing is for sure at Tampa Pro, you will come for the hype and good vibes but you will leave with love in your heart, every single time.

Third Place: Jake Illardi, 23, Osprey, FL
Congrats to the winner: Jamie Foy, 25, of Deerfield Beach, FL been coming out to Tampa Pro since 2017.