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#FirstDraftFriday with Rebecca Gardyn Levington

Rhymer extraordinaire Rebecca Gardyn Levington is here this #FirstDraftFriday to share about her debut picture book and how she "plays" rather than "drafts." Read below, then play with some words yourself! I can't be online today, but guest host Margaret Aitken is filing in on Twitter to cheer you on. You've got this! Rebecca is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. Rebecca Gardyn Levingt

#FirstDraftFriday with Stephen Briseño

Debut picture book author Stephen Briseño is today's #FirstDraftFriday guest, and he has an amazing story to share that just proves you never know where inspiration will come from! Check it out, get motivated, and then get writing yourself! Stephen is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. Stephen Briseño’s debut picture book, THE NOTEBOOK KEEPER: A STORY OF KINDNESS FROM THE BORDER, illus

#FirstDraftFriday with Debbie Zapata

It's #FirstDraftFriday!! We've got guest author Debbie Zapata here to dish on her just-released debut picture book, UP AND ADAM, and to share her tips on getting those first drafts done! Read on, then get writing! Debbie is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. Debbie’s debut picture book, UP AND ADAM, illustrated by Yong Ling Kang, just came out on May 3rd from Kids Can Press. To order,

#FirstDraftFriday with Chelsea Lin Wallace

It may be April Fools' Day but this is no joke...it's #FirstDraftFriday! Read on to be inspired by guest author Chelsea Lin Wallace, then use her tips and tricks to help yourself draft a new picture book today! Chelsea is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. Chelsea Lin Wallace’s debut picture book, A HOME NAMED WALTER, illustrated by Ginnie Hsu, is due out this month from Feiwel & Frien

#FirstDraftFriday with Harshita Jerath

Woohoo, we're marching toward spring! And what better way to welcome the new season than with a new picture book draft during #FirstDraftFriday. Guest author Harshita Jerath is here to share her process and new book to get you ready to write! Harshita is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. Harshita Jerath’s debut picture book, THE LEAPING LADDOO, illustrated by Kamala Nair, is out this

#FirstDraftFriday with June Smalls

Thanks for joining us for another #FirstDraftFriday! February's a short month so let's waste no time jumping into things with guest author June Smalls! June is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. June Smalls’ picture book HE LEADS: MOUNTAIN GORILLA, THE GENTLE GIANT, illustrated by Yumi Shimokawara, will be out in March with Familius. It is the second title in the LEADS series, followin

#FirstDraftFriday with Jocelyn Rish

#FirstDraftFriday 2022 is here, and I'm so excited for another great year of inspiration and encouragement! We're kicking things off with guest author Jocelyn Rish and her hilarious-yet-fact-filled book, BATTLE OF THE BUTTS: THE SCIENCE BEHIND ANIMAL BEHINDS. Jocelyn is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. BATTLE OF THE BUTTS, illustrated by David Creighton-Pester, released in November f

#FirstDraftFriday 2022

I was blown away by the response to #FirstDraftFriday in 2021, and I'm so excited to keep it going for 2022. It's been wonderful to see it help many of you write new picture book drafts and learn from published pros along the way via their interviews and, for a lucky few of you, critiques! I'm beyond grateful that everyone I've asked to be a guest author for #FirstDraftFriday has said yes! Including the amazing authors who will be joining us for 2022! (More on them below!) So

#FirstDraftFriday with Dane Liu

It's the last #FirstDraftFriday of 2021! Wrap the year up right by drafting a new picture today! Guest author Dane Liu is here to share the story of how her debut came to be and help you get writing! BONUS! Dane is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. Dane Liu’s debut picture book, FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS, FOREVER, illustrated by Lynn Scurfield, will be out later this month from MacKids Book

#FirstDraftFriday with S. K. Wenger

Today's #FirstDraftFriday guest author is S. K. Wenger, whose debut picture book is hot off the presses and who is sure to get you inspired to do some writing of your own! BONUS! S. K. is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. S. K. Wenger’s debut picture book, CHICKEN FRANK, DINOSAUR!, illustrated by Jojo Ensslin, came out last month from Albert Whitman & Co.! To order, visit: https://www

#FirstDraftFriday with Brian Gehrlein!

It's the first #FirstDraftFriday of fall, and we're in for a treat with guest author Brian Gehrlein! In his own signature style, he's sharing the nitty-gritty on how he wrote his debut picture book. You're sure to be inspired to write your own future best-seller today! PLUS...Brian is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. Brian’s debut picture book, THE BOOK OF RULES, illustrated by Tom K

#FirstDraftFriday with James McGowan!

Woohoo, you made it to another #FirstDraftFriday! It's been hectic lately with school starting, summer ending, and so much happening in the world...but this is a chance to slow down a bit and CREATE! To get you inspired to do so, we have guest author James McGowan here to talk about how he wrote his debut picture book! And for one lucky winner, James is generously offering a picture book manuscript critique! You don't want to miss your chance at that!! Details on how to enter

#FirstDraftFriday - Make Today a New Draft Day!

Another #FirstDraftFriday...another chance to write your new favorite manuscript! Guest author Tracy C. Gold is here to inspire you with the tale of how her second book came to be! Then, it's your turn to draft a brand-spanking new picture book! You've got this! BONUS! Tracy is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. Tracy is the author of EVERYONE’S SLEEPY BUT THE BABY, as well as the just

Summer's First #FirstDraftFriday

It's summer!!! A wonderful time to kick back, relax, and...WRITE! OK, so maybe the writing sometimes takes a backseat to fun in the sun. All the more reason to seize the day (that would be today) and knock out a new draft before the summer shenanigans shift into high gear. #FirstDraftFriday is here with guest author Adria Karlsson to help you do just that! BONUS! Adria is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at

The #FirstDraftFriday Fun Continues...

It's been awesome to see so many people take part in #FirstDraftFriday thus far in 2021 and to host six wonderful guest authors who shared their insights and gave away critiques! Let's keep it going! Join us on the first Friday of each month to get a picture book first draft written and maybe win a prize! I'm excited to share the line up of guest authors for the second half of the year. I was thrilled when each of these wonderful creators said yes to being featured! I hope t

June #FirstDraftFriday is here!

June's off to a wild start with #PitMad yesterday and #PBPitch later this month. It can be hard to focus on writing with such distractions, but they say in this business to always be working on something new. So #FirstDraftFriday is here with guest author Annemarie Riley Guertin to help you do just that! BONUS! Annemarie is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. Annemarie is the author of

May Your #FirstDraftFriday Be Productive & Fun!

Happy Friday! We're already a week into this month, so let's not waste any time getting into May's #FirstDraftFriday with guest author Phaea Crede! Phaea is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. Phaea Crede’s debut picture book, JET THE CAT (IS NOT A CAT), illustrated by Terry Runyan, is out this month from Barefoot Books! To order your copy, visit: http://www.phaeacrede.com/books.html No

Spring into Spring with April's #FirstDraftFriday

It's Friday! Even better, it's #FirstDraftFriday and guest author Valerie Bolling is here to help us nurture those story idea seeds and make them bloom into drafts! Valerie is generously offering a manuscript critique as a prize for someone who completes a draft today! Details at the end of this post. LET'S DANCE, Valerie's debut picture book, pairs her rhythmic text with vibrant illustrations by Maine Diaz. It showcases children of diverse backgrounds enjoying dances from ar

#FirstDraftFriday - New Month, New Draft

Welcome to #FirstDraftFriday, the March edition! Guest author Ana Siqueira is here to inspire us, and then the rest is up to you. You've got until 8 pm ET to draft a new picture book and get in on the critique giveaway. Ana is going above and beyond on the giveaway, offering both a critique and a 20-minute follow up Zoom call. So get ready to draft because you don't want to miss your chance at that! Ana's debut picture book, BELLA’S RECIPE FOR SUCCESS, illustrated by Geraldin

Join the #FirstDraftFriday fun!

#FirstDraftFriday is off to a great start in 2021, so let's keep the fun rolling...Join us on the first Friday of each month to get a picture book first draft written and maybe win a prize! An awesome line up of guest authors is waiting to share their tips and tricks on how to turn that fabulous idea into a fabulous first draft...or at least a full first draft! It doesn't have to be fabulous (that's what revision is for); it just has to be done. So mark your calendar to check