So, we've just started March, and so far, 2023 has been a busy year; full of activities in the writing community, like the amazing #PBPARTY *which I participated in* and the Twitter #PBPITCH event for picture book writers seeking representation, *which I also participated in.* Since the #PBPARTY entries take a few weeks to get results, I've been trying my best to stay busy. Because waiting is hard!
Ways I've stayed busy include: gardening, playing with my pets, doing research on writing projects, reading books, trying to write new stories *and finding my inspiration outdoors* -it's almost SPRING! Curling up in my hammock and getting sunshine. And of course, my library work. Planning new programs and events, working on new activities for my Homeschool Group and Crafternoon and family Nature Walks behind the library.
One of the things I've also done to stay busy is to participate in OTHER events, which brings me to my purpose for posting today.
This year, I participated in Vivian Kirkfield's Picture Book Contest, 50 precious words. This is my first year - hooray! And my wonderful critique partner is also participating with me. Another hooray!
I found out about this awesome event back toward the ending of last year, (2022) while watching a YouTube interview with Literary Agent, Kaitlyn Sanchez, hosted by Maria Dismondy, of Cardinal Rule Press.
After the interview, I visited her website where I found a whole list of great resources for writers. You can find it under her "RESOURCE" tab and click "CONTESTS." Or you can just click this link here and it will take you directly to her page.
So, without further ado, here is my entry for the 50 Precious Words Contest. I hope you enjoy this little sweet treat.
Monday Morning Cupcakes
By Chelsea DiCicco
I smell them from the kitchen.
Sweet, SUGARY goodness.
A treat for each hand.
There they are. A perfect baker’s dozen!
Oodles of sprinkles and colors. Frosting for days.
A magical Monday miracle.
Pack them, stack them, steal a taste.
Safe in my lunch box. I can’t wait!
If you'd like to view the original post on Vivian's Website, you can follow this link here.
Wow, wow, wow. What a year! I made a few posts on my social media accounts, but I wanted to share them here on my blog for anyone who may have missed the updates.
Whew. So that was my "sappy and a little cheesy" post. At the beginning of 2022, I decided I wanted to make a collage to help remember the journey. I think sometimes as writers we can feel a little bogged down or lost at times. Rejections can be disheartening. Waiting can be difficult. And let's face it, we all feel discouraged sometimes. So, I wanted to make sure that this year I wrote down all my accomplishments and saved them. That way, whenever I was having a day that I was dealing with imposter syndrome, I could go and look at my list of happy moments and achievements. Every step counts!
So, if you are a writer, pre-published or currently published, I encourage you to do the same! This made me feel so good and I wanted to share it with you.
Also, if you have done something like this or have a positive comment or achievement you reached this year, I would love to hear about it in the comments below! Feel free to link your website or social media as well so that others can take a peek.
I think the one thing that has truly benefited me more than anything this entire year is finding my writing community and fully emersing myself in it. It makes such a difference to have friends who can encourage you and understand what you're going through on this journey. We all learn and grow from eachother, so please please share anything you'd like below! I would love to hear from you.
P.S. Another thing I did this year that I heard from another writer in a conference, and I loved the idea so much, was I got myself a jar and labeled it "positive comments" and every time someone told me something positive about my writing, I wrote it down and placed it in the jar. That helped pick me up and motivate me so much throughout the year! If you can, I suggest doing this too!
And now, without further ado, *drum rolllllllll* Chelsea's 2022 stats and inspirational photo collage of tiny victories!
My 2022 stats:
Groups joined: 6
Conferences/workshops/webinars attended: 9
Events participated in: 21
Books written: 28
Revisions made: 63
Critiques given: 64
Submissions/queries sent: 55
Wonderful connections made: too many to count!
#writingcommunity #2022 #progress #endofyear
Moral of the story: "It's not the destination, it's the journey."
Enjoy your journey! Celebrate every small victory! Learn from every small setback.
And KEEP. ON. WRITING!
ARE YOU NEW TO WRITING?
If you are new to writing and looking for some great places to start making connections and building your craft, here is a list of just a *few* groups & events I recommend looking into.
Events & Contests
Zidlit Zombie WeekFall Writing FrenzyStorystormKidLitPitKidlit411
Groups & Community
Julie Hedlund's 12x12 Challenge (membership fee)
SCBWI (membership fee)
IBPA (membership fee)
Storyteller Academy (membership fee)
Children's Book Academy (membership fee)
Remember, you don't have to join every group and participating doesn't always cost money. You can be a writer on a budget. Just make sure you stay active and find your community! Personally, my favorite group has been Julie Hedlund's 12x12 group. It's PACKED with resources, webinars, videoes, links to upcoming events *many contests that are free* and it's a great community! And it's where I met my amazing critique partners, who have been invaluable to my growth!
By the way... one of my amazing critique partners, Terri Clemmons, has her debut picture book coming out in Spring of 2024, Mara Hears in Style. You can find out more on her website.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this helpful! Don't forget to share your positive achievements below. Or, just some goals you might have for 2023!