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12 X 12 January 2016 Check-in!

12 x 12 January 2016 Check-in!

Well, well, well. We’ve reached the end of the first month of the fifth year of 12 x 12! And what an exciting one it’s been!

As of this writing, we have exactly 740 members who’ve joined us in 2016 and are already filling the Forum and the Facebook group with manuscripts for critique, tips, tricks and resources, words of encouragement, and of course, dances for Dance Party Friday. Our first webinar with author Tara Lazar was a huge hit, and we’re preparing for our second one on February 2nd with East-West Literary. So yes, I’d say we’re off to an amazing start! If you’re not a member and want to join, there are only 30 shopping days left to do so. Click here for all the information.

Now for the real purpose of the monthly check-in which is to report on whether you wrote a new draft or revised this month. I’ll go first. I am pleased to report that I wrote a brand new draft. It needs a lot of work but I love the concept and the main character. I also did multiple revisions on two different manuscripts this month. One of which is very close to being submission-ready. I love being off to a strong start!

Now tell us your progress. Did you complete a draft and/or revision in January? Let us know in the Rafflecopter and in the comments. This month’s winner will win an autographed copy of WOLFIE THE BUNNY and a picture book critique from January’s Featured Author Ame Dyckman. Plus, Ame has offered lunch and/or a zoo outing with her and her writing partner Adam Lehrhaupt if you’re local to central New Jersey. Awesome, right?


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 “A Signed Copy of WOLFIE THE BUNNY” at the top.
  2. Click on the “Comment on Ame’s Blog Post” button. It will reveal the task, which is to comment on Ame’s blog post. If you haven’t comment yet, you can click HERE and comment.
  3. Commenting on Ame’s Featured Author post and clicking enter in the Rafflecopter will get you one entry in this month’s drawing whether you completed a draft or not. When you click ENTER on that option in Rafflecopter, the next two options will open up.
  4. Click on the “Wrote a PB Manuscript” button. This will ask if you completed a PB draft in January. If you did, click ENTER, if you did not, move on to the next step.
  5. Click on the last “Revised a PB Manuscript” button. This will ask if you revised a PB in January. If you did, click ENTER. If not, move on to the next step.
  6. That’s it! Rafflecopter will track your points.

We’ve created a quick video to walk you through your monthly check-in. You can view in the Video Tutorial section of the forum HERE.

You have until midnight Eastern on February 1st to enter your results. Rafflecopter will draw a winner and I’ll announce it on the blog on February 2nd.

You’re on your way!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Post Has 107 Comments
  1. Thank you Julie (& Kelli too)! I loved my 1st month here at 12×12. I’m so grateful for the motivation, the accountability, and the sense of community. I’m proud of what I accomplished in January, and I can’t wait to begin 12×12 submissions and see the next webinar.

    And that’s what I LOVE about being a member 😀

  2. I am so excited for this 12×12 year! I have revised a PB that has been sitting quietly for a year AND wrote a very rough 1st draft of something I am very excited about.

  3. I know that 2016 will be a different year for me because of 12×12! Thanks for your vision and talent to spur on new writers!

    1. Hi Karen Condit,
      You must be a cousin of my husband as all Condits are! I’m Kathleen Condit, and am enjoying writing and revising on 12×12.

  4. Feel like I’ve been such a good girl! Wrote (inspired by a fb cat video post of all things!), revised (old ms, left in a cold drawer, now spiced up!), and making lots of illustration progress! Can’t wait to party with Julie H and a hoard of 12xers in less 2wks!

  5. Woo-hoo, feeling great! I have written a brand new pb, revised it, and sent it on to a critique partner. I’ve also revised an older pb that has been gathering dust for a few months and while I was working on it, I got an idea for two new pb’s. I’m wondering…is this serendipity or am I drinking too much coffee? 🙂

    1. Hi Rita,
      I think I need some of your coffee! 🙂
      I have a little list in my phone of one sentence (or one word) ideas, for January I picked one and wrote a first draft. But it would have been great to get new ideas while writing it….

  6. This is awesome! I wrote one ms…and revised two others.
    Two more are out for critiques. I will get those back in time to revise in February!

  7. Happy to have written a new draft, revised a few drafts and commented on Ame’s post. This is starting out as a great year. Happy 5 th year 12x 12!

  8. 2016 and I’m off to a good start. I’ve written a new PB draft, started a second, and managed several revision sessions. I’m looking forward to my 2nd year in 12X12 🙂

  9. So glad I joined this year. Having just a little structure is making me much more efficient with my writing time. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  10. 12 x 12 is very inspiring! I’m so happy to be a participant. In the month of January, I revised a manuscript. While doing that, I came up with another idea and wrote a draft. It’s a very rough draft, but it’s done. Now to get feedback and revise. 🙂

  11. I am starting the year off with a bang! I revised 3 of my older picture books and added 5 new rough drafts (out of 67 ideas) thanks to PiBoIdMo. In January I was once again a member of ReviMo and revised 8 of my PiBoIdMo rough drafts.

  12. I’m diving into 12×12 this year with a splash. Just completed a new Valentine’s Day manuscript and revised an old manuscript that I converted from verse to prose. Converting it was tough, but I’m so glad I did.

  13. So excited to be here. I’m a 12 x 12 newbie (though not new to kidlit). This month, I revised a new non-fiction picture book that I can’t wait to share. Thanks for all of your wonderful posts and webinars. Looking forward to a great year.

  14. Thanks Julie! I’m a 12X12 newbie and have been really impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of your members. I revised 2 MSs and wrote 1 new one in January, and I am stewing on a revision for another that will either be really good or really bad.

  15. I also busy learning and revising and commenting the morning flies by. Wrote a new draft and revised AGAIN!
    Thank you for everything.
    Now I have to figure out how to give feedback to my new critique partners.

  16. Congrats on a fabulous start to your fifth year running this challenge. Kudos to you Julie for creating such a great community. I am happy to be able to click all three entries this month!

  17. I wrote two new drafts in January,
    revised one,
    and worked on FINAL revisions for my book coming out in 2017!
    Excited for what February will bring!
    Great job everyone who wrote and revised this month!

  18. I am new this year and am really enjoying 12 x 12! This month I wrote two new picture book drafts and revised one I’ve been working on for awhile. This is a very motivating community–thanks to everyone who helps make 12 x 12 so GREAT!

  19. Hello julie and Kelli
    So glad to be here in the group. I saw the Q and A and never thought there would be so much to do. I wrote one draft and did alot of revision.www.realwriting.usefully, February I’ll do more. Here’s to writing and learning more about picture books.

  20. So glad you had a good month also, Julie, and managed to get a new pb draft done. I’m excited because, thanks to Kristen Fulton’s 12 Days of Nonfiction, I wrote a new pb story in January…and thanks to my incredible critique buddies, it was already polished enough to send it to my agent..which I did two days ago and…she LOVES it! I also did some major revisions on a story that we got editor feedback on…and Essie gave me a thumbs up on that one as well. It’s been a great month…looking forward to the next one.
    Which reminds me to mention that tomorrow is the first open FREE submission day of the new year for Rate Your Story. Don’t forget to send them something!!!

  21. Thank you for all that you do, Julie! I love how 12 x 12 can keep us all motivated and working toward our writing goals. I wrote a new draft and revised another one in January. Yay!

  22. I’m new to 12×12, and am loving it so far! I wrote a new PB draft, and revised another draft from December. I’ve been on a roll with other writing, and did some work on a chapter book as well. Thanks so much for all the inspiring posts, and the great forum. I’m already learning so much!

  23. Began a new blog to keep me on track and revised a picture book that is probably going to morph into early reader. Sigh. Worked on mg novel too. I’m on sabbatical which is my new favorite word. And got a rejection for one of last year’s picture books edited by Jane Yolen from her wondrous bootcamp. Onward!!! 🙂

    Thank you Julie for all you do for 12 by 12!

    Happy writing to all 🙂

  24. Well, I did go back to a rhyming picture book manuscript I started during The Lyrical Language Lab and did a major revision. I’m sure there will be more revisions before it gets to where it needs to be, but it’s definitely better.

  25. Yes! I revised a PB rhyming manuscript and will be submitting it for critique. It’s called “The Birdies in the Mailbox.” I love reading it out oud. Maybe I will do a video someday! Julie and Kelli have inspired me and I am getting braver with age!

  26. Here we go! I am indeed excited and eager to have become a part of this very unique group. I’m confident that this year will be memorable for me in so many ways. Thank you, Julie and Kelli for all the work you do to make this opportunity possible. Hey, everyone–keep writing!

  27. It’s been a reasonably good month. Two revisions and a new first draft. In the middle of an intense revision for a nonfiction PB right now. Grateful for 12x12ers and Julie, our fearless leader. Cheers!

  28. January is over? What? I almost didn’t notice because I was readin’, writin’ and critique-in’!

    I’m working on an almost wordless PB and I’m trying to suss out the proper format. I found a bit of useful info courtesy of the good peeps on 12 x 12. Thanks, Kids! I’m also revising a story that has taken’ a few twisty-turns on its journey (it’s still a-journeying).

    I hope everyone had a productive month! Here’s to a fabulous February – it better be good if we’re getting an extra day! 🙂

  29. Thank you Julie and Kelli and elves! The second year with 12×12 is just so amazing. I will also use the forum more this year. Great posts and wonderful support. Happy, happy, happy to be part of 2016 12×12!

  30. Had a great start, too. Hoping to keep moving forward. Thanks for a trip to the zoo, Ame! Haven’t been
    in a too long!

  31. I did it! I did it! I FINALLY wrote something new. After months and months of only doing revisions, it was hard getting back into the messy first draft stage, but I’m so glad I did. I needed the motivation! Thanks so much!

  32. I am happy to say that I have two PB first drafts written, two PB’s revised numerous times and close to submission and one PB revised a final time and sent out. #justkeepwriting #justkeepwriting

  33. Ame, thanks for the January post. Your books are inspirational! My books include animals, so I was excited to see your post.

  34. What a great month!!! I successfully (hopefully, we’ll see what reaction I get when submitting) revised two manuscripts and wrote a new one! I’m so stoked for another 11 months! 😀

  35. Feeling like 2016 is off to a great start: one manuscript down – needs loads of work in the middle & end, but it does have BME & a main character I love. I also revised two manuscripts from last year & *drumroll please*, I submitted them to an Undiscovered Voices contest for CT children’s writers. *gasp* I also managed to post a PPB review each week & an idea for a regularly-scheduled blog post is germinating in my brain. It must be the post-blizzard spring temperatures causing everything to blossom.

  36. I appreciate Amy’s message to get out and observe animals. The zoo is good if you have one near. Of more value to me are the animal personalities in my neighbourhood from dogs to cats to wildlife to the animal shelter. Great suggestion for icharacter ideas.

  37. I’m so glad I joined 12×12. I wrote a pb draft this month. It needs work but I love the characters and am working on getting the story arc tighter.

  38. I did manage to finish my first manuscript, and still with a few hours to spare 🙂
    It is shaky in parts and needs a lot of revising, but for the first time in a long time, I have completed something that I can now work with.
    Thank you 12×12.

  39. This is awesome. I feel accomplished. One brand new ms. Already a couple new “story starters,” as I call ms ideas. Inspiration from Ame. Webinars to further inspire. Yes.
    I was afraid 12×12 might be stressful, but I just feel supported.

  40. I completed a PB draft this evening. I’m a caregiver every other week for my dad who has Alzheimer’s, my week ended today till next Sunday. One of my daughters planned a two-day road trip, from this AM till Monday evening, and I asked to go along. This AM I got up at 4:20, another daughter arrived at 5:00 to take my place for five hours till my scheduled helper arrived. About four hours later I checked into our hotel room and enjoyed quiet time ALONE (a rarity) during which I wrote the PB draft for January. Later my daughter was fun to brainstorm with to make it work better. I needed this time away and plan to soak in relaxation tomorrow, perhaps working on another story, till we head for home at 5:00 PM. It would be marvellous to do this once a month. 🙂
    I am already so very glad I joined 12×12 this year. Until now I’d only participated Julie’ s first year of 12×12; it’s an amazing program now!
    Thank you, Julie, Kelli, and everyone here who helps inspire me/us. Maybe my next step is to find a critique partner or small group. One baby step at a time. I wish fun, inspiration and success to everyone.

  41. Revised a ms and sent it off to two contests 🙂 Also finished a workable draft of an ABC book that I first thought of 20 years ago!

  42. I have been loving my time involved in 12×12. I have had so much fun reading all the great stories and sending suggestions. I revised a ms and wrote a new draft.

  43. I am so excited for the motivation and encouragement from this challenge! I’m feeling happy to have completed a new picture book draft!

  44. I nailed it this month! I wrote a new manuscript, revised a manuscript, and got up enough nerve to comment on a blog! Best month I’ve had since joining 12×12.

  45. This is my 2nd time joining the 12 x 12 group and I can’t help but feel this is the right place to be 🙂
    It’s a bit scary stepping out of my comfort zone (scribbling stories in a book to do something with later). I managed to complete 2 first drafts this month and may scrap 1 and feel ok with it? Weird, since my every word is an epic piece of literature that must be saved for posterity. Duh 😉 The webinar with Tara Lazar and Julie shared some great information and was somewhat of a relief in that my fears/concerns/anxieties are the same as “Real Writers.” There is a sense that I’ve found my people. Here’s to a great year and thanks for the opportunities. Forgive the sarcasm, have an 8 year old and she’s rubbing off on me. ~Yvette

  46. I’m so excited to report that I completed a draft and a revision this month, and I can’t wait to start on my next new draft tomorrow morning. Thank you for the kick start to this brand new year of writing!

  47. I have revised two manuscripts and 12×12 helped get me in front of my computer to do that. In addition, I am really looking forward to working with my new 12×12 critique group friends!

  48. I did another revision on a piece I’ve been working on. I also did a new piece, although it does need work. This helps keep me on track. Thanks.

  49. I just managed to fit in writing a new MS last night. Needs revising and more revising but I’m starting to think that is going to be the fun part. And another one is still improving. Hard to know when to stop! Thanks Julie, Kelli and everyone. I’m very excited abut being part of 12 x 12 again this year.

  50. Thanks again to Ame! Her zoo suggestion gave me the idea for my January draft…just in the nick of time! And I had an idea for a second PB watching goats at breakfast this morning 🙂 Thank you Julie and Kelli for this challenge and your support!

  51. I am a newbie and while I did not complete a manuscript, I did enjoy the inspiration and education! I am honored, grateful and happy to be in such wonderful, zany company! Looking forward to the next month!

  52. I’m still a baby here; just days old. I ‘m brainstorming and started a draft, but haven’t finished it. Timing myself and freewriting has been wonderful for me. Found the article funny and it’s nice how we can all find inspiration in the things we love.

  53. I started and completed a draft early in January. Then on my flight to Portland this last week, I started and almost completed a second …just the very end to finish! I hate flying, so it was a great way to distract my fears. I’m actually ahead (woo hoo!) and determined to complete at least 12 this year!!

  54. I revised my ms and received some good feedback so in the middle of revising again.
    Enjoyed Ame’s article, particularly the fun loving spirit in which it was written.
    So true, animals are inspirational!

  55. So excited – several years in 12×12 and I THINK this is the very FIRST time I’ve completed all options for Rafflecopter entry! Yea! On the way to a fab year with my 12×12 family!

  56. This is my second year with 12 X 12 and I am finally understanding the process. I am in awe of the people and talent I get to be part of.

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