SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Looking for an NF mentor text
« Last post by callie-dean on November 19, 2021, 08:12 PM »
I also love Laura Purdie Salas's IF YOU WERE THE MOON!
Hi Ana,

I also do paid critiques, but I very much recommend you find a critique group for free first. The Blueboard has a section for finding crit groups or partners and a place where you can post your manuscript for critique: and Your local chapter may also have groups. If you've already taken the manuscript as far as you can with a group, it may be beneficial to pay for a critique. Rates vary with the experience of the person. Former agents and editors may still have a hand in the industry in the way an author can't. Well-published authors may do this as a sideline, and clearly know how to achieve success. But be sure you use someone who knows PBs and is a good fit for you and your manuscript.

I suggest going as far as you can for free because you want to be in a position where the manuscript won't need many rounds of revision, each at a cost.
Hi Ana,

I critique PB manuscripts, both for individual clients and as a part of PBCritiqueFest. (See Brian Gehrlein on Twitter.)
For testimonials, you can check out my website,

Graphic Novels / Re: Any Writing Courses?
« Last post by juliana-jones on November 19, 2021, 01:56 PM »
Story Teller Academy has a Graphic Novel Course taught by Ken Lamug. His GN Mischief and Mayhem is wonderful. 

He also has a mini-comics course which deals with graphic novels as well. I took it and learned that it's a lot of work, even if you're not an illustrator.

Good luck!
Hi SCBWI Community-

I am curious to hear about anyone's experience with paying for editorial feedback on a PB manuscript. I have taken my manuscript as far as I can, and am thinking this might be a wise investment.

If you have gone this route, would you mind sharing a ballpark figure of what the fees where? And what was included in the services rendered....Much appreciated. ~Ana
Picture Books (PB) / Re: Inner Dialogue/Thoughts?
« Last post by HaroldU on November 16, 2021, 03:08 PM »
As an editor I am wary of inner dialogue or thoughts in a picture book text. Is there an alternative? I'm not saying don't do it, but I am saying do it only if absolutely necessary.
Picture Books (PB) / Re: Inner Dialogue/Thoughts?
« Last post by Vijaya on November 16, 2021, 11:44 AM »
If the text is first person narration, ALL that's written are his or her thoughts so you probably don't need to italicize. Even in a close 3rd person, thoughts and feelings belong to the narrator, so you don't have to emphasize it by italicizing blah, blah, blah, he thought. Ex. Narrator spies a jar. Cookies! It's clear that's his POV and he's thinking it. But as Deb says, above all, be consistent in your usage and the publisher will use their house style.
Yes, Frederick (thanks for liking my book), my CODE BREAKER, SPY HUNTER is still a picture book bio. When you get into bios for older kids, there may still be illustrations, but the text isn't part of them like in a pb. The illustrations might be a sidebar or a separate page or to start a chapter. Oh, that's another difference. Books for older kids have chapters.

It is interesting that Accelerated Reader Bookfinder lists your book as "Middle Grades (MG 4-8)". 

I am starting to think that my book should be PB.  Maybe later I will do an in-depth MG Chapter Book on the subject, but it starts to get pretty technical at that point so I will need to to do some deeper research and work with some local experts (at Brown University) first.

My wife is an illustrator and knows how to dummy layouts so that will help, but PB is a long-haul!

Picture Books (PB) / Re: Inner Dialogue/Thoughts?
« Last post by dkshumaker on November 16, 2021, 07:18 AM »
When I do inner dialogue in PS, I also italicize. Just be consistent in how you treat it. When the book is acquired, the editor and art director will decide exactly how they want inner dialogue to show up in the PB.

One thing to keep in mind, since it's inner dialogue, make sure it sounds true to the character and like it's a kid, not long, flowing sentences, etc. :-)
Picture Books (PB) / Inner Dialogue/Thoughts?
« Last post by mara-katcher on November 15, 2021, 07:49 PM »
My PB has the thoughts of the main character, which are written in italics,  but is this the right way to go? Is inner dialogue too confusing for a PB? Should I change it to spoken dialogue or portray it differently?
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