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12 X 12 March 2015 Check-In!

12 x 12 March 2015 Check-In!

I always find myself more than a little astonished when we reach the end of the first quarter of the challenge. I always want to protest, “But wait! It’s still so shiny and new.” This year, in particular, it really does feel that way. Why?

I think we’ve had the greatest number of active new members than ever before. That means we’ve gotten to know more people passionate about writing and sharing their love of picture books. I feel fresh energy in the challenge, and I’ve had so much fun meeting you all, making introductions, and getting things rolling.

One occupational hazard is just how quickly the first few months do go, what with registration and, this year, the new webinar series. As you may know, our March featured author is now going to be our April featured author. I think (hope?) you’ll understand why I put so much time into that post when you see it tomorrow. But that left us without a March featured author. So in exchange, I am offering not one, but two prizes for this month (see below).

As for me, I completed an intense revision on my picture book biography and sent it off to a freelance editor. I’m hoping the next round of revisions will be the final ones! No new drafts in March, but April is feeling pretty drafty to me. 🙂

Now tell us how you did. Did you complete a draft and/or revision in March? Let us know in the comments and in the Rafflecopter. You have two chances of winning this month! One lucky 12 x 12 member will win a spot in my course How to Make Money as a Writer and another lucky winner will win a query letter critique.  Good luck to YOU!

Here is what you need to do to check in for a chance to win a spot in How to Make Money as a Writer:

  1. See the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post that says “How to Make Money as a Writer” at the top.
  2. Click on the “Being an Awesome 12 x 12 Member” button. It will reveal the task, which is to be an awesome 12 x 12 member. Since you are most definitely an awesome 12 x 12 member, click enter. Just being awesome and clicking enter will get you one entry in this month’s Rafflecopter. When you click ENTER on that option in Rafflecopter, the next two options will open up.
  3. Click on the “Wrote a PB Manuscript” button. This will ask if you completed a PB draft in March. If you did, click ENTER, if you did not, move on to the next step.
  4. Click on the last “Revised a PB Manuscript” button. This will ask if you revised a PB in March. If you did, click ENTER. If not, move on to the next step.
  5. Submit your entry. Rafflecopter will track your points.

You have until midnight Eastern on April 1st to enter your results. (No foolin’!) Rafflecopter will draw a winner and I’ll announce it on the blog on April 2nd.

Now spring in to your next picture book draft!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This Post Has 89 Comments
  1. I finished TWO drafts this month (including the one I didn’t quite finish last month), plus revised. I am also already working on a TOTALLY fun idea for my next PB that was inspired by the front cover of my husband’s Reader’s DIgest (trust me – it IS totally fun!). GREAT stuff. Thanks for all you do, Julie!

    1. It’s very inspiring to read about the drafts and revisions, and the publishing triumphs! Helps me be confident that I can create success as well. I completed a revision and a rough storyboard in March. Time to begin a bit of research for the next story.

  2. It’s funny (and WONDERFUL TOO!) how reading other manuscripts give you new ideas for your own manuscripts! They get you thinking, and when you go off on this tangent…VOILA! A new idea appears out of nowhere! That’a why I love this group so much! What wonderful inspiration!

  3. Congratulations to everyone for getting through the first quarter! I finished an admittedly ugly first draft of a new story, but also completely rewrote another, converting it to rhyming verses and cutting the word count in half. Made few “refinement” passes at three other stories for the mentor program and started a major update on another. Looking back, it feels like a fairly productive month after all…

  4. I’m still on a roll. I finished revising a manuscript and wrote a new one. I’ve actually written new drafts on through the month of July. I’ve got five more manuscripts to write for this challenge, but I’m guessing I’ll have more than that by the end of this challenge. I’m so glad for the support of 12×12 and the wonderful critique partners, etc.

  5. I finished two drafts, revised one complete pb, and even outlined a new pb (using the Seven Point system). 12 x 12 is such a wonderful resource. It has moved me “out of my mind” and onto the paper. What I mean is, I’m always thinking about what I’m going to write or how I’m going to revise something, but I don’t always get around to it. This fantastic challenge has helped me to move to the next step. Thanks sooo much!

  6. It is very scary how quickly time is moving! I’m hoping to get a lot more accomplished in April, but I did manage to do a March draft and revise it.

  7. I’m writing every day and started two new drafts this month. One story came to me at 3 am. I was scribbling in the dark, hoping my words weren’t overlapping… hoping, come morning, I could read what I wrote so furiously during the night. Waking up in the middle of the night is dreadful, but when it’s because your muse has something to say, I don’t mind.

  8. I have had a whirlwind March! Thanks to a fabulous writing course and helpful critiques, I finished revising one manuscript and wrote another. Now I’ll have new (major) revisions to work on for April! Love 12×12!

  9. This is my first full month of joining 12 x 12! And it’s been a really busy one. Not only have I been getting to grips with the blogs and forums (and trying to read and post as many comments as I can), I have redrafted two picture book manuscripts (one that has a beast of an ending, thanks to my newly found critique group, who are a blessing!), managed to find time to start on a third brand new picture book (this is still in the rough stages but getting there), and finally I even drafted a query letter.
    Go me! (Whether every month will be like, I will have to see!)

  10. I wrote two new drafts this month and revised a couple of other drafts. Thanks for the push to keep writing. 🙂

  11. March is apparently the time for me to write those ugly first drafts. I managed to clean one up enough to see it might just be a good idea. Feeling rather proud of the revision to January’s draft. Love this challenge as it keeps me charging ahead. Let’s hope April brings strong revisions and more sunshine.

  12. Two drafts of new MSs and tons of revisions on others!!! Tons of ReFoReMo reading research to guide future revisions, as well! Great month! Busy, but great!

  13. My March draft is about half done. But I did complete a major revision of a ms I’ve been working on for some time that needed a significant bump up. I believe I’ve accomplished that and am eager for my critique group to see it.

  14. So glad I joined 12×12! Not only do I have new critique partners, but I’m feeling inspired and motivated I drafted two new books this month, and one of them is in pretty good shape already. Plus, I revised two manuscripts, and am ready to start submitting one of them. Thanks 12×12!

  15. I did not write a draft, but did a total rewrite of one of my first 12x drafts. And I have a new idea for April! Woo hoo!

  16. I wrote one new and went to the filing cabinet and tried to put a new spin on two more with revisions. Unfortunately, I hit revise overload and never could revise the third that needed the most major overhaul in a whole new direction. Maybe ideas for it will flow in April.

  17. I drafted two pb ms in March and the second one could be part of a series, so that will help for April. I also revised February’s pb manuscript and spent considerable time on a middle grade novel. It was a good month!

  18. This was one of the craziest months of my life, but I actually wrote a draft and a revision. Could never have gotten any productive writing done this month without the 12×12 challenge to motivate me!!!

  19. I hope everyone had a great month! I wrote 2 new PB’s and revised one based on helpful 12×12 comments 🙂

  20. I love the accountability push 12×12 gives. I always have something I can revise, so that’s not as challenging for me, but 12×12 gives me to push to make sure I really do work on one new draft each month! Love that! I revised TWO drafts this month and wrote one fresh, new one! Yay!

  21. I wrote a new PB manuscript and gave an older one a makeover. I queried several agents with the older one, and so far I’ve only received two personalized rejections and one invitation to revise and resubmit. This is a definite improvement over form rejections.

  22. I wrote a new PB manuscrript in March and I revised two others with critique help from my awesome 12×12 critique group. Hooray for them!

  23. I revised an old manuscript that I had looked at for several months. In doing so I think I like it again. You know how that can be. I am trying a rhyming manuscript. You may know how that can be too. Glad to be back at it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  24. I revised one of my older picture book manuscripts that I had put away for a long time, and I think I finally found the heart of the story. I’m excited to start submitting it.

  25. Finished a not-so-promising draft, but who knows? Maybe with some revisions, it’ll turn into something? Cannot believe we are done with the first quarter!

  26. This month has been a slow one for me. I wrote one PB draft and revised 2 existing manuscripts, one of which I just submitted to the second of the March 12 x 12 agents.

  27. Two revisions from Close to Complete
    Two brand spanky new manuscripts
    Two submissions
    Three contest entries

  28. 3 brand new idea story starters rarin’ to become manuscripts. 2 earlier stories vastly revised and SO much better. A rejection for my middle grade novel. Subbed 2 new stories to my editor who is publishing my first picture book. (TREES, a book of poems identifying trees by much more than the number of needles, or texture of bark, Beach Lane Books) Busy busy. There’s more, but I can’t think of it right now. Good month!!! 😀

  29. In early March, I continued cutting and revising a ms and then dove straight into a new idea. Bring on April and the inspiration from spring’s renewal of life.

  30. It has been really busy month. I started 2 story drafts, but this month has been hugely about revisions. I got a professional critique, I participated in ReFoReMo with Carrie Charley Brown and really looked at mentor texts for ideas. I swapped manuscripts several times with other writers on KidLit411 Manuscript Swap (something I found about about through a 12×12 member). As a result, I have two manuscripts is a much more polished place. I have been away a bit from 12×12 this month as a result…but ready to dive back in!

  31. One new ms done, but it feels very like a first draft version despite ironing it all month. Continuing to revise the wording of my Feb tale as it grows into a full-fledged dummy.

  32. Completed & submitted a manuscript for the SCBWI W.I.P. Award. Fingers crossed. Working on another two manuscripts. Great month.

    1. I’m brand new to 12 x 12 and still trying to sort my way around the forums and blogs – trying to keep up with the hub of activity here! Fortunately I met 3 wonderful, like-minded ladies who formed a critique group with me. During March, I wrote a picture book draft, then revised it with the help of my wonderful critique partners. I even drafted a query letter. Also, several new ideas came knocking at my door so I’m pleased to be off on such a good start.

  33. This has been a slow month for me. I appreciate all I am learning from this forum. I keep pushing forward.

  34. I wrote down a couple of ideas for new picture books, and I revised two manuscripts. Working on revisions after letting the manuscript sit for a few months presents the opportunity to see everything in a different light.

  35. I was so absorbed in working on my Feb draft that I didn’t get a new one done….. but lots of revisions!

  36. It’s probably a good thing that the weather here in New Hampshire has kept me housebound much of the winter. March was another frigid cold month with plenty of snow…and plenty of time to write and revise. I did write a new picture book draft…and I’m working on several others. And I did revise a manuscirpt. I sent out a substantially revised nfpb that is getting some very positive feedback.
    Thank you for keeping us accountable, Julie!

  37. I completely revised an older manuscript and presented it to my SCBWI critique group! I am also reading everything I can about the science of submissions… Thank you Julie for shedding light on the murky path to publication!

  38. I finished 2 new pb drafts this month Whoo Whoo! 5 new total works since starting 12×12! I also revised several others. I am on a roll! I also participated in Reforemo and have found a new love and new techniques for studying PB’s. My most productive year ever and this is only March!

  39. It was a good writing month for me. I wrote two PB drafts, and revised many others. Congrats to all who created new stories this month!! 🙂

  40. Three cheers!! 3 months in and I have completed 3 drafts and polished them. I found a fabulous critique group with 3 other great writers. Lucky me with the lucky 3’s! Thanks to 12×12!! Hoping to continue this streak and have some worthy mss to sub next year as a gold member!!

  41. 12×12 is the greatest!! I have had a very productive March. I read and researched 37 picture books for ReFoReMo, and did two revisions and wrote a very rough new draft.

  42. I got off to a good start and a slow finish. But I did make one revision and wrote two (very) rough drafts. Don’t know if I was the hare or the tortoise. The good thing is that I did drag myself over the finish line.

  43. March was a good month for me, even with the distraction of a new granddaughter! Two new manuscripts and 2 revisions. Plus, I was able to get a better handle on what 12 X 12 has to offer.

  44. While I did not complete a manuscript this month, I spent a fair amount of time learning good stuff at the forum, and I did have a few pieces published in a teen girls’ magazine (Girlz 4 Christ). I will double time this next month to meet my goal for the year!

  45. I can’t believe my eyes, I revised five PBs and drafted one new PB. No wonder March felt like a tiring month! Quite certain this would not have happened without 12×12. I can not say enough about “it takes a community”… to raise a picture book.

  46. I did it!! I revised, revised, revised on the 30th, and finished my March PB draft at 10pm on the 31st. Whew!

  47. Hi,

    I am so happy to be part of this 12X12 book it has taught me so much already and has provided the motivation and inspiration. I revised an existing manuscript and started on a new one. Thank you for giving me the tools and inspiration to do so.

  48. While I started two drafts this month, I didn’t finish either. I did manage to revise another PB manuscript though! I owe the progress I did make to Julie and 12 x 12. Being part of the community keeps me constantly thinking and trying to find the time to write.

  49. One revision, one draft. I’m a newbie to 12 x 12. With all these members and posts, I’m bound to be inspired daily.

  50. It’s been a slow start for me this year… no full manuscripts just yet for 12×12 2015, BUT I did revise an old one and have a rough draft for March. Hopefully I can catch up for April 🙂

  51. I finished a revision and query letter this month. Submitted it today…woohoo! (feel like a weight has been lifted) I’ve picked back up with a new pb draft that I started at the beginning of the month.

  52. Hi, everyone. I joined the group at the end of Februrary and already feel inspired. I finally finished the draft I was working on for March, and am excited about working on a new draft for April.

  53. oops…. I can not believe I missed checking in…. between working too much, moving this month, mentoring too much, and life changes, I forgot it was the end of a month…. I missed the check in…. BUT…. I want to go on record and tell you I DID write a new concept picture book this month!!! The book is really a visual of a name game I play with my kindergarteners the first week of school each year…. and I have always wanted a book to read to go along with…. so I just wrote one myself!! Being on 12 x 12 makes me take myself seriously and realize one of the gifts I have to give the world is my writing… so I had better make time and take time for it!! Thank you so much for the supportive, encouraging community!!

  54. Still don’t have a website. I have a first draft for a new PB. Revised again but find I’m stuck with computer issues. I’ll get there yet!

  55. HI @Juliehedlund! Thank you for sharing your update. I have had a GREAT month. I wrote a new funny manuscript about a dog wanting to be accepted by the squirrels – desperately wants to play outside with them. And I ‘m so happy I attended Jill’s webinar! I signed up for her revision course and have been working hard on my middle-grade novel. I’m very happy!!

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