<!doctype html>




If I’ve learned one thing about being a creative person, it’s that sometimes you’re feeling it…

And sometimes you’re not.

I’ve certainly had my ups and downs for these past four years. (Which… wow. FOUR YEARS since Damsel Distressed debuted. So weird.)

There have been periods of great creative productivity and inspiration. Like, in the past calendar year, I’ve:

  • competed in a flash fiction competition where I had 48 hours to create a story from scratch with only a genre, location, and object for a prompt! AND I DID THAT TWICE! (This contest is technically till in progress! Round 2 results will be announced some time in November!)
  • written a new book that I love more than I probably should. It stretched me and changed me, and if it ever finds wings, it will make huge waves when it flies
  • I’ve taken steps backwards and forwards in my path toward having another book to put in your hands, but I’ve kept my chin up, and I’ve done my best to stay true to my heart–not always easy in this business
But there have also been periods of aimlessness that made me feel like nothing I’d ever make would be good enough. (Like my sweet, abandoned Semi-Precious Life podcast, my dusty, crusty youtube channel, putting a book I worked on for over three years right into that “unpublishable drawer”–probably for good, and a shake up in a core facet of my publishing team. Ouch.)

The truth is, we can’t predict when we’ll be inspired and when we’ll have to fake it. Creatives are good at that… putting our fingers on the keyboard or the strings or the pencils even when it’s hard.

But those glorious times when you feel magic and light in your bones are ELECTRIC.
And that’s where I find myself now.

I feel inspired and excited about being a writer in a way I haven’t in years. I don’t know exactly what’s coming around the bend, but I know that when it turns that corner, it’s going to have to take a number because I won’t be sitting and waiting.

I want to be making and dreaming and inspiring other people with so much of my heart that my dreams might have to wait on me for a change.

Enjoy this little update, come say hello wherever you find me, and make the time to create something you can be proud of.

‘Cause it turns out that’s all that really matters.





KelsNotChels NOT LIVE is back on YouTube!

It’s true! After several false starts, I’ve got four episodes in the bag, and I’m ready to hit you with the good stuff every TUESDAY. If you haven’t subscribed, now’s your chance. This week, I’m talking about the paralyzing pain of getting those first few words on the page so you can set your story free. 

CLICK IT. (We both know you want to.)



The 7th annual #SipSwap mug exchange for writers is having sign ups until November 2nd. Visit KelseyMacke.com/sipswap for details!



I’m super excited to be working on a brand new book, and I’m using #NaNoWriMo to keep me motivated! If you’re new ’round these parts, #Nano is a huge challenge to write a novel (a 50k word first draft) in just 30 days! It’s an incredible goal, but I have fall break and my annual writing retreat with my bestie, so who knows! I might actually beat my best #Nano word count: last year’s 37,000 words!




Check out this micro-fiction piece I wrote for Megan Whitmer (I love this girl so much. You have no idea.) and her spooktacular
October blog celebration.

P.S. It’s about one of my biggest fears. EEP!


I am absolutely in love with Instagram. I can be found on IG stories most mornings, talking about my 5am writing wakeup call, playing with makeup, and showing off my cats, Tinni and Dala. If you’re not following me there, find me @KelsNotChels.
(Check out my Halloween GALAXY makeup!) 


Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com



The production team had SUCH a daunting task of choosing the winner for the cover contest.

Not just because it’s such a critically important decision in relation to Damsel Distressed’s production, but because when people share their artwork with you, they’re also sharing a piece of their heart.


The concept we chose as the winner was created by an incredibly talented designer.

She’s so talented, in fact, that she had TWO designs make it into the top ten.


We are so excited to work with her and find ways to integrate the best parts of her incredible designs, which is why the the announcement today is the contest winner announcement and not a cover reveal. The final cover won’t be exactly this, but it will certainly be gorgeous at the hands of this talented artist.


The winner of our contest, Jenny Zemanek, designed the entry that stole our hearts:

“Black Bird”


Jenny also designed the lovely “Moody Masks” concept, and we’re so honored to have her contributions to the contest.


We’d like to thank the two runners-up, Jessica W. and Whitney G. who created such beautiful works, along with each of the other members of the top ten, and of course, everyone who submitted anything at all.


Congratulations, Jenny!

Be on the look out for the final cover design as well as the album artwork for IMOGEN UNLOCKED, early in the new year!


Check out the video below for more information about the novel, DAMSEL DISTRESSED, and the companion album, Imogen Unlocked, comprised of original songs written for and inspired by the book and written/performed by folky, indie-pop band, Wedding Day Rain.

PM Listing:

Kelsey Macke’s DAMSEL DISTRESSED, about 17-year-old Imogen Keegan and her struggle with obesity, self-harm, and the infuriatingly perfect stepsister who makes her want to drown herself in a vat of Nutella, with accompanying soundtrack of original songs written and performed by the author’s band, Wedding Day Rain, in an innovative mash-up of prose, technology, drawings, and music, to Danielle Ellison at Spencer Hill Contemporary, for October 2014, by Jessica Sinsheimer at The Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency (World).


Posted in Uncategorized

Kelsey Macke’s DAMSEL DISTRESSED (Spencer Hill Contemporary, 2014) is the story of Imogen Keegan, a seventeen-year old girl who has been stuck in a cycle of clinical depression, self-harm, and baked-goods-addiction since her mom died seven years ago.

The book, DAMSEL DISTRESSED, is equal parts hurt and heart, and is held together by Imogen’s journal entries of poems, doodles, lyrics, and the “back stage” musings of a theatre-loving girl who is so much more than the sum of her parts.

Imogen’s journal is part of the prose, but the line between fiction and reality blurs when readers have the ability to use their computer or mobile device to access all kinds of interactive online content.

The cornerstone of this supplemental content is the album of real life songs, written and performed by the author as part of the band, Wedding Day Rain called IMOGEN UNLOCKED.

The inside of the book is highly interactive and driven by the readers’ experience.

The creative team wants nothing less for the outside of the book as well!

So, in the spirit of community and collaboration, we’re having a cover contest!

The DAMSEL DISTRESSED cover contest will be open from August 16th until September 22nd, 2014.

We’re so excited to see all of the incredible ideas you have that will tap into Imogen’s story.

There will be three rounds, each narrowing the entries, and culminating in a public vote for one of three top slots! Additionally, ten semi-finalists will win a $10 itunes gift card and a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card. The grand prize winner will not only earn the design commission and a copy of the book once printed, but will also have the opportunity to design the album artwork and swag!

If you or someone you know is eager to dive into the world of publishing design, this is a great opportunity to grow a portfolio and get paid!

For full details on the contest, including all terms, conditions, and instructions for submitting your design, visit www.teamomgen.tumblr.com!

Kelsey Macke is a twitterphile, (@KelsNotChels) and enthusiastic Nerdfighter. DAMSEL DISTRESSED is her first novel. www.KelseyMacke.com

Posted in Uncategorized

Hey everyone! This is Kelsey Macke (@KelsNotChels) and I want to thank each and everyone of you who have entered the contest in the past three weeks! 

In addition to thanking the amazing artists who’ve already entered, I’ve got to take a second to thank the amazing friends and supporters who have told their artistically inclined friends, posted it on social media, and shared it in their community.

You probably know that the 10 semi-finalists will be winning a prize for their entries, but this giveaway is just for you–those who may not have the ability or desire to make something, but who’ve graciously spread the word. 

We have just FIVE DAYS LEFT to accept entries!

One lucky person who promotes the contest in any way over the next five days will win a wonderful prize pack designed and curated by me full of bookish/writerly/nerdy goodies! 

The more support we can give to the contest in the next five days, the more valuable the prize pack will be!

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday… For every day that the contest information is shared a total of TEN times, the value of the prize will go up by ten dollars. 

So, if at least 10 people share/post/discuss the contest on Wednesday, the winning prize will be valued at $10. If we can keep the momentum up until Sunday, then the winner’s prize will be valued at $50! It will be chock-full of amazing goodies that I am sure you’ll love. (Be sure if you are sharing on social media to either tag me or let me know so that I can keep up with the value of the prize!)

Each day that you share about the contest by tweeting, instagramming, vining, emailing a friend, telling a stranger at the grocery store, you can come to this post and enter rafflecopter. 

Lastly, when the submission window closes on Sunday, the team will take time to sift through the entries, and when the semi-finalists have been chosen, remember that YOU will be voting one of those ten into one of the TOP THREE SPOTS! (AHH!) 

The easiest place to point people to for contest information is here: teamomgen.tumblr.com

Thank you so very much, 

Love, Kelsey

(As this giveaway is hosted by me, and me alone, and I want to be able to give the best prize possible, I must restrict the winner to someone with a shipping address in the continental US. Please forgive me, international friends! I promise I’ll have an international giveaway in the future!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Uncategorized

Top Three Revealed!

We are so excited to reveal to you the three finalists in the Damsel Distressed cover design contest!


We would like to thank every single person who entered a design, from the first round all the way to the other seven designs from the top ten.


We are so honored that you chose to share your art with us, and we hope that you know how difficult this decision was–and will continue to be:

The winner will be announced THIS FRIDAY, 11/8/13.


In no particular order, the top three finalists are:

“Black Bird” by Jenny Z.


“Torn Apart” by Jessica W.


“Stormy Girl” by Whitney G.


Again, thank you to everyone who entered. We can’t wait to [decide] and announce the winner at the end of the week!

All my love, 



Want to support Damsel Distressed?

You can join the street team, sign up for the newsletter, add the book to your TBR shelf on goodreads, follow Kelsey and Wedding Day Rain on Twitter, or just tell a friend about the project.

Thanks so much for your continued support!   

Posted in Uncategorized

OMG, I have the best, most unique idea!

I’m going to write a summative blog post on the eve of the new year!!!


So, it isn’t original, but as we’re all the main characters in our own stories, why not write a wrap up for our own enjoyment.

As this is my “writing” blog, I’ll start with some highlights of my writing journey thus far.

  • I began this writing blog in March (my first post is >>here<<) and in the time since then, I’ve managed just under 10k page views, and ~150 subscribers + followers. This is very humbling and awesome seeing as I have no idea what I’m doing. 
  • I survived the query trenches and signed with the unfathomably brilliant Jessica Sinsheimer. I am forever grateful to every single person who read (and RAKED over hot coals) my manuscript, helping me attain this huge milestone. I am overwhelmed by the support I’ve recieved. 
  • I submitted my work to 4 contests + 2 twitter pitch contests, and was selected or recieved reqs from 3 of those. But more importantly, I met incredible CPs and friends who know what it feels like to be cuckoo birds. 
  • Other than my AGENTED post, the most popular post on this blog, BY FAR, was “Fan Their Flame.” This post means so much to me, and it outlines my hope for artists and people everywhere: let us build each other up, and not belittle others’ talents to highlight our own.
  • The most interesting search term that lead to my blog was “there’s a fine line between bold and crazy.” THIS MIGHT AS WELL BE MY FREAKING LIFE MOTTO. 

Outside the world of writing, there were lots of happy happenings.

Hubs and I performed for the first time as our band, Wedding Day Rain, and won first place in that talent show! We’re currently writing and recording our first album WHICH IS SUPER HARD.

I had the pleasure of performing as Lucy in the community theatre regional premier of AVENUE Q in my town. That was a ridiculously good time. Then, late in the fall, I performed in my first devised theatre piece with the fabulous team at Sundown Collaborative Theatre.

I realized how ridiculously awesome John Green is. I went on a fabulous adventure with my friend Ashley and we fangirled like crazy and basically just walked around in a TFIOS haze with a bunch of like minded nerdfighters.

My beloved and I went on a fantastic California adventure, and explored the northern coast. We saw massive redwoods, coves, and even ventured into San Francisco for a day as well.

In less happy news, 2012 wasn’t full of all awesomeness. The realities of sitting on your tush and writing for hours every day and avoiding workouts like a plague means that I put on *censored for my loves who are triggered by others’ body numbers* pounds this year. Ouch. The happy weight that I maintained for 3 years collapsed under the effects of so much writing fueled binges on wine and M&Ms. I also have tried with varying levels of success to be a brave advocate for myself and other women with the very under-researched disease ENDOMETRIOSIS. 
While I spent this year progressing, I didn’t have the FOCUS that I usually do. I was a bit rambly which isn’t my style. 
To help that listless feeling, I’m setting off on a quest to accomplish 30 goals in the next 10 or so months until my 30th birthday! These goals are happening in lieu of NYE resolutions, and I’m really excited to tackle them. 
To check out my list and help me come up with the last few, check this page here
Have a fabulous 2013, my loves!

Posted in Uncategorized

Holy crap balls, readers! one of my favorite people in this UNIVERSE is right here answering my questions and being generally FABULOUS. I’m not so excited to share her ’cause she is mine responses with you! Jessica Love is, honestly, the reason I decided to try writing a book. She made everything look so effortless and meaningful, which really inspired me–and continues to do so! You can find Jessica at her blog HERE and follow her on twitter HERE!

Can you tell us an abbreviated version of your agented story?

I won a query critique from my agent and I sent off my query, not even considering she would do more than just give a crit. She ended up wanting to see a full, and my full wasn’t even done. Smooth move, Jess. I took six months to finish revising the book, and, luckily, she was still interested!

How many manuscripts have you started/completed?

The one that got me my agent was the very first one I finished! The one I’m working on now is my second! I completed NaNoWriMo in 2011, but that book was never done. And I have a few random beginnings of ideas that never panned out.

When did you fall in love with words?

I’ve been a voracious reader since I first learned to read. And I’ve been writing in one way or another (pen pals, blogging, whatever) for just as long. Words have always been a powerful force in my life.

What is your favorite type of book to read?

Contemporary realistic YA romance.

Who’s the one character from a book that you wish was real and in your life?

ONE? Well that’s just impossible.

My first love is Dexter from This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen…but I also love Remy, too. So I’ll just say both of them. We can all hang out.

What is your favorite hot beverage?

I’m a coffee addict. I love me a good flavored latte, but plain coffee is good, too.

You have written about “whitewashing” in YA before. Since you last wrote about it, do you feel things have stayed the same or changed one way or another?

I have so many feelings on this issue, from whitewashing of YA covers to the lack of diversity in YA books. I feel like the more we talk about it, the more progress will be made in getting all types of teens represented on and in YA books.

How did you meet your critque partners?

Oh, various ways. Mostly I stalk them down and beg them for their help. But, really, I met most of them at local SCBWI events. SCBWI is such a great opportunity to meet people who are in your area!

What is one specific writing ritual you have?

MUSIC. I need music to write. I have a playlist of music for this book that evokes the feelings I’m going for when I write, but I also find that I work well with the same album or even the same song on repeat. I need the music to set the mood, but I can’t let myself get too distracted by the lyrics.

Tell us a bit about what you’re working on now, if you’d like! (SIDEBAR, READERS. I was given the honor of reading a beta version of this manuscript and I just… It is going to blow you away. AWAY, I TELL YOU!)

Sure! It’s about a girl who road-trips to surprise her online best friend and finds out he’s been keeping some secrets from her. Sort of a romantic comedy version of the show/documentary Catfish.

Thanks, Jess!

When you’re done basking in her awesome, leave her a comment below!

Posted in Uncategorized

Let’s just take a minute and do this:

You know you wanted to.

So, this morning, while hubbins was getting ready for work (he leaves much earlier than I do) I wrote the first chapter of my new project.

I’ll pause for celebration.

I’ve been brainstorming and outlining for a little bit, but there’s something special about writing those first words that really feels like it’s starting.

I can’t wait to tell you guys more about the story, but I’m keeping my lips zipped until I have more on the page.

The prospecting of drafting another book (!!!) is daunting, but it also feels kinda awesome. Like there is so much possibility laying out before me.

I’m learning that my first novel came out super easy. I knew exactly what book I wanted to write, how I wanted it to sound, where every part of the plot was going.

But this one, is different. The outline is less detailed, and I am dabbling in a voice that is much less like my own. (YES, I pretty much talk with the exact level of snark that my Imogen from DD uses. Her snark is my snark. The secret is out.)

So, with my first chapter down, I’m ready to take off. I hope to update you with big juicy wordcounts soon! 😀

Posted in Uncategorized