Writing

2020…Successes?

Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers 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. At first I was skeptical. 2020 was odd, frenzied, and scattered – what kind of successes could I have to list? Especially because I only wrote haphazardly in February, then not AT ALL again until August!!

But then I sat down and began to write…

…and was amazed at what I saw! Here is my list of my 2020 writing-specific successes:

  1. Joined the 12×12 picture book community (a MUST for anyone wanting to write for children! 12×12)
  2. Found and participated in a monthly critique group (that I found through 12×12 – my first ever writing critique group!)
  3. Published multiple posts on the Red Tricycle Spoke Network, a great parenting resource that I found through a critique partner.
  4. Published a post on a local blog, Our City on a Hill
  5. Read a picture book manuscript for a local writing/spoken word community, OutLoud HSV
  6. Submitted two separate entries to the 53 word contest sponsored monthly by Press 53
  7. Wrote, revised, re-wrote, and submitted an entry to the SCBWI Haunted States of America trade book contest (middle grade submission, >1300 words)
  8. Joined SCBWI
  9. Joined my local writing community, HLA
  10. Enrolled and completed the ten week Highlights Foundation Crash Course in Children’s Literature which covers the in-and-outs of children’s writing and publishing
  11. Read “Writing Picture Books” by Ann Whitford Paul cover-to-cover…multiple times!
  12. WROTE TWELVE PICTURE BOOK DRAFTS!!!
  13. Revised 4-5 of those drafts
  14. Made dummies of 2 of those revisions
  15. COMPLETED ONE MIDDLE GRADE NOVEL (DRAFT, ~27,000 words)!!! First ever completed novel!
  16. Began drafting/outlining two other middle grade manuscripts
  17. Submitted two picture book manuscripts to the WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award
  18. Submitted a picture book to the 389 Literary pop up editorial shop managed by the University of Arizona
  19. Queried two agents; received kind rejections
  20. Attended 4-5 agent/writer Zoom webinars on topics ranging from branding to character development to plot structure to nonfiction pb writing
  21. Submitted two stories to Cricket Magazine
  22. Began making a formal list of agents to query
  23. Joined Twitter and began learning about Twitter pitch parties
  24. Revamped my blog…then re-did it again!
  25. Submitted entries for both the Halloweensie and Holiday Helpers children’s writing contests sponsored by Susanna L Hill (here)

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