Well, this week has been a whirlwind, a whirlygig and a tilt-a-whirl all-in-one.

Stop, Amy, I’m dizzy!!!

After so many of you nominated this blog for Write to Done’s “Top 10 Blogs for Writers” contest, I learned yesterday that it was selected! It cracked the top 10!


top10blogforwriters2013This blog is a labor of love, it truly is. (I know I’m using a lot of clichés this week, but heck if they aren’t so darn apropos.) I blog because I enjoy it immensely, and hey, even though picture books LOOK simple, we all know they’re complicated. There’s a lot to dish and discuss.

Many of you are visiting for the first time, linking from Write to Done. So now would be a good time for a “Year in Review”, no? Amazingly, the top three posts this year were NOT written this year—they’re oldies but goodies (another cliché, Tara?):

  1. Picture Book Construction: Know Your Layout (Picture Book Dummy)
  2. 500+ Things That Kids Like
  3. Roald Dahl: What Makes a Good Children’s Writer

The top three posts written this year were from PiBoIdMo guest bloggers:

  1. Tammi Sauer Starts with a Title
  2. Zachariah OHora Pimps His Characters
  3. Melissa Guion Bursts the Bubble

And my three favorite posts of 2013?

  1. A Monstrous Book Launch Story in GIFs
  2. What’s Wrong with Writing Message-Driven Picture Books?
  3. Tara Lazar Gets Emotional
  4. Gifts for Writers (In Other Words, Gifts for YOU!)

(Hey, I thought you said THREE? It’s my blog, they’re my rules. Which can be broken. Just like picture book rules.)

Write to Done called this blog “a hub for picture book writers.” It’s true—we’ve created a supportive community here and in our PiBoIdMo Facebook group. (Please join us there. The group is open year-round and delves into all things picture book.)

While composing this “year in review,” I noted that in 2013 I highlighted more authors and illustrators than ever before—and while that’s a good thing, I’d like to circle back to more craft articles in 2014.

However, it always helps to have your input. What do YOU want to see here in 2014? (Besides PiBoIdMo 2014, of course.) Please leave a comment! Your votes got this blog into the Top 10 (thank you!) and your votes for this blog’s content will ensure it continues to be a useful (and FUN) resource.

Many thanks to Mary Jaksch of Write to Done for the honor, and congratulations to the other winners: Writer Unboxed, KM Weiland, Carol Tice, Chuck Wendig, CS Lakin, James Chartrand, Kristen Lamb, Linda Formichelli and Darcy Pattison. Go check them out! Methinks you’ve got a lotta good reading in your future.


(Hey, you know who that is? Ally Sheedy! I tell this story at school visits: when I was in elementary school I checked “She Was Nice to Mice” out of the library. My librarian, Mrs. Shamus, told me that the author, Alexandra Elizabeth Sheedy, was only 12 years old. I then thought, “If she can do it, then I can, too!” That was my writing epiphany, the first time I recall wanting to become a children’s author.)