PBA-graduation-button-square-bear2 I have been working with the intentional goal of publishing for children since about 2008/2009. I have been (and am) a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators. I have been to major conferences, regional meetings, and workshops in Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, Fresno, Paris, Stuttgart, Kandern… and I’m sure many other places (especially if you count the various skype calls and e-courses I have participated in.) I participate in Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). In fact, my most popular stories among critique groups are PiBoIdMo picture-books and my NaNoWriMo novel.

Why is this important???

Because I just completed five weeks with the Picture Book Academy… and I have to say: It was SUPERB.


Enough years in the children’s market and the messages become familiar.  I leave with more knowledge, yes, but still stuck in my story “problems.” I’ve worked with Mira before and should have known she would yet again astound me.

It was such great, hard work that I was proud of my graduate certificate. So proud, I decided to have it printed and hung in my writing area. But one of the “catches” to living abroad found me out again… I had no idea what the sizes were when ordering the photo. So this is what showed up: 1370296_10152284821797571_2101488670_n

Just another cross-cultural moment.

I mean, I am proud. But not life-size, poster-proud.

Or maybe I am (hee hee).

1371657_10152284820152571_1252424132_n So I tried again and it went much better.

But enough about my photo-processing cultural challenges and back to why I am so pleased to be a graduate of this stellar program.

The class has so inspired and equipped me, that I’ve been more intentional about submitting, working, pitching, querying… and writing. I have some new, great, practical “tools” in my writer’s toolbox that I didn’t have before.  I’ve left with a new fantastic critique group, an e-book with all the information, access to the website for awhile longer, and Mira.

Mira is amazing.

Since the class ended ( a couple of weeks ago), I’ve won second place in the Perfect Character Driven Pitch contest.

I queried an agent who responded with a manuscript request!

I submitted a book to a publisher I’ve worked with before (SNAP Learning) who loved my work and bought it!

And I’ve received feedback from some of my critique-group friends like this: “This is great! It just needs a publisher!”

All of these are such affirmation to me of the last years of hard work. But it also shows me how much the Picture Book Academy was the final cherry on the sundae.

I’m thrilled to be taking the Writing Wonderful Character-Driven Picture Books with Marsha Diane Arnold– one of my prizes for winning the pitch contest. But you can take it too! I’d love to see you over there and know you would find it more than worth your while.

My husband (brag alert) is a ridiculously talented artist… he can sculpt, paint, draw, dance, act… you name it, if it’s art, he can do it. Mira discovered his “magic” for herself when he attended a writing and illustrating workshop with me. That being said, I’m SO excited that he’s decided to take the Hero’s Art Journey e-course. It’s only just begun but I expect some beautiful things to come from this exchange.

I am a connector and networker. I love connecting people to great resources. I get almost giddy when I find two people who need what the other has to offer.

Thus, this post. I couldn’t keep this gem to myself. I know my writer friends would benefit like I have from the Picture Book Academy– whether illustrators or writers. Check out the site- there’s always something fun going on. Free workshops and/or webinars, new e-courses all the time, contests… it’s a great site for keeping you connected to good resources.