Those of you who have followed my writing for the past year or more may remember this exercise from last year. 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. Here is my list for 2021. Thank you for your support, for encouraging my writing and other kidlit writers, and for all the kind comments! Excited to see what 2022 brings!

  1. Wrote 12 picture book drafts (and completed the 12×12 challenge for the second year in a row! Many of these drafts will never “see the light of day,” but I learned from each one.)
  2. Wrote my first complete mystery short story and began revisions for submission to a magazine.
  3. Began drafting TWO more middle grade novels. One made significant progress during NaNoWriMo, even though I didn’t officially participate this year.
  4. Took 2 Highlights courses (revision and thinking like an artist to write picture books)
  5. Regular participation in three critique groups (one through SCBWI, one through Highlights, one through 12×12)
  6. Runner up in the 2021 PBChat mentorship contest!
  7. Honorable Mention in the SpringFling kidlit contest!
  8. Attended two SCBWI conferences virtually – winter conference and my regional SCBWI conference.
  9. One of my manuscripts was accepted in the Hindsight 2020 anthology (print edition) to be published in Fall of 2022.
  10. Revised and polished >10 picture book manuscripts
  11. Multiple essays published on public blogs (StoryWarren, RedTricycle, and BlackBarn Online community)
  12. Submitted to ~20 agents; received personalized feedback and kind rejections on my latest work.
  13. One of my picture books went to acquisitions at a small press, though it was ultimately not acquired. This was after a specific request from the owner/editor of the press to submit based on my pitch!
  14. Participated in >5 kidlit contests, including Valentinsy, Halloweensie, 50 Precious words and others.
  15. Received multiple critiques from published picture book authors, each of which strengthened my writing.
  16. Received critiques from 3 agents on my picture book manuscripts.
  17. One of the above resulted in a request for my full submission package!
  18. Started the First Stories series on this blog to promote other kidlit authors!
  19. Read poetry for my local spoken word community and submitted to their print anthology.
  20. Submitted stories and poems to multiple print magazines for children and adults.
  21. Participated in StoryStorm 2021 and came away with ~30 new ideas! Many of these ideas have gone on to become full picture books.
  22. Continued learning and practicing my craft by reading picture books, craft books, attending webinars and seminars, etc.

2 thoughts on “2021…Successes”

  1. Love these summary posts, because it highlights just how productive my fellow writers are, from all around the world. That makes me want to work harder to. Great on you for these achievements, and wishing you all the best for 2022!

    Liked by 1 person

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