Back in the fall, I started a mentorship program with Bethany Hegedus, author and founder of the Writing Barn. After years of trying to find a home for my work, attending workshops & taking course after course, I was starting to lose faith. My negative voice took over: ‘are you even any good?’ ‘maybe you should just quit.’ ‘It’s never going to happen.’
I had taken a few courses with the Writing Barn, followed Bethany & her work, and found out about Bethany’s mentorship program through a critique partner of mine. So I reached out to Bethany & everything fell into place. She had an opening & I was ready to work as hard and long as I needed to. My journey had to go on—I couldn’t ever give up. I am meant to write & need to let my brain create otherwise everything builds up & overflows & what good is that?
My first interaction with Bethany went perfectly. She is an amazingly positive, inspirational, and honest individual. We hit it off & I knew working with her & learning from her was exactly what I needed, at this time in my writing career.
We are months into our mentorship & I can honestly say I look forward to meeting deadlines & waiting for Bethany’s responses to my work. She oozes positivity, in an industry where you can often feel alone.
So, thank you to Bethany for being the amazing mentor that you are. I cherish working with you & look forward to what the future may bring.
I hope you’re all keeping well and staying safe during this time of uncertainty and unrest. It’s been an overwhelming and over-stimulating time for everyone. Here are a few things that have helped me find calm during this time:
-exercise: (30 minutes of Orangetheory & daily walks with my family)
-writing: even if it’s just jotting down new ideas, book titles, or doodles. Writing is a must for me as it gives my brain permission to imagine & create. Working with my mentor, Bethany Hegedus, author & creator of the Writing Barn has helped immensely as I have deadlines to meet & times to look forward to her responses & feedback. This is the most empowering & positive journey I have been on.
-art: (I have tried paint by numbers again). I have a book that allows me to complete a creative art task everyday for 365 days. Yesterday I created and designed four t-shirt—fun!
-cooking & baking: we have made soups, stews, chilli’s, muffins, cookies…it’s a lot of fun & something I don’t do nearly enough!
-spending uninterrupted time with my kids—no devices, just pure one-on-one time to read, draw, write, design, & build. My 5 year old & I have learned about rabbits, the moon, plants, seasons, & baby animals (thanks to Scholastic Learn at Home).
We’re sending lots of positivity out into the world, too! We left sidewalk messages, sprinkled painted stones around the neighbourhood for others to find, & left notes for neighbours on their doorstep.
We’re in this together. Check on those you love often. Save the medical supplies for the professions, & spread love every way you safely can. I hope you, too can find your calm.
Monday was my last online class with author, Jason Gallaher through the Writing Barn. I had an incredible time working with Jason and connecting with other PB writers. I had the opportunity to revise two of my manuscripts with the class: Mirror and Lost Bookworms. I received encouraging feedback and look forward to revising my work.
Next up: Study Hall in June with Marcie Colleen, author of Love Triangle and the Super Happy Party Bears series.
Until then…happy writing!
I am half way through the online “Perfecting the Picture Book II” course I am taking through The Writing Barn. I have had 3 manuscripts critiqued by the lovely Jason Gallaher, author of Whobert Whover, Owl Detective. It has been an amazing experience so far and I am looking forward to the next 3 weeks. Jason will be critiquing one more manuscript of mine (or a second look revision) and I will also be sharing one or two of my manuscripts with the whole group for critique! Exciting!
Here are a few picture books I have discovered and loved through taking this course:
- Before I Leave by Jessica Bagley
- One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl
- Bob, Not Bob! by Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick
I have also re-read and enjoyed some other favourites such as:
- Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham
- LMNO Peas by Keith Baker
- Not Quite Narwhal by Jessica Sima
If you’re interested in learning more, check out the Writing Barn at http://www.thewritingbarn.com
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to attend many conferences, mainly through being a member of the SCBWI. I have taken richly informative workshops with a variety of authors and illustrators and have listened to very engaging presentations prepared by them.
Some of the most memorable encounters have been with: Tomie dePaola, Jerry Spinelli, Katherine Paterson, Ann Brashares, Marc Brown, Ame Dyckman, Adam Lehrhaupt, Marcie Colleen, and Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen.
I have also met many editors and agents and have had my manuscripts critiqued by some. I have participated in round table discussions, first page workshops, and have had the opportunity to have lunch with some too.
Each experience has brought me one step closer to achieving my dream of becoming a published children’s book author. It has been an adventurous journey so far and I cannot wait to see what this year has in store for me!
If you’re not a member of the SCBWI, I strongly suggest joining. It’s a great way to network and to learn all of the ins and outs of the business.
I’m looking forward to Monday! It’s the start of Perfecting the Picture Book II with Jason Gallaher through the Writing Barn. I’m learning how to use Zoom this week so that I can participate in the online course. Should be lots of fun.
I just signed up for an online course with The Writing Barn. It’s with author, Jason Gallaher and it starts in a few weeks. I’m still thinking about the course with Adam but went with Bethany’s advice and decided to start with Picture Book II. I’ll walk away with 3-4 new PB drafts!
I’m really looking forward to this opportunity. It’ll be great to meet some fellow picture book writers—would love to create a new critique group as well.
Check out: http://www.thewritingbarn.com for more information.
That’s all for now!
Thanks for stopping by! I am currently working on a number of picture book manuscripts—try and catch me without a colored pen and notepad—you never know when an idea will show up!
I am also working with Marcie Colleen, author of ‘Love Triangle’ through an exciting mentorship opportunity. You can visit her website at: thisismarciecolleen.com
I’m thinking about signing up for an online workshop with author, Adam Lehrhaupt through The Writing Barn. I had the pleasure of meeting him at an SCBWI conference a few years ago! He’s hilarious and super talented!
That’s all for now. Have a great day!