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It is my pleasure to announce our three winners for the March 12 x 12 in 2012 prizes! The first prize is a copy of Katie Davis’ outstanding ebook – How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Creating a BestsellerNext, I am giving away two free Brain Burps About Books iPhone apps because I love the podcast so much (and NOT just because I am sometimes in it. :-))

Winners, if you already have Katie’s book, or the iPhone app, OR don’t have an iPhone and therefore can’t use the app, please let me know ASAP.  I’ve kept the Random.org list of winners, and if you can’t use the prize, I will simply keep going down the list until I find someone who can.  Thanks!

And now, for the winners…. *CUE DRUMROLL*

Winner of How to Promote Your Children’s book is…..    BRENDA HARRIS!!!!!!!!

Winners of the Brain Burps About Books iPhone App are….    ROBYN CAMPBELL and JARM DEL BOCCIO!!!!!!!

Congratulations to all the winners! Contact me for info on how to claim your prizes.

Onward, ho!!!

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Well, here in Boulder March came in AND out like a lamb.  I’ve never experienced such a warm and early spring before.  I hope that is auspicious for writing!   12 x 12 in 2012 participants know that today is the day to check-in on your picture book draft for the month.  Did you complete one this month?

I completed a draft this month – once again on the second to last day.  You guys are such slave-drivers – LOL!  Seriously though, you all keep me so motivated and inspired.  You amaze me – truly.

Thanks again to Katie Davis for giving us fantastic marketing and promotion tips as March’s featured author.  If you left a comment on her March 1st post, you are automatically entered to win a copy of her book – How to Promote Your Children’s Books: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Creating a Bestseller, regardless of whether you completed a PB draft this month. I am also giving away two of her Brain Burps About Books podcast apps. If you did complete a draft in March, let us know in the comments and that will get you another entry.  YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR NAME (FIRST AND LAST) IN YOUR COMMENT IF YOU WANT IT TO BE COUNTED AS AN ENTRY.   You have until midnight EST April 1st to leave a comment on this post and/or Katie’s original post to be eligible for the drawing.  I’ll draw a winner via Random.org and post it to the blog on Monday, April 2nd.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to see who’s on deck for April!!

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Please welcome Elizabeth Stevens Omlor to the Tuesday 12 x 12 series.  With her trademark wit and charm, she shares her own banana peelin’ moments on the way to calling herself a storyteller. 🙂

I’ve never thought of myself as a storyteller. Well, that is until I began to share my picture book manuscripts with other poor kind souls outside my family. Someone mentioned it casually, you see, my name in the same sentence along with the term storyteller. I thought, “Who, me?” It might seem obvious to some that they’re storytellers, but for me I really had to think about it for a couple of days or seven months. I had to roll the idea around in this little noggin of mine for a while, each roll slowly dusting off memories of my storytelling self, starting way back when, yep, back in the olden days. I believe it was 1988.

It was an eventful year, what with my parents’ divorce (don’t be sad, it’s been awesome), my introduction to Roald Dahl (and therefore the onset of my obsession with unwrapping chocolate bars), and my brief law breaking stint having to do with my friend Annie H., clean desk checks and a delicious/tempting Starburst reward (long story that basically ends with me living a law abiding existence for the rest of my days). The memories I really have had to struggle to recall though are the tall tales I began telling at this age. I had tall tales of me having ten siblings, of me speaking other languages, and of someone else carving my same exact initials into our staircase’s wooden banister (How could they!).  I say tall tales, because it sounds more literary than white lies. Mostly, however, to think of myself as a storyteller, I must believe that these tales were a sign of boundless imagination, not moral corruption.

With my tall tale days behind me, still trying to persuade myself that I, Elizabeth Stevens Omlor might somehow be a storyteller, I began my search for more evidence that would prove that I had in fact been bit by the storytelling bug. Ashamedly, I love being the center of attention. Family dinners were and still are, my family sitting in silence, nodding, smiling, gritting their teeth, as I recount events I deem humorous, complete with big arm gestures, a loud voice, and dramatic endings (think Gone with the Wind meets Carol Burnett). When I truly think about it, I guess I can see myself as a storyteller, and what better way to channel that love for telling stories than through writing?

Involvement in Julie’s 12 x 12 in 2012 has been an absolute gift. This challenge has inspired me to break out of my shell (well, online shell that is). Previously, writing was such an isolated practice for me. I sat on the sidelines during Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo 2011, just dipping my big, chubby toe in the water by writing new ideas every day. I still relied on my in-person peeps for feedback. My first peep, my husband, the poor, poor man, was previously forced, guilted and yes, sometimes bribed to read my manuscripts. He, along with my mom, my sister, and a couple of kind and gracious friends, even though they may not know you, they all thank you 12x12ers. And I thank you. I can now pretty much guarantee that the relationships with my peeps will last and stand the test of time since I have found others to suffer  read through my manuscripts and with whom I can talk shop.

In December of 2011, after downing several glasses of wine mustering up enough confidence, I felt it was time to unleash the beast, the blog beast that is. Well, it was more like a sleepy and shy blog beast who wandered lost into the cyber forest with her wicker basket filled with embarrassing moments from writing and mothering, complete with  seven followers: a sister, a few supportive friends, a cousin, Lynn Davidson from Canada (I’ll never forget you Lynn!) and some occasional hits from Russian spammers. My blog, Banana Peelin’, was the perfect avenue for me to share my own banana peel moments, moments where I had felt confident and on top of the world only to slip on a banana peel or have a huge piece of spinach dangling from between my teeth. I had come to the conclusion that some people were just born cool. But were they, really? Older and wiser, I now choose to believe that others, even the cool ones, have experienced humiliation of some kind. And thus, the Banana Peel Thursdays blog series was born. With published children’s authors giving accounts of their very own banana peel moments, we learn:

a)     what mistakes we should try to avoid along the road to publication

b)    that these authors are in fact human

Did you hear that Universe? THE COOL KIDS ARE HUMAN!

I am so grateful to have stumbled upon the online children’s literature community. The relationships that I have been lucky enough to make in this short amount of time have been life altering. My blog has become what I consider to be a part-time job. I choose to put time into it because I love doing it. It’s my baby. Personally never a big fan of the idea of giving birth alone, one might say that each author, artist, follower, reader, commenter, Russian spammer, who has contributed to the progress of the blog these last few months has basically helped me to give birth. There you have it. And for the record, ANY individual who has assisted either with the birth or nurturing of my “blog baby” basically has me on a short leash for the rest of my days!

Julie’s interview with Sandi Hershenson was poignant in that she mentioned the beauty in the authentic relationships she has created through the building of her online presence. In an attempt to create this online presence for myself, I had no idea how much I would learn, what sense of community I would feel, and with how much gratitude I would be filled through the kindness and generosity of others. I am sure fellow wanderers in the cyber forest feel the same. For me, storytelling is this amazing dream and nothing could be greater than to have the support of one’s peers in the pursuit of their dreams.

From the bottom of my caffeine-pumped heart, THANK YOU!

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Please welcome Sylvia Liu, a 12 x 12 in 2012 participant and illustrator.  She gives us advice on how to overcome a challenge I know we all face – procrastination.  Thanks Sylvia!

Do you struggle with procrastination? I do. Once I sit down to write or paint, I’m fine, but getting myself to my work space without detouring is extremely difficult. I also have trouble deciding what to work on first if I have several projects, and I find myself spinning my wheels. Other people in the same boat who have a goal to achieve — whether it’s exercising more or finishing a manuscript — have turned to commitment devices.

What is a commitment device? A commitment device is a term economists use for a self-imposed mechanism to achieve one’s goals. Commitment devices are based on the idea that there are two selves, a rational one who knows what’s good for herself (I’ve got to work every day to get my picture book done), and a less rational self who decides she has better things to do (I really need to check Twitter and Facebook, and look, a really cute video of singing cats). A commitment device lets the present rational self constrain the choices of the future irrational one.

So how would a commitment device work for picture book writers doing the 12x12x12?  Here are 4 options, starting from the least “commitment-y” to the most:

1. Publicly commit to the goal. By signing up for 12x12x12, you have already taken this first step. You have proclaimed to the world that you intend to write 12 picture book manuscripts in 12 months. Signing up for online challenges like this motivates you to stick to a schedule and to report back to your peers when you have accomplished the goal. Unfortunately, this is a pretty soft commitment, because there’s no downside to failing other than disappointing yourself. It also may backfire. As founder of CD Baby Derek Sivers explained in his TED video, psychology researchers have discovered that telling someone about a goal will make it less likely to happen. It turns out that the act of getting affirmation from others tricks your brain into thinking you’re well on your way to accomplishing your goal.

2. Bribe yourself. As any parent with a toddler knows, bribes can work wonders for getting something done (anyone give out M&Ms for successful potty training activities?). You can promise yourself a small reward at the end of each month when you have completed a manuscript. Take yourself out to a nice lunch or put $20 away for an end-of-the-year $240 splurge.

3. Get a partner. Another commitment device is to make yourself accountable to someone else. I am a really fair-weather runner, only going out when it’s pleasant. I have found, however, that I will run in cold and windy conditions when I have a weekly standing appointment with my friend. One way for you to make sure you stick to the 12x12x12 schedule is to pick a writing partner who is also doing this challenge. Report back to each other once a month, or swap manuscripts at the end of each month.

4. Set up a contract with yourself. You can do it yourself or use websites to help you commit to a goal with a consequence if you don’t meet it. For example, you can decide that if you don’t finish a manuscript each month, you will donate $10 to a designated charity. Websites like http://www.Stickk.com help you do this by helpfully taking your credit card number and setting up a system (including designating referees) to enforce your goals. (Using similar principles, Gympact is an iPhone app that lets you decide how often you will go to the gym. You get paid each time you meet your goals and penalized each time you fail; the money comes from the pool of people who participate.)

If you really want to give yourself further incentive, you can set up the payments to go to a charity that is antithetical to what you believe in. A recent Freakonomics podcast about commitment devices reported how one man committed to living healthfully for a month, and when he failed, he sent a $750 check to someone his girlfriend liked but he really didn’t, Oprah Winfrey.

Have you ever used a commitment device? What kind of commitment device might help you achieve your goals in the 12x12x12 challenge? Is mere will power and the satisfaction of accomplishment enough? 

Sylvia Liu was an environmental attorney working on protecting the oceans for a decade. Now she has gone back to her first love, art and illustration, and is working on several projects, including writing and illustrating picture books. She blogs about ebooks, tools for writers/illustrators, and other fun stuff at: http://www.sylvialiuland.com, and can be found many other places on the web: Twitter: http://twitter.com/artsylliu, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ArtbySylviaLiu, Portfolio: http://www.sylvialiuart.com, Google+, and Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sylliu/

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I won’t torture you with lots of announcements this time.  We’ll just get straight to it!

Well, after I drag it on just a little bit more so that the surprise isn’t ruined when the name shows up right in the little snippet that Facebook shows in its preview….

The winner of this month’s giveaway, a critique from George Shannon IS …..

BETH STILBORN !!!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations Beth, and to EVERYONE who completed a draft in February.  We are off to a great start.

Beth, I will forward your email to George so the two of you can determine next steps.  Congratulations again!

Keep writing everyone!!!

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My first FULL morning pages journal

Per my post last week, I’m combining Weeks 8 and 9 into one check-in. It is way later than usual because, well, the vagaries of life got in the way this week – grocery shopping, cooking dinner, transporting kids all over hell’s half-acre.  BUT, this one is a doozy so hold onto your seats! 🙂

  • Week 8 Theme: “Recovering a Sense of Strength.”  This chapter focuses on surviving artistic losses by turning them into gains.  It also works on freeing us from using time as an avoidance strategy and creative block.
  • Week 9 Theme: “Recovering a Sense of Compassion.”  This chapter deals with our biggest creative blocks – the internal ones.  We learn that creative blocks are born from fear and only fear, and that it is artist-abuse to call it anything else – laziness, untalented, unworthy, etc.
  • Morning Pages: I missed a couple of days over the past two weeks, even though I didn’t intend to.  Here’s what I’ve learned about morning pages.  If I say to myself, “I’ll do them later,” I won’t.  They have to get done first thing after I wake up or they just don’t get done.
  • Artist Date: I didn’t go anywhere, but I did indulge myself in a couple of different activities.  First, I have been participating in a free online business boot camp called Women on Purpose.  The calls are an hour a day a few days a week.  Normally I would not allow myself the luxury of a whole hour to do something that is seemingly not directly related to my work.  What I’ve found, however, is that the topics addressed on these calls ARE directly related to how I want to run my business.  They are fun, encouraging and inspiring to listen to.  Second, when I found myself feeling run down this week, I allowed myself a couple of long naps in the late morning.  Very restorative.

Any “Aha” Moments? 

  • Chapter 8: One of the tasks for the week was a “memory mining” exercise.  I discovered that I had done several things in my youth to sabotage my budding writer.  Out of nowhere, I remembered that in my freshman year, my creative writing professor wanted to submit a couple of my papers (which were really personal essays) for publication.  I said no.  He encouraged me to take more creative writing courses.  I didn’t.  I know exactly why I didn’t, which I’m not going to say here, but what’s amazing is that I had forgotten ALL about it.  From there, I was able to remember other things I did over the years to squash myself before anybody else could.  Must. Stop. Doing That.
  • Chapter 9: The big assignment this week was to read the morning pages so far.  Wow.  In a way, that was extremely painful, and in another way, both enlightening and encouraging.  All along I’ve been pleased with my progress.  Just making it to Week 10 is an achievement.  Yet, I hadn’t yet felt that I’d experienced any major transformation.  Well, I was wrong.  My early pages contain lots of name-calling (of myself), feelings of lack – of accomplishment, creativity, discipline, etc.  Somewhere in the middle of my journal (because I have now filled an entire book!), more often than not the name-calling and feelings of inadequacy gave way to insights, ideas and excitement.  After I finished reading, I started thinking about all I have done and everything that has happened since I began November 9, 2011.  A few examples:
Things I’ve done since I began The Artist’s Way
  • Was a PiBoIdMo Winner
  • Set up the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge.  This idea was just a twinkle in my eye at the beginning of November.  Now we are one full month into the challenge with 400+ members!
  • Completed revisions on my primary WIP from the second half of 2012 and sent it off for final comments
  • Continued work on a plan for a soon-to-be-announced side business, including networking and setting up meetings
  • Was a guest on Katie Davis’ Brain Burps About Books podcast!
  • Got three assignments (so far) to write articles for the Tools of Change conference in Bologna and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
  • Got a press pass for ToC Bologna
  • Established four-year goals for all aspects of my business, working backwards into each month for 2012
  • Outlined rough ideas for two potential e-books
  • Wrote a picture book draft in January of a story I’ve wanted to write for more than a year
  • Had my very first school visit and got invited for three more as a result
  • Set my networking and continuing education schedule for 2012 – conferences, seminars, etc.
Not too shabby, right?  And I still have three weeks left to go!  The best outcome so far, however, is all of the friends I’ve made along the way, especially from PiBoIdMo and 12 x 12!

A few favorite quotes from the Week 8 chapter:

“Creativity cannot be comfortably quantified in intellectual terms… (T)he entire thrust of intellectualism runs counter to the creative impulse. For an artist, to become overly cerebral is to become crippled.”

“Pain that is not used profitably quickly solidifies into a leaden heart, which makes any action difficult. When faced with a loss, immediately take one small action to support your artist.

“At the heart of the anorexia of artistic avoidance is the denial of process. We like to focus on having learned a skill or having made an artwork. This attention to final form ignores the fact that creativity lies not in the done but in the doing.”

A few favorite quotes from the Week 9 chapter:

“Fear is the true name for what ails the blocked artist. It may be fear of failure or fear of success. Most frequently, it is the fear of abandonment.”

“(B)eing an artist requires enthusiasm more than discipline… Enthusiasm (from the Greek, “filled with God”) is an ongoing energy supply tapped into the flow of life itself. Enthusiasm is grounded in play, not work.”

“Remember that art is process. The process is supposed to be fun.”

How have you overcome avoidance (fear) and/or internal blocks to your art?

Week 7 Check-In

Week 6 Check-In

Week 5 Check-In

Week 4 Check-In

Week 3 Check-In

Week 2 Check-In

Week 1 Check-In

The Artist’s Way

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Now that I have your attention, let me make a few announcements about how the drawings will work going forward based upon the experience this time around.

First a couple of reminders.

Reminder #1: In order to be eligible to win one of the 12 x 12 in 2012 giveaways you must 1) be an official member (you should know who you are by now), and 2) leave a comment on the “first of the month” post by that month’s featured author.  So using January as an example, you would have had to sign up for the challenge by January 29th AND have left a comment on Tara Lazar’s (this month’s featured author) January 1st post.

That gets you one point.

Reminder #2: If you want to earn a second point, you must 1) first make yourself eligible for the first point (see above), 2) write a picture book draft in that month, and 3) leave a comment on the monthly check-in post on the last day of the month stating that you wrote a draft.  You do NOT need to submit a draft of your manuscript or write a post on your own blog in order to be eligible for the second point.  Using January again as an example, you would have received another point if you completed the requirements of #1, and then completed a draft and let us know in the comments section of the check-in post I put up on January 31st.

The drawings will work this way each month.

I am adding a new requirement going forward.  If your blog comments come up with anything other than your first AND last name, you must also leave your name in both your comment on the first of the month post and the check-in post.  Some people’s comments show up as their blog names, a nickname, or a first name only.  This makes it very difficult to determine who is who without checking URLs, going back to the sign-up sheet, etc., thereby drastically increasing the workload associated with sorting out points.  This new requirement will be effective starting with the February monthly check-in post on the 29th.  However, if you have already left your comment on February author George Shannon’s post, I would GREATLY appreciate it if you could go back and check to see how your name comes up.  If it is anything other than your first AND last name, please reply to your own comment and leave your full name. Thanks a gajillion.

Now, onto the moment you’ve all been waiting for… The winner of this month’s giveaway, a critique from the lovely Tara Lazar IS …..

MONICA LeMASTER !!!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations Monica, and to EVERYONE who completed a draft in January.  What a great start to the year!!

Monica, I will forward your email to Tara so the two of you can determine next steps.  Congratulations again.

Keep writing everyone!!!

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It is with great pleasure that I introduce George Shannon, author of more than 40 books for children, as our featured author for February.  I discovered George’s blog more than a year ago when I was  procrastinating on my own writing by surfing social media sites serendipitously followed a link there.  I wrote a post about what a great resource George’s blog is, calling it a virtual MFA in picture book writing.  So I was thrilled when George agreed to be our 12 x 12 author for February.  Here is an excerpt from George’s author page at Amazon:

It feels as though I have always been wrapped in stories and books. My parents read to me, and I in turn read to younger brothers. Family economics meant we couldn’t own many books, but going to the library was as common as going to the market. I still have the books I received as gifts. They include two “Little Golden Books” that were savored in childhood, and have served as talisman ever since. THE BUNNY BOOK by Patsy and Richard Scarry (1955) and RABBIT AND HIS FRIENDS by Richard Scarry (1953).

I began writing stories when they were given as assignments in elementary school. By seventh grade I was writing even when there was no assignment. My dream of making books became so vivid, I submitted my first “formal” picture book manuscript to a publisher when I was sixteen. Eleven more years of school, work, reading, writing and luck finally brought about LIZARD’S SONG, my first children’s book to be accepted.

Picture books have been my professional focus now for 40 years. Reading them. Writing them. Sharing them with children. Teaching workshops and classes on writing them. Oh yes, and buying them. Lots of them. And now, blogging about them, and helping other writers.

That last line is what George is here to do now – help us writers.  One lucky 12 x 12 challenger will win a critique from George!  All participants are eligible for one point, regardless of whether you complete a draft in Feb. or not.  All you need to do to get your point is leave a comment on this post.  Now, take it away George!

From Flicker to Final Manuscript

The initial flirtatious idea for a new book is always delicious. That moment is packed with possibilities, but it will remain just that unless we take action. We must do the work. And, our primary work is doing all we can to maintain a sense of play as we write.

A sense of play allows us to take chances, to experiment, to explore with no purpose beyond the pleasure of looking. Play around by placing the idea in the middle or the end if a story, as well as the beginning. Drop it into different contexts. Try different characters. What you discover could affirm your first instincts or offer a more original story than you expected.

A sense of play also means getting words on paper or the computer screen. Thinking, pondering or musing about writing is NOT WRITING. If you want to be perfect then leave the page blank. If you want to create a story then dive in and get messy with changes, dead ends, revisions, and glorious surprises. Such surprises give us the chance to surrender and win. Clinging to our initial idea and plan for a book is not play. It is locking one’s self in box. As a child once said, “If you draw a picture of a dog and it looks like a horse then it’s a horse!”

My TOMORROW’S ALPHABET grew out of a failed novel. WISE ACRES was initially just one piece of a larger (still unpublished) book. Two of my forthcoming picture books began as poems in a collection that fell into limbo when the interested publisher sold the company.

We all feel stuck or stymied from to time as we write, but fretting about being stuck only makes things worse. So…play instead. Don’t try to find the best idea or sentence. Play toward options no matter how crazy they might feel. Relaxing into a mood of play may be just the thing to let the right idea sneak in the back door.

If a manuscript is flailing and you’re not sure why, relax and play. Go back to the picture books you love and savor them. Examine them like Lego creations to see how they work so well. The books we love are always waiting to teach us more about writing.

If we focus on all the aspects of publishing we cannot control we’ll never get out of bed again. But we can control the process by maintaining a sense of play and possibility. That in turn makes the process too enjoyable to avoid, and that makes us eager to write and write and write some more.

Books That Nurture a Sense of Play 

ART & FEAR: OBSERVATIONS ON THE PERILS (AND REWARDS) OF ARTMAKING by David Bayles & Ted Orland

BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING by Amy Schwartz

CHERRIES AND CHERRY PITS by Vera Williams

DANNY’S DRAWING BOOK by Sue Heap

DOODLER DOODLING by Rita Golden Gelman. Illus. by Paul Zelinsky

FREE PLAY: IMPROVISATION IN LIFE AND ART by Stephen Nachmanovitch

REGINA’S BIG MISTAKE by Marissa Moss

THREE BY THE SEA by Edward Marshall. Illus. by James Marshall

Thank you so much George!  That was an inspired post, as always.  Imagine thinking of writing as play time!  🙂

Participants – to enter to win the critique from George, you must be an official challenger and leave a comment on this post any time during the month of February for one point.  On February 29th, l’ll put a check-in post on the blog.  If you completed a picture book draft in February, you can let us know in the comments of that post for another point.  I will draw a winner using Random.org and announce on March 2nd.

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Sign-up for the 12 x 12 in 2012 picture book writing challenge is now closed.

CONGRATULATIONS to the 401 brave souls who decided to take this plunge with me.  I am so grateful to you all for providing ME with the inspiration and encouragement I need to meet my writing goals this year.

A few announcements and reminders:

  1. I have sent an email to all registered participants confirming your participation in the challenge.  You DO NOT NEED TO REPLY to that email.  It is for your reference.  If you believe you signed up for the challenge and do not get an email from me, please contact me at JulieFHedlund (at) gmail (dot) com as soon as possible.
  2. If you want to be eligible for at least one point toward this month’s giveaway – a PB critique from author Tara Lazar, you MUST leave a comment on her post by midnight EST on Wednesday, February 1st.  I will draw a winner through Random.org on February 2nd.
  3. Check the blog tomorrow for our monthly check-in.  If you completed a PB draft in January, leave a comment saying so and you’ll be eligible for an additional point toward the giveaway.  Please remember that a comment on the check-in post will not count unless you’ve also commented on Tara’s initial post.
  4. All “official” 12 x 12 announcements, giveaways and prizes will be made here on the blog.  Please make sure you are following so you receive all of the information.
  5. We have a very active 12 x 12 Facebook group where people are introducing themselves, sharing information and support and forming critique groups.  If you are on Facebook, I highly encourage you to join us there.
  6. I am now following all 12 x 12 participants with Twitter accounts. If you haven’t already followed me back, please do so at https://twitter.com/#!/JulieFHedlund.  I have created a list of all 12 x 12 participants that you can follow if you want to keep up with your fellow participants: https://twitter.com/#!/list/JulieFHedlund/twelve-by-twelve-in-2012.  We are tweeting about the 12 x 12 challenge using the hashtag #12x.  If you provided me with your Twitter handle and I wasn’t able to follow you, you will hear from me within the next week or so via email.
  7. I am also following all participants who are blogging.  If I had any difficulty following your blog, you will hear from me within the next week or so via email.  Some of you provided me with static author and/or illustrator websites.  Please note that I am not able to follow those, as they do not have feeds embedded into them.
  8. We have created a list of participant blogs on the Facebook page, and I encourage you all to follow each other.  We’re here to support one another, after all.
  9. As a reminder, all “official” 12 x 12 posts will have our banner displayed across the top.  It’s a companion to our lovely badge.  So whenever you see the banner, you know that post will be 12 x 12 related.  Don’t forget you can put the badge on your blog too!  Wear it proudly! 🙂
  10. Last, but certainly not least, GOOD LUCK to everyone!  I can’t believe we’re already almost one month in.  What a fantastic month it has been!
Do you have any other questions about the 12 x 12?  Please consult the Frequently Asked Questions.

Still more questions?  Please leave them in the comments.

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REMINDER: The deadline to sign up for the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge is 10:00 p.m. MST on Sunday, January 29th.  Don’t miss this chance to connect and work with 350+ picture book authors and illustrators who’ve committed to writing one picture book draft every month in 2012.  Still not sure?  Consider these benefits:

  1. The chance to win craft-related giveaways such as critiques, books, consultations, etc. from our monthly featured authors.  This month’s prize is a critique from Tara Lazar.
  2. Access to the 12 x 12 Facebook Group, where an active and supportive group of writers are cheering each other on and helping each other out.  Seriously, these people are already moving mountains for each other – forming critique groups, sharing resources, giving advice.
  3. Spontaneous opportunities such as the one being offered in February – a chance to win a critique with freelance editor Tamson Weston.
  4. The biggest benefit?  You could end the year with 12 shiny PB drafts.  What could be better than that?

If you are ready to take the plunge, you can sign on the digital line here.  

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