#PressRelease: Author of Sticks and Stones wins Finalist place in Art Contest

For Immediate Release

September 4, 2022

Chelsea DeVries

Publicist

chelseadevries@thesmartcookiephiles.com

Author of Sticks and Stones wins Finalist place in Art Contest

Chelsea DeVries, author of Sticks and Stones: Full Story Edition, was recently named a finalist in a Art Show International Figurative art contest. Her piece “Drowning in an Ocean of No Tomorrows” was awarded the prize.

For more on the list of winner’s, visit here. To purchase this art piece, visit the author’s etsy shop here.

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 @chelsealynnpoetry, and her squad at @dasquad26. In October 2020, DeVries was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which is a form of Autism.

About Art Show International: A virtual online art gallery soon to be housed in a physical location in Los Angeles, CA. check out artshowinternational.com for more information.

Creatives: How to Get Your Work Seen

Being a creative entrepreneur is a unique and challenging experience where uncertainty can be a constant obstacle. Succeeding in a field such as art, fashion, music, or writing requires that people see and engage with your work, and achieving this can be challenging. By taking the right steps and being willing to leave your comfort zone, you can have the creative career you’ve always dreamed of.

You Need an Audience

For your work to go anywhere important, you’ll have to get it in front of the right people. If you create visual art or clothing, starting with local shows and events can help you get your feet wet and reduce anxiety about how your work will be received. These initial audiences can also give you a good sense of how your work may be interpreted and help you tweak aspects that aren’t resonating. Consider submitting work to trusted publications and contests too. Network and collaborate with fellow creators to share contacts and networks and speed up this process.

A Business Can Legitimize You

As you grow in your craft and attract more customers or clients, you’ll encounter tax requirements and other legal restrictions that make it beneficial to have an LLC. Structuring your business as an LLC empowers you to do business under a protected name and can reduce your personal liability in case your business faces legal or financial difficulties. LLCs also yield tax benefits. Each state has its own rules for LLC formation, so check the rules in your state.

Marketing Is Key

You must believe in your brand if you want others to support and invest in it. Marketing your work can be nerve-wracking, but it’s necessary to expand awareness of your brand. One way to help make your work more marketable is to create a quality logo. A logo gives potential customers brand awareness and differentiates you from other artists and competitor businesses. Hiring someone to design a logo can be expensive, but online tools are available that allow you to do it yourself for free. Select icons, insert words in a variety of styles, and choose colors that resonate with your brand.

You Need Space To Work

Having a consistent and peaceful place to work on your craft is invaluable for growing as a creative. Instead of renting an external space, consider updating an old/unused room into a new multipurpose room to suit your needs. This is a great way to save money and potentially add value to your home. After making any significant improvements to your property, record these changes so the home might appraise for a higher value when the time comes to sell it. Be mindful of the costs of potential renovations and how much space you really need.

Believe in Yourself

Putting your work out there is scary and takes confidence and resilience. Consider starting a business to simplify the financial aspects. Design a logo to increase brand awareness, and use creative marketing techniques to attract attention and stand out. For additional help with marketing your creative endeavors, contact The Smart Cookie Philes.

#BookReview: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Why are we so scared of what is different?

We judge. We shun. We shut out. We close our minds to what we don’t understand but yet we could learn so much from someone who leads a life in an unorthodox way or thinks differently than us.

Kya is the pariah of the marshes of the North Carolina Bayou. Forced to raise herself when her family leaves her alone in a shack near the bayou and she must learn the art of human survival. The entire town doesn’t rush to help her but instead believes the absolute worst of her, and outside of a fisherman’s wharf style shop near the bayou, she learns to survive one pot of grits at a time.

The plot and character cadence reminded me of a Bayou version of Little House on the Prairie at first, but unlike Laura Ingalls, Kya’s closest friends are the beachside seagulls.

My favorite aspects of this story were how the author chose to entwine nature and poetry throughout which kept me reading, along with this heart-wrenching pull in my soul to see Kya grow stronger and stronger as the pages turned.

It reads like a good murder mystery but with the strong emotive pull of poetic prose, with a love against all odds storyline thrown in. The descriptions of the marshlands were my favorite and spoke to the author’s background in Zoology and Animal Behavior.

The moral of Where The Crawdads Sing to me is not to use one aspect of someone’s identity to box them in or come to conclusions about them. There is treasure -curious humans that we are- hidden in the depths. The depths of the Bayou, the depths of a poem, and the depths of any human soul.

Sometimes you must dare to venture forth an uncharted path to find the treasures of life, even precious human life.

This review was written for no compensation and is originally written in response to the reading of Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. If you enjoyed this review, feel free to buy me a coffee.

#PressRelease: Author of ‘Sticks & Stones’ Interviewed on Podcast Themed Around Resilience

For Immediate Release

June 23, 2022

Chelsea DeVries, Publicist

chelseadevries@thesmartcookiephiles.com

Author of ‘Sticks & Stones’ Interviewed on Podcast Themed Around Resilience

Chou Hallegra, mental health consultant and owner of grace & hope consulting, recently interviewed Chelsea DeVries on The Grace & Hope Consulting Podcast. The 17 minute episode is focused on DeVries’s experience working in a toxic workplace and how it impacted her mental health but yet she found the strength to overcome from that experience by writing and compiling her poetry collection Sticks and Stones: Full Story Edition. This episode is available here or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

About The Podcast: This podcast is an outreach marketing effort expanded on Grace & Hope Consulting, LLC is a person-centered and community-focused company providing mental health, personal development, and inclusion supports to individuals, families, organizations, churches, and communities. Through con

sulting, counseling, coaching, training, writing, and publishing, we help individuals achieve mental and emotional wellness, reach their full potential, and live fulfilling lives. We are committed to promoting social-emotional learning, human potential, diversity, inclusion and belonging. Find out more at www.graceandhopeconsulting.com

About the Author: 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.

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!

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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.

#PressRelease: Chelsea DeVries to give Author Talk at Centenniel Park Library

For Immediate Release

April 18, 2022

Chelsea DeVries

Publicist

chelseadevries@thesmartcookiephiles.com

Chelsea DeVries to give Author Talk at Centenniel Park Library

Author To Read Poems From Her Collection ‘Sticks and Stones’ 

Chelsea DeVries, local poet and author of Sticks and Stones Poetry and Prose: Full Story Edition will do a reading/discussion or author talk at the Centenniel Park Library on Wednesday May 25, 2022 from 4-5:55 p.m. A small signing will follow the live reading and discussion of her poetry. The author talk event is Chelsea DeVries’s first live local appearance regarding her poetry collection that details the story of her experience working in a toxic workplace with themes of mental health, suicide, love and heartbreak. The Centenniel Library is hosting her during May in order to honor Mental Health Month, and the library is located at 5740 Moog Rd, Holiday, FL 34690. For more about the event, visit https://pascolibraries.evanced.info/signup/calendar?&lib=1 or contact Chelsea DeVries at chelseadevries@thesmartcookiephiles.com

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.

#BookReview: Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon

Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon is a beautiful story that tells of the healing power of nature, the love between family, and the ties that bind our ancestry. Tom Olson is heading out on a backpacking trip in the Olympic Peninsula Wilderness in Washington State with his friends when a knock sounds at his door. On the other side of that door stands Sarah Cooley, an abandoned thirteen year old girl. Come to find out, that thirteen year old isn’t a runaway or a foster child but his long-lost granddaughter. Along this trip comes a story that is a coming together of both Hatchet and A Call In the Wild as the story proves that no matter where you go, it’s what you’re made of that shows when your only choice is to survive.

While reading the book, I found myself instantly enthralled with Sheldon’s writing style. How it sweeps you in like a breeze along a hiking trail. I reminisced about reading books that had similar storylines and plot points in my youth, and what it felt like to escape inside a book again. Reading this book made me love reading again, and for that was the biggest aspect of all. There are few books that I read as an adult and thoroughly enjoy but this one kept me reading, I enjoyed learning nature and geological facts while reading as well as being swept up in the storytelling of the Native American ancestral stories.

Some aspects of the book were two overwhelming with geological facts and I found myself not being able to stay focused in those parts. The emphasis of the strong main characters were what would pull me back in and remind me why I began to read this book and fall in love with this story: Tom and Sarah’s bond was definitely something I connected with on many levels, and felt anyone could find a connection with when reading this book.

I rate this book four out of five stars because while it helped me fall in love with reading again because it reminded me of the stories of youth, it also contained a lot of detail within the geological fact parts that made me lose my focus while reading and actually struggle with certain levels of sensory overload.

My recommendation is that those who go to read this book are aware that a good ten to twenty chapters of the book are geological and nonfiction in writing, they do not read like fiction but instead contribute a lot to educate the reader of real life issues with the ecosystem, etc.

I found no errors while reading but am unsure if I would read the follow-up books in this series because of the geological memoir like sections of the book.