Thursday, January 30, 2014

Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12

If you are a picture book writer or an illustrator you need to join Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12. It really doesn't matter what stage you are in your career. If you are just starting out, or if you are already published the 12 x 12 is right for you. If you want to sign up go here: http://www.juliehedlund.com/registration-for-2014/ Remember to sign up by Febuary 28, 2014 or you'll have to wait until 2015!

The 12 x 12 is like many writing events. You participate and you can win great prizes. The main purpose is not to win these prizes, but to get published. But hey, the prizes are pretty awesome, so if you do win it's all gravy.

There are different levels of participation for the 12 x 12. You can choose depending on your personal level. I'm going to give a bit different information that Julie gives on her site, but be sure to read through everything before you sign up

Bronze - This is your basic starter package. You get access to the main forums and the Facebook page for this. If you are just starting out writing or illustrating you should stick with this package. The information you gain here will be invaluable. You will still be able to get feedback on your work through critique groups, but you do not get to bypass the slush pile. If you are published or really busy and want to participate on a smaller level, then you should get Bronze membership.

Silver - This is the package you get if you have at least a few manuscripts you have written or a full portfolio and you want help with your writing/illustration career. You don't just get to watch the events with this level - you also get to participate in them. You get help on the forums with your manuscripts and pitches, and you can even offer services on the forums!

Gold - If you have manuscripts or illustrations you will be submitting for publication this year, then this level is for you. This is also for people who aren't quite there, but want to make the big push to get published. You will get special information and instructions on how to submit to the featured agent or editor every month. This is what you want to do if want to make sure your work gets seen. As long as you follow the rules you will give your manuscript or portfolio it's best chance of getting seen by people that matter!

Joining the 12 x 12 at any level will help you make more connections in the Picture Book Industry. I made a lot of friends and connections when I joined the 12 x 12 last year. If you participate you will end up meeting people. Memberships range from $45 - $145, but if you can't afford that you can get on a payment plan. Plus next year you will get a returning member's discount!

I'm not getting paid for this post. I wasn't even asked to post this. I just believe that there are two things that all picture book writers/illustrators should join: The SCBWI and Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12. I hope you will join me this year!

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