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Are you reading this and haven’t yet joined 12 x 12? TODAY is the last day to join. Don’t miss your chance!  Register now!

I have some excellent advice for anyone who needs serious motivation to write and revise (besides joining 12 x 12 of course)! Sign up for an in-person picture book writing boot camp with Jane Yolen (which I did, and which is coming up in TWO WEEKS). I can tell you the specter of sharing your work with Jane (who is my FAVORITE children’s author) will act like super glue between your butt and your chair. 🙂

Suffice it to say my February was productive. I fully revised two manuscripts and wrote a new draft. Then it occurred to me that for the first time ever, I am in a position to win my own challenge! Believe it or not, in the previous two years, I’ve been out of the running by this time. So I am quite giddy.

So my little 12 x 12 friends, how did you do in February? Are you off to a drafty beginning? Let us know in the comments and in the Rafflecopter. Also, thank you once again to the fabulous Wendi Silvano, February’s featured author, who gave us excellent instruction on writing character-driven picture books!

Here is what you need to do to check in for a chance to win a critique from Wendi Silvano:

  1. See the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post that says “Critique from Wendi Silvano” at the top.
  2. Click on the “Comment on Wendi’s Blog Post” button. It will reveal the task, which is to comment on Wendi’s blog post. Commenting on Wendi’s post is mandatory and gets you one point even if you didn’t complete a draft in February. If you haven’t yet commented, click here to do so. Then you click ENTER on that option in Rafflecopter, which will then open the next two options.
  3. Click on the “Wrote a PB Manuscript” button. This will ask if you completed a PB draft in February. 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 Febuary. 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 March 1st to enter your results. Rafflecopter will draw a winner and I’ll announce it on the blog on March 2nd.

We are on our way to another successful year in 12×12!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Categories: 12 x 12, 12 x 12 Featured Author, Giveaway, Picture Books, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. Way to go on writing 2 drafts this year, Julie! I also, wrote a new story.

  2. Wrote a draft and revised one this month – and somehow remembered to check in!

  3. For some reason I keep talking gibberish. Must be a Friday night thing. Oh well. I am happy to say I have entered the Rafflecopter and got my next PB MS ready to go. Just have to choose who to send to. 🙂

  4. First time I wrote a new draft and revised an existing draft in the same month! Yay, I get to add on the 12×12 badges…now to figure out how!

  5. Great insights and information. I’m ready to put it to action. Very motivating; thank you!

  6. Im on fire…. i actually quit writing this month…and wrote a pb a few hours later lol. and got a 3 with rys

  7. It’s been a great month!

  8. Experienced critique groups x two this time, what an experience! Thrilled that I’ve written another manuscript… what an experience…

  9. I had a love/hate relationship with writing this month. But got ‘er done! Just wanted to say thanks, Julie for being my “Jane Yolen butt in chair” inspiration. 🙂

  10. Exciting you are writing, revising and ready for Jane Yolen. How very cool! Revised one draft and wrote another. Ready for more in March.

  11. JANE YOLEN! I’m quaking in my…er…slippers. Seriously, though, she gave a wonderful keynote at our SCBWI conference and her insights were spot on at the First Pages Panel (and I’m not just saying that because she had something nice to say about MY first page. Though I think about that long ago moment when I’m feeling a little writing blue.) 🙂

    Congrats on your February–and good luck with Jane, you lucky PB writer, you.

  12. Yay Julie for getting your drafts done! This challenge has been so amazing for me so far – it’s only month 2 and I’ve gotten more from it than I could have hoped. February’s tally is 3 drafts, 4 revisions – making the running tally 5 drafts and 5 revisions!

  13. Ahhh that feels good. I have to say I’m glad Feb. is done. It may be a short month, but it’s been packed!

  14. …so many distractions this month (ugh!), did not get to a new manuscript but did manage to revise one! So I am grateful for that. Thanks Julie for all of your motivation and inspiration, hoping to get myself refocused for March!

  15. Yeah I wrote another new draft this month now I’m 2 for 2 yeah! Almost didn’t make it. The story I was suppose to write was coming out sloppy and my editorial side kept getting in the way. Meanwhile another idea I had a tried previously came to me in an entirely new way, and I was able to get the 2nd one into a good draft which is now making the critique rounds! I am determined to the get first idea done next month even it is only a sh***y first draft.

  16. I took Susanna’s magical Making Picture Book Magic course this month, Julie…so my butt was definitely in the chair. I wrote what I hope will be an awesome book one day…and also revised and had critiqued (about a trillion times) one of my 12×12 drafts from last year that I submitted to Sean McCarthy. Thank you so much for the unflagging encouragement and inspiration that 12×12 provides.

  17. Two new picture books this month, and revised an old one. Some of my PiBoIdMo ideas are starting to take shape. I’m loving this!

  18. I wrote my draft by the middle of the month, after abandoning the first idea I thought I wanted to work on in February. This one won’t leave me alone. I’m hoping to finish my thumbnail sketch dummy (personal additional challenge) by the end of the day.

  19. Squeaked in my Feb draft – just! Parts of it make me wince but that’s what the first draft is supposed to do, right? Here’s to a more productive March!

  20. Thank you for the motivation and accountability!

  21. I’m moving right along. YaY YAHOOOOO! Wrote and revised.

  22. I have been trying to learn all the gizmos on my new computer. It is still wireless, but I now have a new monitor that is larger than any TV screen I have ever had, new speakers, and new mouse and keyboard all thanks to my son who said that my old one was a dinosaur… I must admit this one is a lot faster and has 2 hard drives so I have plenty of storage for my manuscripts : ) I’m still trying get used to a lightning fast mouse… you look at it cross-eyed and things go flying off the page as Windows 8.1 is really set up for a tablet not a desktop. But I’m slowly getting the hang of it. It’s a lot different from Windows Vista, that’s for sure!

    This month I wrote 2 PB drafts and revised 5 existing manuscripts (3 Picture Books, 1 Chapter Book and the final 3 chapters of my Middle Grade Novel) along with a new query letter which I will submit to one of the March 12 x 12 agents.

    I hope everyone has a very productive March!

  23. Polished and submitted to Erzi Deak, and wrote and am revising a new ms for March. Loved the blog post on character-driven stories-so helpful! Congrats, Julie, on being able to do even more this year! Hope your Jane Yolen time lifts you up even higher. 🙂

  24. I’m patting myself on the back – 3 revisions and 1 new draft (in the short month of February) – Congrats to everyone! Keep writing!

  25. I can’t believe how much this has motivated me. Two revisions and one new draft in February. The snow days helped a lot too! Happy writing, everyone!

  26. I revised a PB this month (also started a chapter book) AND I sold my very first PB!!!:) It is titled The Sparrow and the Trees and will be released Fall 2015 by Sylvan Dell Publishing! I am loving 2014!

  27. Revised my Jan PB draft. Got my Feb PB draft Done this morning. Whew! Wouldn’t have done both in a month if I hadn’t signed up for 12 x 12.

  28. WOOT! Got the Jan draft revised. Got the bare bones of a new draft for this month. Now to give it meat!

  29. Am working on a revision following an MS evaluation.

  30. So glad I finished a new ms, revised an old one, and submitted to one of the featured agents this month. 12×12 is keeping me focused!

  31. Got more done this month than I thought possible!

  32. Wrote a new draft and did revisions. Yay!

  33. Love your post and questions Wendy! Your tips will help me consider whether or not to keep my character(s) or dump him or her.

  34. I did it!! I actually wrote one and revised one. 🙂 what a fun month it has been.

  35. Completed Jan manuscript and revised for Feb! Loving 12X 12!

  36. Thanks to fabulous challengers in our writing community (Julie, Meg, Christie) and other writers in this community–
    I have revised two drafts (two of my oldest stories ever)…
    and written a beginning-middle-end draft (last minute, tonight for Bethany at bedtime, loaded with voice but also words – 1050! – gotta cut it)…
    submitted a picture book and query to an agent…
    and completed a 14-day blog picture book element review marathon (huff-puff-puff) using only non-fiction picture books!
    I must say this has been the most productive writing month for me that I can ever remember.
    I am hoping this sets the tone for my writing year.

  37. February is done! at the last minute no less! :/

  38. Woo hoo! I’m also 2 for 2! Been writing them early in the month, and March will be no exception. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. today (a Saturday!) to get some new writing done. Cheers!

  39. Your enthusiasm is contagious, Julie! Spent most of my month revising. I did struggle through a new draft as well, but it’s going to need lots of work!

  40. I’m excited to be on track with 12×12 this month! I wrote a new story (thanks to Susanna’s Making Picture Book Magic course) and revised an older story. 2014 is looking good!

  41. This 12 x 12 challenge is great! It’s got me organized in a way I just wasn’t before. So, in February, I was able to write a draft and also complete a revision (also with the help of “First 250 words”).

  42. Woohooo – I’m 2 for 2 too!

  43. I wrote 2 drafts and revised one draft in February! 🙂 Thanks for the motivation. 🙂

  44. Thanks for the reminder today Julie!!

  45. In February I started a new picture book of an idea I’ve had for a while. I will be running it through my critique group and then start the revision process. Whew! How can so few words be so much work?

  46. Thanks for the push – I managed to get 1 draft done in Feb., but no revisions. Big hopes for March though! 🙂

  47. Thanks for the reminder, Julie. Have fun with Jane Yolen!

  48. Yes, despite an ongoing medical condition that has kept me mostly out of the 12×12 forum this last month, I did revise a story and write a new pb story. So, all is not lost. I did not submit to either agent in Feb.and will have to see if I am well enough to do that in March. Hoping so. Write on, everyone.

  49. It’s been a good month! I have a PB revised and in tip top shape. I’m taking it to a PB workshop (NESCBWI) next Monday, and I need to pick one more to take to work on during the day. The first one will be critiqued by one of the presenters. I’m excited! So, now to pick the 2nd one to take along.
    I also have done what feels today like a final revision on my MG I started years ago, before I had a clue what I was doing. The concept was good, but boy did it ever need refining! I feel very good about it right now, and I’m looking for where to submit it. Are we allowed to submit non-PB manuscripts to our agents here?

  50. Hey all! February went fast. I revised one manuscript as well as brainstormed a few new starting points for others. Will hopefully expand on these in the next few months.

  51. Well, 1 month in and so far so good. I’ve written 1 new MS, and have revised 2 others. I now have a total of 3 MS’s! At this rate, I’ll have 13 by the end of 2014…woo hoo!

    It’s so strange, in January, the idea for a story struck, and I had the whole first draft written in about 30 minutes. In Feb, I had an idea, a premise, really, and it took 2 weeks to get it out. I like the January process so much better!

    Given how hard it can be to get a story onto paper, I take my hat off to you Ms. Hedlund!

  52. In February I wrote a new draft to a picture book. I have revised it three times. Yay me!

  53. Didn’t manage a new manuscript this month, but I did manage to do some revisions on an existing one. Slowly but surely, still plugging along.

  54. Finished my February draft – and am a bit through my March one too! And I did some fairly serious edting of my January one. This challenge has been AMAZING for me. I am SO glad I found you guys!

  55. Thanks for all the comments and inspiration 12×12 members. After I ate lunch on Friday with a kindergarten grandchild, and read to his class his favourite book, I asked his teacher to comment on my manuscript. She said, “Yes.” (She is not a friend or relative.)

  56. Just joined last night and looking forward to finishing some of these drafts! I got so excited when I got the confirmation I set out a bunch of ideas and did a quick and dirty revise of an existing draft – I know I’m a couple months post starting line, but I’ll catch up!

  57. Yikes! That Colddaye is me…sorry about that.

  58. Though feelings overwhelmed by life, I am still staying on track and getting some writing in, some editing in and staying on track. Having 12×12 here to gently nudge me is very very helpful!

  59. I revised! Congrats on your progress, Julie!

  60. Even with a bout of the stomach bug ravaging our family, I slipped in there with a new draft and a revised piece!

  61. Julie – so glad you have found the time to let 12×12 work for you too!

  62. Thank you for your inspiring words of wisdom. Every giving heart cascades out into the universe.

  63. Wrote a draft and exchanged critiques with some really awesome rhymers : )

  64. Hi Julie. Thanks for this post.

  65. I wrote two PB MS’s and have been revising. I might (hehehe…) be done one, other still needs work. I also wrote something I was hoping would be about 500-1000 words, but ended up with 2500…not sure where that fits…But I love the story it became!

  66. I posted a PB and a revision for February! On to March!

  67. Bummer! I was assuming Mountain time since you lived in Colorado. I just missed the deadline for Rafflecopter by 12 minutes. (sigh.) Next month, there will be no last minute check-ins!

  68. always and always I miss the deadlines
    🙁 but I did write not one but two drafts in February and I did lots and lots of revision

  69. This month, I didn’t write a new PB, alas–but I revised and sent one out, thanks to the help and encouragement of a great critique group. I also finally finished and sent out my memoir (not a PB, smile, but a writing milestone for me nonetheless, smile). I look forward to writing a new PB in March!

  70. Wrote a PB MS, got ideas for several more. Just didn’t get to check in before contest deadline. 🙁

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