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12 x 12 success stories?

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I am trying to decide at what level to sign up for in the 12 x 12 pb challenge. Does anyone know if any of the top level participants had manuscripts accepted/signed? Is it worth the extra money?

I would love to hear about the experiences of those who met the challenge last year and suggestions for getting the most out of signing up.

#1 - January 26, 2013, 02:10 PM
The Art of Story

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#2 - January 27, 2013, 10:09 AM

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I participated last year and signed up again this year, and love the motivation and support from all the 12 x 12 participants.  But this is only the second year the challenge is running...and it didn't cost anything last year, so there's no way to tell how much the higher levels will help. 

There's definitely a lot more offered this year--like an agent or editor you can submit to each month (and bypass the slush pile--plus I believe two of the ones listed aren't open to subs unless you see them at a conference, have a referral, or are a Gold 12 x 12 member).  One of my favorite parts of being a Gold member so far is the query critique session, where  Emma Walton Hamilton gave incredible feedback on about 40 queries. 

I've been pretty busy revising my MGs and keeping up with my critique groups, but if you have the time to put into critiques, I've been impressed with what I've seen in the private forum for the first 250 words of a PB, queries, and blurbs.  I definitely plan to participate in the critique section when I have more time! 
#3 - January 27, 2013, 11:46 AM

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Hi pjlyons,

This is only the second year that 12x12 has existed and only the first year that there have been tiered levels and fees. So I don't think you'll hear many success stories yet. It also may be hard for people to say whether it's been worth the money yet since we're only a month into the paid iteration.

I signed up for the bronze level because I loved the project last year and wanted to continue being a part of the community. What I'm missing out on by not being at the silver or gold levels is the ability to have queries, pitches, and the first 250 words of a PB critiqued, and also the monthly submissions to an agent or editor. Honestly, I still waffle on whether I should have done a higher level. Being a part of the community was the most important thing to me and $ is tight, however I thought I'd be able to be a fly on the wall of the higher up forums but you aren't able to view them unless you are silver or gold level. 

Whether or not it's worthwhile to you is really going to depend on where you are at in your writing journey. Hope that helps!
#4 - January 27, 2013, 01:24 PM
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THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
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Thanks Mindy and Jenn. I decided to go for the gold. Can't wait to get started!
#5 - January 27, 2013, 03:24 PM
The Art of Story

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Hi there,

I too participated in 12 x 12 last year and am doing the Bronze Level this year, mostly because I'm currently focused on educational publishers and early readers this year.

In terms of success, I think it depends upon how you define it. I think most of us would say we completed far more manuscripts with 12 x 12 than without. As for me, I also got a freelance gig writing leveled science articles halfway through last year.  I attribute part of that success to 12 x 12. No, it's not a published picture book, but it is paid work in the "writing for children" field.

I think this year will be even better with opportunities to have professional critiques and to bypass the slushpile. Plus, it's a wonderful community of passionate readers and writers.

Good luck with your decision!

Kirsten Larson
#6 - January 27, 2013, 03:27 PM
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Kristen--that's really cool that you got that freelance gig! Very good point about success coming in all shapes and sizes.
#7 - January 27, 2013, 04:19 PM
BOOK SCAVENGER, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt 
THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
jenniferchamblissbertman.com

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This is my first year and I only signed up for bronze, but I think it's been a great community and a great resource. I only signed up for bronze since I feel I have a good in-person critique group and still feel like I'm a "beginner", plus I go back and forth between writing articles and picture books. I didn't know if I would take full advantage of the extras in the silver and gold levels. . . but I've been considering "upgrading" for the advantages they do have. Glad to hear you joined - I think you'll find it worthwhile!
#8 - January 27, 2013, 04:37 PM

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Hi everyone, I just saw this thread, so sorry for not jumping in earlier. However, I think the existing members have (as usual) done a great job of articulating what 12 x 12 is all about and the benefits of participating.

I totally agree that which level you choose should depend on where you are in your writing journey. If you have PBs that are ready to submit (or you think they will be soon), the GOLD level is perfect. If you have several written that also need revising AND you want the motivation to write more and get feedback, SILVER is great. BRONZE is perfect for getting your toes wet if you are starting out. It will get you into this amazing community of 400+ writers who are there to support each other.

I hope that helps some, and anyone is welcome to contact me if they have further questions. Registration is only open until the end of February though, so if you are considering joining, I might think about making that decision sooner rather than later.  :grin3
#9 - February 02, 2013, 06:23 PM

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Regarding "bypassing the slush pile" does this apply to the editors more so than the agents? My understanding was that if an agent is accepting submissions, and you send something to him or her, it gets read directly by that agent, rather than going into a slush pile.

There are two agents on the list of participants who I want to submit to, but from what I've found, they already accept unsolicited submissions. So I'm wondering if submitting to them via 12x12 presents any advantage over submitting to them outside of 12x12.
#10 - February 04, 2013, 07:06 AM

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Hi Anthony,

Great question! The agents participating in 12 x 12 have agreed to give submissions from participants priority, knowing that they are coming from a pool of writers actively working on their craft (similar to those attending a conference). While they were not required to commit to responding to each and every query, Stephen Fraser, the February agent, has already replied to many of the submissions and even requested additional mss from some.

It's another way of establishing a connection and getting attention on your work. But you are absolutely correct that some of these agents do accept unsolicited manuscripts.
#11 - February 05, 2013, 02:51 PM

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Thanks for the reply Julie! That makes sense. I'm strongly considering signing up (Stephen Fraser is one of the agents I'd love to submit to).
#12 - February 05, 2013, 04:50 PM

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