Sunday, January 1, 2017

The BEST of Resolutions for Writers and Authors by Lynne Marie

Whether published or unpublished, the New Year provides a wonderful opportunity for you as a writer/author to evaluate your current game plan and renew your publication goals.

Here are some "renewable" resolutions that have worked well for me, no matter which stage of my career I have been at.

1. Sign up to participate in Stormstorm, formerly PIBOIDMO (registration ends 1/7/17). Details can be found at When you are finished, you will have at least 30 ideas to choose from and flesh out over the year. Good ideas are essential. Pick your 5-10 best to pursue over the course of the year.

2. No matter what genre you write in, read at least 100 books each year. If you are a picture book writer, challenge yourself to read 1000 books! I did this again in 2016 and fulfilled my goal. Having a wide knowledge base of what's currently out there, which publishers are publishing *what* and the knowledge of any potential comp books out there will inform your publishing success. I read between 25- 50 related books for every manuscript that I write with an eye toward publication. Cross-reference by title, subject matter, related subject matter, etc.

3. Resolve to write every day.

4. Improve your craft via online classes like the Pacing Picture Books to WOW class given at I mention this one because it is my absolute, all-time FAVORITE class of all those I have taken in my career. It gave me tools to put in my Writer's Toolbox and helped me to sharpen ones that I already had!

5. Attend in-person conferences given by Highlights Foundation ( and/or your local SCBWI. Here in Florida we have both a local (South Florida) and a State (Florida) SCBWI, both of which I am very involved in.

5. When your work is ready to share, join a critique group. Members of KidLit College on FB who write PBs can sign up to join the Manuscript Critique and Exchange, for which I am a moderator. I am also a Moderator for two local SCBWI South Florida critique groups.

6. Be open to feedback, no matter where it comes from. Sometimes you will have to take a step back and give it a few days to settle.  I have found any and all critiques to be helpful, at least in some small way, whether they were from published or unpublished writers. If you don't particularly like a critique, just look for that one grain of sand that will inspire a new word, a new sentence, a new scene or a new direction.

7. When your critique group encourages you to send your manuscript out into the world, get a
professional critique to make certain it's all it can be to catch that editor or agent's eye. Check out (and KidLit College on FB) for some wonderful editor and agent critique opportunities.

If you are looking for an author critique, I am offering a 2017 New Year's Special Pricing of $20.17 for your first critique of 2017 with me. This price includes a written critique with big picture comments, as well as line-by-line suggestions with time up to 1 hours time spent (usually around 20-40 Minutes).

Any additional time will be spent in a follow-up telephone conversation wherein we can discuss the critique, the manuscript, your career path or any other picture book writing related topic. If you wish to take advantage of this year's introductory offer, please contact me to schedule and mention CODE: 2017.

8. Did I mention - Read, read, read!

9. Did I mention -- Write, write, write! Even "shitty first drafts are fine. You can't revise what you haven't gotten down on paper.

10. Did I mention -- Revise, revise, revise!

Please feel free to share any resolutions you may have in the comments! Have a wonderful writing year with much publication success!

And as always feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Best, Lynne Marie

Please leave your comment in the comment section to share  your thoughts and/or show me that  you have visited. From time to time over the year I will be giving away free books, critiques and facetime consultations. 

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  1. Great resolutions. I hope to increase my read, read, read/write, write, write/revise, revise, revise in 2017. And fit Jodell's class in. And, oh yeah, get published. ;-)

  2. Good for you @Mary! Wishing you the best of success in the coming year!