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!


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!

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

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:

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

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).


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!   

Hey, loves!

This week’s episode of KelsNotChelsNOTLIVE features my TOP TEN reasons writers are totally and absolutely CRAY CRAY.

I should note that I am guilty of all of these, save one. So don’t get ’em pannnnnies in a bunch. I mean no offence. If we can’t make fun of ourselves, what fun is LIFE?!

Let me know in the comments below if there’s one (or more) that is particularly YOU!


Is it really Friday?

I can’t believe we made it through another week.

I want to thank you guys so much for supporting this little vlog adventure I’ve started. It’s been hard for me to balance the fact that I want so much to be liked, with the fact that I also really want to be true to myself.

I know that some people have a deep aversion to peppy, spazztic people, so it’s always nervewracking to let so much of who I am show when I’m not sure people will like it. 🙂

This week’s episode is a little more serious, perhaps. And maybe a little less funny, but it really is an issue that is of the utmost importance to me.

One of my favorite people, Julie Murphy, reminds me regularly that “comparison is the thief of joy.” And I believe that, which is why I have to try so hard to remember that my journey isn’t the same as anyone else’s.

Go buy this GORGEOUS print by Whitney CPBG

I hope you enjoy the vlog, and that if you do, you’ll let me know with a comment, a like, or a subscription.
(Especially on an episode like this, when I’m worried people will roll their eyes at my sentimentality. 😀 )


So, I’m not surprised that my friend Heather (of the brilliant Then Heather Said blog) had the same bright idea about checking up on our goals at the monthly marks instead of waiting until next December and feeling like losers.

So, I set up a recurring event on my google calendar to remind me to check on my progress on the first of each month.

First, let’s check up on my 30 before 30 goals!

Here’s the key: Bold means in progress/Strikethrough means completed

1. Record at least 5 more Wedding Day Rain songs for our album 1 in the can!
2. Get back to my happy weight Been getting closer each week!
3. Finish another novel
4. Find a literary agent that I LOVE Here’s the scoop!
5. Run another 5k
6. Complete one perfect month of #photoaday
7. Visit someone who lives outside of Texas
8. Read at LEAST 10 published books 1/10
9. Obtain a book deal for DAMSEL DISTRESSED
10. Travel out-of-state with my beloved
11. Eat lacto/ovo vegetarian for 6 months Started on 12/29/12
12. Join a group blog as a contributor  Have you checked out The Writer Diaries!?
13. Go to my IRL critique group at least once per month 1 out of 12
14. See at least 3 live shows (probably musicals)
15. Maintain my renewed yoga practice First class 1/1/13
16. Learn how to properly use en/em dashes and hypens (HA!)
17. Find and take opportunities to teach new/future teachers
18. Attend a writers’ retreat and/or a writers’ conference
19. Watch Pitch Perfect when sad/stressed Watched it 2 times so far this year!
20. Go skating
21. Be a part of a cast (yes, I’m leaving this purposefully ambiguous.)
22. Attend a book release party or author signing RSVP’d for Victoria Scott’s release party!
23. Perform live (as Wedding Day Rain–for the 2nd time)
24. Start a REAL vlog project  Started KelsNotChelsNotLive on 2/12/13!
25. Give more attention to putting myself together each morning  So far so good!

Things are looking good! The big changes from when I first started are starting my new VLOG series and planning to attend Victoria Scott’s release!


How are you doing with your goals for the year??

Still looking for a few more to round out my 30. Any new ideas?


I know you may have seen it already, but that makes me no less excited to share it here for you again.

Sarah Guillory, fabulous fellow teacher and writer has a book coming out from Spencer Hill Contemporary super soon and her book cover is gorgeous.

I’m so happy to feature it here and to help spread the word about her book.

Be sure to add it to your goodreads shelves!

Here’s the scoop about Sarah Guillory’s RECLAIMED!

Jenna Oliver doesn’t have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two.  
All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother.  She’s determined she’ll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers—one that isn’t tainted by her family’s past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets.
Ian McAlister doesn’t want to start over; he wants to remember.
Ian can’t recall a single thing from the last three months—and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle.
The secret Ian can’t remember is the one Luke McAlister can’t forget.
Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he’s supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can’t resist Jenna—which is the trigger that makes Ian’s memory return.
Jenna, Ian & Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you. 

Title: Reclaimed
Author: Sarah Guillory
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary (



Release Date: October 15, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-937053-88-8 
Formats: paper, e-book