Earlier this year I led a 4 month picture book mentoring group in my home. We were a small group with just 5 members and each of us was a published author with a couple members of our group having over 100 books published.
Our commitment? To read 5 current picture books each week for a total of 80 books by the end of the 4 months, and to write one new picture book each month for a total of 4 new picture books. Each time we met, we discussed the best of the best picture books we’d read and then critiqued each other’s new picture book manuscript.
Wow. I was AMAZED at how I grew as a picture book writer! I produced some of the best writing I’d ever done. Seriously. In fact, I sent one of these picture book manuscripts to my agent and she replied that it was the “perfect” story!
I know there are lots of great online groups where we as writers are challenged to WRITE picture books.
But I discovered that when I took the time to READ volumes of new picture books as well, my skills as a picture book writer improved as never before.
So, to celebrate summer and reading and sunshiny days relaxing at the beach or by the pool immersed in a good book, I decided to host a picture book celebration here on my blog all summer long!
If you want to join in the celebration, there are 3 basic things you can do hop on board:
1. READ picture books
2. WRITE picture books
3. POST about picture books on your website, blog, twitter, facebook, or other social network you’re already plugged into
If you want to be part of the celebration, you can even sign up on a list I’m creating for everyone to see so we can visit each other’s sites…all summer long! Just post a comment here today with the URL of your site and I’ll add your blog to this list with links to everyone’s site.
Also, you won’t want to miss each of these posts about picture books here on my blog in the days and weeks ahead, so subscribe today to follow my blog to get it delivered in your e-mail all summer long. Here’s just a peek at what I plan to post:
* Book reviews of awesomely good picture books to read this summer to help improve your picture book writing skills
* An amazing TRUE story about a picture book writer who just got signed with an agent and landed a great contract for her picture book from a big publishing house.
* Lots and lots of tips on how to READ picture books to help you grow as a writer
* Lots and lots of tips for writing picture books
* Worksheets to help you write picture books that will catch an editor’s or agent’s eye
* Exercises and fun assignments to help you write brand new picture books that rock!