Thursday, March 3, 2011

41 Blogiversary Thoughts and 1st Chapter Critique Giveaway

March 10th is going to be our one-year blogiversary. OMG. And we've got a very special announcement about a first-chapter critique from literary agent, Natalie Fischer. (Scroll all the way down for that, if you don't want to read the touch-feely-we-love-you-all stuff that's about to come.)

A very little less than a year ago, Marissa and I had barely heard of blogging. I couldn't have explained a Tweet if someoned threatened to have a bird poop on my head. Then the two of us grabbed our Starbucks and made an early-morning trudge out to Middle-of-nowhere, Maryland for a regional SCBWI conference. After a lot of great craft stuff, we listened to Mark McVeigh talk about how important it is for writers to blog. He made it sound so easy. Just write something (right, like we had anything to say!), comment on a couple of other blogs, and next thing you know....

It's the Community, Stupid

I don't even remember how we found the first blogs to read. I know Casey McCormick's Literary Rambles was one of the first we followed. But the magical thing we discovered is that blogging isn't about what you have to say. It's about plugging into a community, sharing thoughts, learning together, and growing together.

Over the past year, Marissa and I have cheered when writers we've come to love and respect finished projects, found agents, got contracts, or hit the bookshelves. We've commiserated with those that are out there struggling (um, yeah, we're not alone). We've watched ideas being born, met new critique partners, made friends we will have for the rest of our lives.... We've been humbled (and daunted) by the sheer amount of talent out there that we are competing against. Thing is, it doesn't feel like a competition. The YA and Kidlit world is incredible that way. Instead of tearing writers down or feeling closed-off and elitist, the world of children's publishing is generous, welcoming, and dedicated to genuinely developing the best writers and books to put in the hands of our kids and young adults.

Learning Together

Marissa and I didn't start ACP to share what we know (which isn't near enough). Like so many others, we're here to share what we're learning and reading. The best part of starting to blog was discovering all the amazing blogs that are already out there for writers.

The blogosphere is a free MFA program. Heck, there are so many great posts every day, we've had to stop visiting them individually and resorted to Google Reader to keep up with our favorites.

Even then the blog has grown beyond us. Marissa is kept hopping connecting with all the authors who are kind enough to provide interviews and giveaways for the In Stores This Week Feature. Cambria Dillon has come in to help with the Tuesday craft posts. We've learned so much from all the debut and seasoned writers who join us on WOW Wednesdays to tell us about what they've learned on their road to publication, and Clara Kensie is really digging in to the Google Reading to help us scout the best posts for the Friday This Week for Writers round-up.

First Announcement

Staring this Saturday, we will begin a monthly workshop going over the first five pages of the first five manuscripts submitted. The brilliant Lisa Gail Green will be joining us to help with that.

And Now, Natalie Fischer!

In the past year, Marissa and I have discovered that blogging in the world of children's writing and publishing is about sharing and giving back. So that's what we want to do. And we're very lucky to be able to give back to one of the generous people who have supported us by giving them an opportunity to get a step closer to publication.

Wonderful agent, Natalie Fischer, formerly at Sandra Dijkstra and now at the Laura Bradford Agency, has very generously agreed to donate a first-chapter critique. The rules will be simple. We'll put up a post on the 10th, which is our actual anniversary. Then we'll pick the winner from among our followers who comment on that post.

A Shameless Plug

We are so grateful to all of you who follow us via Google blogs, Networked Blogs, Feedburner, email, and Twitter. We're blessed, astonished, and awed by how many that is. We'd love to hit nice round numbers like 1000 blog followers and 2000 Twitter followersby our anniversary so we could celebrate everything all at once. If you know anyone who might enjoy what we do here, please spread the word.

Thank You!

Thank you to all of you who have been with us on every step of our journey. We'll have a special thanks coming on the 10th for all your reading, commenting, retweeting, cheerleading, and just plain hanging with us. But since we can't possibly say it enough--thank you, thank you, and thank you.

With much love and appreciation,

Martina and Marissa

41 comments:

  1. Happy almost anniversary! Your blog has been such an amazing resource. You're right - this community is awesome. I'm truly grateful to be apart of it. Thanks for doing all that you do!

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  2. Huge congrats! Best wishes...you gals do so much to help writers, and we appreciate it ((HUGS)).

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  3. You guys a huge success story and shining example of what blogging is all about. I just wonder when you ever sleep! :-)

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  4. Aw, thanks, ladies! We seriously feel blessed every day to be part of all this.

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  5. Congrats! You have created a wonderful resource with the blog, with such a wide variety of posts on elements of craft, authors sharing stories from their writing journeys, not to mention the weekly list of writing resources. Such a tremendous thing to accomplish in only a year. The writing Blogosphere is truly better with Adventures of Children's Publishing a part of it!

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  6. Happy Blogiversary to you wonderful ladies!!
    ~Cheers

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  7. Thank you so much for welcoming me! And I agree with Judie - when the heck DO you sleep? ;D Congrats on your anniversary!!!

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  8. Yay! Congratulations. I can't believe it's only been a year. You are definitely one of my favorite resources. So much information--you are a blessing to the writing community! Happy Blogiversary :-)

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  9. Happy Blogoversary to you! Love your blog. Always a valuable resource. :)
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

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  10. Incredible! I didn't know you ladies have only been going for a year! What a journey you've had--I've enjoyed your blog a lot, and love the sharing of info. Yay for the writing community!

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  11. Happy blogoversary! There is a lot of AWESOME in this post. You guys continually blow me away with your generosity! :-)

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  12. WHAT an accomplishment! You two are some of the most FAB people I know and really do provide such an immense service to writers. Chocolate and Prosecco for you both! (My treat when I get down to NoVA!)

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  13. I want to get all gooey and mushy but I'll save it for your actual blogiversary. In the meantime: You ladies rock! I love helping you with the Best Articles for Writers, and you're right--the writers' blogging community is incredibly generous and helpful. Thank YOU, Martina and Marissa, for being a huge part of that community!

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  14. Happy almost blog birthday! Thank you so much for all you do with this blog. I have so many of your posts bookmarked because they're always so informative. What an awesome resource you've created!

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  15. What a year! Congratulations, Martina and Marissa, on your first blogiversary!!! Your blog is such an amazing resource--thanks for being so dedicated to sharing with the writing community. : )

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  16. How is it possible you've only been doing this for a year? You have it so together, and have become one of my top writing resources. I'm in awe! Congratulations -- I can't wait to see what you have in store for us in the next year.

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  17. Thanks so much, everyone! We are so humbled by all the support--and grateful. It's hard to believe it has only been a year. We still pinch ourselves regularly!

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  18. Thanks, ladies, a very big well done!

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  19. Happy Blogiversary!! You've done well in a year :)

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  20. Exciting and congrats!!! :O)

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  21. Congrats. Your blog is one of my favorites. I love the inspiration, giveaways, craftying help and the link love.

    Cheers to one year.

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  22. Happy Birthday! I just discovered your blog yesterday and spent lots of time on it.You've really created something special. Well done! Karen

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  23. I'm linking this post for tomorrow since it ties in perfecting with my post from yesterday. It's also going to be linked on tomorrow QT blog. :D

    And happy soon-to-be-birthday on such an awesome blog.

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  24. Martina and I are beyond touched! Thanks for the supportive and generous comments. There's no doubt- blogging can sometimes feel like a labor of love. And we DO love it!

    A humble admission... I didn't even understand what "follower" meant on the sidebar when we first began. I clicked and then about died when I realized I was following our own blog. What's worse? I couldn't even figure out if I could unfollow so I didn't look like a complete loser! I can also remember being afraid to comment on other sites, afraid to make a mistake or put my hat in the ring. I wish I had not hesitated because jumping in has forever changed our lives.

    We adore the kid lit community. Thank YOU for making this such a meaningful experience for us! And for those of you who couldn't tell, Martina is the true mastermind behind the site and the one who has made SO much happen. Thank you, Martina. I can't imagine this ride with anyone else. Love you, M!

    Marissa

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  25. Marissa is right about being touched and loving the blog and all of you. She's WRONG about the mastermind thing--although I kind of like that image in a literary Dr. Evilish kind of way. (Wait, can I have minions? Please?)

    Seriously though? The great thing about working with Marissa is that it has been an effortless (at least on my part) partnership all along. She is the easiest person on the planet to get along with, and she puts up with me. Her classroom training, evidently.

    I had the great pleasure of taking my therapy dog, Auggie, into Marissa's classroom today to work on writing with the kids, and you should see how fantastic she is with them. It was a great reminder of why we do what we do.

    Kids are sponges. We need to fill them with the most world-expanding, heart-stopping, mind-blowing stories we can, because we are competing with video games and movies and a pace that doesn't give them time to stop and wonder and contemplate.

    Teachers and children's writers like Marissa and all of you are gifts to our children, grandchildren, and future generations. It is my joy and privilege to watch the dedication and kindness that Marissa puts into every single thing she does.

    Martina

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  26. Stina, it was a great piece! I remember tweeting it yesterday. Thank you so much!

    And everyone, thanks again for your kindness!

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  27. Congrats on your upcoming blogversary! :D

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  28. Congratulations on your upcoming aniversary. Tore923@aol.com

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  29. Martina and Marissa, thank YOU for all you do. You blog is an amazing resource for writers. You're so right that this is one heck of a community. I'm blown away by the talent and generosity out there. And I love the way you said it's a free MFA program. It's so true!

    And yay for Lisa's critiques. She's amazing AND generous.

    Happy blogaversary!

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  30. What a great post, guys, and you know I'm a huge supporter and fan. Your blog is a touchstone and it really does let writers know we're not alone. thank you for everything, and I look forward to many more years of celebrating your blog!

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  31. Congrats on your anniversary. Can't believe it's only been a year.

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  32. you guys are fantastic, i love your blog, keep up the great work.

    tommy greenwald

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  33. I hope you girls are proud of what you've accomplished. You have really worked hard and I love you for all you give to this community! Often I don't know how you do it!

    Thanks for all you do, and all you give! You guys are wonderful people and I can't say enough how everyone should follow you!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  34. Thank you! Your comments and support mean so much. YOU all are what makes this so much fun!

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  35. Great information and resource for new and seasoned writers. Thanks for sharing.

    Terri
    www.terriforehand.com

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  36. What a wonderful year. And I'm hoping for you even a better year to come.

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  37. Congrats and happy blogiversary! Thanks so much for all that you do, and may the second year be even better.

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  38. Wow! Congrats on one year. That's awesome :)

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  39. Woo hoo!!! Congrats on your upcoming one-year anniversary. You've created an amazing resource here in a short amount of time. Love you girls!

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  40. Wow, you've only been doing this a year? You totally seem like seasoned pros. :) Congrats on hitting 1 year!

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  41. I'm still shaking my head that you've ONLY been around for a year. You guys are naturals! (love the confession about the follow button--LOL!)

    Despite the YA Mafia (that's a JOKE!), you're absolutely right about the incredible kid lit and YA community. Sometimes I think some of us forget (or don't know) how different the vibe is among some adult-writing circles. Thank you so much for all that you do for writers, readers, editors, agents and others in this amazing community. Rock on! (And welcome to those who will be helping you out! I don't see how youv'e done it with just the two of you.)

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