Today’s Tuesday 12 x 12 guest is Jennifer Young.  Jennifer’s clever story, Poison Apple Pie, was recently published by e-publisher MeeGenius.  Congratulations Jennifer! Here she talks about what the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge has meant to her.  Welcome!  

Hello from South Jersey! I live right smack in between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. I’ m surrounded by farms, deer, and I even have a rafter of wild turkey that like to hang out in my backyard.

I’m lucky enough to be able to stay at home with my two little girls while my son attends second grade. My kids are a big inspiration when it comes to writing stories. They love helping me with ideas and my husband doesn’t mind critiquing one bit, or so he tells me anyway. All kidding aside, I’ve got some great listeners in my house which I’m very grateful for. It’s always busy here with miscellaneous family matters and unfortunately last year I lost some of my motivation to write. I still wrote but not as much as I would have liked to.

I enjoy participating in blog hops, writing contest, and I submit to agents and publishing house regularly. One of the reasons I wanted to join the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge because I missed out in participating in the PiBoIdMo hosted by Tara Lazar. After I joined, I was thrilled to find out my critique partners Cheryl Velasquez and Kris Christopherson also joined in the fun.

Since the challenge started, I learned this group of writers and illustrators are all very different, but they are willing to share their talents with everyone. They jump to help others in need to help them succeed. I’ve been following the other members’ blogs which are full of great information like; how to query agents, helpful story starters, ways to organize your time and much more. I’m also happy to say I’ve joined an incredibly supportive critique group which includes four other 12 x 12 members.

Last thing I wanted to mention, even though I haven’t taken a class on how-to-write for children (though I want to badly), I kind of feel like I’m in one. Every time I visit the 12 x 12 in 2012 Facebook group I see members giving out writing tips, ideas, short-cuts and encouragement. So far this year, I’m proud to say I’ve been motivated and inspired to write and it’s all because I joined this group.

Jennifer Young enjoys writing quirky and humorous stories for children. She has a BS in Sociology. She was born and raised in Southern Connecticut, and she now resides in South Jersey with her husband and three children. She has one children’s poem published in Stories for Children Magazine and one children’s illustrated book under contract with Willow Moon Publishing due out before fall 2013. You can follow her at her blog Jennifer Young –Castles in the Sky:

Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Authors, ebooks, Picture Books, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , ,



  1. I love reading about other writers’ lifestyles, especially as I live in Australia and was brought up in England, so ‘listening’ to my American writer contacts is fascinating. I think our passions and love of writing are pretty universal.

    Thank you Jennifer and Julie

    Pat Simmons

  2. Congratulations, Jennifer, on your recent e-book and your other book with Willow Moon. It’s nice to learn about you and your family.

  3. Congratulations on Poison Applie Pie, Jennifer. Nice to get to know you better. You’re right– the 12X12 is a great place and I’m glad I met you there!

  4. Nice to hear more about you Jennifer and congratulations on Poison Apple Pie. I love the header on your blog it is awesome. This community is wonderful, and look we are also doing something else together, Rena’s poetry challenge in April. See you there!

    • I’m so glad you like the blog title. I’m look forward to this poetry contest too but I’m still nervous about trying out poetry. Thanks for the kind words Catherine.

  5. More congratulations from me on Poison Apple Pie Jennifer! A great post and interesting to hear what life is like the other side of The Pond! I agree, this 12×12 group is a wonderful place to learn and feel supported. Good luck with your writing.

  6. Congrats, Jennifer – “Poison Apple Pie” looks like a fun book. What could possibly go wrong with a bent wand….?

  7. Lori Grusin Degman

    Congratulations on “Poison Apple Pie” and this great post, Jennifer!! I agree with you – I’ve learned so much from other writers and I’ve found them to be so generous with their knowledge and time! It’s an awesome community!!

  8. Congratulations on your Willow Moon Book and your recent success with “Poison Apple Pie”… How super to have such great critiques at home! I too love your Castles in the Sky blog!

    • Thanks Joanna! It is super to have such a support group at home. So glad you like the blog title. A friend blogger of mine had a fun title that made me think why not make my boring title just as fun. It used to be called, The Unpublished Hobby.

  9. So happy about Poison Apple Pie. I enjoy learning how other writers work through their drafts with family. Sounds like a fun audience of three (or four if you include hubby).

  10. Yeehaw Jennifer! You certainly did laugh (!) and not let those turkey’s get you down! Staying home with the kids has unfortunately become a choice less often made, so yes, lucky you! (Maybe I need to design a badge?) I look forward to getting to know you even more over the year – and further!

    • That’s so sweet of you to say, I’m looking forward to getting to know you too and wouldn’t it be great if this challenge was every year?! I’d love to see/share your badge when it’s all done.

  11. Jennifer, I didn’t know you had another book under contract. That is awesome! You are on a roll!

    I think you are so right about everything you said about 12 x 12. We are so lucky to have this group!

  12. Jennifer, we are so lucky to have you in our critique group especially with your publishing credits and wonderful insights. And I second your comments that children provide a wonderful source of inspiration. I have giant lists of ideas…far too many to actually implement. But it is fun to have so many to choose from.

    • Whatever do you mean Kristen?! I’m flattered that you think so and I’m very lucky to be in your group surrounded by extremely talented writers. Most of the time I’m hesitant to share after seeing what you guys have written.

      Yeah, it’s wonderful to have family inspiration, I know almost all of mine is from them anyway.

  13. Congratulations on Poison Apple Pie, Jennifer! And that’s great that you’ve found a critique group to keep on writing and cheering each other on. All the best!

  14. Congratulations on Poison Apple Pie and on your upcoming book with Willow Moon Publishing. I, too, feel like being in the 12 X 12 group is a wonderful learning experience. The willingness to share and encouragement is incredible. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  15. I feel the same why, Jennifer! These groups have been a tremendous support to me in many ways…thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Keep on keeping on!

  16. Wonderful post Jennifer. It was fun getting to know more about you. Can tell your childrenare the center of your universe. Lovely photo. I can imagine they must fill you with story ideas. Congratulations againg on Poison Apple Pie and your upcoming book with Willow Moon Publishing. Loved the Apple Pie story. Very creative. Love this community of authors. They are so supportive!

  17. I’m not on Facebook so I love meeting everyone on Julie’s blog. Thanks, Julie! And congratulations Jennifer on all your successes. Hope you’ll be at the NJ SCBWI this June to share your success story there (they welcome us eastern PA folks there, too!)

    • Thank you Wendy! Just a few weeks ago I joined the SCBWI. I’m very excited to be apart of it. I’ll be missing the NJ conference. 🙁 I hope you enjoy your time there in June.

  18. Great to learn more about you, Jennifer — including your upcoming publications! Congratulations on those. I know there will be more in your future. Thanks for sharing yourself with us!

  19. Thanks for sharing information about your writing journey Jennifer! Congratulations on Poison Apple Pie and on your upcoming book with Willow Moon Publishing. I agree that the PiBoIdMo and 12X12 community of writer are a great source of support and inspiration!

  20. Excellent photo!!!!!!!!!! Love the beautiful faces! Yay for Poison Apple Pie! You will be a cherished children writer. (My hubby is my first CP too.) 🙂

    I so enjoyed spending time with you today. *waving*

  21. Look at YOUUUU!!! So proud of you, friend! You’re making SUCH a great name for yourself!! POISON APPLE PIE is gonna blow the minds out of everyone who reads it!!!
    Love ya!!! Great job!

    • I’m definitely feeling the love today. Julie has been so great to provide this feature on her blog.

      Bethany, you’re are too funny and kind! I’m so grateful to have such a supportive friend 🙂 Great job to you too on your book, Waiting for James in a Sea of Pink!!!

  22. Jennifer it was so great to learn more about you! Congratulations on your book deals (plural)! This community truly is amazing. 🙂

  23. Congratulations on Poison Apple, I do love that story. Thanks for sharing your writing story.

  24. Thanks Julie and Jennifer. I always love learning about fellow 12 x 12ers

  25. Congratulations on your book Jennifer! I’m very excited for you and your blog is great by the way! Thank you so much for sharing that you want to learn more about your craft. Knowing this and witnessing the publication of your book (I was one or your voters…tee hee) is so inspiring.

    • Hi Pam, thank you so much for voting for my book and helping me get it published! At times, I feel like I don’t know anything about this whole writing process, though it’s been a lot of fun learning new things along the way. I’m very flattered to have inspired you! So glad to be in this writing challenge together.

  26. I read the sample of your cute story (Poison Apple Pie); it pulled me in, then … that was all I got! Teasers are rightly named. 🙂 I like the way you use rhyme in your story.

    This is the first I’d heard of the poetry contest in April. I wish you fun and success with it.

    This was a good post, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Jenny so good to see you on Julie’s blog. I voted for your book and loved the story!
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

  28. Great interview, Jennifer. It sounds so peaceful where you live and thanks for sharing a little bit of your writing journey with us. I love being your critique buddy because I get a sneak peek at your creative stories. Congrats again on Poison Apple Pie. Happy Writing!

    • Thank you Cheryl for the support and encouragement along the way. I’m very happy you still want to exchange critiques with me. I love hearing your feed back!

  29. Thanks for sharing with us, Jen – it’s so great to get to know you a little better. I loved Poison Apple Pie. It looks like you’re on your way 🙂

  30. Congrats on the book!!! I’m glad to you have in the critique group. I’ve also learned a lot from the 12×12 group!

  31. I agree with you that I think it’s so nice how everyone helps each other and tells each other how to get better 🙂 I have learned a lot from everyone!

  32. What a great post and congratulations, Jennifer, on your recent success! It does help so much when you write regularly and have the support to help you do that.

    • Thank you very much Jen! I have to keep reminding myself to write regularly. I think I read on someone’s blog yesterday that even 5 minutes a day helps out when times get busy.

  33. Hi Jennifer! Thanks so much for sharing a little about yourself. I feel the same way about the 12×12 FB group. It has been a great source of inspiration for me when my creativity has been at a low. Congrats on your books!

  34. Woo hoo, Jennifer!!!! So thrilled for your success — well deserved! (thanks for the kind shout out~)

  35. Jennifer,
    thanks for sharing! Love Poison Apple Pie, and congrats on the poem in Stories for Children and your Willow Publishing book coming out…what fun it must be to anticipate that!
    I agree, the 12×12 group is fantastic… you can always find a whisper, a puff, or a breeze here to whip up a flame from creative embers.

  36. Hi Jennifer it’s lovely getting to know a bit more about you. Love the photo of you and the kids. Congrats on getting your book published with Willow Moon. This was such a lovely post, thankyou Jennifer. (sorry I’m so late)

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