Hi everyone.  I created this FAQ to provide one place to get all of your questions about the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge answered.  If you have additional questions, leave them in the comments and if necessary, I’ll move them up into the FAQ itself.

Also, please note the lovely companion banner to our Participant Badge that Linda Silvestri created for us.  Whenever you see that banner at the top of one of my blog posts, you’ll know it is an “official” challenge post and you should be sure to read it if you are participating.

What is the 12 x 12 in 2012 Challenge?

Simple.  We plan to write twelve complete picture book drafts in 2012. One picture book draft per month for each of the twelve months of 2012. This means a first draft: beginning, middle, end. NOT a submission-ready piece.

Who is sponsoring the 12 x 12?

Author Julie Hedlund launched the challenge after realizing she only completed one full draft from all 30 of the PiBoIdMo ideas she came up with in 2010.  She decided to invite others to come along for the journey for support and camaraderie.  You can find out more about Julie by visiting her blog, Write Up My Life.

Who can participate?

Any author and/or illustrator who wants to write and/or illustrate 12 picture books in 2012 at any level of publishing experience.  Whether you are brand new to the writing/illustrating, multi-published, or somewhere in between, we welcome you.

Why should I join?

You can join the existing 400+ participants in supporting each other.  It is an amazing community of talented writers and illustrators. There is also a very good chance you will write more with the support of the group than going it on your own.

In addition, there will be guest posts on the blog from experts in the field along with a special giveaway each month.  The prizes will all be ones geared toward helping you improve your craft.

Did you say prizes? What prizes??

Oh yes, prizes galore! Here’s how it works:

On the first of each month, I will feature a guest post by a published author or other industry professional with picture book writing tips and advice.  I’m asking each featured author to donate a prize that would in some way help improve our craft.  That might be a manuscript critique, a query critique, a marketing consult, a membership, a writing resource, etc.

In order to be eligible for the giveaway, you must: 1) Be an official participant (see below); and 2) Leave a comment on the first-of-the-month post any time during the month.  All official participants who leave a comment on the post will receive one point and be eligible for the giveaway regardless of whether they complete a full picture book draft that month.

Okay, I’m in.  How do I sign up?

Unfortunately, the deadline to sign up has passed.  You can, however, still follow along on Julie Hedlund’s blog: http://www.writeupmylife.com.

We are also tweeting under the hashtag #12x

Is there a deadline for signing up?

Yes. The deadline was January 29, 2012.

What if I miss the deadline and still want to participate?

You are free to jump in at any time throughout 2012 and participate in the blog discussions and tweet with us using the #12x hashtag.  However, only participants who sign up by January 29th are eligible for 12 x 12 giveaways and prizes and to participate in the Facebook group.  This is for two reasons.

1. We wanted to create incentives and rewards for people to sign up before the end of January and,

2. Setting a deadline limits the administrative burden associated with the challenge.

What happens if I don’t write twelve PB drafts?  Can I still be part of the group?

So long as your intention is to do your best to write one PB draft per month, you are welcome to join us.  In the end, it doesn’t matter if you have 12, 4 or even 1 PB drafted if you’ve gotten more accomplished by being in the group than by going it alone.  There will be a winner badge, of course, for those who make it to 12 or more, but the idea is that we support, encourage, and help each other throughout the year as we try to put flesh on the bones of those PB ideas.

How do I qualify to win prizes during the 12 x 12?

First, you must be an official 12 x 12 participant (see requirements outlined above).

Second, you must leave a comment on the first-of-the month post from that month’s featured guest.  Leaving the comment earns you one point.

Can I still win a prize even if I didn’t get a PB drafted that month?

Yes! So long as you comment on the first of the month post by the featured author, you will earn one point for the prize drawing.

Let’s say I do get my draft written in a given month.  Are there additional chances to win prizes?

On the last day of each month, there will be a check-in post on the blog.  If you completed a draft that month, you can let us know in the comments.  That gives you one extra point for purposes of that month’s prize drawing.

How will you select the prize winners?

Each participant has the chance to earn up to two points per month.  Each qualifying participant will be entered into a drawing via Random.org either 1 or 2 times depending on the number of points they earned.  Once all the names are entered, Random.org will be used to choose a winner.

Do I have to share or post my draft somewhere in order to prove I wrote a draft that month?

No.  This challenge is on the honor system.  On the last day of each month, there will be a check-in post on Julie Hedlund’s blog.  If you finished a draft that month, simply leave a comment on the check-in post letting us know.

Are there other ways I can get involved with the challenge and meet other challengers?

Join in the discussion on Write Up My Life.  There will be many posts with lots of advice for PB writers.  You can also follow our progress and news by following the #12x tag on Twitter.

Who created the incredible 12 x 12 Participant Badge?

That would be Linda Silvestri, an extraordinarily talented illustrator.  If you join the challenge, please post the badge on your blog (if you have one) with a link back to this post.

Please also be sure to visit Linda’s website and her blog:  http://lindasilvestri.com/

Do you have other questions? Please leave them in the comments!

Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Authors, Children's Books, Goals, Picture Books, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: , , , , , ,



  1. Excellent….. Thanks Julie.

  2. How about if you put something 12 x 12-ish in the title of each beginning-of-the-month featured post so that we can be sure to comment? January’s easy to keep up with, but I’m thinking ’round about June, I may sort of forget…(the spirit is willing but the memory is weak!)

    • I will do that Cathy, and I will also be placing the 12 x 12 banner across the top of each “official” challenge post. The beginning of the month posts will always be on the first, so if you forget and remember later, you know you can go back. You have until the end of the month to comment on that post to get your point.

  3. I like Cathy’s idea. And this FAQ page is great. thanks!

  4. Looks great – thanks Julie. This has been a great way to keep my butt in the chair! Already working on revisions and a dummy! And I like the idea of adding visuals too!

  5. Well done! As I said on FB, please let me know if I can help you with anything. Willing and able!

  6. Great idea for the FAQ’s. They are perfect. Good job!

  7. Thanks for clarifying the rules, Julie…I’ll try to finish a manuscript while on vacation.

  8. I have a question…how do you manage to do so much and be so efficient?? Such an inspiration! Thanks, Julie!

  9. Hi, Julie — I’m off and running with my first PB draft of the year, which means i’ve already done more than I would have without your challenge. I am a multi-published author and wonder whether you’d like a blog post from me during the year. One topic that came to mind from reading a few comments sent in by others is the difference between a PB and a magazine story. As a prize, I’d offer a copy of my anthology WRITING IT RIGHT! HOW SUCCESSFUL CHILDREN’S AUTHORS REVISE AND SELL THEIR STORIES. Thank you for all the hard work you’re putting into this!

  10. Great FAQ — this will be an excellent resource to refer people to.

    Not a question, but a request — could you remove the link to elizabethannewrites (my old blog, now basically an archive) and replace it with a link to my new blog, By Word of Beth at http://www.bethstilborn.com ? Thanks!

    I honestly don’t know how you do all you do — but I’m glad you do!

  11. Wow…you have it organized really well! I love the new badge too! thanks, Linda!

  12. Three cheers for y’all supporting one another through this challenge! Someday – but not 2012 – I’ll dip my toe into the charming waters of picture book idea creation.

    Till then, I’ll be watching for the fruits of your efforts (yes, I do recommend picture books on http://www.abookandahug.com, along with middle grade and young adult books, which often get the deluxe treatment on my blog).

    (found you through MotherReader & Lee Wind’s Comment Challenge)

  13. WooHoo, I’m a quarter way through my first manuscript!!

  14. thanks for all the work, julie!

    this is the first official post, right? Want to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

    Denise of Ingleside, PEI

  15. looking forward to the challenge….. mind spinning already heehee

  16. You hav 250 writers signed up and participating — that is amazing! I am so happy it’s started off so well.

  17. No Non-cents Nanna

    Thanks for putting this all together.
    My question came to me after I signed up. I do photgraphs. Do I have to draw or paint in order to participate? I can drw, but it is far from professional.
    I really do want to set and keep this goal for myself. I don’t need a prize other than self satisfaction.
    Malika Bourne

  18. Great information. I posted to my blog at http://writepicturebooks.blogspot.com for tomorrow. Thanks again for the encouragement.

    Author of The Cancer Prayer Book and The ABC’s of Cancer According to Lilly Isabella Lane ( March 2012)

  19. This challenge sounds awesome! I don’t qualify to enter, otherwise I’d all over it. Please let me know how I can help spread the word about it.
    I’ll use #12x, #pb, #picturebooks, #kidlit on twitter.

  20. Wow-now that’s what I call a challenge. I’m not going to be able to participate but I really appreciate what you’re doing, will be watching eagerly to see how it goes, and I’ll write 12 poems in 2012 to celebrate (plus maybe 5 chapters…). That’s the best I can do. 12 full books is an amazing challenge.

  21. This is a really cool challenge you’ve set up Julie. More power to you. I’ll tweet it for you. Unfortunately I don’t qualify at this time. Maybe someday. Who knows!

  22. So cool! I always thought I would be doing this if anything since I was an illustrator in my “past life” (before children). Who knew??
    Good luck to you!

  23. Hi! I’m supposed to tell you how I follow your blog. FaceBook and/or email. I look forward to participating in the 12 X 12 in 12!
    Ramey Channell

  24. Hi Julie,
    Thanks for sharing this. Looking forward to joining, and to spreading the word.

  25. This is a great summary sheet, Julie. Thanks for all your hard work!

  26. I can’t wait to watch this unfold. I’d love to participate but I’ve got a total of two PB ideas and I think I’m going to focus on articles and MG for 2012. But I will be cheering everyone on from the sidelines!

  27. Julie…what an awesome FAQ…it could be used as a template for anyone running a challenge. Thanks for putting this together…I’m in…and off to check out the Facebook page. I’m following you via email.

  28. Hi Julie,
    I’ve signed up to participate and now follow your blog by email.
    This is a wonderful idea! And who doesn’t love prizes 🙂

    -Julie Gribble (aka Raging Gurrl)

  29. Hi Julie – I’ve joined the group, am following by e-mail – I think I filled out the form…is there a roster somewhere. Thanks for all you have done to put this together. I’m enjoying the exchanges and already encouraged!

  30. Julie,

    Being both an author and illustrator for many years, I know that many writers have imagined, but never seen what a professional illustrator would do with their manuscript. It is often quite an eye opener, and occasionally a surprise for authors to realize how their words can be interpreted.

    Every year I have a contest for the writers in my own critique group, and offer the winner an illustration (drawn by me), that is an example of what I would do as the cover for their winning manuscript. These have always been well-received and I believe that our winners have not only learned from the experience, but felt encouraged and inspired by it.

    I’d like to offer the same to one of your participants, as one of your “prizes”. There would be no cost to you or the participant. I do this freely, as a chance to stretch my creative wings and share what I’ve learned, with the added benefit of having a new piece for my own SCBWI portfolio. There’s no “catch” I assure you. Please contact me if you are interested, and thanks again for having this great contest!!!

  31. I have to say, I am SUCH a better writer than I was three months ago. Between PiBoIdMo and 12X12, I feel like my writing life has been transformed. THANK YOU!

  32. What a great start to the year. I’m excited to be part of this and it never ceases to amaze me how generous writers and illustrators share their talents.

    Thank you!

    Tricia Simmons

  33. Hi Everyone,

    Julie – is this where we tell you when we’ve completed our January PB manuscript? I’ve completed my first one so thank you for the motivation and please tell me if I’m not posting in the right place.


    Tricia Simmons

  34. Hi Julie,
    Thanks for all that you are doing! Have a wonderful weekend.

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