All About Writing

Writing Successes for 2017


This year felt like a bit of a flop for me, as a writer that is. The reason it felt this way is that I didn’t have any new books published or accepted for publication. I didn’t win any writing awards or competitions. There were no obvious ‘successes.’ And this was the first year in many that this has happened to me.

When we experience this (as most writers do at some time), it’s all too easy to think of ourselves as a failure, and that’s how I was beginning to feel. This is when it’s tempting to give up and forget writing altogether. After all, it’s already challenging to find the time, energy and willpower to continue writing in the highly competitive book industry. Put that together with running a business and raising a family, and it seems almost impossible.

Needless to say, when I received today’s challenge in the 12 Days of Christmas for Writers I inwardly groaned. Write a whole page of successes for the year? What? I would be lucky enough to jot down two. But as I started thinking, and writing, I ended up with a list of over 20 successes. As I was writing I realised that success as a writer doesn’t just mean getting a publishing contract, but making steps towards it, working on your craft, learning, growing, presenting and getting excited about the unexpected surprises, like having my chapter book series published in the UK.

jake in space_Moon Attack_UK        Jake in Space_Rocket Battles_UK

So, the reason I’m sharing this list of 2017 successes is to show you that success comes in many forms and it’s worthwhile and motivating to think about and acknowledge them.

Here’s my list:

  1. Outlined my first crime novel
  2. Chapter book series published internationally
  3. Attended an editing workshop with an editor from a major publishing house and plucked up the courage to gain feedback on my story opening
  4. Successfully applied for and ran library writing workshops for the Summer Reading Club program
  5. Submitted a reworked manuscript for a new chapter book series to my publisher and then received a request for a series proposal
  6. Submitted the series proposal
  7. Reworked my YA novel and accepted an offer of a critique from a good writing friend
  8. Attended a workshop to learn more about presenting writing workshops for kids
  9. Requested feedback from my author talks and workshops that I added to my testimonials
  10. Put in multiple submissions for my YA novel
  11. Ran author talks and workshops – expanding time spent and number of students presented to
  12. Learned about the Story Grid structure and started using it
  13. Applied for my first travel grant for writing
  14. Investigated further study options for writing
  15. Received a lovely acknowledgement for my work editing a client’s short story collection in his published anthology
  16. Sent a screenplay in to a competition and received positive feedback
  17. Offered to run a workshop on getting your books into bookstores which will be scheduled for 2018
  18. Received unexpected income from my books
  19. Undertook a mentorship on how to set up an online course and created the course and writing school for tween and teen writers
  20. Entered the Pitch Wars contest
  21. Was invited as a guest author at Romancing the Stars and presented to teachers, librarians, writers and readers at the event
  22. Taught students and teachers in Laos how to write a story in English

school photo.jpg

What are your 2017 successes?


Out & About

Speakers’ Ink

I’m very excited to announce I have signed up with Speakers’ Ink for booking speaking engagements at schools, festivals etc, and many thanks to the lovely and knowledgeable Helen Bain for having me on board.

You can read more about my author talks and workshops via my page on the site.

All Things Books

Win a Signed Copy of ‘Stinky Ferret and the JJs’

Here’s your chance to win a signed copy of ‘Stinky Ferret and the JJs.’ Taking part in the competition is easy – just post up to 50 words on the Books for Little Hands blog describing your funniest or scariest animal experience by July 1, 2012. Good luck!

Stinky Ferret and the JJs

Renee Taprell from Books for Little Hands