12 Days of Christmas – My Successes

Reflections on my achievements 2019 – Exercise for 12 Days of Christmas by 12×12 – Julie Hedlund

A long time ago, 1992!!! I wrote children’s books in Brazil, and one of them got an award from “Academia de Letras” in Brazil. 

Honorable Mention – Academia Brasileira de Letras

Forward a few years, and you’ll find a Spanish teacher without time to write. Life has happened – children, jobs, moving to another country, and Zapt!!! No more books, no more inspiration.

But then, CI happened! What is CI? Comprehensible Input – a method to teach a foreign language through stories and then… Creation. I’ve created many fun, easy-to-read stories to my students. Finally, I decided to try publishing one of my stories, and I submitted it to a big World Language Publisher and TA-DA, they liked, and they published it this July. 

But after writing so many easy readers to my students, I decided to try writing picture books again, and it all started this last January when I made a translation/version of one of my previous books. I sent it to an editor to critique, and – You story is very episodic. What the ketchup that means? And that’s when I

  1. Registered for Storyteller Academy. 
  2. Registered for 12×12
  3. Joined many Facebook writing pages.
  4. Read books about writing and picture books.
  5. Wrote some horrible drafts. And I learned that it is okay.
  6. I joined some Critique Groups and found amazing writers to create my Critique Group called Las Chicas Latinas.
  7. Learned, wrote, learned.
  8. I wrote more than 12 drafts, but I have only 5 I have been working on and considering for now.
  9. I joined Inked Voices, and I strongly recommend it.
  10. I got some professional critiques and one day…. I got such a tough critique that I thought I should quit. My whole story was still too long, too confusing, too episodic. How frustrating!!
  11. I was about to quit when my critique partners lifted me and made me keep going.
  12. I got some twitter likes on pitmad — the first one submitted – rejection.
  13. I got three more rejections – one – no answer and two form rejections.
  14. I decided to wait until 2020 to start querying again and …

I got a pitmad like, a submission, an offer (still in the works), an agent, – the amazing Andrea Walker – and an R&R. 

So, in summary, I can say my picture book of 2019 had a satisfying ending with lots of hopes and promises, but I know the challenges will keep on coming. For that reason, I will keep on writing, learning, and leaning on my amazing Critique partners.

A special thanks to all my critique partners who had the patience with my 1234 revisions of the same story. And a big thank you to Lynne Marie, who, through tough love, has taught me so much about the structure of picture books. 

14 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas – My Successes

      1. I’m glad to hear that 😊. I’m still learning and try, so I’m never sure. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your upcoming good news.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Amazed and awed by you my friend. So grateful you welcomed me to Las Chicas Latinas. It has been such a wonderful gift. Incredibly proud of you and all your successes.


  2. Congrats on a great year, Ana! I know I have sort of disappeared the last five months but here’s hoping 2020 will let me find time to reach out to the writing world again.
    All the best! Kathi


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