Here’s what just a few of the 200+ picture book writer’s who’ve joined 12 x 12 in 2013 have to say about their experience so far. After you watch, read on for many more testimonials from 2012!

Here are more testimonials from 2012 participants 

“I can say, without a doubt, that I would not have written all these picture book manuscripts if it hadn’t have been for 12×12. I might have done one, maybe two, but certainly not four. I am so excited to write up eight more. Some will stink, but if just one of them has enough promise to turn into a submittable manuscript, it’ll be worth it. Also, I’m sure my critique group appreciates not having to read the same story every single round!”Julie Falatko

“If it weren’t for the 12×12 challenge, I wouldn’t have the motivation to keep at my writing. I’d fall off the band wagon so easily. It helps keep me on track. The members of 12×12 are so kind and helpful, someone is always there to help. Julie Hedlund is one of THE kindest ladies to lead the 12×12 challenge :) happy to be a part of it.” — Denise Maclennan Bruce

“The 12 x 12 challenge has been a great way for me to stay focused with my picture book writing. One of the best aspects, though, is being a part of such a supportive, caring community of writers.”Jennifer Rumberger

“Originally, I thought I would spend this last year, with one child still at home full time, “getting ready” to write children’s books. I’d read some books, write a few articles, dabble. Somehow I heard Katie Davis’s podcast featuring Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge. Why not dive in instead of “getting ready” I wondered? There was the supportive community, prizes, accountability. In the process I’ve discovered that writing children’s books is organic to who I am. It’s not something I have to “put on” like the suit I wear when I teach business classes. I have one manuscript currently with a publisher, one at a magazine, one in a drawer awaiting a stroke of genius and a fourth that, with a few revisions, should be ready to send out soon. I became a writer because of 12 x 12. Thanks Julie!” — Kirsten Larson

“Not only has the 12×12 challenge kept me motivated, but it has stretched me as a writer. I have learned a great deal from the guest posts on the blog, the discussions in the Facebook Group, and from the daily association with other writers. It has been eye-opening to get to see things from the perspective of illustrators as well. The supportive nature of the group as a whole is phenomenal.”Beth Stilborn

“12 x 12 in 12! Twelve picture book drafts in twelve months in two thousand twelve!! WOW! The whole idea of writing twelve picture book drafts in twelve months is amazing in itself…but add to that, Julie Hedlund—the ultimate facilitator, motivator, and energizer…and add to that, a community of active writers and supporters…and you get something way past amazing. I am thrilled with the progress I have made in four months. 12 x 12 in 12 adds a positive accountability to my journey as a writer, and I feel as if I have traveled miles down the road toward publication! Thanks, Julie!” — Penny Klostermann

“I saw the post from Julie Hedlund about 12 x 12 in 2012. I went back and forth for a while — should I do it, no, I should do it, no, etc. Thankfully, I made the decision to join. I have grown as a writer and person because of my participation in the challenge. I have met like-minded people that have pushed my creativity further. I am very grateful for this experience.”Eric Van Raepenbusch

“The 12×12 Challenge has been such a boost to my writing, and has stretched me in ways I never thought possible. Most of all, I have found a wonderful, sympathetic and talented group of fellow writers who continue to inspire me along the way. Julie is doing a stellar job at keeping us on course, and connecting us with other writers and illustrators who understand our frustrations, questions, and desire to publish…they have paved the way!”Jarmila Del Boccio

“The 12 x 12 Challenge has been extremely motivating for me. It is very easy for life to get crazy and to not make time to write. This challenge forces me to look at the calendar and to hold myself to a deadline. It makes me take the time to sit down, relax, and let my creative juices flow. 12 x 12 is a community filled with cheerleaders who all have the same goal– to provide children with fantastic stories to read. I know that I would not be writing as often as I do now without the drive of the 12 x12 challenge.” — Sandi Hershenson

“This 12 x 12 community has been a wealth of resourceful, insightful information. As a newbie, the outpouring of support and the generosity gives me such a level of comfort. This comforts allows me to ask questions in an environment that is safe, non-judmental, and yes nurturing. Additionally, there are critique groups to join. They encourage my best writing self. So glad I found 12 x 12 in 12.”Pamela Courtney

“I’ve gotten at least as much as 12 x 12 x 12 times the value that I expected when I joined this community. I’m honored to be associated with such a creative, supportive, inspiring, and good-looking bunch!” — Sylvia Liu

“This is my first year as a full time writer. The knowledge and experience of the 12 x12ers has helped me take leaps in my career. I fully believe learning on my own could not have brought me to where I am today. A big thanks to Julie Hedlund for this gift.”Brenda Harris

“The 12×12 Challenge has given me a purpose. I have a serious goal each month to accomplish! It made me remember that being a writer means you actually have to, you know, WRITE! Plus, the group of other 12×12-ers has given me more wisdom, encouragement, and incredible love than I could have ever hoped for. I am beyond grateful for the gift that is 12×12 in 2012!!Bethany Telles

“12 x 12 is a community of wonderful writers all sharing their journeys and guidance as we motivate each other to write a picture book draft per month. Thanks so much Julie for all your hard work putting it together.” — Catherine Johnson

“The 12×12 Challenge has helped put structure and given me a purpose to write. Having deadlines definitely helps. The members of the 12×12 are so supportive, I just love the community. The Facebook page has helped so much in building the camaraderie, and sharing of knowledge.”Darshana Khiani

The 12 x 12 Challenge has been a great motivational tool for me. I have so many pb ideas written down, but having this challenge makes me pick up one of these ideas and take it to the next level. I am four for four and have finished a first draft of a mg novel this year. Thanks for all your hard work, Julie!”Sharon Mayhew

Approximately 400 12x12ers will write a combined total of 4800 picture book manuscripts this year…what a staggering number! Sure, some will be duds, but some will be shined up, spit-polished, and eventually printed on glossy paper. And that’s the joy of being a part of the 12×12 Challenge…the excitement, the drive, the community, and the hope that our words will wiggle their way into the hearts of kids everywhere.” — Carter Higgins

“The 12×12 Challenge has been a great motivational tool for me. Usually I only write 2-3 new picture book stories a year. But now I have one for each month! I thrive on the enthusiasm of this group, great Facebook posts, and sharing of blogs. We have become a wonderful community of picture book writers! Cheers to Julie Hedlund for inviting us on her challenge!”Tina Wheatcraft Cho

“As someone more comfortable with poetry than prose, the 12×12 challenge has been just that — a challenge! And that’s a good thing. Though I am struggling with story structure and the longer form of a PB, it is just the exercise I need to stretch my writing skills. Perhaps even more important to me right now is that the challenge introduced me to the wonderful world of children’s writers. I am so thankful for the new friendships I have made and for all the support and encouragement the people in this challenge provide every single day.” — Renee LaTulippe

“Thank you, Julie, for creating a place where writers come together for inspiration, support, and encouragement. The 12 x 12 challenge has brought us all together for the purpose of writing regularly and building lasting relationships. I couldn’t have done so without you and the challenge. This challenge is what I needed to give my writing a boost!”Romelle Broas Guittap

“I joined 12 X 12 for the community and it has been everything I hoped for. I have met so many talented writers, and learned so much from their blogs and from all the wonderful and informative posts on Julie’s blog. The 12 X 12 group on FB is a great place to interact, share, seek opinions, advice, and help. Everyone is generous with their knowledge and talent. Thanks so much Julie for starting this motivating and sustaining group!” — Susanna Leonard Hill

“12 x 12 in 2012 replaced the dreamer inside me with an active, producing actually DOING it writer/illustrator. I am thriving and growing on all the participant’s stories and informative links they share. I really feel my dream of producing my very first published PB is within my grasp and power now.” Thanks Julie!!!Sheri Mills Cook

“With 12 x 12, Julie created an instant hub and gathering place for picture book creators to socialize, share ideas and inspire each other. It’s popularity proves the need that existed for such a community.”Elizabeth O. Dulemba

“After completing PiBoldMo, 12 x 12 provided the perfect springboard I needed to stay focused and motivated. Thanks Julie for providing this fantastic community of writers.” — Kathy Cornell Berman

“I am so grateful for Julie Hedlund’s 12 X12! Part support group, part magical well of brilliant resources, and part awesome artists, this community has kept me on track with the ups and downs of finding my children’s writer’s voice. I have learned so much from the talented people involved in this community, and it keeps me going even when (and perhaps especially when) writing becomes really difficult. Thank you to Julie and to all the wonderful participants!”Jennifer Kirkeby

“The 12 x12 has been a huge motivator for me to keep on track with my writing. One of the main reasons I love being part of this group happens to be the outpouring of support from fellow writers. Thank you Julie for organizing this extraordinary group.” — Jennifer Young

“Confidence in my ability is not my strong point as a newly dedicated writer/illustrator. Because of 12×12 I have been informed, educated, encouraged and equipped to better perform in this phase of life. 12×12 is an uplifting, loving, inspiring, motivating group of wonderful writers.”Laura Miller

“The 12 X 12 in 2012 challenge is so much more than inspiration and motivation to write a picture book a month. We have become a family that also supports each other when life gives us challenges that have nothing to do with writing. On the writing front, I look forward to my daily check-in with the 12 X 12 group. It is fun to see what other writers are up to. And it is nearly impossible to check-in without learning something new through a chat thread or someone sharing great blogs and articles. I have been inspired and motivated to meet the challenge of a picture book a month and then to go beyond the challenge and start submitting the stories to publishers and agents. Thanks to Julie Hedlund for starting this challenge and supporting the growth of this wonderful community.” — Alayne Kay Christian

How have I been affected by 12×12? My response is tears! No joke, they are streaming down my face. My life has changed. This challenge has been my classroom, and the participants my kindred spirits, without which my dreams may have remained vaguely tucked between my hopes and fears. And we are only 4 mths in!”Julie Rowan-Zoch

“The 12 X 12 has been truly life saving for me! In a time of definate challenge personally, the 12 X 12 has made me seek solace in the community of writers I’ve found there. Writing as stress relief seems to be just as motivating as anything else. :) Thanks to all the writers (and especially Julie Hedlund) that have given me motivation, inspiration, and support.” — Beth Gallagher

I wish every picture book writer could experience the motivation, support, challenge, friendship and fun we experience in the 12×12 group. Thanks for this wonderful initiative, Julie!” — Joanna Marple

‎”Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge has been exactly the motivator I needed to sweep aside the laundry, ignore the army of dust bunnies under the bed and get productive. Being part of the 12×12 group has introduced me to a whole world of aspiring picture book writers who are making it happen — and to me that’s incredibly motivating and inspiring. Thank you so much, Julie, for dreaming up this challenge and sharing it with all of us.”Carrie Finison

“When I stumbled on the 12×12 picture book challenge, I wanted to participate, especially to support aspiring authors, but it ended up being such a surprising gift to myself. Somehow, even though I never thought I’d actually keep up, it’s become ingrained in my schedule and it somehow pops into my thoughts in the nick of time.”Deb Lund

“My 9 year old peeked over my shoulder as I was writing a blog post. “Mommy, is 12 X 12 a challenge? The answer is 144,” she said. I laughed, and thought of all the things I have learned just 4 months into this wonderful PictureBookPalooza known as the 12 X 12 Challenge. I could easily tally far more than 144 tips, ideas, opinions, inspirations and most importantly friendships among the treasures I have gained. Thank you for building this supportive, phenomenal community of writers.”Cathy Mealey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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