A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens

August 15, 2014

Well, the cat is out of the bag!


My book is available for pre-sale on Amazon. How did I find out? Some of you folks are pretty clever and emailed me to let me know that you bought my book! Love you for that! Thank you! It’s hard to believe that we are finally heading down that finish line.

It all started out as a culmination from my years of writing Tilly’s Nest. Tilly’s Nest began as on an online diary for my children to chronicle our adventures in backyard chicken keeping. For the past five years, I have watched how special keeping chickens has been for my family, especially my children and YOU. It’s truly amazing what a small flock of fluffy butts can share and add to a household. I also noticed that there were no book out there for kids that described what we had enjoyed, learned, and loved about chickens.

In July 2012 after working on this book for a few months, I mustered up the courage and emailed Storey Publishing a query. I shared all that they required and sealed the envelope with a little prayer and a wish. It wasn’t too long until I had heard back from one of their acquiring editors. They were interested but the book had to “jump through” many meetings. It took months for my book idea to finally meet up with the final team that would eventually say YES in spring of 2013. I was given a deadline in December of 2013 to complete and submit the full manuscript. I was off to work.

The worst part was that I could not share anything with you all. I am terrible at keeping surprises under wraps. All through the summer and fall of 2013, I spent a couple of hours writing each day. Mostly done at night, after the kids had gone to sleep for the evening. I wanted to keep life as normal as possible. Play dates, beach time, summer trips, apple picking, school volunteering, regular blog posts, and freelance work all remained the same.

A week before Christmas in 2013, I pushed the send button on an email to my book’s editor. I submitted the manuscript. Then everything went quiet. It was quiet for months. I was told about this, as the editors often are working on several books at once, juggling them all without letting one drop. Pretty amazing if you ask me.

Then, on one winter day, I received an email. They loved it!

We began to revise the book- edit, revamp, rewrite and combine. I had only 144 pages to place my 197 page manuscript into. It was going to be tough. Back and forth we went for months on the revision. We even added new material. We also scheduled the photo shoot for May.

Today we are still working on the book. The cover has a few versions and is yet to be finalized by the marketing team. Sample pages are starting to come in from the designer. They increased the page count to 160. I have an entire team at Storey working on this book with me. I am happy to have my book become theirs too. Countless hours have been given to my book and I am so incredibly grateful but I’m also grateful to you.

Thank you so much for all of your support, encouragement, and love over the years. I had never thought of myself as a writer. It’s amazing sometimes where our life’s journey will take us if we just let go of the reins and not be afraid to take that leap into the great unknown.  For me, that great unknown was a chicken coop!

You can find my book here, available for pre-sale.

Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest


Author/Blogger/Freelancer-Sharing adventures with backyard chickens, beekeeping, gardening, crafting, cooking and more.



5 thoughts on “A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens”

  1. Hi Melissa, I saw your coop at one this "Ladys Magazins" I am following. We have our chicken flock now for 8 years and I am always looking for ideas to "upgrade" the coop. Here in Germany it isn't usual to have such nice coops. I'm so excited about your idea of writing a book for children about keeping backyard chickens and I found out, that even in Germany I can preorder our book. So it's done, put in my shopping cart. Can't wait to have it in my hands.
    Best regards, Saskia

  2. Oh Melissa but you ARE a writer! You are a wonderful writer, and I can't wait to see what you did with the book. If it's anything like you, it will be just beautiful. Keep us updated please!! 🙂

  3. My brother and I love your book! He's seven, and were somewhat new to chicken keeping. We were wondering how you made your waterer on page 58? I figured it was a nipple dispenser system but couldn't find a box system to recreate the waterer


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About me

Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.