SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

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Anyone, anything?! Starting to wonder if I should consider sending my story out for Halloween-y contests/etc...
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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Picture book discussion group
« Last post by Cali on Yesterday at 12:14 PM »
Thanks so much for the links! All very insightful. I never tire to learning.
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C. Louise, to add on to what Chris so eloquently said about rhyme, it goes to follow with the other things you say. There are some agents who do not like animal main characters, but there are certainly agents who don't have an issue with them. If you have a story with an animal MC, just avoid sending it as your first story to agents who express that.

As far as "heavy life lessons or morals", yes, the industry tends to avoid didactic stories where the whole plot is shoving morals down your throat. Yes, social-emotional learning books have been popular the last few years. But I feel those stories are written as stories first, with a much more subtle message than "the moral of the story is" type books that sold many years ago.

The bottom line is story must come first. Anything that's well-written and unique could catch an agent's eye even if they said they never want to see that type of story ever. But submitting a type of story they don't want to see is just increasing your chance that they will likely reject it.
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I love Jennifer Laughlan's tumbler and her Literaticast (with guests) as well. https://www.jenniferlaughran.com/literaticast|

C. Louise, it is confusing to hear what Agents and Editors say they don't want  vs see what is out there, being published. What I think is, since so much of rhyme is done poorly ( inexperience coupled with perhaps just not a real talent for it) Agents dissuade you from subbing it off the bat.
So much of rhyme is forced & words chosen just for that, as opposed to the best words that could be used if prose. Also, for the sake of end ryhme, your whole plot can change or characters switched to fit the rhyme, so that it's all about the rhyme, not the story you are telling. But then, when it's done perfectly, it is a joy to read and listen to. So it's not a "don't you ever", more a "don't you ever unless you can retain the heart & soul of the story you started out to tell & keep your main character that little boy you began with and not change him to a goat, because it rhymes with boat" LOL
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Thanks for sharing this link.  I am studying every piece of advice I can find from agents but it's very confusing.  From what I've read, it seems most agents don't want rhymes, alliteration, animals as main characters, heavy life lessons or morals, in picture books.  When I look at what's been published in the last few years, they all have at least one of these things.  My experience with kids has always been that they LOVE rhymes, alliteration, and animals as main characters, so I'm happy to see them.  Looking at 2019, in particular, it seems the majority of PBs published were about acceptance of oneself or acceptance of others, and other life lessons.  So, have agents changed their wishlists in the last year or two? 
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Thanks, Anne!
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Picture Books (PB) / Picture book discussion group
« Last post by Jenny on July 01, 2022, 03:30 PM »
I’m looking for a few more members to join my monthly picture book discussion group. We meet monthly for an in-depth discussion on a certain pb each month. The conversation is always very insightful and covers everything from illustrations, voice, theme, plot, characters, and much much more. We also talk about what ways the book can help with our own writing or illustrating.

The meetings are held over Zoom.

It is not a critique group. We do not do critique.

If your interested and want more info please let me know.
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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Agent post on learning or improving your PB writing
« Last post by 217mom on June 29, 2022, 04:38 PM »
Jennifer Laughran's "Ask the Agent" Tumblr is a valuable resource. She used to be a regular contributor to the Blue Boards and was tremendously helpful to many. She's blunt, but to my ears this is a plus.
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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Agent post on learning or improving your PB writing
« Last post by olmue on June 29, 2022, 12:21 PM »
I like how she summed it up as, and here is your MFA, lol. (From what I have observed from others, that really is an accurate summary!)
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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Agent post on learning or improving your PB writing
« Last post by Ev on June 29, 2022, 10:43 AM »
Thank you, Anne, for sharing with us.  She has helpful tips.
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