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.
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
- Registered for Storyteller Academy.
- Registered for 12×12
- Joined many Facebook writing pages.
- Read books about writing and picture books.
- Wrote some horrible drafts. And I learned that it is okay.
- I joined some Critique Groups and found amazing writers to create my Critique Group called Las Chicas Latinas.
- Learned, wrote, learned.
- I wrote more than 12 drafts, but I have only 5 I have been working on and considering for now.
- I joined Inked Voices, and I strongly recommend it.
- 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!!
- I was about to quit when my critique partners lifted me and made me keep going.
- I got some twitter likes on pitmad — the first one submitted – rejection.
- I got three more rejections – one – no answer and two form rejections.
- 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.