The Many Gifts of 12×12 in 2012

12x12partyHere we are in the middle of a gift-giving season, and it struck me recently what a gift the 12×12 in 2012 challenge has been for me this year. Here are just a few of the gifts I have received by participating in this challenge:

– A folder full of picture book manuscripts, in various stages of completion

– A new online critique group who have already proven their worth many times over

– An extended group of friendly colleagues who are all thinking and talking picture books along with me

– I won an amazing critique from author Jennifer Ward

– I won a book on revision from Sandy Asher which was EXACTLY what I had been looking for

– Introductions to many authors I’d never read from reading Julie’s blog, Susanna’s blog, and participating in Perfect Picture Book Friday – and even an actual book from a giveaway by the generous Carter Higgins


– Participation in an online conference with three literary agents, which I never would have found out about if not for 12×12

The biggest gift of all, though, is the deepening knowledge that I CAN DO THIS. I can write a picture book – not just once or twice, but many times. Every month, in fact. And THAT is a gift that will never get old. Thank you to Julie, to the generous authors who contributed, and all the 12×12 participants for all these gifts!

Now, no party is complete without a song, right? While I was thinking about the gifts of 12×12, I went back to Julie’s blog to read her monthly featured-author posts over the course of 2012. Their advice and encouragement during the year were little gifts in and of themselves, well worth re-reading and so I composed a little song (with links in case you want to go back and read the original posts, which I highly recommend!)

The 12 Months of 12×12

(sung to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas)

In the first month of 12×12 Tara Lazar said to us,

“Make sure you have a good ending.”

In the second month of 12×12 George Shannon said to us,

“Maintain a sense of play.”

In the third month of 12×12 Katie Davis gave great tips

For marketing ourselves and books

In the fourth month of 12×12 were four fab featured authors

Who shared their writing advice

In the fifth month of 12×12 Debbie Diesen gave to us

A primer on rhyme.

In the sixth month of 12×12 Emma Walton Hamilton gave to us

A guideline for “the mucky middle.”

In the seventh month of 12×12 Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen shared wisdom

On protocols, structures, and truth in character

In the eighth month of 12×12 Rebecca Kai Dotlich said to us

“Use poetic devices in picture books”

In the ninth month of 12×12 Julie Hedlund organized

A party full of writerly prizes

In the tenth month of 12×12 Dianne de las Casas invited us

To become picture book month ambassadors

In the eleventh month of 12×12 Linda Arms White told how

To make our stories timeless

In the twelfth month of 12×12 Eileen Spinelli gave us gifts

Of wisdom and encouragement

62 thoughts on “The Many Gifts of 12×12 in 2012

  1. Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

    Brilliant Carrie! I love this post and it is so useful to have all those links in one place! I will refer to this post again and again. Thank you, and best wishes for 12 (or more) wonderful new PB drafts in 2013!

  2. Robyn Campbell says:

    Yay Carrie! Many fantastical CONGRADS to you! I sung my way through your post. *wink*

    And I thought the same thing. I can write a draft each month. That made my year learning this little tidbit. What a ride it has been. *waves peace sign*

  3. Julie Hedlund says:

    Carrie, I too am overwhelmed by the gifts I’ve been given out of this challenge, including your song! Thank you for being such a staunch supporter, and congratulations on all those manuscripts! I have a feeling we’ll be celebrating more successes for you next year.

  4. Catherine Johnson says:

    Lovely to hear about your year, I forgot to do that. And brilliant idea doing 12 days of Christmas song. I’m bookmarking this for sure. Well done, Carrie!

  5. thegracefuldoe says:

    12 x 12 has certainly been a fantastic gift to us all. I love your 12 Days of Christmas song, so creative and a great way to remind us of all the fantastic advice from throughout the challenge!

  6. Alayne Kay Christian says:

    Carrie, that song is fantastic! It made me laugh out loud. Congratulations on your accomplishments and new found picture book writing confidence. And congratulations on writing such an entertaining song. Thanks for sharing.

  7. patientdreamer says:

    Oh my, this was brilliant Carrie. I couldn’t help but sing my way through your version of 12 days of Christmas. 🙂 I am so glad I “met” you! Looking forward to continuing with our critique group in 2013. Merry Christmas Carrie!

  8. Rebecca Fyfe says:

    What a wonderful,tribute post! That’s part of what made 2 x 12 so terrific – all of the helpful and creative people joining in (like you)! I must admit Debbie Diesen’s advice on rhyme was really helpful for me!

  9. viviankirkfield says:

    It’s been an amazing year, Carrie…made even better by connecting with generous and helpful members of this kid lit community! Your post hits so many of the points…taking part in 12×12 was like having a year-long writing workshop! And I love being in your online critique group. 🙂 Happy Holidays! Success, good health and much joy in the New Year.

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