A Beginning Reader for St. Patrick’s Day

I’ve been practicing creating picture books. I’m an artist, but I haven’t done illustrations before. My first effort went live just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s called “A Pot of Gold” and it’s for the earliest readers.

Most early readers are created in-house, so publishers and agents aren’t interested in them. Kids love them, though, and there aren’t many St. Patrick’s Day books, so I decided to do the illustrations and post it to Kindle.

I learned so much in the process. I am now a master of the pen tool in Photoshop. I’ve also learned how to use Perspective Warp and Object Select.

I found out what the formats mean on Kindle and discovered free Google Fonts.

If you have a young reader in your house, take a look at “A Pot of Gold.”

What You Need to Know About Query Letters

If you’ve finished a project and you are about to query an agent or editor, here’s a great article linked from Harold Underdown’s blog. If you don’t know about him and you write for children, keep his site handy. It’s a terrific resource.

Before you send, a checklist:

  • Did you research your recipient?
  • Did you spell their name right?
  • Are you sending a manuscript they said they didn’t want?
  • Did you include your social media information? (If you have it.)
  • Did you include your contact information?
  • Is your letter brief and to the point?
  • Does the tone of your letter catch the spirit of your story?
  • Did you include the character and the stakes? (If you don’t know what stakes are, look it up.)
  • Did you include only relevant biographical information?
  • Is your letter less than a page long?

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Funny Picture Books Need Golden Hearts

I love the Children’s Book Academy. I just finished a month-long workshop on writing picture books and learned so much. Some manuscripts I need to revise one more time are humorous and that is important, because everyone loves funny stories (especially me,) but the best humorous tales offer a deeper layer, like the finish on a fine wine.

Click on this link to read what it means to create a picture book with both humor and heart.

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Have a Picture Book MS? Check This Out

Click on the link for information about how to create a winning entry for PB Pitch sessions on Twitter.


More resources for picture book writers and more about me.

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Find Out Why Picture Book Manuscripts are Shorter Than They Used to Be

If you have checked market guidelines lately, you know picture book manuscripts are shorter than ever. Read the post below to find out why.

re: What’s Up with the Super Short Picture Book Texts? | DearEditor.com.

Good News for Children’s Writers from BEA

Read more about 2013 BEA news for writers of middle grade novels, picture books, and YA by clicking on the link below.

Harold Underdown: “YA isn’t going away … print end of the publishing business is healthy” | Young People’s Pavilion.

Barry Goldblatt Represents Books for Children and Young Adults

An interview with Barry Goldblatt. He will be at Pikes Peak next weekend!

Literary Rambles: Agent Spotlight: Barry Goldblatt.

7 Things Children’s Book Writers Must Know

Great advice for writers of children’s books from Write4Kids!

7 Things Editors at Children’s Book Publishers Wish Writers Knew | Write4Kids!.

Naming Your Characters

Here’s a fascinating little blog post. It was written for new parents, but it’s great for writers, too! Make sure your character’s name says something about him (or her).

Children’s Book Names: From Aidan to Zoe – Nameberry – Baby Name BlogBaby Name Blog – Nameberry.