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#FirstDraftFriday 2023

Updated: Jan 7

#FirstDraftFriday is rolling into its third year, and I couldn't be more excited! It's been a blast interviewing authors and learning how their first drafts came to be, then seeing so many kidlit community members create their own new picture book drafts each month. I'm so grateful to everyone who's taken part thus far, as a guest or a participant.


My goal for 2023 is to have another great year of this event...but also, kick things up a notch. So, I've got a few surprises to announce, along with an awesome line-up of guests!


But first, if you're new to #FirstDraftFriday, welcome! Here's how #FirstDraftFriday works:

Mark your calendar to check out my blog the first Friday of each month for that day's guest author interview! Get inspired and then get drafting a new picture book manuscript. Things "officially" start at 8 am ET with the blog post (but see PSA below). Join us on the Twitter hashtag for encouragement and accountability!


If you finish before 10 pm ET, comment on that blog post to be entered into a drawing for a critique giveaway from the day's featured guest.


PSA: You can adjust the 14-hour writing window to suit your time zone, but you must comment by 10 pm ET if you want in on the giveaway drawing.


Yes, that's right! The critique entry deadline has been pushed back 2 hours to 10 pm ET for 2023. I hope this helps people on the West Coast and beyond join in more!


Also new in 2023 is the #FirstDraftFriday pledge. Take it if you want a little extra motivation, accountability, and the chance at a GRAND PRIZE! The pledge asks you to commit to writing 12 new drafts on any of the 13 (yes, 13, more about that in a sec) #FirstDraftFridays in 2023. Here's the Google Form to take the pledge. (Only available to sign through 1/6/23.)


There will be 13 #FirstDraftFridays in 2023 because we're starting with a SPECIAL #FirstDraftFriday on 1/1/23...which is a Sunday. I know, I know...clearly not a Friday. But it is 2 years exactly from when I launched #FirstDraftFriday, and my first guest ever, the wonderful Margaret Aitkens, said I should do something special to celebrate. And my second guest ever, the amazing Norene Paulson, happened to have a new book coming out, so...there you go! Not only can you start the year off 'write,' but this special #FirstDraftFriday will have extra prizes!!!


Finally, let me lay out the terrific authors who have graciously agreed to be part of #FirstDraftFriday! They are:


January 1 Special #SundayEdition - Norene Paulson


January 6 - Kelly Swemba

February 3 - Angela Krans


March 3 - Marietta Apollonio


April 7 - Malcolm Newsome


May 5 - Jen de Oliveira


June 2 - Ha Dinh


July 7 - Bea Birdsong August 4 - Susan Yoon


September 1 - Kailei Pew


October 6 - DK Ryland


November 3 - Kim-Hoa Ung


December 1 - Omar Abed


With the exception of Norene & Bea, all the guests are part of PB23Bunch. The 12th member of that group, Allen Wells, will be featured in 2024 to be closer to his pub date, which was pushed back. (You know how this business is!)

Now again, to win a critique, you must write your draft on the designated #FirstDraftFriday, comment on the day's blog post by 10 pm ET, and follow both me and the day's guest author on Twitter. (For now I'm sticking with Twitter but we may adjust to other social media "follows" depending on how things go with this bird app.)


To make that last step easier, why not just go ahead and follow us all now? We're at:

@HollieWolverton

@NorenePaulson

@KSwemba

@angelakrans

@mar_illustrates

@Malcolm_Newsome

@jendeoart

@HelloMrsDinh

@BeaBirdsong

@susansyoon

@KaileiPew

@RylandDk

@AutumnLeaflet

@OmarAbedWrites

and for 2024: @AllenWritesWell

and for funsies: @PB23Bunch


Questions? Thoughts? Testimonials? Comment below or on Twitter.


Hope to see you on #FirstDraftFriday!

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