A Year of Gratitude

 A Year of Gratitude

Julie Hedlund’s 12 Days of Christmas renewal process has been a great way to start the year. Even though I’ve done it several years, there are always new learnings. This year when I got to day 7, Practicing Gratitude, I realized the list of authors who had supported me this year was very lengthy. Very. Lengthy.  Thanks are in order!

Susanna Hill – Thank you for your contests which get me writing fresh material and provide so many fabulous awards. Thank you for your Making Picture Book Magic class which I won and LOVED. I also won a PB critique from Rebecca Rector, who gives amazing critiques – thank you Rebecca!

Marcie Colleen – Thank you for your Study Hall program and instilling in me the habit of Daily Intention. That month and your critiques pushed me to a new level. Thank you to my study hall colleagues Judy Sobanski, Lisa Perron, and Anne Reilly for the helpful critiques.

(via free images, by kikashi)

My “Fine Grind” support group for finding ways to get together virtually and in person this year and being a supportive place where you can share what it means to be a writer. Marlaina Cockroft, Mitu Malhotra, Donna Cangelosi, Donna Marie, Rebecca Gardyn Levington, Suzanne Morris, Andria Rosenbaum, Ariel Bernstein, Chana Stiefel, and others who pop in.

My “Book Nook” critique group for helping me continually improve and giving me so many delightful pieces to read, Connie Colon, Kelly Calabrese, Linda Bozzo, Jen Kaplan, Genevieve Petrillo, Viji Chary

Justin Colon for running PB Chat weekly and the PB Chat Mentorship where he invests HOURS of time to help the mentees grow their craft. Thank you to all the agents and editors who stopped by the showcase. Thank you to my fellow 20 mentees who supported, celebrated, and critiqued. Thank you to the authors who hosted zoom sessions with us.

Rebecca Gomez, my PB Chat mentor - Thank you for reading, critiquing, and wordsmithing in my rhyming and prose stories. Thank you for all the time, support, and learning I received during the process. Your love of rhyme is infectious!

Tara Lazar – Thank you for hosting Storystorm. Brainstorming ideas is the perfect way to start the year. Thank you to all the authors who write posts and donate prizes.

Manju Howard, Alayne Kay Christian, and Gabrielle Schoeffield – Thank you for hosting KidLit Creatives (which I still call SubSix!) which is a wonderful space to support PB authors, celebrate new releases, and give us a place to celebrate our actions in our writing journey. I won the book Laila and the Sands of Time by Shirin Shamsi (Thank you!) and a cover letter critique by Alexandria LaFaye (Thank you!) 

Gayle Krause- I won a rhyming critique in 2020 and invested in another critique in 2021, which I attribute to helping me earn the PB Chat Mentorship. Thank you!

Vivian Kirkfield – Thank you for hosting your 50 Precious Words Writing Contest which inspires new ideas.

The Nonfiction Chicks (Pat Miller, Nancy Churnin, Peggy Thomas, Linda Skeers, Susan Kralovansky)-Thank you for hosting NonFiction Fest

Shannon Anderson –Thank you for your videos on Ikigai and Growth Mindset

Six Ladies and a MANuscript Critique Group (Kaitlyn Sanchez, Jolene Gutierrez, Sarah Heaton, Sarah Meade, Mike Irvine, Kristin Wauson)- Thank you for hosting Kidlit Zombie Week. I won a critique from Charlotte Offsay which was incredibly helpful.

Kaitlyn Sanchez and Ciara Oneal and Lydia Lukidis – thank you for hosting the Spring Fling and Fall Frenzy contests which encourage me to try other genres.   Thank you Lydia for your blog giveaways too- I won Kim Zachman’s There’s No Ham in Hamburgers which is an amazing nonfiction book. (Thank you Kim!)

Kirsti Call, Carrie Charley Brown, Janie Reinart – Thank you for hosting ReFoReMo, though we are sad to say good bye to this event. Thank you to all the authors who contributed posts & prizes and shared their mentor texts.

Kathy Temean of Writing and Illustrating blog for offering so much information and opportunities.

Laura Backes & Jon Bard of Children’s Book Insider – Thank you for the monthly newsletters and especially the videos/live events with authors during the pandemic. I have learned tons. Thank you to all the authors who took the time to participate! I particularly enjoyed the session with Katy Tanis.

Melissa Stewart – thank you for blogging and making videos about Nonfiction

Renee Latulippe- Thank you for the new Peek & Critique videos on Rhyme

Jess Keating – your Instagram keeps it real and offers tremendous encouragement

Halli Gomez – Thank you for your Tic Tac Toe event which encouraged me to try new things and for the middle grade critique.

Natalie Aguirre- Thank you for the agent spotlights on Literary Rambles. It is an amazing resource for agent research.

Lisa Wheeler – I won a wonderful critique in 2020, but in 2021 you sent a postcard that said “Keep Writing.” This postcard hangs by my desk for much needed daily encouragement.

Julie Hedlund – Thank you for 12 Days of Christmas and all you do within the kidlit community throughout the year.

Thank you to my family - Rob for saying a new manuscript was hilarious, Kelsey for her tough critiques, and Delaney for liking everything. 

Thank you to whoever I may have forgotten this early snowy morning gratitude moment. * I reserve the right to keep adding to this list!*

In short – no in quite long – I have been unbelievably blessed in my writing life. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!



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