This New Year’s Eve, we will be ringing in a new year and a new decade. It’s an ideal time to take stock of goals and to make plans to achieve your creative dreams. Here are a few concrete steps to help celebrate 2020 with writing resolutions in mind:

Start a Vision Board – gather words, phrases, and pictures from magazines or online; special photos; song lyrics; and other memorabilia that resonates and helps you to visually imagine moving forward with your goals.

Get Organized – Fill a notebook, journal, calendar, or online system with to-do notes and deadlines. These small goals and dates can all shift as you move into the year but it’s often helpful to at least have a starting point you can commit to.

Join Some Free Writing Challenges – there are many free writing workshops and challenges available at the beginning of the new year. Here are a few to consider:

January - StoryStorm

February - Nonfiction Fest (NF Fest)

March - Reading for Research Month (ReFoReMo)

March - Chapter Book Challenge

Recommit To Your Critique Group – check in with your critique group and recommit to make 2020 a banner year for supporting your writing partners. If you are not yet part of a group, make it a goal to get involved. Helpful resources for finding critique groups include your local chapter -, and free resources on Facebook such as KidLit411 and Sub It Club

Consider Stretching your Brain in Other Ways - take a children’s book illustration course like this one and literally discover new ways of seeing and doing things.

Let me know in the comments about the resources you find helpful as you gear up for the new year!

Cheers to making 2020 your best year yet!

Happy creating!


Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Book One: Return to Coney Island and Book Two: The Liberty Bell Train Ride (Clear Fork Publishing, 2017 and 2020); and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush and Ready, Set, GOrilla! (Clear Fork, 2018). Upcoming picture books include Return of the Magic Paintbrush and Sadie’s Shabbat Stories (Clear Fork, 2020). Melissa is an Assistant and Blogger for the Children’s Book Academy, a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, a Moderator for The Debut Picture Book Study Group, and a volunteer with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators/MetroNY. Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer and editor, and early childhood educator. Additionally, she is a member of the Board of Trustees at Temple Shaaray Tefila, and a past trustee at The Hewitt School. Melissa lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and one puppy.