Having grown up in Michigan, I have a soft spot for Michiganders, especially those who write for children. So I am pleased to welcome one such woman as today’s Tuesday 12 x 12 author — Jennifer Rumberger. Jennifer is an active and helpful contributor to the 12 x 12 Facebook group and does a great job of supporting other authors by participating in Perfect Picture Book Friday and Marvelous Middle Grade Monday. Welcome Jennifer!

It started with PiBoIdMo 2011. I don’t even remember how I came across the challenge. Probably one blog lead to another and there it was! Coming up with one picture book idea a day seemed fairly doable, so I signed up. Through the month of November, I came to know many new published and pre-published writers. When Julie started floating the idea of the 12×12 Challenge, I couldn’t resist. Having goals and deadlines definitely does help me stay more focused. And the close-knit community is so helpful and caring, and that was before the challenge even officially started!

But let me backtrack a little. I’ve been serious about my writing for almost three years now. My first step was to take the introductory course with the Institute of Children’s Literature. I learned so much and started to dip my toe into the writing pond.

After about six months, I joined SCBWI which was one of the best decisions I ever made. The conferences I have attended in Michigan have been so inspiring, and the writing community I am now a part of truly has been a blessing. Many say writing can be lonely, but being a part of a community of writers takes care of that.

This past fall I started my blog and another community of writers opened up to me. I have met some wonderful writing friends and critique partners. Someday I hope to meet them all in person!

I definitely have to thank my husband and two sons for supporting me through this journey. They have given me the time to write when I need it, and my boys love to listen to the story ideas I bounce off them. Having a built in critique group at home definitely helps too, even though they can sometimes be TOO honest!

As I continue on my writing journey, I look forward to strengthening the relationships I have already forged and meeting many more new writers. And to all you fellow 12×12’ers, best of luck the rest of the year!

Jennifer Rumberger is a wife and mom of two very active boys. She is an administrative assistant during the day and a children’s writer in her free time, which can be at home or at one of her boys’ many sports practices (never during games!). She has been published in a handful of children’s magazines and is working on a middle grade novel and her 12 x 12 picture book manuscripts. She also loves to read! You can find out what she’s reading by checking out her blog www.jenniferrumberger.com.

Categories: Writing



  1. Nice interview, Jennifer. I’m glad you have a great community of writers and critique friends. It makes writing life not so lonely!

  2. Lovely interview! It’s so nice to get to know you a little better, Jennifer! Thanks for sharing. I took the ICL course too, way back when, and it was a turning point for me!

  3. Thank you for having me today, Julie!

  4. Jennifer, I am impressed that you can juggle working, writing and sports practices. You’ll have to share your secrets for getting writing done on the go. Thanks for letting us learn more about Jennifer, Julie.

    • I don’t really have any secrets, wish I could do it even better! I have to say that there are times that the writing suffers, but I have a goal to write 5 minutes each day. It is amazing how much you get accomplished with just that small amount!

  5. Hi Jennifer! I fell in love with MI when a friend took me home (Beulah) to show me the wonders – I even have two PB drafts ‘based’ there! (I suppose the chocolate covered cherries helped!) And I apppreciate what you mean about family members being too honest, though it helps to know if you can defend your ideas, then reshape and better them! Thanks to you and Julie for the interview.

  6. I love the part about never during the game! I’m sure there’s plenty of down time related to those activities. Nice to get to know you a little better. (Plus fun that my son began pointing at the cow on Brain Burps saying “Cow. Cow.” Also a sign I need to get off the computer).

  7. Thanks for sharing! I’m a big fan of Jennifer’s Perfect Picture Book Friday posts. 🙂

  8. ‘Community’ is a wonderful word – something I also have learned from the 12×12 group – I tend to be a loner – but have found it’s definitely more fun, inspiring and motivational with all these like-minded friends! Where in Michigan? I’m over in Waterford (next to Pontiac). And Julie, I did not know Mich. was your roots, too. Julie, I joined your site and will add you to my blog roll as well. Thank you for sharing, and many blessings to your endeavors.

  9. Great to learn more about you Jennifer! It seems a lot of people have been inspired by the ICL! You sound incredibly busy and admire you for how active you are with blogging and writing. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  10. My hubby and kids have supported me too. I feel thankful to have that. Some writers don’t. This path we’re on is often fraught with rocks and potholes. We need all the support we can get! Thanks for all you do! *waving*

  11. Jennifer, lovely to hear more from you. I do agree with Tammi, I love reading your PPPF choices. I need to find out more about the ICL. I often hear that the input family members doesn’t really count, I am changing my mind as I hear how they can be some of your fiercest critics! Lovely that you are finding support in so many areas. Good luck with all your writing goals this year!

  12. It was so nice to hear more about your writing journey Jennifer. I know exactly what you mean to have those almost too honest family critiques.Haha. Best of luck to you too with the rest of the year!!

  13. Thanks for introducing yourself, Jennifer! It’s wonderful to have such a ready and willing critique group at home…you are blessed. I too, have found such wonderful support in this group, and look forward to the remainder of 2012. Looking forward to seeing your comments and participation in the future, now that we know you!

  14. Great to get to know you better, Jennifer! Thanks.

    You are so fortunate to have a built-in critique group! Even if they don’t sugarcoat their comments! 😉

  15. lovely to get to know you better Jennifer, nice interview!

  16. Nice to learn more about you Jennifer! Could you tell me more about Institute of Children’s Literature. What was it all about?

  17. Julie and Jennifer…thanks for the post. I think this line hits home with all of us-“Many say writing can be lonely, but being a part of a community of writers takes care of that.”
    You expressed it nicely. I really enjoy the weekly 12 x 12 posts. It is so nice to get to know fellow children’s book writers and feel the support.

  18. Jen, I agree that so much can get done when time is limited.
    It puts procrastination in its place :~D

    Truly enjoy your Perfect Picture Book Friday!

  19. It’s nice to learn a bit more about your journey, Jennifer, and congratulations on all you’ve accomplished over the past three years!

  20. Jennifer, I enjoyed your interview. Thank you for letting us be part of your writing journey. May the 12×12 challenge bring out your best stories. Good luck!

  21. Thanks for introducing us to Jennifer. 🙂

  22. Nice interview, Jennifer! I enjoy your blog, too. Good luck.

  23. New to your blog from iGameMom’s nomination. I feel so overwhelmed just taking a quick glance at your blog! I have always dreamed of being a writer, but with 4 kids, ages 6 and under, and homeschooling and teaching classes online, it seems like it might be an impossible dream. I write my blog just so I keep writing SOMEthing, but it never seems like enough. Anyway, thanks for all the awesome resources on your blog, maybe I will get to them someday!

    • Wow, you seem incredibly busy! I wish you the best of luck in your own writing journey! Now that my kids are a little older, I finally have the time to follow my dream. I know your time will come!

  24. Thanks Jennifer. Well, said! The resources for writers in terms of community and education have made a huge difference for me as well. I’m so glad to have “met” you. Hopefully we can all meet in person someday.

  25. How good that you found a writing community to belong to, Jennifer, and that your family is so supportive. That’s so important, especially for those down days and times of questioning one’s decision to write. (Maybe you don’t do that.) I wish you continued success.

  26. It’s great that you ask your kids what they think of what you write 🙂 I bet they like that!

  27. The Institute of Children’s Literature sounds interesting! I’m going to look into that. I like that it’s all done via email. Thanks for word about that.

  28. I’ve had trouble between my gravatar and my regular blog link lately in wordpress. Sorry.

  29. Christie Wright Wild

    It’s true that writing isn’t like it used to be: lonely. Now we have technology on our side: writing communities online! I’ve taken the ICL course. Currently, I’m taking the Advanced course. Clara Gillow Clark is my instructor. Nice to meet you, Jennifer!

  30. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer…it’s always encouraging to hear from people who have been past the same milestones that I’m couming upon in my writing journey. (I’m halfway through ICL course, just joined the SCBWI, going to my first state SCBWI conference end of April.) Wishing you well in all your writing. Thanks for contributing to this wonderful ‘community’ with your comments. – Damon

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