A new year, a fresh start? Once again, I find myself sitting in front of my computer with lots to say and share. Aaaand I’m spending most of that time trying to get this blog to be functional. (totally user error, naturally). Of course, the dishes need to be done and a mountain of laundry is screaming my name. It’s January and yet everything still feels the same.
Maybe it’s not the new year. Maybe it’s me! Over the last few years (gulp!) I’ve been learning as much as I can about writing for children. Because of our remote location, it’s been a challenge meeting local writers and finding critique groups. So at 50-something, I’m retraining my brain to think globally and finding my people on line.
Julie Hedland’s 12 X 12 group has been an amazing resource of information, education and inspiration. It’s daunting and super fun to meet so many wonderful writers out there! The premise of 12 x 12 is to assist writers, published or pre-published, to write twelve manuscripts over twelve months. It’s a pretty lofty goal for a newbie like me. Instead of setting myself up for failure, I joined to learn. And boy howdy, have I learned! You can learn, too: Julie Hedlund 12 X 12 challenge.
Julie has an amazing network of writers, illustrators, editors and agents who offer advice, encouragement, ideas and Friday dance parties! The best part (if there really is a best part), are critiquing resources and educational opportunities. If you’re lucky to get in (sign up is now!), you’ll find so many more wonderful kidlit gems in the 12 X 12 group.
Another HUGE resource is Katie Davis! I can not get enough of her YouTube podcasts. Forget binging Netflix, Katie had me at Brain Burps. Specifically, Brain Burps About Books. It’s all about the business end of writing. As yucky as that sounds, Katie has helped me realize that if I want to eat, I need to know this side of being a writer. *sigh*.
Katie Davis has another free podcast called Writing for Children; AND is the Director for the Institute of Writers. Where does she get all that energy? (Yes, I’ve submitted my aptitude test and have checked my email every five minutes to see if I am accepted.)
I can’t finish this article without mentioning Suzanna Leonard Hill! Her online class, Making Picture Book Magic in an invaluable resource on the ins and outs of writing a story that is worthy of submission. I also look forward to her blog posts and “Would You Read It Wednesday”, where authors can submit their book pitch before submitting it for real-sy. Suzanna has much more to offer, including free writing contests. I’m not sure what’s more fun, submitting and entry or reading everyone else’s!
There are many more folks that I would like to promote; however, it’s probably time to tackle this wordpress debacle. Katie said so. Oh, links, why won’t you work???
Happy 2018, everyone! ~Yvette