Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Current Obsession

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As a former professional researcher I adore digging into a project. And since I'm looking into agents, well let's just say I'm a little obsessed with my online research. Here is one of the "great for newbies like me" resources I found - a list of what to look for in an independent agency's website. Green flags for the green writer, if you will. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Picking a Conference

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I'm on vacation so no writing, no revising, no stalking the Verla Kay Bluebo..., LOL. You know I'm kidding right? I can't help myself! So I've I slipped away from my dear children to check on the world of PBs, and found these two links:

The first takes you to a list of which agents will be attending upcoming (primarily children's writing) conferences. The second is for editors.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Registration Opens Today

Wake up, kidlit campers! Rise and shine! It’s time to register for Picture Book Idea Month!

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

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Yes I am focused on picture books, and No I haven't forgotten about the magazine market. I have a few poems on submission and always keep an eye out for opportunities. 

Highlights magazine is running a fabulous contest, as follows: "Stories for beginning readers in 500 words or fewer. We welcome stories of any genre (mystery, historical fiction, sports, humor, holiday, friendship, etc.) as long as the stories are intended for kids ages 6–8."

There is no entry fee and all submissions must be postmarked between January 1 and January 31, 2013.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shenanigan Books

This New Jersey-based company produces unique picture, craft and board books for preschool to third grade, richly illustrated and skillfully written stories, that inspire and delight young readers. Its founder, illustrator/author, Mary Watson, hand-selects books that capture the imagination and make bedtime-reading a treasured family tradition. Journey to foreign lands or into the magical worlds of mermaids, fairies or beasties with Shenanigan’s multicultural and fantasy titles. Or just laugh out loud with Shenanigan’s humorous titles. Please include a brief author biography, book synopsis and contact information with your submission. Picture book manuscripts should be about 1,500 words. Email manuscripts to: 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tick Tock Plot Clock

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This fabulous post outlines, well, an outline. It provides a rough format for plotting out your picture book. It has proven very useful as I try to write the rough drafts of two manuscripts.

Sylvan Dell

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According to their website: The picture books that we publish are usually, but not always, fictional stories that relate to animals, nature, the environment, science, and math. All books should subtly convey an educational theme through a warm story that is fun to read and that will grab a child’s attention. 

There is also a list of what they are and are NOT looking for.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Did It!

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I submitted to a few amazing agents. I was on the fence about the whole process but I've done a bit (okay, a LOT) of research and there are some seriously talented agents out there who handle picture books. I think my favorite part is reading their interviews and being all, like "OMG - I love that book!" or "I like cheese plates and quirky books too!" Soooo, fingers crossed people. Fingers crossed.

A Little Motivation

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30 Writing Tips from 30 Authors

With gems like "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass," you are bound to find some inspiration. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Word Count

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Doing a bit of picture book research? Need to know how many words are in a certain book? Just go to the following site and follow the prompts. Be careful to type in the title exactly as it appears on the book, and Voila! Someone else did the hard work so you don't have to!

Click on the link below, select STORE, then click on the "AR BookFinder" link.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

To Agent, or Not to Agent...

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That is the question. I have no clue about the answer. I never thought I could get an agent without a book under my belt, so I have been submitting directly to well-researched, targeted small publishers. But now I am reconsidering, in which case this list will come in handy:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Flash Light Press

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This marvelous publisher focuses on family / social situation picture books. They are one of my "holy grail" publishers - check out their books, read their author and editor interviews online, they are amazing!

According to their submissions guidelines: "Stories should have universal themes and deal with family or social situations. They should appeal to 4-8 year olds and have approximately 1,000 words. Most of all, they should feel like they'd fit our line. Please spend some time looking through our website and reading about our books to determine whether your story might be a fit. Remember, we only publish picture books."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

PB Agents

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They do exist. And the proof is here:

Check out this link and other useful resources on the blog of fellow blue-boarder Katie Clark.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shen's Books

Shen's Books is dedicated to producing children's literature that emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia. We are currently only considering picture book manuscripts of fewer than 2500 words. Stories must reflect the culture of an Asian country or that of Asian-Americans. Stories involving multiple ethnicities and tolerance will be considered as long as at least one culture depicted is Asian.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Second Story Press

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Thank you for your interest in Second Story Press. We are currently accepting samples of unsolicited manuscripts. We are a Canadian feminist press publishing books of special interest to women. Our list is a mix of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. We look for manuscripts dealing with the many diverse and varied aspects of the lives of girls and women. If you feel that your manuscript fits with our list, please send it according to the instructions below. If you are a US author, you may want to consider sending your manuscript to one of the many US publishing houses; we try to focus on Canadian authors. Note we do not publish poetry, rhyming picture books, or books with anthropomorphized animals.

Knowonder *UPDATE*

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I just received an email update about Knowonder's submissions policy: 

"We wanted to give you an update today because we have suspended accepting new story applications for the time being. The reason is simply because we have received so many great subscriptions that we need a bit more time to get through them all. We have received a few emails recently inquiring as to the status of a story, so please know that we are still working on reading them all and you should hear back from us in the next 30 to 60 days! We anticipate beginning to accept submissions again somewhere toward the end of the year. Jan 1st, 2013 is our deadline we've given ourselves."

This really is a great website so don't forget to check back with them in January. My short story, Library Lesson, won their Reader's Choice award - a wonderful experience. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Coming... PiBoIdMo!!

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Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) is a November writing challenge specifically for picture book writers. Unlike the NaNoWriMo challenge for novelists, PiBoIdMo participants don’t have to write a manuscript (but you can if the mood strikes!). The challenge is to create 30 new picture book story ideas in 30 days. Those who do are eligible for prizes at the end of the month, like a consultation with a literary agent, signed original art, autographed picture books, and story critiques. And everyone wins this prize: a fat file of ideas to help inspire your stories throughout the year. For details, visit:


It's been a good week - My Light magazine just sent me an acceptance letter for my poem, Where Prayer Ends. The work will appear in the November issue. My Light is an online catholic magazine for children. Learn more here: