12 X 12 Standard Banner

Just… WOW! What a month! I probably say this every year, but I think this is the best first month of 12 x 12 ever! Everyone is so enthusiastic and excited, and I see so many new members actively participating alongside the veterans. Plus, we are already 900 picture book authors and illustrators strong. That is nothing short of amazing! Our first webinar with Sean McCarthy was a huge hit. Seems we’re hitting our cruising altitude for 2018.

A quick reminder about these check-in posts. You do NOT need to post or share your manuscript anywhere in order to get points. You can enter the Rafflecopter (below) for a chance to win this month’s prize from Susanna Hill and you can request badges in the Forum. But I repeat, you do NOT need to email me or Kelli or anyone. This is your challenge and it’s on the honor system. We trust you, and we promise there are no 12 x 12 police. 🙂

Traditionally, I open these posts by reporting my progress. I am sorry to say I did not get a new draft written this month, BUT I did a significant amount of revising. Ready to draft away in February (and revise more, of course).

Now it’s your turn!

Tell us your progress. Did you complete a draft and/or revision in January? Let us know in the Rafflecopter and in the comments. Our prizes come from this month’s Featured Author Susanna Leonard Hill. Susanna is giving away TWO prizes for our January check-in—one enrollment in her class Making Picture Book Magic and a personalized signed set of WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH, WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES, and WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT.

Here is what you need to do to check in for a chance to win:

  1. See the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post that says “Enrollment in Making Picture Book Magic at the top.
  2. Click on the “Comment on Susanna’s post” button. Commenting on Susanna’s post is mandatory for this giveaway and you can enter the Rafflecopter even if you didn’t write a draft this month. You can comment on the post here.  Click ENTER.
  3. Click on the “Wrote a PB Draft” button. This will ask if you completed a PB draft in January. If you did, click ENTER, if not, move on to the next step.
  4. Click on the last “Revised a PB Draft” button. This will ask if you revised a PB in January. If you did, click ENTER. If not, move on to the next step.
  5. That’s it! Rafflecopter will track your points.

You have until midnight Eastern on February 2nd to enter your results. Rafflecopter will draw a winner and it will be announced on the blog on February 3rd.

You do not need to post your manuscript and/or revisions on the forum for them to count. If you wrote or revised a manuscript in January, even if it’s just on your computer where no one can see it, then enter the Rafflecopter below.

(Remember, monthly draft and revision badges are awarded separately from your Rafflecopter entry. Watch this handy tutorial to find out how to get your badges. CLICK HERE.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Post Has 74 Comments

  1. I am grateful to have stumbled across 12×12 last year. 2017 was a tough year personally (my mother become quite ill & then passed away), keeping me from completing 12 drafts. BUT, the forum & FB group & webinars kept me in the loop of all the picture book things. 2018 will be an awesome year of writing & drawing picture books. Thank you to everyone for being such a great group.

    1. Carrie, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you on a deeply personal level; my mom became ill and died the year my debut picture book came out. It was dedicated to her, and the publisher overnighted an arc to me so I could show her before she died because it was supposed to be a surprise. Anyway… I’m oversharing, I just know how much it affects everything and in ways you can’t ever anticipate. So sending a hug and a cheee your way.

  2. Carrie, that is how 2016 was for me. I was hardly able to do any writing much less contribute to the community. 2017 was soooo much better for me, so I’m believing your 2018 is gonna rock your socks off.

  3. Starting the writing year off in stellar mode! 2017 was “meh” IMO for my craft. I feel it in my bones that this year is THE year for me–to write well, hook the agent that’s “write” for me, and hopefully, help others along their journey. Couldn’t do it without the support & knowledge of 12×12!

  4. I’m blessed to have started January off with a bang, no book deal, but my writing journey is gaining momentum and I’m feeling comfortable calling myself a writer. So far this month I’ve written 3 new drafts and revised 3 old manuscripts. I’ve also submitted to publishers as well as agents. I hope I can keep this up. A big thanks to 12×12 for keeping me motivated and helping me improve my craft.

  5. This is my first year in 12×12, and I am so happy I joined! I am excited to be supported and to support others on this journey!

  6. To quote Susanna, “I am a writer!”
    It gives you a little boost of confidence, doesn’t it? Yes! To say it like that? Doesn’t it make you feel like a writer? Yes! Yes! Yes! and I love the chocolate part, too. Thank you for the motivation and congratulations on all your success.

  7. It has been an exciting month since joining 12 X12. I have posted a manuscript on 12 x 12 and received illuminating comments; joined a critique group and had another manuscript critiqued. The facebook inspires me with news of successfully published authors! Of course, I have been revising like crazy. What a whirlwind!! Thank you, 12 X 12.

  8. I just joined 12×12 last week and I am so energized being a part of this community! I have drafted a brand new picture book and have made revisions based on feedback from a local CP. It’s not ready to submit, but I’m feeling proud of this new work. I’m also busy revising another picture book that was drafted in 2017 thanks to amazing feedback from Susanna’s blog community. Feeling strong!

  9. Julie-Thank you for an amazing start to 2018! I’m excited to all the wonders to come 🙂 I’ve written my first draft, revised, and researched more story ideas. Moving forward!

  10. It is my first year with 12×12 and in just a few weeks I have written one MS, revised one MS, joined a critique group and contributed to several posts. I am feeling more of a writer and Susanna’s timely post helped me to own it!

  11. This has been another busy month for me… my writing and revising has been stuck in between new medical issues that seem to be cropping up like weeds, and fighting to get my Medicaid reinstated… believe me, dealing with the government at both the State and Federal level will drive you to drink!!

    I am once again a member of Tara Lazar’s Storystorm and finished with a total of 72 ideas, 25 of them are nonfiction. I have never had so many nonfiction ideas… and am excited by this new direction my writing is taking… And, as of this morning, I now have 16 rough drafts that I can’t wait to play around with as 8 of them have chapter book/middle grade possibilities. I also revised 2 of my old PB manuscripts.

  12. 2017 was a weird year for me, but I went into 2018 feeling something different – maybe a fresh slate is all it takes to get in a better head space. I’m so excited to be a part of 12×12 and I really can’t wait to see what lies ahead!

  13. I want to be more organized and productive for 2018.
    I created a template for weekly plans that include revising, drafting and of course learning and growing through the many web-sites available to us starting with 12 x12.

  14. I didn’t take advance of my 12×12 membership during 2017, but this is MY year! I am excited about the year ahead and will end the year with 12 new manuscripts!

  15. This has been a far better January than last year….when I , as well as many others suffered from a depression that never seemed to let up……but, I’m back and determined to kick butt in 2018!!!

  16. This was a great January for me! I wrote 2 drafts and revised 2 others, as well as read a lot of picture books. I’m looking forward to an equally or more productive February! 🙂

  17. Thank goodness for the 12×12 habit I’ve acquired of writing a pb draft every month…it’s made it easier to produce the manuscripts I need for the compilation book that will have 7-10 pb bios. And with Storystorm, I’ve got so many NEW ideas…but will have to put those on hold until the MOVE project is finished.

  18. I’m excited to be part of 12×12 this year. I’ve gotten a draft and a revision done. I’m looking forward to what comes.

  19. I wrote a new draft and revised two. I also wrote a few poems and have 58 new ideas thanks to participating in Storystorm. 2018 is starting off well.

  20. Story Storm led me to so many great ideas, a few of which actually became whole drafts this month. And I revised a handful of things, so JANUARY WAS AMAZING FOR ME!!!!

  21. I hit the ground running this year! I wrote a new pb ms and have made major revisions to three others. I have a bunch of new ideas thanks to StoryStorm. I am grateful for the 12×12 community and am enjoying being a part of it this year.

  22. First time in 12×12, and it definitely helps keep writing top of mind. I submitted a MS for critique, revised a MS and wrote a first draft on a new MS. yay 🙂

  23. Feeling so grateful to be part of this community! 2018 is already off to a MUCH better start in large part because of you inspiring people. Thanks to you, I’ve written a brand new crappy first draft and overhauled an old one.

  24. This was a productive month! I wrote a few drafts (of varying quality!) and revised some oldies. Thanks for keeping me motivated, 12×12!!

  25. Love being here again. One of these day I will attribute my coming success to 12 x 12 and those inspiring featured authors. Thanks to all.

  26. So glad that I signed up for 12×12. It has motivated me to get back in the chair. 🙂 I completed a first draft of a new PB and completed a revision of a manuscript that had been eluding me for months. Successful month for me. Thanks so much for the motivation and support!!

  27. I spent much of January doing a “digital detox,” but I am here now and ready to dig into everything 12×12 has to offer. I completed a VERY rough draft, and revised one of my ongoing projects. Let’s do this!

  28. It’s terrific reading everyone’s progress for the check in . This is my first month in 12X12 ever so I am learning so much from everyone . Building momentum with having written 2 drafts and revising 1. So much work ahead but all good . Good luck everyone for a very successful February !! Tina

  29. I’m very happy a critique partner last year told me about this group. I finished a first draft of a PB that’s been rolling around in my head for many months–15 minutes at a time.

  30. Feeling that this year is off to a good start. Made one draft by mid-January, and am somehwat surprised, here on the last day of the month, to have another one starting to shape up.

  31. I’m one for one, yay! I new draft and one revision. Last year I only made about every other month so we’ll see how it goes.

  32. This is my first year of 12x!2! I had stumbled upon it last summer and loved the idea. I got a really really rough draft done this month and revised the ending of one that I’ve been tinkering with for a while. I have been loving the forums, reading what other people have been working and getting the encouragement from the FB page!

    Next step- Find a critique group!

  33. My first month ever of 12 x 12 is in the books! This month was productive for me! I wrote two new drafts and revised another (several times) before sending it back to an editor! Here’s to hoping!!!

    On the downside, I received two declines from agents this week, so it’s been rough there, but I know I’ll find the right home for my work. We have to keep on keeping on!

  34. I started 2018 with high hopes and a BIG BANG. I joined two critique groups, tweaked a manuscript and subbed it for a critique. Even though it still needs lots of work, I am VERY pleased with the responses I got. I’m currently in the process of digging out some of my other pbs that I started by drifted away from over the last year. THANK YOU for 12×12. It’s just what I need to keep me motivated.

  35. Although I was unsure if I wanted to participate in 12×12, I wrote a draft earlier this month. After mulling over it for the entity of January, I finally signed up today. Onwards to a productive 2018!

  36. I am so glad to be back in 12×12 and to be actively working on picture books. I wrote a (very rough) draft and revised two texts this month. Thank you all for taking the leap of faith and for the remarkable community you enrich – and to Julie and all of the elves, rock on!

  37. I didn’t write a new draft, but January was still an amazing month for me. I got to attend my regional SCBWI conference last weekend, and I revised so many manuscripts beforehand to decide which ones I’d share. One agent gave me the best sort of feedback on a picture book manuscript, and another agent helped me figure out how to fix a problem that I knew was there but didn’t know how to fix (in a different manuscript). I also LOVED the Ann Whitford Paul webinar that I recently watched. She’s just a lovely person, isn’t she?

  38. A writer I met through Pitch Wars pointed me to this group and I am so grateful to her! My draft for January is looking good thanks to comments from this group and I have another draft almost ready to share for February!

  39. Looking forward to 2018 after a rough fall punctuated by spouse’s career change, two moves, two deaths, and trying to settle into a new, smaller home. On the plus side, I completed the StoryStorm challenge & ideas actually flowed, I’m continuing my weekly picture book reviews, our critique group is now revived with two new members, and I began revisions on a manuscript that I first started over five years ago! To 2018 – the year of the Writer!

  40. I’m pleased to be back in 12×12 this year. The webinars were great. It’s also lovely to see those writers that are progressing down the road to becoming published. For the rest of us hopefully it is just a matter of time 🙂

  41. Wasn’t as active as I wanted to be last year but I’ve returned hoping to make it a productive 2018. I have written a new draft and revised an older one (a number of times).

  42. This is my first 12×12 and as soon as I kick this flu to the curb, I’ll be ready to roar in February. The good news, however, is that I signed up for this alongside my former student (who won the scholarship), so I have a LOT of incentive to be at my most productive (some good stress, I think). I have a really good feeling about what can be accomplished in 2018 since I am surrounded by so many inspirational people and all their swirling stories.

  43. Hooray for a new year! I spent so much time revising last year, with few new drafts, so I was pleased as punch to start 2018 with a new draft.

  44. I’m happy to be in 12 x 12 for my third year! Welcome to all the new members!

    I didn’t write a new draft in January, but I did come up with 30 new ideas through Storystorm, so I’m ready for February. And I revised a draft by writing back matter for it.

  45. Pulled out a NF draft that was several years old and revised it this month and I think I may have something! Hooray for dusty old drafts!

  46. I found it has taken quite a bit of time to figure out all the ins and outs of the 12 x 12 webpages and functions. So glad to have joined a critique group and even submitted manuscript for review. Revised one former draft and submitted a manuscript for critique.

  47. This is a great post. You’ve captured the feeling of not being taken seriously as a writer. I’ve been there and have learned to say that I am a writer and I write children’s literature! Thank you for the reminder and encouragement.

  48. I am a day late on the Rafflecopter (Congrats Kristen and Charlotte!) but not too late to celebrate my January draft and revisions. I was able to complete a manuscript I felt worthy of sending off to my critique members and completed two revisions this month. I’m thankful for the encouragement from 12×12!

    …On to February!

  49. So much for making the check-in on time. I was so proud of myself. I wrote a PB draft, finally, at the last minute (last two days of the month) revised a draft that has been waiting for my attention, and I am on my way to completing a draft for February. In addition I came up with over 40 ideas through participating in Storystorm, and keeping notes of thoughts and ideas has become much more of a habit. Onward Ho to February. Important goals met. I am moving my story forward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *