Best saying I took away from the 2016 Summer Conference: Everything's been written. But not in your voice.
If you are the human who never lets day to day interruptions interfere with your writing and submitting goals, go away and come back next week. No. Scratch that. Please leave us a comment on how you do it.
I am not that human. Work, babysitting, auditions, various curve balls life throw at me take me out of my writing game. And I haven't submitted to anyone in two months even though I do have three perfectly good query letter, thanks to my critique groups.
The only thing that keeps me writing is accountability. For me, that's my critique groups. Going to a critique group with nothing to critique is not acceptable to my ego.
My friend and critique partner Andrea Loney belongs to several critique groups in the children's book market. I currently belong to two active ones. I write in the children's market and the romance market.
I also need a query butt-kicking and submission group. The Pen and Ink one seems to be slumbering. Oh how I miss them!. Without their butt-kicking, I don't submit. Anyone want to join that kind of group?
You can start a critique group with the business cards you picked up at conference. Email the authors. See if they are interested.
Or go to online to the SCBWI yahoo group and announce you want to start a group. Be specific about what you are looking for. Here's a link to an article from SCBWI 4 Questions to ask a critique group.
Other ways to be accountable:I've written five books with NaNoWriMo. One is published. Two I am currently taming into presentability. NaNoWriMo is about finishing a first draft. It's fantastic, but it's no good for picture books.
12 x 12 Picture BookBoth Andrea and Sue Ganz Schmidt (also a critique partner) have used 12 by 12 and I am interested in doing it next year. The cost is 137. Once you have been on the program for a year, you can up the ante to and have special submission opportunities.
12 x 12 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Once you join, you will be encouraged and supported by the friendliest writing community on earth as you attempt to write one picture book draft a month.