2018 Professional Accomplishments

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 comes 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 2018.

2018 Major Professional Accomplishments

1.      Attended the Kindling Words Retreat in January where I had some transformational interactions with other writers. Stepped out of my comfort zone in accordance with my word for this past year: brave. Read an unpublished piece during the evening reading and talked to an author I was in awe of (and might have felt too intimidated to talk to otherwise). Made particularly deep and meaningful connections with two writers.

2.      Launched an effective pre-order campaign for Flying Deep that lead to 80 pre-orders from my local indie plus an unknown (to me) number of pre-orders elsewhere.

3.      Submitted 2 panel proposals to NCTE. Had one accepted. Presented on STEMinist panel at NCTE in November.

4.      Scheduled a blog tour and wrote 7 unique blog posts.

5.      Actively participated in our Epic Eighteen debut Picture Book group. Posted reviews on GoodReads, participated in give-aways, joined the twitter chat in November.

6.      Developed and presented a webinar for The Author’s Guild: Create Engaging School Visits.

7.      Facilitated the Picture Book 12x12 Book Group. We read and discussed The Artist’s Way, On Writing, The Magic Words, and Steal Like an Artist. Fully completed the 12 week Artist’s Way program (no small feat!)

8.      Participated in #KidLitWomen in March. Launched a comprehensive School Visits Compensation Survey with Jeanette Bradley. We published 5 lengthy blog posts that analyzed the data we collected and made recommendations for future steps.

9.      Presented 3 workshops at NESCBWI18.

10.  Interviewed on public radio and on the Charlesbridge podcast, Charlesbridge Unplugged.

11.  Did 9 bookstore events in 5 states.

12.  Received excellent reviews for Flying Deep from BookList, The Horn Book, SLJ, and a STARRED review in Kirkus. Flying Deep was also a summer 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection.

13.  Flying Deep was listed as one of the Best New Books for Children by the Washington Post, was on the Kirkus Best Books of 2018, and NSTA’s Outstanding Science Trade Books.

14.  Received my first royalty check and Flying Deep went into a second printing.

15.  Received many rejections on a picture book biography, including a couple that even went to acquisitions, BUT learned one editor is interested in me turning it into a middle grade biography. Made significant progress on a proposal for that biography this month.

16.  Developed a school visits brochure, put all of the info on my website, and started promoting my school visits more widely.

17.  Received lots of feedback from readers via social media. Here’s my favorite. This boy made an Alvin Halloween costume out of reused materials! His mom said, “Flying Deep is a very big deal in our house.”

Alvin costume.JPG

What were your accomplishments this year? I know it can be hard to do, but I encourage you to list them and share them publicly, if possible. When looking ahead to the new year, don’t lose sight of what you DID accomplish this year.