Children's author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers (http://www.juliehedlund.com/12days) series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year's resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity - what DIDN'T get done or achieved in the previous year. Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2017.
1. Wrote at least 14 new picture book manuscripts.
2. Took several writing classes, including Karla Valenti's Picture Book Master Course (http://www.karlavalenti.com/master-course/), Renee LaTulippe's Lyrical Language Lab (http://www.reneelatulippe.com/writing-courses/), and Alayne Kay Christian's Art of Arc (http://www.alaynekaychristian.com/page05.html).
3. Enrolled in and participated in my first year of Julie Hedlund's 12x12Challenge http://12x12challenge.com/.
4. Took a second workshop at the Highlights Foundation Barn.
5. Hosted a writing retreat with my critique group; Tara Lazar was guest speaker/critiquer.
6. Watched SEVERAL webinars through Kidlit College, SCBWI chapters, etc.
7. Took a three-day "Un-Workshop" at the Highlights Foundation with my critique group, including an author critique.
8. Two manuscripts earned a #1 rating and several others #2 and #3 ratings in Rate Your Story.
9. Entered my first writing contest and won an honorable mention (Susanna Leonard Hill's Halloweensie Contest; http://susannahill.blogspot.com/).
10. An agent contacted me after submitting to her slush pile. She requested to see more of my work.
11. Participated and finished Tara Lazar's Storystorm (https://taralazar.com/2017/12/28/storystorm-2018-registration-is-open/) and ReFoReMo (http://www.reforemo.com/).
12. Created a writer website and blog.
13. Joined Twitter and began tweeting weekly picture book posts. Through Twitter, I met many new writers!
14. Told friends and family about my writing and goals.
15. Grew closer to my online critique group--we are like family now!
16. My critique group, the Highlighters, was interviewed for an upcoming article in a regional SCBWI magazine.
17. Learned the importance of amazing concepts and dramatically improved my own.
18. Realized I love to write poetry...and I'm good at it, too!
19. Began a structured practice of reading picture books on a weekly basis.
20. Read books on crafts: Stephen King's On Writing, Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic, Ann Whitford Paul's Writing Picture Books, and others.
21. Applied for mentorships through Tara Luebbe's Writing with the Stars http://beckytarabooks.com/wwts-contest/).
22. Developed more of a writing routine and began scheduling non-negotiable writing time.
23. Attended my second year of Picture Book Summit (http://picturebooksummit.com/).
I'm over-the-Halloween-moon thrilled to report that I won an honorable mention (and a cool free book on writing craft) in Susanna Leonard Hill's Halloweensie contest! You can find her excellent website/blogs at https://susannahill.com.
Susanna lured me into my first writing contest with her fabulous prizes! The process of writing an entire story using three key words all within 100 words was challenging...but also loads of fun. I also learned NOT to wait until the eleventh hour (the day of the contest deadline) to decide to enter! My writing is definitely better with revisions.
It was a whirlwind afternoon, but I'm so glad I tried. I will definitely enter more writing contests in the future--but not at the last minute :-).
Montgomery’s stinky monster feet
skit-skeetered down the darkened street.
He knocked and shouted, “Trick or Treat!”
One thing would make his night complete…
Was it fresh meat or maybe bones?
The crust of cemetery stones?
Montgomery’s ghoulish drool drip-dropped.
That thing was here! His heart flip-flopped.
Clair opened up the door and froze;
a monster stench of toes arose!
She shook as shadowed claws stretched out
with nails that smelled of sauerkraut.
But monster reached inside the dish
that overflowed with his one wish.
He’s had a taste since he was born
For sweet and chewy candy corn!
Categories: Halloween, writing, contests, poetry, kidlit, picture book