31 for Fun: 2013 Edition

Alayne Kay Christian challenged her followers to celebrate what they accomplished in 2013 in a fun blog post called “31 Just for Fun.” I  participated last year

For more writerly celebrations, see what our WAITT writers accomplished in 2013.

This post always makes me feel like a Braggy Braggerton, but at the same time, it encourages me to see what I was able to accomplish in an hour a day over the course of a whole year.

Picture Books

1. Finished 12×12 this year with a focus on revision. I still wrote several new picture books, but I spent time the majority of my time revising at least one per month.

2. Finish PiBoIdMo with over 50 ideas—more than I could possible draft in a year’s time.



3. I completed two more major revisions of my middle grade novel and started sending it out.

4. I completed some more revisions to my YA novel in verse and started sending it out.

5. I’m currently on track to finish a DRAFT of my next middle grade novel before the end of December.



6. I submitted a lot of things this year—contest entries, articles, picture books, middle grade novel, YA novel, NF book proposal, Work-for-Hire tryouts. I’m thankful for the times that the word YES was said. But when NO was said multiple times, I’m so grateful for the kind and specific rejection letters I received. They pointed me to what’s not working and how I can improve.



7. I received 1st place in Children’s Writer Kindergarten story contest which included publication, an article with an interview, and a check for $$$$.


Mentor Texts

8.  I posted a mentor text picture every day in November for Picture Book Month.

9. I had a mentor text article in the Picture Book Teachers’ Guide put together by Marcie Colleen.

10. I participated in 10 for10 PB and recommended my 10 favorite picture books for teaching Word Choice



11. My guest post “Mentor Texts: Market Your Book to Teachers” appeared on Fiction Notes

12. My guest post “Mentor Texts: Teach Common Core Writing” appeared on Making Common Core Practical

13. My Write On, Mom interview appeared on Jenny Lee Sulpizio’s site

14. My article “Huddle Up: Critique Group Strategy” appeared at Rate Your Story

15. My guest post “Stealing Time” was published on Writers on the Move

16. My guest article “True Confessions of a Juggler” appeared on DIYMFA

17. My guest article “Reading and Studying Mentor Texts” appeared on DIYMFA

18. My article “Mentor Text Marketing” appeared in the SCBWI Bulletin.


Professional Development

19. I attended several conferences include Candice Ransom’s writing retreat and the SCBWI Mid-Atlantic Conference.

20. I took a PB Essentials class, which I won during a WOW Non Fic Pic challenge. This class helped me make some key connections on plot issues on picture books.

21. I also took a Character-Driven Picture Book Class with Mira Reisberg and Marsha Arnold.

22. I took a class with Cheryl Klein on plotting, which helped me do another revision on my Middle Grade novel.

23. I took a “Poet Speak” poetry class online that helped me do some revisions on my Young Adult Novel-in-Verse.

24. I audited an amazing regional novel class with Candice Ransom at Hollins University.

25. I was able to hear some inspiring writers speak including Eric Rohmann, Kathryn Erskine, and Cynthia Lord.

26. I took a Time to Write Class with Kelly Stone.

27. I got to join my in-person critique group for a weekend writing getaway where we sat in a condo and wrote and wrote and wrote.


Writing Community

28. I participated in 3 critique groups. These ladies have kept me hopping every month.

29. I started WAITT posts where other writers chime in to share their experiences.

30. Participated in 12×12, Sub Six, Wow NonFicPic and more!


Most Importantly

31. I wrote nearly every weekday in 2013!!! What made the difference? I get up an hour before everyone else—before I go to work, before the husband and kiddos get up. This has made a huge difference. I blog a lot about making time to write. If you want to see some of my posts on this, you can see them here.



  1. And Braggy Braggerton you should be. My gosh what a year you’ve had, Marcie. I can’t believe all that you have accomplished and on top of all that, you are a teacher, Mom and wife. I know how much time a family can take and how hard it is to split up time without guilt. Quite impressive. Congratulations on all your achievements. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you did because I think there are some guest post that you did that I missed. Oh, and thanks for the shout out!

  2. What a year of accomplishments you’ve had, Marcie! You should be very proud of yourself, and I ditto Alayne, when she said you did all this ON TOP of being a wife, mother and teacher! With all your hard work, 2014 should prove to be even more exciting. Good for you and continue on with that go get ’em attitude! :0)

  3. Heather Greene says:

    Wow, Marcie. Inspiring!