Monday, April 7, 2014

Writing Picture Books by Leanne Dyck

I cared for infants, toddlers and preschoolers in a day care centre for over fourteen years. Before that, I was a Sunday school teacher and a child minder. Happy memories of sharing stories with children skipped through my mind and my pen flew across the page. When I finally ran out of ink, I'd written two picture books.

'Competition for publication of picture books is fierce. Many publishers receive hundreds of these manuscripts every month and picture books are expensive to produce. You will be competing with well established children's writers...and with the work of author-illustrators....
[I]t's best to approach this genre armed with information...
The Canadian Children's Book Centre'

Here's a list of 20+ picture book publishers.

My journey to seeing my manuscripts published has just begun. Over the months to come, I will continue to share this adventure with you.

One thing I won't be doing is self-publishing these--or any other--picture book. 

Listen to Joanna's Penn with picture book author Karen Inglis.

And even if I don't find a publisher, I've already gained from the experience of writing them.

I assure you that with every picture book manuscript you write, your ability to write tight and clever will improve. How to Write Children's Picture Books by Tara Lazar.

And as always, reading is key.

Picture books have a unique rhythm and cadence, a certain subtlety that can only be understood by reading and absorbing them...I suggest reading 500 picture books before you sit down to write your first manuscript. How To Write Children's Picture Books by Tara Lazar.

So, as I travel this journey to publication, I return to my favourite bookstore. 

"What's your best-selling picture book," I ask the clerk. Because if you want to live there, you need to visit...

And why travel alone?
Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers

You may also be interested in reading...

What To Do With A Picture Book Manuscript by Janet McNaughton

Sharing my author journey...

On the weekend I sent a short story to a literary journal. Mail doesn't leave my island until today so it sat in the mailbox for two days. But, you know, I needed to make that trip; I needed to drop that letter into the box; I needed to prove--to myself--that I've still got my head in this game. Lately my life has become this great big ball of wax and its dripping all over my writing. I need three things to be productive--I need to be happy; I need to have my mind on writing; and I need time. All three have been in short supply, lately. When this happens I need to remind myself that not only am I a writer but I'm also an engaged human being. My life doesn't only exist on paper but in the 'real' world. And I'm learning how to be gentle with myself when I'm not as productive as I'd like to be. 

And I have another submission waiting by the door. Today just may be the day that it gets mailed. Figures crossed.