Wednesday, July 24, 2013

This is what agent Karen Grencik says agents/editors are looking for in picture books:

“Very child-centered stories where the kids will see themselves in the place of the main character, with a very strong narrative arc, with scenes specifically building one upon the other, a series of three, and a very emotionally satisfying conclusion, with broad audience appeal and a great marketing hook. They do not want fleshed out descriptive texts. They want simply the framework of the story so that the illustrations can offer 50% of the story. They want tension throughout and great page turns. All under 600 words, preferably. Oh, and a takeaway for the kid. They want layers to the story where a child or parent will see something new with each reread. Sweet stories or fun wordplay stories are not enough anymore.”

   My story Hurricane Carlos, recently rejected by Karen, has a lot of these features, but it may be that I fleshed it out too much.  On to revision!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Even if I never sell another thing...'s been such a joy to help my friend Genevieve Doak sell her childhood story called The Year of the Goose.  She had typed it up years ago and submitted it somewhere and got rejected, so she put it aside.  I typed it up on the computer and printed it out for her, and then we looked on line to find a magazine that might be a good fit.  I wrote a submission letter for her and we mailed off her story.  I crossed my fingers and toes that she wouldn't get a rejection...
    ...and 8 weeks later, while I was there with her on a Saturday, she got her contract in the mail!  Her story will appear in the December 2013 issue of Good Old Days magazine, and they are paying her $25.00.  As the photo shows, she couldn't be more pleased!