Anti-Resolution Revolution – Moving Forward in 2016


Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year.  Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2015…

  1. I participated in 12×12 for the 4th year…I watched the new webinar series that Julie Hedlund put in place, I wrote 13 picture book drafts, I revised many of my manuscripts countless times, and I submitted to the 12×12 agents every month. In addition…
  2. I submitted to other agents via the Twitter #MSVL and #PitMad and #PBPitch and got several amazing agents who responded and wanted to see more work. My work started getting lots of positive attention! Plus…
  3. I submitted to an agent who had just signed a friend and I fell in love with her about page and then she fell in love with my manuscript, so…
  4. In October of this year, I signed with Essie White of Storm Literary and the very next month…
  5. Creston Books acquired my nonfiction picture book, Sweet Dreams, Sarah which has a tentative publication date of Spring 2017. Meanwhile…
  6. Essie has several of my other stories out on submission and…
  7. I have more than a dozen amazing topics/people I plan to write about in 2016, thanks to the fact that I participated in Kristen Fulton’s 12 Days of Nonfiction and I also went to the WOW Retreat in July and met so many of the incredible writers and artists in this kid lit community ..I have to say that was an extraordinary highlight of the entire year, but during the year…
  8. I also got up my courage and started doing a little bit of freelance writing work which helped pay towards the webinars and conferences and…
  9. I wrote a couple of middle grade short stories for two anthologies…Lucky Draw: 50 Stories, 33 Authors, 7 Genres that was published in April and Kissed by an Angel that was published earlier this month…what an honor to be involved in both of those projects.
  10. I sent quite a few manuscripts to Rate Your Story and 7 of them got 1’s and 2’s. I sent them my Sarah story for their contest and was thrilled to win second place for picture books and then just last week…
  11. I won second place in Susanna Hill’s Holiday Contest this month…but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention  that
  12. I’m thrilled with my on-going blog series, Will Write for Cookies…12 awesome authors took a much deserved bow in the spotlight: Marty Banks, Donna McDine, Laurie Gehl, Julie Rowan-Zoch, Lauri Fortino, Suzanne Williams, Miranda Paul, Becky Gomez, Ana Crespo, Katie Davis, Maryanne Cocca-Leffler, and Artie Bennett…and next year’s line-up is already filled through May. Since I’ve started blogging in 2011, Picture Books Help Kids Soar has published OVER 600 blog posts!!!

I think twelve is a good number for a list of successes in Julie’s 12 Days of Christmas, right?

I can’t wait for 2016.

I will continue to hone my craft by participating in webinars, classes, and conferences. I’m thrilled to be registered for the 2016 WOW Retreat. I’ll attend either the Wild Wild Midwest SCBWI conference in Chicago OR the NESCBWI conference in Massachusetts…unfortunately, they are the exact same weekend, so I can only go to one of them. I’m honored to have been asked to write a post for the Rate Your Story blog, as well as a ‘How I Got My Agent’ post for 12×12.

I will continue to embrace revision, welcoming the feedback I get from my many wonderful critique partners: Carrie, Hannah, Tina, Diane, Dana, Stacy, Anne, Jeanine, Kristen, Beth G, Nancy, Lisa R, Anna, Ellen, Tanja, Sydney, Sandy, Linda, Lori L, Pia, Pamela, Ann, Lori D, Maria, Kristy, Beth A, Kathy P, Erin, Kathy J, Kara, Nisha, Karen, Bev, Keila, Lisa, Julie, Angela, Mona…some groups meet monthly, others exchange on an as-needed basis, a few individuals have stepped away from the groups  …but each one of these critique buddies has been a crucial ingredient in the successes I have enjoyed this year.

I will continue to connect and reach out to help others with feedback or encouragement…and to learn from them.


Happy New Year, everyone!

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever - Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (PomegranateKids, March 15, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, Feb 13, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, May 1, 2019); MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books, Spring 2020); FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2020) picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my young grandson.

Posted on December 28, 2015, in Anti-Resolution Revolution, Goals for 2016, Uncategorized, Writing Successes. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I doubt if I could ever say “Congratulations” enough times, but CONGRATULATIONS! You have many, many great writing years ahead of you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Julie..and I doubt if I could ever say “Thank you” enough times…12×12 has been such an integral part of my writing journey…without it, I don’t think I would be so far along today. 😉


  2. This is all so WONDERFUL! And I love that photo at the top. It made me laugh with joy while wiping tears of pride from my eyes. I am SO happy for you, Vivian!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done on all your successes this year. May 2016 bring many more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on all your wonderful achievements. Love Julie’s take on how to approach the new year. Looking back at our successes is much better than coming up with new year resolutions that set us up for failure. Very inspiring, Vivian. Happy New Year too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s definitely been a wonderful year, Tracy…one of my only regrets is that I got so busy, I wasn’t able to visit and comment on blogs as I used to…here’s to a New Year filled with joy and success for you as well. 😉


  5. Wow! What a wonderful year Vivian! Congratulations on getting a great agent and your first book deal! I am so very happy for you! You deserve every success because you have earned them all. I can’t wait to hear what happens next!

    Liked by 1 person

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