On my last post I mentioned that I had read Harold Underdown's Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books. I actually read this last fall and starting thinking about his ideas and trying a few suggestions. I am in the submission process for a number of manuscripts, and not really getting any results. I think the first bit of encouragement I've had in a long time was at the WPA-SCBWI Conference last fall, and it got me thinking again about what I had read in Harold's book. Conferences are the place to meet editors.
Do you make writing resolutions for the New Year?
As a Children's Librarian, I would review what I had accomplished each year and make a list of goals for the the next year. I worked on strategic plans for the upcoming five years. Should I do the same thing as a writer?
When I retired from my library job in August, I immediately set up a few goals for myself. I knew that I needed to be more involved with other writers to push me into completing projects. I registered for a Fall SCBWI conference and a writer's workshop where I received feedback on two particular projects. I also read the 2014 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market. From that I learned that I needed to create a writer's blog, so late last year I started working on a personal webpage. I also went through the listings of all the publishers and noted the ones that would accept submissions for my various projects. And I started submitting. I also joined an online critique group for nature and science writers. But what am I forgetting to do?
I started to make a list of the things I am currently doing:
1. Revising a YA Historical Fiction book
2. Revising at least 3 picture books
3. Revising a non-fiction book
4. Submitting 1 picture book
5. Writing a non-fiction proposal
6. Meeting online with a science/nature critique group
7. Creating a writer's blog
8. Reading the works of other writers, both for pleasure and research
9. Reading professional articles and blogs
What do I still need to do? What are my goals for the New Year? So far my list looks like this:
1. Join SCBWI and attend local meetings
2. Join a local picture book critique group
3. Join a local YA critique group
4. Continue to create my writer's blog
5. Attend the Hamline Alumni Weekend summer session
6. Complete edits on the YA novel and send out queries
I will most likely also attend another SCBWI conference and another writing workshop or two. What about you? Have you made any New Year's Resolutions for your writing life? I would love to hear them.
I am a writer of Children's and Young Adult books. I received my MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and am an active member of SCBWI. I also have my MLS in Library Science with an emphasis on children and happily worked as a Children's Librarian for nearly 20 years. One of my favorite activities was reading books aloud to kids, especially to school-aged kids. Like the kids, I enjoy having stories read to me, so I listen to many of my books on audio and serve on audio judging committees.
Another favorite activity is creating fun snacks for library programs, friends, and family. I do that a lot and continually search for more ideas.
I have a tiny brown tabby cat named Gypsy, who originally belonged to my brother and sister-in-law, a very large Russian Blue mix named Bosley from the shelter who has quickly made himself at home, and a new puppy named Prince Albert. He's a Cavapoo, which means he's part Cavalier King Charles and part poodle, and adorable. I am married and live in Dayton, Ohio with my husband Rod.
You can find more detailed information about me by clicking the link below: