Yes I do realize it’s Thursday. Between me being out of town for the SCBWI LA conference and some miscommunication, Tuesday 12 x 12 been moved to today. But any day is a great day to welcome today’s author – Jo Hart. Jo is one of the few people I’ve known since well before 12 x 12 started. We’ve been following each other’s blogs and writing careers for going on three years now. It’s been wonderful to watch her soaring in her writing career, and I was so touched that she took it upon herself to produce the first 12 x 12 baby earlier this year. 🙂 She’s also a 12 x 12 success story – read on to find out why. Please welcome Jo!

Last year was a good year for me in regards to writing. All my hard work of the past few years had finally paid off and I saw several of my short stories published in anthologies. But while I enjoy writing all types of stories, including short stories, my heart truly lies with writing for children.

2011 was the year of the short story for me, but I was determined to make 2012 the year of the picture book. When I saw Julie’s 12 x 12 idea I knew straight away I wanted to do it—it was perfect timing. Well, maybe not PERFECT, exactly. You see, I was due to have a baby in February, so maybe taking on a challenge wasn’t such a great idea, because newborn babies tend to take up an awful lot
of time.

But I’m so glad I joined up. It has been my writing refuge amongst the hot-Australian-summer-while-pregnant days, the busy-getting-first-child-ready-for-starting-school days, the super-exhausting-newborn days, the stressful-sick-baby-in-hospital days, the horrible-plague-of-early-winter-illnesses days, the frustrating-tax-time days. In fact, if it wasn’t for the 12 x 12 challenge giving me the goal of one picture book per month to aim for, I’m not sure I’d be doing much writing at all this year.

I have a lot of thanks I owe to 12 x 12, not least because I had one of my 12 x 12 stories published back in March! (You can read it in the online magazine Australian Women Online in their bedtime stories collection.) I am also so thankful for the wonderful, encouraging, helpful and supportive group of writers I’ve met through the Facebook group.

Five months and five stories to go!

Jo Hart has several short stories published in anthologies and online. She lives in rural Australia with her husband and three young children. She has worked with children in various roles, including as a primary school teacher, but currently she dedicates her time to her family, their farm and her writing. She blogs at and can also be found on Twitter and on Facebook.

Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Authors, Goals, Guest Blogging, Picture Books, Publishing, SCBWI, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , ,



  1. Again, congrats on your published 12×12 story, Jo! And you manage to write amidst a busy schedule as well! Maybe your baby gives you lots of story ideas!

  2. Congrats on the publication!

  3. I’m so glad you are part of the group, Jo, and utterly impressed with your involvement as you have a new baby! And big congrats, once again, on your 12×12 publication in March – such an encouagement to us all!

  4. Congrats on juggling so many things so well, Jo, and on getting published in the process! What an inspiration!

  5. good on you, mate! Way to go with the 12X12 story.

  6. Yes, you amaze me, Jo. Integrating a new baby into the family, along with birthing picture books is not an easy task! I’m so glad to be taking this journey through 12×12 with you…it’s an honor. Here’s to many more published mss in the next five months. It’s a blessing to be a part of it all. With community, we can do it!

  7. So, so inspiring! Congrads on your baby and your published 12Ă—12 story/baby, Jo! You rock! Never ever forget that. *waves peace sign*

  8. So grateful you’re part of our 12×12 “family,” Jo! How you can write with a new baby and many other responsibilities is amazing! Congrats on your published 12×12 story — here’s to many more!

  9. You certainly are busy Jo. I admire how you manage your time with a new baby and writing. Congratulations on your published 12×12 story. Inspiring for the rest of us!

  10. Very inspiring post. Thanks for sharing Jo and congratulations on your publication!!!

  11. Congrats on all your experience. I agree with Jennifer very inspiring.

  12. I’m so glad to hear about your publication Jo! That’s wonderful news. I don’t know how you do it with a newborn, but your story is very inspiring.

  13. Jo, your bedtime story turned out great! Congratulations!

  14. What a stellar year for you already! Congratulations…and keep on rocking (the baby) and rolling (out the stories). 🙂

  15. Wow! You are definitely determined. I love your drive, Jo! And I love Green Nadine!!! Congrats!

  16. Jo, being a mother to a newborn can be tiresome to say the least. I admire your dedication to your writing. Yo will find many more inspiration from your baby. Congratulations.

  17. You are amazing, Jo. I can’t believe all you’ve accomplished this year and with all the business. I hope this coming year is the year of the picture book contracts. All best!

  18. Congrats on your story, child and just being a writer! 🙂 I liked learning about you.

  19. sweet blog

  20. Fantastic! Congratulations Mother, Author, Encourager-of-Other-Authors! I have NO excuses now! Checking out your blog–love the blog name!

  21. Thank you everyone for the kind words. I’d love to say I’m good at juggling, but the huge pile of unfolded washing and the floor in need of vacuuming argue otherwise!

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