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Anyone done a course from Vermont?
Agents, Markets, & Querying / Re: PB Query critique
Last post by Debbie Vilardi - Yesterday at 06:12 PM
This is a good start. I think it could use a little tightening and the description of the story reads as generic to me. Perhaps give me some specifics that show how this heartwarming journey differs from all the others.

So, in the first paragrpah, you can combine ideas:
we compost our food scraps at homes, schools, the office, or joyful gatherings."Thank you for liking my picture book party submission. For reference, I was #23 etc. Rupert Loses His Shine is a 589 word picture book focusing on self expression as a journey toward inner happiness.

Rupert ---plot and comps.

For the paragraph about yourself, the first sentence can be cut. Be careful of using adjectives in your query. The agent/ editor is the judge of whether your work is heartwarming, etc. But your work experience is very relevant.

I hope this helps. Congratz on the likes and good luck with the submissions. 
Good News! / Re: My Upper MG novel has foun...
Last post by Mrs. Jones - Yesterday at 06:14 AM
Sarah! Somehow I missed this news! SURVIVOR MOUNTAIN sounds amazing!!!

Good News! / Re: Book Birthday
Last post by Jennylynnpease - April 13, 2024, 06:24 PM
Thank you so much everyone! 😊😊😊
Picture Books (PB) / Re: Desperate for publisher fo...
Last post by Jennylynnpease - April 13, 2024, 06:19 PM
Personally, it took me over 5 years to get published. Like others said, it's often a very long process. It can be frustrating, disheartening, difficult, and painful. Your writing will also get lots and lots of rejections. That being said... don't give up. If you truly love writing children's book, don't give up.

Also, I would suggest not putting all your focus on one book... especially if you're a picture book writer.

Keep writing, keep learning, keep growing. One day, when your writing is ready, you will get published.

But brace yourself for the long road ahead.

Editing my post to add some questions you should ask yourself...

Did you have multiple writers review and critique your story?

Did you revise and edit the story many, many, many times?

Did you research publishers before submitting to find out who might be the best fit for your story?

Did you take lots of classes, webinars, etc on writing for children before submitting?

Take your time to learn and grow.

You can do it!


Agents, Markets, & Querying / PB Query critique
Last post by AndyC - April 13, 2024, 03:54 PM
Hi All,

I was a finalist in the PB party competition (illustrator category) and I have over a dozen requests to see more work and dummy. So I have my hands a good way. :)

I have written my first ever query and would love some critiques as I want to start submitting in the next couple of days.

Note: In my query I have section in parentheses [ ] where I will add in some personalisation for each agent letter.

FYI - I have written a short version but I felt the magic was list a little.


I was thrilled to see your interest in my Picture Book Party submission and your request for a query. For reference, I was #23 in the illustrator showcase. [INSERT PERSONALIZATION & WHY A GOOD FIT]. I am excited to present my work and children's picture book, RUPERT LOSES HIS SHINE, to you.

In this whimsical adventure, Rupert, an eager-to-please rainbow, dramatically loses his colors while trying to impress others. Rupert embarks on a colorful and character-filled quest to rediscover his shine and learns valuable lessons about embracing one's true self.

RUPERT LOSES HIS SHINE (589 words) is a heart-warming, modern tale crafted for young readers aged 2-5, written in prose and focusing on themes of self-expression and inner happiness. It draws inspiration from heart-warming journeys of inner happiness, such as Shine by Patrick McDonnell, and modern whimsy found in titles like Kevin the Unicorn: It's Not All Rainbows. RUPERT LOSES HIS SHINE will stand out with its charming narrative, memorable characters, and captivating illustrations.

Residing in Sydney, Australia, the son of a librarian and a parent myself, I value the power of engaging storytelling for young minds. My passion lies in picture books, backed by courses, numerous manuscripts, and active involvement in critique groups. With over two decades as an Art Director in graphic design and advertising, I offer a unique blend of creativity and craftsmanship, ensuring that RUPERT LOSES HIS SHINE entertains and resonates with its audience.

Please find a link to my Book Dummy here.
Please find a link to my art here.

Thank you for considering my submission. I look forward to the possibility of working together to make Rupert's story shine bright on bookshelves everywhere.

Picture Books (PB) / Re: Desperate for publisher fo...
Last post by dewsanddamps - April 13, 2024, 02:18 PM
What Harold and Debbie said. But maybe the most important thing to do while you wait is to continue to work on your craft. Write the next book. And good luck!
Picture Books (PB) / Re: Desperate for publisher fo...
Last post by Debbie Vilardi - April 12, 2024, 07:37 PM
This is a very slow business. I'm past the 20 year mark since my first submissions to agents/editors. Of course, I had no idea what I was doing then in terms of submissions and writing. I've also raised two kids (one with special needs) and done a ton of work for hire in that time, including more than 20 books. A short story of mine and a few poems have been published too. But this industry can be glacial.

So here are some steps to take while you wait. Look up the editors on Query Tracker and use the comments to learn if they reply and where they are in the queue. Some folks list this in their Twitter feeds and websites too. Note that some editors will never reply unless they are interested.

Find a critique group and write the next book of your heart. All agents and many publishers want to know you have more than one book in you.

Study the industry. Harold's website and the SCBWI site are good places to start along with all the stickies on these boards.

This is not an industry for the faint of heart, but no art is. If you don't hear back, have faith. Get your art and writing critiqued on these forums or in a group you join, revise and find two more editors to submit to. (If you're sure your work is professional enough, skip to the last part. Two editors is pretty few, but you do need more manuscripts too.) 
Picture Books (PB) / Re: Desperate for publisher fo...
Last post by HaroldU - April 12, 2024, 04:09 PM
There is so much you need to know about how the business works. It can take years to get your first book signed up, and it likely won't be the first book you wrote, the book of your heart, it will be a later one, which will benefit from what you learn over the years about craft--because you do need to learn about the craft.

Once it is signed up, if it needs to be illustrated it will be minimum of two years before it reaches the market, and three is more typical.

You may need to get an agent, which also takes time.

I recently taught a workshop on submission strategies, and as part of the research for it I solicited stories from published authors about how long it took them from the time they started submitting to their first contract, and it was anywhere from a year to more than ten.

Sorry, but those are the realities.
Quote from: patricia-brown on April 12, 2024, 12:23 PMI will be able to download it and use it on my website

That's great :)
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