If anyone is writing for children I would highly recommend joining The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Recently, I have been to two of their events in Manchester. The first was a talk given by two former book editors, Amber Caraveo and Joanna Moult who run up The Skylark Literary Agency. They gave an inspiring, insightful, helpful talk before pre-booked one to one sessions.
The main thing is Voice. Find your voice. That is what they are looking for. And with that, great writing.
For the one to one, I met with Joanna, having sent her a copy of Noise of Snow a month or so ago. Now, the Agency do not represent picture books and Noise of Snow is a picture book of sorts. But, she liked it, really liked it and knows nothing like it. Good news.
And something I knew before, but have fought against. It is written in rhyme and because rhyme is difficult to translate to many languages, publishers can be put off by it. As pictures books are expensive to print, with their full colour pages, co-publishing prior to print needs to be gained. And by co-publishing, this means getting different countries, and so languages on board.
And she skipped the artists’ biographies, scanned them rather, so I may not need those. Think I’ll reinstall the artists’ soundbites which I had originally.
And so the verses. I am rewriting them in prose.
And another thought: Agents who have publishing skills are a plus.
And onto the second SCBWI meeting and the critique groups. I’d written the prose, and that needs work, but the main points were – cut down to 12 spreads, (I had 16 – cost again) and follow the story…I had fitted the story to my illustrations, so the thread of the action broke several times. I need to stop being so precious. I can always use the illustrations I cut in another book 🙂