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New: writer with manuscripts What next?

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Hi, I’m Parker, and I’m new here. I’ve been working on a series for the last few years and have gotten a lot of bad (and sometimes pricey) advice on the internet so I wanted to come to people who know what they’re talking about.

I have two manuscripts for PBs (both in the same universe; I want to make a series out of this), and I know they need refining before trying to get to publishers. The first story is more refined than the other so I could start there.

I’m a Catholic school teacher (4th grade; my wife teaches 1st in the same school) so I don’t have a lot of extra income to put into classes right away, but I definitely see the value of investing in the right class.

Cheers
#1 - May 07, 2021, 08:29 PM

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There are plenty of craft book that can act as a class and come from libraries, so look into those. (There is a thread for favorite craft books here somewhere.) I also subscribe to free newsletters: Children's Bookshelf (Published by Publisher's Weekly, to learn the industry) and the ICL newsletter (by the Institute for Children's Literature for some craft support and market listings). SCBWI's publications are also valuable.

The next step after writing is getting critique partners. You can post manuscripts in Online Critiques  and seek critique partners on these boards too. We all have blind spots in our own work. Others can help you spot and correct those. Read the stickies before posting.
#2 - May 08, 2021, 06:13 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

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Debbie gave great advice here. You do not have to spend a lot of $ to advance your craft. Read lots of recent  PBs that have come out. Type up ones you love to separate the words from the art so you get a feel for pacing, page turns, and what a writer did to catch an editor's eye. Find a critique group or post on the critique boards here to get feedback on your work.

And be prepared for this to be a long, hard journey. But if you love it, you'll find a way to put up with it. :-)
#3 - May 09, 2021, 10:02 AM
Freaky Funky Fish ( Running Press Kids, May 2021)
Tell Someone (Albert Whitman, October 2021)
Peculiar Primates (Running Press Kids, Fall 2022)

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That’s awesome from both of you. I like the idea of typing up picture book words. Definitely going to start doing that. Trying to find critique groups. I think that will help.

And yes, I’m prepared for the long haul. I want this to be a lasting series so I’ll be able to switch books to keep things fresh and bring new freshness to the older work too. But I love kids and telling stories to kids.
#4 - May 09, 2021, 10:25 AM

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DK means the road to getting published is a long haul. This may be the slowest industry from production of the first product (a complete manuscript) to retail sales. And it can take years to perfect that product before it even sees an editor at a publishing house because of the learning curve. The arts are not for the rushed or the faint of heart.
#5 - May 09, 2021, 06:17 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
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Gotcha. At least I got that school teacher salary to fall back on. ;) But seriously, being a teacher (and running writers workshops in my classroom) has helped inspire my own writing. This waiting process will definitely be foreign to me (which is fine) compared to my previous life as a professional journalist.
#6 - May 09, 2021, 06:46 PM

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DK means the road to getting published is a long haul. This may be the slowest industry from production of the first product (a complete manuscript) to retail sales. And it can take years to perfect that product before it even sees an editor at a publishing house because of the learning curve. The arts are not for the rushed or the faint of heart.

Yes! I've been working on revisions (for an adult fiction book, not kidlit) with my publisher since September, and it's still not over. And that's when I actually have a publisher!

It's such a frustratingly slow business. Last year I got really sick from the stress, so now I'm just taking it a day at a time and trying to stay sane.
#7 - May 10, 2021, 03:36 AM

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