12 x 12 new bannerI can hardly believe we’ve already come to the end of the first month in the second year of 12 x 12! I know we’re all still getting accustomed to the new features, especially the Membership Forum, but I’d say it’s been amazing month! There’s so much activity on the Forum with people sharing resources, critiquing each other’s work, not to mention 40 FABULOUS query critiques provided by Emma Walton Hamilton!

In the midst of all the Forum excitement, how did your writing fare? I only got 1/3 of the way through a PB draft, but I DID write the first chapter of a chapter book that will be the first in a series. Given the fact that I was wrapping up one 12 x 12, launching another, and celebrating both of my kids’ birthdays, I consider that a good result.

Now it’s your turn to report, whichΒ is all on the honor system. If you say you did these things, you did. It is after all, your karma that’s at stake. πŸ˜‰

I’m running the check-in posts through Rafflecopter this year to reduce the admin burden. Here is what you need to do to check in, even if you didn’t complete a draft!

  1. See the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post that says “Critique from January Featured Author Tara Lazar” at the top.
  2. Click on the first “Invent your own option” button. It will reveal the task, which is to comment on Tara’s January 4th post. Commenting on Tara’s post is mandatory and gets you one point even if you didn’t complete a draft in January. 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 next “Invent your own option” 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.
  4. Click on the last “Invent your own option” 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. Submit your entry. Rafflecopter will track your points.

You have until midnight EST on February 1st to enter your results. I will then have Rafflecopter draw a winner and announce it on the blog on February 4th.

Many, many thanks to Tara Lazar for doing such a wonderful job of launching us again in 2013. We appreciate all you do for the writing community!

Remember —Β Registration for 12 x 12 in 2013Β is open until February 28th, so there’s still time to join. Also, don’t forget to come back tomorrow to meet February’s featured author. You won’t be disappointed!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Categories: 12 x 12, 12 x 12 Featured Author, Authors, Giveaway, Goals, Picture Books, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. Julie, thank you so much for all of the time and energy you have devoted to 12X12. You have created something truly spectacular and I appreciate it every day. All the best to you in 2013!

  2. Yay! One draft and one revision for me!

  3. I finished polishing PB story for January, crafted one query letter, entered two writing contests, and started on February’s PB draft…all while trying to get my writer’s series, WRITERLY WISDOM, off the ground…lol…busy, busy January!

    Donna L Martin

  4. I managed to complete a draft & revise that same pb in Jan.

  5. I wrote one and revised drafts. But I hope mine went through. I can’t see how to actually submit it once I clicked on the options. I’m guessing that it submits when you click on your options? Thanks Julie. πŸ™‚

  6. HI,
    This is great fun! I wrote the draft of a picture book that turned out to be more of a magazine story–so I entered it into the Highlights Fiction contest. then I revised a picture book from a while ago. I also typed in the first chapter of a new young middle grade novel and have been slaving over the first few chapters of the young middle grade novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo in November. This has been inspiring!
    Thanks, Julie!

  7. Thanks for all your hard work, Julie. Rafflecopter certainly has been a godsend to my blogging efforts. Since I’m looking for a job for the first time in years, I figured I better make January count. I completed David Shows the Way, the second book in my faith-filled journeys for kids brand. After a week I did some revisions on it, so it would be ready to submit to my critique group in a couple of weeks. I also revised A New Home, which I wrote during last year’s Picture Book Writing Week.

    I appreciate all the inspiration from everyone.

  8. Entering my poem Trashing Through the Snow Susannah’s holiday contest made me realize how much I love wrting poetry, so I’ve entered a poetry challenge and submitted a couple poems to magazines in addition to rewriting a pb and writing a new pb for January, based on one of my PIBOWRIMO ideas. Fun nd busy month!

  9. Julie…you rock! Love this rafflecopter…hope it helps you streamline your stuff.:)
    I revised my ‘Dylan McGee’ from 12×12 in 2012…and will be submitting that to agent Stephen Fraser. I also wrote a new pb draft for January…and I really love it…will polish it as the months go by and maybe submit for one of 12×12 agent critiques.:) 2013 is turning out to be all I had hoped for and more…and you and 12×12 are a large part of that, Julie!

  10. I think everyone gets a virtual gold star for learning how to navigate the forum, and Julie definitely deserves a quiet soak in the tub with her favorite bottle of red. I’m celebrating our first month successes this afternoon by meeting a writer-friend I haven’t seen in months. Time to relax and catch up. February will be here in no time! Congrats, everyone!

  11. Wow, I think all told, the first month has been very smooth and successful.

    Love the rafflecopter, and hope it proves easier for you.

    12×12 is such a unique group. Bravo!

  12. My PB draft is the roughest thing I have ever written, but it has been an idea in my head for a long time. At least, now it is in a journal. My revision is my best ever. I am looking forward to submitting it this month!

  13. Thanks so much for all the work you do, Julie. I am scrambling to keep up! Don’t know how you do it! xo

  14. I revised…hmm… seven mss (three of which I subbed to magazines) and wrote first drafts of three new msses. Not too shabby. Don’t imagine I’ll have anohter month like this one! πŸ˜‰

  15. I completed a picturebook draft and then revised it.

  16. I actually finished my story about Wood Ducks this month…never thought I would!
    Jarm Del Boccio

  17. Swamped in month of poetry and yet my Jan draft is my fave idea yet. Done! Thanks πŸ™‚

  18. I revised 2 picture book manuscripts, and wrote a story for the Highlights contest. But I still can’t shake the feeling that I’ve forgotten to do something this month — for the first time in 12 months I did not write a new picture book draft. I kind of missed it! My plan had been to spend the first 3 months of 2013 on revision only, but now I think I might need to try to write something new in February.

  19. Thanks for all you do to keep us on task!

  20. I’m loving 12×12 this year. The forum is great and EWH’s query critique was an amazing bonus. Also I wrote three new manuscripts this month and revised one from last year. I know I won’t be able to keep this pace up (and house hunting is dragging on…), but it’s been a great start to a new year. It means so much for me to have this goal every month!

  21. I finished a draft, entered 2 contests, joined my first critique group, and began February’s story. Thank you for the opportunity Julie. This is the first time in a long time that I’m actually proud of my accomplishments.

  22. Thanks, Julie! Your chapter book series sounds fun. Do you already have an interested publisher? I have a question…I noticed the “revise a ms” also on our check-in. So are we now to do that as well as writing a new ms? Thankfully, I happened to have revised this month. πŸ™‚

  23. Even if I miss a day of updates here and there, I’m loving this group! (And the illustrator group that spun off of it!) I’ve managed to write 2 new PB manuscripts, and revised 2 others. And even began a 2nd MG Novel. Somehow in the middle of it all I met 2 art deadlines. Has anyone else upped their coffee intake and given up some sleeping hours? All of you?! πŸ™‚

  24. Finished one new manuscript and revised two. Have started on February manuscript. Maybe if I drink more coffee (like Wendy), I’ll start a MG novel too!

  25. Julie, I want to thank you and your “elves” for being so patient as we all figure out the forum – the amount of work you must all do amazes me – how do you find any time to write? But thanks for creating this awesome community – January was one of my most productive months, and I hope to have eleven more! Thanks again!!!!!

  26. Rafflecopter…interesting. Starting my first month very well. Wrote a PB and revised it several times so now my next step is to send it in for critique. I was overwhelmed by the forums and was feeling a bit left out because of my lack of participation. Hoping that will change in February. Wish I could quit my day job to focus on writing. I love this community! Thanks, Julie!

  27. I was able to do two PB drafts this month, writing and then revising one from my critique group, and writing the other for a monthly-write-off for Writer’s Retreat forum. Two birds with one stone…or is that three stones with two birds…or…oh heck, can’t do the higher math. Anyway! Got it done and I LIKE the Rafflecopter. Makes me want to give away something from my blog just to use it…I wonder which of my five followers would win???? HA-HA!
    Love this process Julie, and like someone else said (Hannah?) this monthly goal is important to me in my writing process. Thanks to last year’s work, I think I have some good choices for the submission to Stephen Fraser in February.

  28. Julie, I love this fabulous site! I wrote to picture books in January and revised one. I can hardly wait until February.

  29. Thanks for all your hard work, Julie! It’s greatly appreciated!

  30. I finished one draft and happy to say was able to revise an older one that works a lot better now. Thanks, Julie!

  31. Thanks so much for this motivating challenge, Julie! I definitely wouldn’t have found the time to write a new picture book this month without it. And I revised so many older ones, I lost count.

  32. I managed to draft out one new story idea that had been floating around in my head. It still needs some work but I now have enough written material to do something with. I also resurrected an old idea from last year and had another look at it and realized it has potential and I have done more work on it than I realized. Mostly though I enjoyed being part of a bigger group specifically aimed at just Picture Books; it has been like coming out of solitary confinement into a library full of information, enthusiasm and encouraging, sharing like-minded people !

  33. Thanks for the community and support! I wrote a rough draft of a new PB this month, took it to my critique group, and did extensive research for a complete revision, which I haven’t completed yet, But–I revised a manuscript I wrote last year and sent it to an agent. I also revised another manuscript, which was originally intended as a picture book and sent it to the Highlights contest–all of this while completing three assignments for publishers! It proved to me that I can do my own work and do assigned work too. Julie, thanks again for doing this.I am learning so much.

  34. Tara, Thanks for the thoughts, a new way of looking at the process. Julie, thanks for putting this together. I am new to the group and still finding my way around. Everyone else, I have been reading the posts and am excited to be part of the group. I can’t wait to get to know everyone better.
    Linda Todd

  35. This community is amazing. How could anyone not be encouraged to write, write, and write some more?! I wrote 2 new PB in January and have been revising 3 others. I can’t wait to have them ready for submissions! Thanks everyone!

  36. I didn’t get my draft done, or even pull it out. πŸ™ But I did comment on Ms. Lazar’s post! πŸ˜€ This month I am going to do better!

  37. One draft, one revision, one submission. Yes, the draft did come directly from PiBoIdMo!

  38. Hi Julie, Thanks again for all you’ve done, to pull together this wonderful community. I’m very psyched: I revised 2 manuscripts, wrote 1, and completed a dummy and two finished illustrations for 1. I will soon be ready to submit!

  39. Two drafts…one finished and on the submission trail.

  40. Thank you so much Julie for hosting this incredible challenge. I have managed this past month to work on three manuscripts. They are going through the revision phase now with the incredible feedback from the member posts on the forum. Plus, I learned so much about writing pitches and queries. I am also working n creating a dummy for one of them and hope to have it ready later in February to begin submitting. Thank you again for finally lighting that proverbial fire for me. T.

  41. Kathleen Cornell Berman

    Thanks for all you do Julie. I finished a rough draft for January. I’ve been busy revising four other manuscripts plus learning how to craft the perfect query letter. Thank you Emma!

  42. One new picture book – three revised. Thanks for keeping this 12 x 12 ball rolling, Julie.

  43. I wrote one PB manuscript and have been working on another. This is a wonderful writing community, and it helps to keep us going when the writing gets tough. Thank you Julie (and all of you) for keeping us informed and motivated!

  44. I posted the first 250 words of a pb, then revised it based on some of the comments I received. I also critiqued 3 pb mss as required.

  45. I wrote one PB manuscript. My first attempt at a biography. Have already shared it with a colleague of the subject. Still need to get it critiqued, write a pitch, etc., etc., but feeling good about it.
    Thanks, Julie & the 12×12 elves for all of the support!

  46. This is wonderful. I’m really glad I did it. I’ve posted the first 250 words, revised it, and completed the entire book, or so I thought. Thanks to Julie’s interview with Kathleen Pelley I realized I needed to tweak the ending before I submit it anywhere.

  47. Have I already told you how PROUD I am to be in this group? I know I am benefiting, I know I’ve found friends – but I feel like we are all on a fantastic rocket ride to the stars!

  48. Penny Klostermann

    Thanks, Julie! I commented & revised…but no new draft. Maybe in February ill write something new, but my big focus, for now, is revision.

  49. Thank you for providing 12×12. Reading others’ pitches, queries, and first 250 words, providing commentary, and then reading others’ comments has given me another avenue to reflect on the writing and reading process.

  50. One RD and one revison for January . . . check!!

  51. So pleased that in the madness (and overwhelmingness) of January, I have done all three as well as writing a query letter too….. a great start to 2013 πŸ™‚ Nicky Johnston

  52. Christine Connolly

    One down, only 11 (or more?!?!) to go!

  53. Yeah this is so much fun! I thought PiBoIdMo was fun….now I get to turn some of those great ideas into PB’s! I turned one idea into a rough PB…now the editing begins, and I edited one of my older PB’s and can now send it to my critique group. Thanks for creating this wonderful opportunity to stay motivated and on task! Looking forward to a whole year of writing!

  54. I had a very unexpected January and is one of the primary reasons I joined the 12×12. I had several PB ideas partially started or in my head that hadn’t fully formed yet. I managed to write one entire draft and completed another. I’ve been working on editing both as well as brainstorming other ideas. I think I have at least a full year of story ideas! I normally write YA fantasy and have been working on a nonfiction book as well. With four small kids, PBs are close to my heart and I’m excited about the next 11 months. Let’s go, everyone!

  55. I am having a blast with the 12×12 adventure. I am learning so much and meeting so many great people.

  56. I feel a little excited about completing a draft for January. I say a little because as far as drafts go, it’s the draftiest, ever. Yet, I like the character. I hope he fairs the re-writes okay.

  57. I joined earlier this week but still managed to complete a draft before midnight on the 31st. I spent the week planning at a leisurely pace, then wrote the draft in a rush. It’s been a blast so far. Here’s hoping for 1 draft and 2 revisions in February!

  58. I am so excited that I have one of my story ideas in rough draft form. I’ve learned so much already. Thank you, Julie and all the 12 12 members!

  59. I must not have entered my note for Feb. 1st in the right place as i don’t see it posted. In January, I submitted my first 250 words , revised that picture book, changed the first chapter of my MG historical novel from 3rd to 1st person POV and submitted an article to Guardian Angel Kids magazine.

  60. I entered a comment just before and when I hit send it did not show up here in comments. Hhmm? If these BOTH show up later together I apologize for the repeat posting…

  61. I just finished my January on Feb 1st yay! I didn’t make the deadline but yay anyway. Congrats everyone! πŸ™‚

  62. Until the last couple of days of January, I was telling myself, Oh well… But I did it!

    I should know by now how 12×12 creeps into the subconscious. ; )

  63. As usual, I am late in checking in. I finished my draft a week ago, but I always forget to check-in when the date for it comes around.

  64. I have both revised an old manuscript and written a new one, but alas, I did it today. Saturday is my best writing day. I hope to catch you next month.

  65. I think I checked in…had some troubles OF COURSE! At least I m consistent. But I did my Jan. ms. Thanks, Julie and Elves for all you do.

  66. I was at the NY conference and not checking FB much so I missed the deadline – but I finished my January manuscript!! It’s from an idea I got during PiBoIdMo!! Congrats to everyone who started and/or finished their January manuscripts!!

  67. Jerrianne Hayslett

    I got in on this late. I’m still trying to figure out how to do anything. Haven’t gotten on the Facebook page — did send Julie a request to add me. I did complete a ms in January, but don’t know how/where to submit it. Is the submission process through this Rafflecoper function or via some other method? Since it’s now February, is it too late to submit a ms for editor/agent review (at gold level) for January or am I sol and now have only 11 months left to submit? If it isn’t too late, how/where do I submit it? How do I know if anyone replies to these questions — just by checking back to this “check-in” forum? Sorry to be such a Trolodyte.

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