I feel this year my motto might very well be: ‘Better Late Than Never.’ I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. I have always been a punctual person, like half an hour early kind of punctual, but this year I have already missed the dates for 3/4 of the themes for this January’s 52 Week Illustration Challenge. Should I give up? I ask myself this every year. See last years blog post: #illo52weeks – January’s Ilustrations And each December I am always super glad I didn’t give up as I find myself looking over 52 different styles of illustrations, some rubbish, some good and some I am really pleased with.
As I was away for a month at Xmas I didn’t quite get around to posting December’s illustrations. So here they are:
Week 49: Gift
Week 50: Festive
Week 51: Celebrate
Week 52: Reflection
So this year, I may not meet the deadline each week but I have decided not to stress too much about it. Aslong as I complete the themes, that is okay by me. If the Xmas holidays or something like your eldest starting high school is taking priority (as it is this week) that’s fine. I’m going with the flow rather than battling upstream. Late is better than never and on that note, Happy New Year everyone!
PS: let’s totally forget the fact that I turned up a week early for my writers group meeting yesterday! It’s going to be that kind of year. 🙂
Although I am self-published with my little book ‘The Jersey 12 Days Of Christmas,’ I still aspire to be what is known as ‘traditionally published’ through a well known publishing house. Here is a defintion by Gene Mirabelli at Critical Pages:
“The names of The Big Six may be familiar to you as distinguished old publishing houses. They are Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Random House, Macmillan, The Penguin Group, and Hachette. Only two of The Big Six are US companies: Simon and Schuster, and HarperCollins. The others are foreign: two are German, one is British and the other is French.”
Until I get a manuscript accepted by a big publisher I have to motivate myself to keep going. There are no deadlines to work to by eager editors or animated agents. I have to keep going by myself through days of wordy drought and barren ideas.
To keep me going I enter writing competitions for the following reasons:
- I am a big believer that you ‘have to be in it, to win it!’
- some competitions give comprehensive and incredibly useful feedback sheets
- competitions are good practice for following submission guidelines, eg: target age range, genre, word count, font size/type, etc.
- and finally competitions give you a deadline to work to.
Above is a certificate I recently received for the KBR Unpublished Picture Book Manuscript Award 2013. I didn’t win but I did receive something just as important – a reason to carry on with writing – a sign that I am on the right track! I had earned a certificate of Highly Commended! The feedback was that my story had humour, a lovely character and scope for wonderful images.
The feedback also had some hints at how I can make it even stronger and this has given me some direction.
Here are some of the writing competitions that I have entered throughout the year:
KBR’S Unpublished Picture Book Manuscript Award 2013
CYA Conference Unpublished Competition 2013
Sutherland Shire’s Writers Festival Picture Book manuscript Competition 2013
Why don’t you give it a go, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain!