Saturday, February 1, 2014

Picture Books 14:14 Sign Ups Are Here

PB 14:14 
Book Love. Craft Love. Writer Love. 
Share the LOVE.
The Valentine Vision:
Read, Study, and Share
14 picture books in 14 days

It's SUPPOSED to be our High Five interview today, but I didn't get anyone in time. Plus, I have a surprise up my sleeve for that too! Starting on Friday, March 14th. You'll have to check back then to get the goods. Meanwhile, I'll interview myself. Not for High Five, really, but for PB 14:14!

[And Writers Who Run will return in March after this MEGA blogging event! If you're a writer and you like to run, then you can join us on Facebook/groups/WritersWhoRun.]

Mrs. Wild: So, what is PB 14:14?

Christie: I'm so glad you asked. It's a blogging challenge. A blog hop. A learning adventure about books and craft. With PRIZES.

It's not as stupendous as Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Book Friday reviews, not as purpose-driven as Mandy Robek's August Picture Books 10 for 10, not as momentous as Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo, not as profound as Paula Yoo's NaPiBoWriWee, not as intense as Lora Koehler's and Jean Reagan's Picture Book Marathon, not as ambitious as Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12,and not as influential as Dianne de Las Casas' Picture Book Month, but COSMIC nonetheless.

This is not a simple book recommendation event. It's a 2-week picture book blogging extravaganza. It is a specific type of book "review" for WRITERS!

[UPDATE: 3-24-14 The event is now over, but you can view THE LIST and read everyone's awesome entries. We have nearly 100 books that teach the 10 elements. Check it out and improve your skills.]

Mrs. Wild: Who can join?

Christie: Anyone who blogs, reads, writes, or breathes picture books. Simply read a book, study it, and share what you have learned with everyone else, much like I have done on my Top 10 Story Elements for Picture Books series. Each person will be writing their own recommendation/lesson to share on their own blog and linking that post back to the linky list for that day so that we can all hop over to each other's blogs and learn more together than we ever could have alone.

Mrs. Wild: Why are you doing this?

Christie: There are SO many picture books out there that I would LOVE to read and study, but simply don't have access to them. I'm hoping this will open up a lot of doors - er...books - to all of us. My library can NOT get any book I want. I'd have to buy it or make a trip to the bookstore and hope they had it in stock, JUST TO READ it. This way, we can all share our access to the best of the best books and learn more about great craft and skill than we could on our own.

Mrs. Wild: Who is involved and what are the prizes?

Christie: Tara Lazar and Deb Lund will be doing a special Guest Blog Post.

TWO picture book giveaways (by Deb Lund and Susanna Leonard Hill)
THREE picture book CRITIQUES (by Alayne Christian, Lori Degman, and Kristy Dempsey)
TWO writer inspiration books (by Kristi Holl)
ONE market guide book (from me)
ONE 30-minute phone consultation (with Julie Hedlund)

Mrs. Wild: How should we write our blog posts?

Christie: Each book must be able to teach by example a short lesson on one of the Top 10 Story Elements for Picture Books. Include the title, author, illustrator, publisher, year, and word count. Include an image of the cover. All books must be within the last 10 years. 2004 and forward. We don't want to study the craft of ancient books, (even though they might still be TERRIFIC - also, the older books are easier to find in libraries sometimes). Please follow the examples of my previous Story Elements posts to the right. Just click on an element and read some of the posts. I only have 2-3 examples of each one. Just share what feels right and most helpful, but certainly don't quote the whole book, or even half the book. A few quotes are good. Help us LEARN. Help us SEE. What can we emulate to become better writers for that element?

#3: PLOT

Mrs. Wild: What are the rules? How do we win the prizes?

Christie: You must find 14 picture books published in 2004 or later. Each day, you will write a blog post about that book and recommend it to writers to use for studying one of the top 10 story elements for picture books. You can focus on two elements max, if you're having a difficult time choosing between two.

There will be 5 winners. After the first week, (14th-20th), 2 winners will be chosen. One will win a critique and one will win a picture book. This will be announced on the 21st. Week 2 (21st-27th) winners will be announced on the 28th. Again, one for a critique and one for a picture book. To be eligible for these prizes, you must post at least 5 out of the 7 days in that week to receive one entry. If you post 7 out of 7 days for that week, you will receive 2 entries. All winners will be chosen randomly.

The GRAND PRIZE will win 3 books, a critique, and a phone consult: a critique of one of your own picture book manuscripts, two inspiration books - both Writer's First Aid and More Writer's First Aid by Kristi Holl, a market guide - 2013 edition of Book Markets for Children's Writers (from me), and a free 30-minute phone consultation from Julie Hedlund about ANYTHING you want to talk about!

To be eligible for the grand prize, you must have 14 out of 14 blog posts. (Maybe 12 out of 14?) Each person will only get one entry for this! Good luck and may the muse be with you!

Mrs. Wild: How do we SIGN UP?

Christie: Simply sign the linky list below with your name and a link to your blog. More details will follow on how to add your individual blog posts closer to the 14th.

Mrs. Wild: Can we start now?

Christie: Basically, yes. Technically, no. Scour your shelves for the best books. Choose which one or two elements that book will teach. It's okay if someone chooses the same book as someone else. One person might choose it to teach rhyme, whereas another might teach character. Do what you feel the book compels you to do. You can actually start writing the blog posts NOW. Just save them as drafts and schedule their publish dates for later. Don't publish them now. Wait until the 14th and do one a day.

Okay, GO SIGN UP! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments. You have 2 weeks to sign up and 2 weeks to participate. The deadline to sign up is Valentine's Day at midnight. That's 2.14.14 at 12:00 AM.


  1. I have several deadlines planned for February already, and can't possibly squeeze in one more thing, but I would be happy to tweet this for you. :) Good luck with it!

  2. Hi, K! Nice to meet you. I just read your whole blog. I love your journey already. Hope to see you around!

  3. woo hoo what a month Feb is turning out to be.

  4. Please sign me up :D

    1. Jackie,
      Make sure you sign up with the linky list above. Glad you're here!

  5. I'm not sure I understand how this works. Are we supposed to post 14 separate book reviews (each a separate, daily blog post) on our blogs?

    1. Yes, you got it! That's exactly how it works! Hope you can join us!

  6. Oh, I'm trying to decide if I can do this. My week of limbo is over, so I should move ahead! Let me think about this another day or so.

  7. This is a wonderful challenge, Christie...and I very much want to participate. I'm already taking Susanna's MPBM class this month...and working along with Doris K. Stone's Fearless February...not sure if I can swing 14 book reviews/blog posts in 14 days...I will definitely share this around...and will add my link if I think I can do it.:)

    1. Don't wait 'til the last minute! Maybe, just maybe, you can swing it. If not, maybe next year. And thank you so much for spreading the word for me.

  8. Christie,
    What a great idea for a challenge. You can bet that I will be following closely. I have already over-committed myself for February. Maybe next year!

  9. Hi Christie, I signed up but I can't possibly write 14 blog posts in 14 days since I have a set editorial calendar with regular features that I can't alter. But I WILL be following along and helping to promote and will post at least a few times. But I wouldn't accept one of the prizes anyway. :-)

    You might consider giving people points per post. That way if there are others who can't post each day of the challenge, they are still encouraged to post what and when they can and still have a chance of winning. Just food for thought. Have fun and GOOD LUCK everyone!!

  10. oops sorry if I signed up twice. I have been to the library and collected 15 picture books so all primed and ready to go. I have scanned all the covers and made myself a review sheet. This is going to be so much fun.

  11. What an interesting and unique challenge. I look forward to improving on my reading, writing and creating skills; all activities that I do everyday.

  12. Okay other commenters above, I have a LOADED February. But I'm pressing onward. Daring myself to do this. It's chock full of benefits and I want to give it a try. If Julie Hedlund can at least try a few posts with her crazy load, I have no excuse as a retired old guy.
    AND I may narrow my reviews to Non-Fiction Picture Books since that's my focus this year...will that be okay? Signed up...


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