KidLit Summer School: The Plot Thickens

Sorry I’ve been absent from the blog lately, but things have gotten hot and heavy this summer thanks to an amazing free online class I’m taking hosted by Nerdy Chicks Rule. It’s called KidLit Summer School: The Plot Thickens.


There are blog posts coming at me every DAY! With exercises! I’ve found all of the posts and exercises to be informative and helpful, even if I learn that the tools and techniques don’t really work for me. I think learning what doesn’t work is often as valuable as learning what does work.

Is this just for picture books? Chapter books? Nope. In fact, I’ve used the exercises for my middle grade manuscript and my current favorite picture book manuscript. I’m pretty sure I’ll use some of the exercises as I plan out my 2015 NaNoWriMo project and refine a second manuscript into submission-ready status.

In addition to KidLit Summer School, I’m also trying to keep up with the monthly goals set by Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 Challenge. Can you write 12 picture book manuscripts in 12 months? You can if you want to make it happen! This is my first year in 12×12, and although I’ve been pretty successful at revising manuscripts each month, I haven’t been able to draft a new manuscript every month. I have ideas but I often run out of the time and mental clarity to put down the words.

So what is keeping you busy this summer?