Every year, I push myself to write and try new experiences. Writing challenges offer a way to meet personal goals and push me out of my comfort zone. Many are online and free. Some require a membership fee. While I focus on picture book challenges, you can find a challenge for all types of genres and formats of writing.
I participate in the following:
This is a membership challenge which encourages you to write 12 pictures books in 12 months. Each membership level offers an assortment of benefits such as opportunities to share your work, submit to agents, participate in webinars, and to ask questions. The 12 x12 group has developed into a very supportive community. Author Julie Hedlund created this challenge.
Don’t mistake the fast pace of this challenge, as an endorsement that picture books are easy to write. Author Paula Yoo created this challenge to encourage picture book writers to write one picture book draft a day for one week. Every May 1-7, writers gather their ideas and write. It’s a draft. No one anticipates a best-seller from this challenge (if you do, then GREA!). The point is to get you writing. If you meet the goal, seven drafts is a great start to the revision process.
Author and Artist Meg Miller created ReviMo to encourage more revisions of your growing number of picture book manuscripts. It’s a week-long challenge. Sign up to be part of the fun at Meg’s site.
StoryStorm (formerly) PiBoIdMo
Author Tara Lazar created an event to keep picture book writers busy in November while all the novelists are busy with NaNoWriMo. You pledge to log an idea a day in this challenge for a total of 30 by the end of the month. Tara Lazar provides writers with daily blog posts on ideas, writing, and inspiration.
Looking for the perfect picture book for your family, visit Author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog on Fridays. An assortment of picture book writers, illustrators, and authors join the fun by recommending additions to a growing Perfect Picture Book list. Each blog posts contains information about the book and resources to expand your reading experience.
Author Susanna Leonard Hill began teaching this class in 2013. She now is offering two levels — one interactive with her feedback and a self-paced course. The course material is exceptional. She’s really broken down the content of writing a picture book into very digestible lessons.
Author Denise Vega offers this class via udemy. I’ve always wanted to attend one of Denise’s Picture Book workshops in person and this course gave me that opportunity. She’s very thorough and provides so much information. AND, her enthusiasm for children’s books shines through every video, lesson, and exercise.
Author Kristen Fulton offers a great class to teach key concepts for those wanting to write nonfiction picture books. I’ve taken this class and enjoyed it. My nonfiction manuscripts remain in revision, as I keep getting distracted by quirky fiction stories. Kristen also founded the WOW Retreat for both nonfiction and fiction writers. I’ve attended twice and learned so much.