12 Days of Christmas – SUCCESSES of 2019

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 2019.

  1. Three debut picture books pubbed: Sweet Dreams, Sarah (Creston Books), Pippa’s Passover Plate (Holiday House), and Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book (PomegranateKids).

Happy debut authors with their books

2. Delivered presentations at the Australia/NZ SCBWI conference in Sydney (and got to spend time with my incredible agent, Essie White, and several of my Storm sisters, as well as other kid lit buddies like Diane Tulloch and Maria Marshall) the NESCBWI conference in Springfield Massachusetts, and the NCTE convention in Baltimore (where I paneled with Lindsay Leslie, Ishta Mercurio, Bea Birdsong, Nidhi Chanani, and Monique Fields; had dinner with one of my nfpb bio idols, author Laurie Wallmark and lunch with Josh Funk and Laura Gehl.

The Storm Literary Agency crew at the Australia/NZ SCBWI

3. Attended the Bologna Book Fair with kid lit friends Maria Marshall, Julie Abery, Fiona Halliday, Simona Ceccarelli, and Eleanor Peterson. It was amazing to be able to meet up and spend time together!

4. Launched each of my debut books at a different bookstore: SARAH at Anderson’s in La Grange, IL; OTTERS at the Blue Bunny in Dedham, MA; and PIPPA at the Bookery in Manchester, NH.

Hello Chicago! Thank you to the dear friends who turned out to support me at the Andersons bookstore in LaGrange

Do you see any familiar faces? I’ll bet you do…Julie Hedlund, Ana Crespo, Sandy Perlic, Laura Roettiger, Jolene Guitierez, Dea Brayden….and of course, me.

5. Sweet Dreams, Sarah received a Eureka! Honor Award, was made into an animated DVD and an audio book-on-tape, and will be translated into French.

6. Pippa’s Passover Plate was chosen by PJ Library as one of their recommended books and was sent to Jewish families all over the world.

A PJ Library Selection

7. Visited NYC and met with the Little Bee Books team and connected with the owner of Books of Wonder who will hosting a NYC launch sometime in March for Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe which pubs January 28, 2020.

8. Created a Writing Nonfiction webinar for the Hawaii SCBWI and copresented with Little Bee editor Courtney Fahy – the turnout was amazing and it was so much fun to work with Courtney and also with Mirka Hokannen and Akiko White, the Hawaii SCBWI RA’s…Courtney and I hope they will want us to present together again…and maybe next time we will be able to do it onsite…in Hawaii!!!!

9. Finished edits on the color layouts for From Here to There: Inventions That Changed the Way the World Moves illustrated by Gilbert Ford (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, January 2021)

10. Sold another nonfiction picture book bio in the last month of 2019 – I’m excited to start working with that editor – and will share more details as soon as the contract is signed.

It’s been an incredible year…I’m thankful for mentors like Julie Hedlund whose challenges like 12×12 and the 12 Days of Christmas keep me energized and inspired…and i’m blessed with good health, a wonderful family, and dear friends – 2020 here I come!!!

24 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas – SUCCESSES of 2019

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