Tag Archives: Julie Hedlund

PBers: Eyes Over Here! Hot News. Act NOW!

I’m here to tell you about two important things — 12×12 and ReFoReMo. Read on.

12×12 registration ends February 28.

I’ve mentioned Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 challenge often in this blog, and here I am again shouting out about the best writing challenge for PB writers who want to:

  • get and stay motivated to study craft,
  • write and revise manuscripts, and
  • get brave – and smart – about submitting.

The benefits are too numerous to mention here, but you can see for yourself here.

Membership at the GOLD level is now closed, and the SILVER and BRONZE levels will close on February 28. If you write PBs, you owe it to yourself to learn more about 12×12 and decide if you should join. Do it now because after February 28, membership is closed. For. The. Rest. Of. The. Year. And you’ll have to wait until next January for another chance to join.

ReFoReMo is coming in March.

Never heard of it? That’s because this brainchild of Carrie Charley Brown is debuting this year. It’s a month of study of picture books for PB writers and illustrators with PB experts posting daily about – you guessed it – PBs.

I first met Carrie through the 12×12 picture book challenge. We quickly became online friends and recently served together (with five others) as first round judges of picture books for the Cybils competition. I so enjoyed reading her comments about the books we judged, and I appreciated seeing things from her point of view when we stood on opposite ends in our whittling down of the best seven of more than 200 books. She’s intelligent, insightful, a former teacher using picture books in her classroom, and a writer of PBs who’s studied her craft. I’m sure ReFoReMo will be a grand success because of her experience and her big heart that makes her want to help others. Click here to learn more about ReFoReMo.

You’re welcome. Have a great year!

 

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Lessons learned, life paths paved

This past week, a friend mentioned diagramming sentences in a blog post and in a Facebook comment. It brought back fond memories. How I loved deconstructing sentences and labeling their parts.

It got me thinking about Miss Baronian’s English class in junior high, and Mr. Joy’s, Mrs. Martin’s, and Mr. Cass’s English classes in high school. Oh, how I loved those teachers and all they could load on me. More. More. Give me more.

And then I thought farther back – to that day in grammar school when I first learned about paragraphs. I actually remember being amazed. I probably sat there in my little chair with big eyes and dropped jaw. I could hardly wait to break apart a body of text into paragraphs.

And this brings me to a conversation I had with a friend earlier this week. She’s worried about her son who’s beginning to think about college and life pursuits. He seems, to her, directionless.

I don’t think I helped her much that evening, but now that I’ve been thinking about my introduction-to-paragraphs experience, I’d ask her to try to remember what little, mundane, everyday things made his eyes sparkle or his voice sing. If my teacher had truly looked at me the day she taught her paragraph lesson, she would have known right then and there, I would be a writer.

And a reader. Here are my favorites of the picture books I read in January:

  • HAVE YOU SEEN MY NEW BLUE SOCKS by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier, 2013, Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • LET’S SING A LULLABY WITH THE BRAVE COWBOY by Jan Thomas, 2012, Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster)
  • WHEN LIONS ROAR by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Chris Raschka, 2013, Orchard Books (Scholastic)

P.S. The link above will take you to KidLit 411, a new website created by Elaine Kiely Kearns (with help from others) for kidlit writers. It’s almost cooler than diagramming sentences and making paragraphs.

Another P.S. If you write picture books, you may want to check out the ultra cool 12×12 Picture Book Challenge. If you want to be part of this phenomenal community — with access to agents, a sparkly new forum, and loads of inspiration, information, and support — you need to register by February 28. After that, membership is closed, and you’ll be pounding on the door until next January. That will hurt.

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