My intentions for 2014 was to streamline my life so I could concentrate on my writing. That involved putting a hold on some of my social media groups and athletic training. The first half of the year was spent editing/revising my WIP picture books and the latter half was spent taking writing classes. Below is a recap of the events that kept me busy during 2014:
Personal Life Events
May 19- June 23
I enrolled in Mira Reisberg and Sudipta Bard-Quallen's online course, The Pleasures and Craft of Poetic Techniques, offered by the Picture Book Academy.
It is an interactive e-course complete with a weekly webinar to make your writing sing. Now when I write, I am more aware of my word choices that will make my prose read aloud like verse.
I was invited to a Meet my Character Blog Hop by Jennifer Chow, author of The 228 Legacy.
The questions Jennifer provided was a great opportunity to delve into the main character of my story. It was also my chance to introduce my new eBook, Running Boy, published by MeeGenius on June 9.
I signed up for my local SF/South SCBWI agent's Day. It is an all-day affair about the author-agent relationship, tips on creating a memorable pitch, marketing, and picture book pacing. The best part of the event was the agent round table discussions where we got to do a Q & A up close and personal with the participating agents. They are all very lovely people; many that represented picture books.
Agents that were present:
Deborah Warren, East/west Literary Agency
Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary Agency
Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary Agency
Mira Reisberg, Hummingbird Literary Agency
Laurie McLean, Foreward Literary
July 21 to August 15
Sudipta Bard-Quallen and Kami Kinard offered a free online course called kidlit Summer School. It is a month long course on writing strong and irresistible characters that ran 6 days a week. Faculty members consisted of kidlit authors. It was loads of fun and encouragement that kept me writing all summer long! Needless to say, it helped me with my character development.
I completed Kristen Fulton's fabulous 8-weeks Nonfiction Archaeology course. It was packed with information, videos, and webinars that kept me informed and inspired. If you are interested in writing nonfiction picture books, this course is a must. See my review of Kristen's course here. Thanks to Kristen, I got to complete my first nonfiction picture book this year!
During the month of November, I joined the Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) challenge with Tara Lazar. The challenge was to create 30 picture book ideas in a month. Tara had a terrific line up of guest bloggers and prizes galore! Sadly, I didn't win any of the prizes, but I still came out a winner with a notebook, of not 30, but 31 ideas!
Between writing, revising, and taking classes, I read loads of picture books. The best way to learn to write picture books is to read them. I've kept a tally on Goodreads. Below is a collage of the books I've read in 2014.
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The end of the year is also a time to reflect on all those who continue to inspire me as a writer. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the following for their support, encouragement, and camaraderie:
Picture Book Academy
Agent/Editor Discussion Group
Susanna Hill Leonard
My critique group:
The Prose Shop
Picture Book Critique Group
And my new friends at kidlit manuscript swap