The FNC, Timeline Style
September: It begins. We meet in a Writing for Children workshop, and everything clicks.
October: We draft rough versions of what will become our first novels (YA contemporary fantasy for Frankie, YA fantasy a la Tamora Pierce for Sara, upper YA contemporary for Donna, and a picture storybook for Janine).
December: Class is over, but Janine suggests we continue critiquing each other's work. Smart, smart girl. Best idea ever.
January: First meeting. A little stilted, mildly awkward, way too formal ... but the love affair has begun.
February-December 2008: We meet every month, which becomes every three weeks. Meetings move from the university library to Starbucks to Barnes and Noble to Panera and then to a different Barnes and Noble. (No nearby indies, sadly.) But surrounded by coffee and books, we've found our home. Our WIPs progress, and the meetings lengthen from two to three (occasionally four) hours because, in addition to critiquing, now we talk (a lot) about everything.
April: We attend a conference as a group for the first time. Hilarity ensues. We decide to start a blog. The First Novels Club is born. We have no idea what we're getting into.
July: By mid-month, we're finally getting the hang of this blog thing. Kinda. At least now we post more often!
August: We interview rock star authors Maggie Stiefvater and Becca Fitzpatrick and co-review Shiver and Hush, Hush ... before either one hit the NYT Bestseller lists. Eek! Thus begins a long string of reviews and interviews.
September: Donna begins the inaugural Sneak Peek Week, giving readers a taste of what we write.
October: Little blog's growing quickly! Frankie's begun Vampire Diaries episode recaps, one of the blog's most popular features. We've also started writing character studies and even Disney-fied a few.
November: Publishers Weekly links to the FNC recap of a Books of Wonder signing, and hello new followers!
December: The FNC celebrates two years as a critique group by posting Sneak Peek Week 2!
January: We attend the SCBWI-NYC Winter Conference together and experiment with unofficial live blogging. We post our first (and so far only) vlog.
March: We hit 500 followers ... and keep going! Squee!
April: Our one-year blogiversary. We return to the conference that started it all -- SCBWI-EPA Poconos -- this time as live bloggers and members of the blogging panel.
May: Frankie gets an agent! Laura Rennert officially represents Frankie and her YA contemporary fantasy, Stolen. The FNC blog gets a facelift.
December: We've been a critique group for three years! Yayyy!
January: We're the official live bloggers for the 2011Writers Digest Conference.
March: We hit 1000 followers!!!
April: Our two-year blogiversary - how time has flown!
December: Our four-year critique-group-iversary!
January: Janine gets an agent! She signs with Erszi Deak of Hen&Ink.
Want to know more? Check out our original post in which we introduced one another.
Want to know even more? Email us! firstnovelsclub [at] gmail [dot] com