Tag Archives: revising

Three Things You Should Think About Doing Now. Really, NOW.

Warning: Hot deadlines enclosed. Please handle in a timely manner.

I was going to write about the top things I’ve done for myself as a picture book writer, but I got to seven and still had more to say! It was a long blog post. I’ll save that list for another day, but for now, here are three from my Best Things I Ever Did list, all with ticking enrollment deadlines.

Revising — and Re-imagining — Your Picture Book Manuscript. Revision advice I’ve gleaned from here and there, including the sparkly gems I learned in this workshop, are in a folder labelled “PB Revision Tips,” which is at my side whenever I work to polish a picture book draft. I had been interested in this workshop when it was first offered a few years ago, but family obligations kept me on a short rope, and I couldn’t travel to attend it. So I contacted my SCBWI chapter and asked how I could bring the workshop to me with their help. They agreed to support it if I was willing to chair the event. So I did. This workshop was worth every drop of energy I spent to bring it to Western Massachusetts for my fellow SCBWI members. And for me. OK, mostly for me. Eileen Robinson and Harold Underdown of Kid’s Book Revisions created the workshop and will be offering it again — beginning on Wednesday, February 15. If you’re interested, sign up soon. Like NOW. Go here for details.

Carrie Charley Brown’s ReFoReMo Challenge. You’ll read a heck of a lot of picture books and learn so much about writing them if you join ReFoReMo (Reading For Research Month). Plus, you’ll get daily blog posts from experts who offer advice and knowledge about using mentor texts to improve your skills. Registration opens February 15, and the challenge begins on February 28. Go here for more information about it.

Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge. Last, and most definitely not least, is this challenge to draft a picture book every month during the year. But that’s not all. There are monthly webinars, interviews, a supportive Facebook group, opportunities for Gold-level members to submit manuscripts to agents, and a forum where members can learn craft, give and get critique on manuscripts, queries, and pitches, and participate in other discussions. Hyperbole aside, it’s one of the freakin’ best things for picture book writers ever, man! Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself here. Membership for 2017 closes on February 28. (Full disclosure: I’m one of Julie’s elves, helping her out in the forum, but I wouldn’t use my precious time to do if I didn’t think this group was truly worthwhile.)

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Kicking off the new year

I cheered in the new year last night with my sweetie, and this afternoon we partied with friends. This year, this is how it’ll go, I hope. I’m going to enjoy the year, make adventures, see what I can do to surprise myself.

And I’m going to work my butt off to meet some writing goals. More about that, and my 2013 accomplishments, in another post. For now, I want to tell you about my first challenge of the year, because if you write for kids, you might want to leap into this with me.

Shannon Abercrombie has put together “Start the Year Off Write 2014,” 21 days of writing exercises to get the challenge participants jived and writing. Interested? Go here to learn more. Hurry. It begins January 5.

I’m hoping this challenge works in concert with another one I’m doing in January — “ReviMo,” a week dedicated to revising what’s already been written. Picture book manuscripts, that is. This challenge is the work of the ever-supportive Meg Miller.

If you write PBs, find out more about this challenge here.

Speaking of challenges, I hadn’t mentioned on my blog that I would be participating in PiBoIdMo in November 2013 (Tara Lazar’s baby). Well, I did participate, and came up with 30 picture book ideas in 30 days, which is the goal behind the challenge. Well, actually, I did it in the last five or so days of the month.  (November was otherwise challenging.) With those ideas and the extra large batch I have from the previous year, I’m armed and ready for Start Off the Year Write and ReviMo.

Let’s go then! Pencils poised…begin.

 

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