My 2017 Successes

our dreams within reach (49).png

Children's author Julie Hedlund challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year.  


She believes the way New Year's resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity — what DIDN'T get done or achieved in the previous year.  

Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one.  

I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution, so here is my list for 2017.

I’m super proud of this list. I really put myself out there in 2017, and I honestly cannot wait to see what 2018 brings.

Amazing Things I'm Super Proud Of

  1. Joined the Kids' Book Review team as a regular reviewer
  2. Reviewed 91 books for Kids' Book Review
  3. Joined the ACT SCBWI organising committee
  4. Presented at an ACT Writers Centre workshop about children's literature community and resources


  1. Entered the CYA Conference Competition 
  2. Entered the Creative Kids Tales 'Magic, Mystery or Skateboards' competition
  3. Received 1st place in the Creative Kids Tales 'Magic, Mystery or Skateboards' competition
  4. Entered the CBCA Aspiring Writers Mentorship competition
  5. Entered the ASA Emerging Writers Mentorship competition
  6. Entered the Writers Unleashed Picture Book Competition
  7. Entered the Greenleaf Press Buds Writing Competition
  8. Entered the SCBWI Work in Progress Awards 
  9. Received a Highly Commended Award in the 2016 Pass It On E-zine Christmas competition

Conferences, Courses, Events

  1. Attended the ACT SCBWI Excellence in Children’s Writing Professional Development Day
  2. Attended the ACT Writers Centre Creating Perfect Picture Books with Aleesah Darlison 
  3. Attended the ACT SCBWI Building Your Story Development Evening 
  4. Attended the CYA Writers and Illustrators Conference
  5. Attended the ACT Writers Centre ‘The Journey’ Workshop with Isobelle Carmody 
  6. Attended the ACT SCBWI Level Up Writing Conference 
  7. Attended the Faber Writing Academy at Allen and Unwin Getting Published as a Writer for Children course
  8. Attended the ACT SCBWI Your Journey Development Evening
  9. Joined the Jen Storer Scribbles Online Creative Writing Course

Writing Business Things

  1. Created a website (This very one!)
  2. Got business cards made
  3. Got an ABN number
  4. Started this blog!

Groups and Community

  1. Joined Creative Kids Tales
  2. Joined the online  Creative Kids Tales critique group
  3. Joined Just Write for Kids Facebook group
  4. Joined Australian Picture Book Writers and Illustrators Facebook group
  5. Joined Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA)
  6. Renewed my ACT Writers Centre membership
  7. Renewed my SCBWI membership (woo hoo!)
  8. Joined the Duck Pond Facebook group
  9. Joined an online SCBWI critique group

Growing as a Writer

  1. Completed the 52-week Picture Book Challenge every single week and on time
  2. Came up with hundreds of story ideas
  3. Started so many picture book manuscripts
  4. Finished lots of picture book manuscripts
  5. Sent manuscripts off to get professional assessments
  6. Sent manuscripts to publishers
  7. Studied lots (and lots) of picture books
  8. Borrowed lots of picture books from the library
  9. Read heaps (and heaps and heaps) of books
  10. Listened to lots of So you want to be a writer podcast
  11. Watched lots and lots of Jen Storer's Girl and Duck Questions and Quacks
  12. Attended lots of book launches

I'm sure I've forgotten stuff, but I think that list is looking pretty good with:

  • 4 amazing things I'm super proud of
  • 7 competitions entered
  • 2 competition wins/nods
  • 9 conferences, courses or events attended
  • 4 writing business things ticked off the list
  • 9 writing groups joined or memberships renewed
  • 12 things that helped me grow as a writer

Equals a grand total of... 

47 successes in 2017!

I'm going to try for 50 in 2018!