Author Topic: Any fellow leprechauns?  (Read 16437 times)

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Offline thunderingelephants

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Any fellow leprechauns?
« on: March 07, 2009, 06:09 AM »
 ;D

I've tried to look for information on children's writers agents in the small island of Ireland and cannot seek out one!  Any fellow irish people who can offer advice?  My stories are anthropomorphic and I'd like to bring my characters to life but haven't a clue where to send them.  Also, any substitutes for IRC's?  Apparently they are not available here any more.

By the way, should I bother?  They are talking animals.  Aren't they still taboo?  Thanks for any advice.


Thunderingelephants. :hair

MichelleBud

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2009, 07:03 AM »
When I studied abroad in Dublin, I went to a Children's Books Ireland conference - it was great. Here's a link to their site; maybe they have information about connecting with other Irish writers, agents, etc.  :irishbeer http://www.childrensbooksireland.com/

Offline angela

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2009, 08:44 AM »
Ireland has at least one big book fair and also a SCBWI chapter.

Good luck with your books!
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Offline thunderingelephants

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2009, 11:20 AM »
 :balloongroup

Thanks guys.  I will give it a go. 

I would still love to know if there are other anthropomorphic childrens  :thankyouwriters like me out there.  I can't seem to find any.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday.   :thankyou

Offline chasing my tail

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2009, 12:01 AM »
Hey, Thundering . . .

I lived in Ireland for a couple of years, and found a couple of great resources for children's writers through the Writers' Museum on Parnell Street, Dublin. If you're anywhere in that area, you may want to give them a try, too. (Or google them -- there's a great newsletter, too.)

As for the IRC's, they've basically disappeared. They don't seem to exist anymore (at least not in Ireland or in the Netherlands) and haven't been around for awhile (I've been asking about them since 2001). And, since the US Post Office won't send postage overseas anymore (and I couldn't figure out how to get postage from England -- what a horrible website they have!), my best advice would be to try eBay for foreign postage. I'm lucky in that my parents will send me American stamps, and I have an English friend to goes home for a visit twice a year (I give her some money, and she buys some stamps for me). If you know anyone who is travelling (or anyone already in the countries where you need stamps), maybe you could ask them?

Sorry if that's not much help.

I would also recommend that you get involved in the local SCBWI -- even if no one else writes about anthropomorphic animals, having connections to other writers is always a good thing.
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Offline thunderingelephants

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2009, 07:56 AM »
 :grouphug2

Chasing,

Thanks for that.  What a great invention google is.  I've never even heard the writers' museum.  Mind you, when I logged, their last update was 2007.  I hope that's wrong.  I have an uncle in Ohio, so maybe he can help.  It is really an agent I am looking for.

I'd still love to know if there are any fellow irish out there.  It's kind of lonely here in Cork.

Thank goodness for Verlakay!


 :lol

Offline Marissa Doyle

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2009, 07:31 AM »
Does it help that my book coming out in September is set in Cork (in 1838, though)?  My husband's frequently in Cork on business--am so looking forward to visiting it some day, but having children at home is making that a tad hard to manage.

Good luck with your agent search...but you know, it is perfectly possible to have an agent in a different country...


P.S.  You did try googling "literary agents in Ireland", right?  There don't seem to be many, but there are a handful of them.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 07:34 AM by Marissa Doyle »
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Offline thunderingelephants

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2009, 06:10 AM »
Marissa,

 :thankyou  You lovely woman!  I am feeling down-hearted at the mo so you've really lifted my spirits!  Where are you from?  Can't imagine what Cork was like in the 1800's.  I've only lived here 18 years!

I am using the children's writers & illustrators bible to find an agent and spending a fortune sending my work off.  Actually, surprisingly my work is being sent back from the UK at the publishers expense.  (only because IRCs are obsolete here)

Further to that, I did try to search for an agent, but every single one wanted payment for their services.  I was under the impression it was meant to be vice versa!  Looks like I'll have to send abroad.  I have sent abroad, I suppose it's just a waiting game, apu.

By the way, anyone like custard?  I'm trying to write a story about it at the mo, but my kitten keeps attacking the keyboard!  Keep in touch.


 :bangcomputer

Offline Marissa Doyle

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2009, 12:00 PM »
I'm a Boston girl...which is at times more Irish than Ireland, I think!

You're absolutely right that it's vice versa--money should flow TO the author, not away.  Defintely keep away from agents who require up-front money.  Have you tried searching on www.agentquery.com yet?  It's a searchable database (and is kept reasonably up-to-date) and has lots of other good and usual info as well.  The nice part is that the majority of agents now seem to like querying by e-mail, which would save you postage hassles, at least initially.  Good luck!

I did my best to get 1838 Cork right...made sure of which churches and bridges across the Lee and everything were there at that time, though I did invent a fictional university and sneak it in.   :shh
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Offline elissacruz

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2009, 12:49 PM »
This has nothing to do with Ireland, but I'm amazed at all the new anthropomorphic books coming out.  I've been checking the new pubs and it seems like most of them are animal stories.  So are they taboo?  Doubt it.  Just make sure you write REALLY WELL and you'll do fine.

Good luck.  I wish I could come visit you in that beautiful country!  I have an affinity for Ireland, don't know why.  Never been there and don't have any Irish ancestry (that I'm aware of, anyway). Maybe there is an Irish great-grandad hiding in my family tree somewhere! :old
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Offline thunderingelephants

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2009, 06:48 AM »
 :jail

Thanks for your help guys!  I realised that you have a valid point on anthropomorphic stories, but I am hearing everywhere that they are just a big no-no and yet, yes, they are on the shelves every bookshop I go into (actually not that many in Cork, surprisingly).

As for Ireland being beautfiul, it can be.  Just stay away from the rivers in Cork and Dublin.  They both stink!  The bus tours of Dublin are good though.  For tourists anyway. And if you want a beer, do try Guinness, but here in Cork, you will be frowned upon.  We have TWO breweries down here.  Give me a glass of Murphy's any day.

On a negative note, couldn't find one single literary agent in Ireland so have to try elsewhere.  Any tips.  With that, hope to talk to you again.  If not before, Happy Paddy's Day.  Always good for a drinking session, but I reckon the parades in America are a  a lot better than they are here!
Might talk to you before then.

 :lol Thundering
 ::)


« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 06:55 AM by thunderingelephants »

Offline Marissa Doyle

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2009, 06:59 AM »
Re St. Patrick's Day parades...I'm going to New York for a conference next week and ended up re-scheduling my arrival date for the 16th rather than the 17th, because I was told it would have been impossible to get a cab from Penn Station to my friends' apartment up near the Met.  It'll be interesting to see how crazy NYC gets... :irishbeer
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Offline Cali

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2009, 10:10 AM »
Hey, I had to drop in and say hello, since I love everything Irish.  ;) I sing Irish ballads and have been called the Celtic Lady.  I have Irish ancestors on both sides of my family and would love to visit Ireland someday. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you. :)

Offline thunderingelephants

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2009, 07:50 AM »
 ::)

Same to you guys.

One query:  I've been sending abroad.  Is it ok to have an agent abroad or  :paperbag is this what I'm doing?  If the answer's yes, how would it work?  Sorry about the naivity .  This is all still new to me.  Enjoy your Sunday.
Time for a coffee.  My fingers are aching
Thundering

Offline Marissa Doyle

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2009, 11:09 AM »
It's perfectly all right to have an agent who lives in a different country from you.  Writers and agents usually don't have much face-to-face time--I see mine anywhere from one to three times year, but that's because I live an easy 3 1/2 hour train ride from NYC.  Authors who live on the west coast of the US might have a couple of years go by between actually seeing their agent (assuming the agent is in NYC).  Almost all of my interaction with my agent is done by e-mail or telephone, apart from signing contracts.

Good luck!   :goodluck
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Offline thunderingelephants

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2009, 12:22 PM »
 :thankyou, Marissa,

Still not sure how to approach them, though.  This is all very new to me.  Do I send a query letter and synopsis or the full manuscript?  The maximum word count on any of my stories is only 2500 words.

What are they like receiving anthropomorphic stories where you are?  I'd love to get some feedback but don't have a clue.   :stars  Sorry that I sound so clueless, it's hard with no guidance around.  Since it is now 7.15pm on the eve of St. Patrick's Day, I wish you a good one.  If you go to a parade, tell me all about it.  It's bound to better than the one here!

 ::)  Thunderingelephants

By the way, Froggy it can be fun on St. Patrick's night, especially in the pubs.  If you are here, get there early.  It's a bit of squeeze to get to the bar!

Offline Marissa Doyle

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2009, 01:43 PM »
It's not so hard.  Try this:

1.  Go to www.agentquery.com  and in the search boxes type in "picture books" or "early readers" (or whatever you're writing).  You'll get a list of agents who represent those. 

2.  Read over each agent's profile and see what else they've sold, whether they're taking new clients, if they take queries by e-mail. Visit their websites to get a better feel for them.

3.  Write and polish your query letter and send it to a half-dozen or so of those agents whom you think sound like a good fit for you and your work--make sure you read and follow each agent's submission procedures, because some agents may just want a query letter while others want a sample of your work as well... and see what happens.

I really don't know what they think of anthropomorphic animal stories, as I write YA...the best way to find out is to research agents, and query them.

If you need help with query letters, search the agentquery website and other threads here for tips on writing them.

Good luck!
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Offline chasing my tail

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2009, 02:01 AM »
There are some great resources for writing queries, too -- Nathan Bransford has a blog where he has discussed it several times (I believe he has a link to the specific instances on the side of his blog).

There's another great resource, called Children's Book Insider -- they have loads of information and booklets available to help with writing for children (and the query letters).

Have you joined SCBWI? (www.scbwi.org) It's a great place to start when you have a lot of questions. There is an Irish chapter now, too, so you should be able to find and meet up with some other local writers.

AgentQuery is probably the best site for reseraching agents (use it all the time!). If you find a few you're interested in querying from there, also google their names and read any articles or interviews with them you can find. It is a lot of work, but the better you target your queries, the better chance you have of finding someone who will connect with your work.

Hope this all helps!
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Summoning, a YA novel
Murphy's Law, a MG novel
LilyPad Princess, for 7-9 year olds
WereWhat?, coming August 20

Offline thunderingelephants

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2009, 08:18 AM »
Wow guys!  Thanks for all this information.  It's really helped a lot.

Anyone out there going to a parade tomorrow?  I'd love to know how you lot celebrate Ireland's national holiday.  Hope you don't mind if I let you know how I get on.

By the way, don't forget that pint of MURPHY'S not GUINNESS! Tell you about the parade on Wednesday.

Cheers,
Thunderingelephants.

 ;D


Offline chasing my tail

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2009, 03:06 AM »
Unfortunately, there are no parades (or pubs with green beer . . .) around here.

For some reason, these silly Dutch people don't celebrate the green.

I'm wearing green, though (and dressed the girls in it, too!), and have told them to wish eveyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day (of course, I don't think my 4-year-old will remember . . . or be able to explain what she's talking about if she does remember . . .).

Oh well.

Happy St. Paddy's to you!  :irishbeer
http://debifaulkner.blogspot.com/

Summoning, a YA novel
Murphy's Law, a MG novel
LilyPad Princess, for 7-9 year olds
WereWhat?, coming August 20

Offline thunderingelephants

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2009, 07:03 AM »
Chasing,

It's 2pm here in Cork and there is no atmosphere whatsoever!  But then I haven't been into the city yet.  Pubs were jammed last night, but it got really quiet around 12pm.  Might be busy this afternoon.  My partner is not exactly in the festive mood so don't know what we'll be doing.  I'm off to brave the crowds.  Let you know what's goin on.

Happy Paddy's Day, as they say in Cork.

Offline thunderingelephants

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2009, 05:32 AM »
Marissa,

What is your definition of a "really well-written" story?  Mine have a tendency to be very (nearly always under 2000 words) and it sometimes makes it a little difficult which genre it falls into.

I was looking at that website you suggested and sent off a few sample copies so here's hoping!  Thanks for your help.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Thanks,
Thundering

 :hearts

Offline Marissa Doyle

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2009, 01:51 PM »
Hey Thundering,

I'm a YA writer, so really not sure of the parameters of picture book length versus early reader length...is there anyone else here who can chime in?  You might also go have a look around on the Picture Book and Early Reader board here:  http://www.verlakay.com/boards/index.php?board=23.0

And the official report from NYC...the St. Patrick's Day parade lasted from 11:00 am to 6 pm.  SEVEN HOURS!  It was very odd ducking in and out of various places on Fifth Avenue all afternoon and still having the parade go by whenever we came out.  Lots of people wearing silly hats and costumes and t-shirts with slogans that were very funny but not suitable for repetition on Verla's.  :)
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Offline jaws

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2009, 02:35 PM »
Hi Thundering,

A really well written picture book usually has a beginning, a middle, and an ending, or in other words, some type of plot, just like any other book.  Anthropomorphic ones are often said to be a no no because so many people do them badly.  They rely on the cute fuzzy critter to sell the book instead of writing an entertaining story.  If you could sell that same story with a boy or girl character instead of the critter you've chosen, you will know you are on the right track.

2000 words would be a tough sell in the pb market.  Most editors like to see them under 1000.  You will need to cut mercilessly.  For example, I am rewriting a pb I did several years ago in verse that just didn't work.  I began with over 1300 words and now have it down to around 900.  You have to make every word count and remember that you don't need the extra description that other books have because the illustrations will cover that.  It's quite a process and much different than longer pieces. 

I would recommend you spend some quality time reading up on writing picture books before you submit.  Here's why:

At the second conference I ever attended, I spoke with a local writer who graciously offered to read my verrrry long rhyming pb after I described it.  She told me it needed to be shorter.  I spoke with her about how I was researching the writing process for pb's.  She then told me that she was sure I would be published eventually.  I asked if she thought the book was that good.  She said it had nothing to do with the book.  It was the fact that I was making the effort to learn how to write pb's properly.  Most people don't bother and they don't get very far.  Although I still haven't gotten a pb published, I've come very close a couple of times and only had one editor ever mention that my rhyming pb could be done better in prose. (Guess which one I'm rewriting?)  And I'm sure you've also heard how rhyming pb's are a no no. So take my advice and learn the ropes before you start submitting.  Not only will It save you a lot of rejections, it will give you a huge advantage over the competition.

By the way, I had one pb that was only rejected because marketing said books in that genre they'd published lately hadn't sold quite as many copies as they would have liked.  Otherwise, they loved the book.  It had all animal characters.

Jaws

Offline thunderingelephants

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2009, 10:22 AM »
Hey Jaws,

Thanks for all the info.  Don't have much time (go bowling). Useless information, I know. 

Most of my stories are probably around 1000 words, but 1 is as little as 300 so I could probably edit all of them. 

One thing, how did you learn about all of these conferences anyway?  I can't get any information at all in this country.  Most publishers are infatuated by reading for education rather actually enjoying having a book in your hands.

Hope to talk to you soon. 
Thanks,


Thundering
 :contract3

Offline Marissa Doyle

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2009, 10:47 AM »
For conferences given by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), look here:
http://www.scbwi.org/regions_events2.htm

If you aren't an SCBWI member, I'd recommend joining.

Good luck!
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

Offline chasing my tail

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2009, 12:56 PM »
When I was in Ireland, I also attended mini courses (one day type things) in Dublin. They were children's writing specific.

Try googling writers conferences Ireland. You could also try some in the UK (I'd love to get to one of those myself someday, but with airfare, going for an evening is just not feasible). Sometimes they have week-long or weekend conferences, too.

There are lots of resources out there -- it's just a matter of making contacts and waiting (the hard part!). The good news is that the SCBWI has an Irish chapter now (not available when I was there). Join, then make contact with those others living there. Attend meetings if and when you can. Join an online critique group if you can't get to one in person (even people who live close to other writers will join online groups).

There's lot of support out there! (Of course, I'm a bit partial to Verla's blueboards, too! Come play in some of the other threads.)
http://debifaulkner.blogspot.com/

Summoning, a YA novel
Murphy's Law, a MG novel
LilyPad Princess, for 7-9 year olds
WereWhat?, coming August 20

Offline thunderingelephants

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2009, 05:54 AM »


Marissa and Chasing,

I'll give your suggestions a try.  I'm unemployed (jobs are seriously lacking in Ireland at the mo) so I have a lot of time on my hands.

By the way, no-one ever did respond to my anthropomorphic query.  Is there anyone out there?  How do I get involved in the other threads.  I'm such an ignoramous!
Or maybe I should read this board more often.

Thanks,  Thundering
 :stars

Offline Marissa Doyle

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2009, 06:53 AM »
Hey Thundering,

The board on Picture Books and Early Readers that I linked to is right here on Verla's--just click on this:

http://www.verlakay.com/boards/index.php?board=23.0

The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Offline thunderingelephants

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Re: Any fellow leprechauns?
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2009, 05:14 AM »
 :balloongroup

Thanks Marissa,

I'm just looking at it now.  Seems like a good link.

Thundering.

PS:  any good tips for writer's block?