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Should I submit it as a short story to a magazine, or revise it to PB quality?

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Last week I wrote a PB, got a few lovely writers to look at it, and all of them basically said the same thing: It's beautifully written and well-crafted, but the way it's written, it reads more like a short story piece for a magazine.

Since this is my first PB, I'm still not used to "leaving room for the illustrator." It was the descriptions, they said, that made it sound more like a short story piece.

So what should I do? Submit this as a short story to a magazine? Or strip the descriptions from it and make it more PB quality? Currently the manuscript is approximately 900 words.

(Also, if it helps, it is basically a contemporary story about a military child. With a story like this, would it be better as a short story or PB?)

Thank you for your time!
#1 - May 08, 2012, 01:53 PM

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Hi Woods,

I think there have been some other posts on this very (tricky!) topic. I find this article by Jan Fields to be very helpful in understanding the difference between a picture book and a magazine story.
#2 - May 08, 2012, 02:57 PM
BACKHOE JOE, HarperCollins, 2014
FAMOUSLY PHOEBE, Sterling, 2017
ALL IN A DROP, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019

If you're wondering about whether you have a short story or a book, drop by my blog to learn about Picture Book Dummies. I Invited a guest picture book author, Natasha Yim, to join me today to discuss how to submit a picture book to a publisher. For writers new to the world of writing and publishing children’s books, manuscript formatting for picture books can be confusing and Natasha tells how to put it in perspective. Drop by for an interesting read at
#3 - May 08, 2012, 08:20 PM
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