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Rising above the Slush

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Frauheather

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Good to hear!  I will worry less and write more! ;)
Heather
#31 - July 05, 2007, 08:57 AM

MaudeStephany

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Looking around furtively... I hope that means that my ms isn't in the 75% pile!  :eek5

Maude   :jump
#32 - July 05, 2007, 11:26 AM

ange

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Hey, thanks so much for all this information...t’s very generous of you to share it, and heartening (as someone who seems to be constantly waiting, whining and just hanging in there with my pb submissions). Many thanks again
#33 - July 05, 2007, 09:15 PM

sthoms

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It must be a frustrating job in many ways. Props to you for keeping a sense of humor and sharing your knowledge with the rest of us!
Here's to avoiding the "ACK" pile.
And may you find a gem in your next slush session!

#34 - July 06, 2007, 01:06 PM

eryan75

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Kay,
Thanks so much for your insight, it really makes the efforts we put into our work worthwhile.  Do you see this in the easy reader market as well?  (BTP requested one from me based on a query letter - at least format's right ;))
#35 - July 06, 2007, 02:42 PM

Pickles

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Eryan, I don't see that many easy readers.  It's rare I get this many pb's to review, but we are trying to catch up with reading and pb's are a lot easier to train someone on. The reader is less likely to go screaming into the sunset.

I did want to say something about the 1000 words...you know that's the bench mark...but it's not a rule in concrete. And not as a sub, but as a favor to a friend, I just read a 1000 word + pb that was just STELLAR.  So, I'd have to say if you are going over 1000, make sure they are darn good, necessary words.

When I said that over 1000 thing, I'd spent the day looking at  several 1500 plus pb's..very moralistic...almost straight dialogue...lonnnnnnnng sentences...fat paragraphs.....way tooo wordy.

If you need the 1000 plus---good!

Read CURRENT pb's...last five years....

Don't use the excuse, "But it's like X which is a classic.  And there are all these other books like this. (Published decades ago)"

Yeah, and they aren't playing Mozart on the Top 40 anymore either.
#36 - July 07, 2007, 04:52 PM

Read to your kids
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Thanks for sharing, Pickles!  Wow! I'm happy to count myself among the upper percentage of blue boarders and not in the ack pile.  Thank goodness! :faint:  After many hours of research and chopping, I have several PB's finished.  See you in Nov.  :love 
#37 - July 08, 2007, 12:00 PM

Donna

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Thanks again for all the tips and help you give all of us. You are fabulous!! :)

Hugs,
Donna

p.s.  You changed your pic again ANd your name! ;)  WOW!!! I like it. But I have to admit -- I've become accustomed to the pickle pic. I miss it!! :)

#38 - July 08, 2007, 12:22 PM

Pickles

Guest
Ummmm....I'll explain about the name change....later...if it stays....it's a longish story......sorta..........it's still my real name....just not the one most people know me by. People who call their children by their middle names really need to think this thing through.  :)


Yeah, I really like the new pic also. I thought it was about time for a more professional image.  Sorry about the pickle pic. It could reappear. I don't know.
#39 - July 08, 2007, 12:27 PM

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The pic. is great, but nothing will top the old dancing pickle...
#40 - July 08, 2007, 12:42 PM

Pickles

Guest
Oh I hated that dang thing.....I kept it for so long just to keep other people happy. And besides I can't find it anymore, so don't even think of it.

I may have reached the point where I'm ready to shed the Pickle label.  Ummmm...I thought I could just slip by unnoticed for a bit...I reckon not.  :)



#41 - July 08, 2007, 12:48 PM

Avvy

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People who call their children by their middle names really need to think this thing through.  :)



OK, I must comment on the middle name thing. When I taught elementary school, I encountered this a few times--at least once a year--always right AFTER I labeled everything in the classroom (name tags, cubbies, workbooks, my grading roster, job charts, birthday chart, you get it EVERYTHING). Then the parent would come in and announce, "He/She goes by his/her middle name." *Sinks down* :faint: Now I had to relabel everything -- which can take more time than you expect, because you have to reprint lables, remember what font/size you used, get an extra name tag, cut out the extra birthday balloon, all that jazz. A few times I got a heads up from the previous teacher, but I opened two new schools (so that didn't apply) and new students (didn't apply) or one thing or another so I wasn't always forewarned.

I vowed NEVER to do this with my own children. Can you see the set up coming here?

Then I had my daughter. I always knew she would be named Elizabeth after my grandmother, plus I loved the name.  My husband and I tossed around a few middle names, and finally fell in love with Nicole. He didn't want to call our daughter Elizabeth, wanted her to go by Nicole. Not a problem, except Elizabeth Nicole sounded better than Nicole Elizabeth to us. We ended up naming her Elizabeth Nicole and calling her Nicole. AGH! I did exactly what I vowed never to do. But, when she started preschool and elementary school, I made it very clear (even left notes for teachers before the school year) that she goes by Nicole. I hope I can prevent extra work on the teacher's part.

So Pickles, Lill, Kay, I'm guilty as charged! And yes, it does make things a bit more complicated.

Funny side note, my husband's brother goes by his middle name, and my husband used to comment on how much of a mess that was for his brother growing up. LOL. Then he turned around and did the same thing.

Sorry to hijack your thread.
#42 - July 08, 2007, 01:51 PM

Pickles

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Oh it's okay...it's nice to know there are others.  :)
#43 - July 08, 2007, 01:56 PM

LindaM

Guest
I have to chime in here too.....  My husband goes by his middle name.  Quite often it is frustrating....the whole story "his name is this , but he goes by that"....etc....The up-side to this is whenever we receive telemarketing calls and they ask for him using his first name  I know that it is obviously someone that does not know him....all of our friends know him by his middle name.
Pickles, you've really thrown me off changing your picture and name...I'm sorry I wasn't around in the days of the dancing pickle..sounds cute  ;)
#44 - July 09, 2007, 05:22 AM

Pickles

Guest
Well, I tried googling for said pickle again, with no luck..then had a brain flash and went into images. Ta Da!

It's up for a very limited time because it drives me crazy and I want to swat it. Not a good thing when you have a new computer.
#45 - July 09, 2007, 05:46 AM

Donna

Guest
WOOHOO!! Kind of reminds me of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever -- dressed up as a pickle, of course. :)

I like the name Lill, too. It is peaceful. "Pickles" and "kay" OUT == LILL is IN!


Hugs,
Donna
#46 - July 09, 2007, 06:01 AM

LindaM

Guest
Thanks Pickles...um, Kay.........um, Lill, now I won't be forever wondering what the dancing pickle looked like. ;D
Definitely a flashback to my disco days.... :dancing:
Now...back to business, Rising above the slush....isn't that how this thread started out?
#47 - July 09, 2007, 07:15 AM

TnTexas

Guest
OK, I must comment on the middle name thing. When I taught elementary school, I encountered this a few times--at least once a year--always right AFTER I labeled everything in the classroom (name tags, cubbies, workbooks, my grading roster, job charts, birthday chart, you get it EVERYTHING). Then the parent would come in and announce, "He/She goes by his/her middle name." *Sinks down* :faint: Now I had to relabel everything -- which can take more time than you expect, because you have to reprint lables, remember what font/size you used, get an extra name tag, cut out the extra birthday balloon, all that jazz. A few times I got a heads up from the previous teacher, but I opened two new schools (so that didn't apply) and new students (didn't apply) or one thing or another so I wasn't always forewarned.

I vowed NEVER to do this with my own children. Can you see the set up coming here?

Then I had my daughter. I always knew she would be named Elizabeth after my grandmother, plus I loved the name.  My husband and I tossed around a few middle names, and finally fell in love with Nicole. He didn't want to call our daughter Elizabeth, wanted her to go by Nicole. Not a problem, except Elizabeth Nicole sounded better than Nicole Elizabeth to us. We ended up naming her Elizabeth Nicole and calling her Nicole. AGH! I did exactly what I vowed never to do. But, when she started preschool and elementary school, I made it very clear (even left notes for teachers before the school year) that she goes by Nicole. I hope I can prevent extra work on the teacher's part.

So Pickles, Lill, Kay, I'm guilty as charged! And yes, it does make things a bit more complicated.

Funny side note, my husband's brother goes by his middle name, and my husband used to comment on how much of a mess that was for his brother growing up. LOL. Then he turned around and did the same thing.

Sorry to hijack your thread.

I'd always said I'd never do that to my child either so I was amazed when I was tempted to do exactly that when my second child was born.  :pregnant:  We named her Autumn Brooke, but I was so very tempted to call her Brooke when I first held her. I made myself call her Autumn as originally planned, but I've sometimes wondered if her personality might have been a bit calmer if I'd gone wth my first instinct instead.   :D
#48 - July 09, 2007, 10:14 AM

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It's interesting how little things change.

About fifteen years ago, when I was a wet-behind-the-ears Associate Editor at Macmillan Children's Books, I gave a presentation at my first SCBW-I conference that I called "Getting Out of the Slush Pile."

A few years later, I turned it into an article on my web site, and have continued to update it as necessary. But the core information hasn't changed.

And it's interesting that so many people (not the SAME people, of course) made the same kinds of mistakes back then as Pickles reports on from her experiences today.

Here's the current incarnation of "Getting Out of the Slush Pile," which gives some tips as well as some warnings about what to avoid:

http://www.underdown.org/slush.htm
#49 - July 09, 2007, 12:27 PM
« Last Edit: July 09, 2007, 02:34 PM by HaroldU »
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

Donna

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Heading over to look at it now. Thanks so much, Harold!

Joy,
Donna
#50 - July 09, 2007, 12:50 PM

Read to your kids
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I'm right behind you, Donna!  Thanks Harold!  :horse
#51 - July 09, 2007, 02:02 PM

momalisa

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:dr 

I need to get off my duff and get some stuff in the mail. I just don't want to suffer from "P.S." sydrome. You know, "Premature Submission".

Hugs,
Donna



Well this thread certainly has made me feel better about some of the choices I've made as a newbie.  I had written for adults as a columnist in South Florida but started immersing myself in the world of  writing for kids about a year ago.  I have been soaking up as much info as I can about genres, markets, publishing options... and the craft itself.  I enrolled in ICL, joined SCBWI, took local writing/publishing workshops and  of course frequent the blue boards.  I moderate two critique groups now, one started with ICL and the other is a new in person group through SCBWI.  A few members of that group have been published multiple times and I feel very lucky to be in their company as far as critique groups go.  I have been very hesitant to submit my writing this past year fearing it would be a P.S.-Premature Submission. ( I did submit one story, accepted in Fandangle and entered the Children's Writer and Highlights contests (didn't win  :'( ) but that was it)  I really wanted to feel confident in that I was submitting my best possible work in the most professional manner.  Others I know have been submitting veraciously despite being newbies and I  was feeling like maybe I was a big chicken and should jump right into the pool too.  After reading this thread I think my slow wade into the pool is just right for me. 
I'm also working on  PB manuscript.  First draft is coming in around 1150 words.  I'm trying to tighten a bit more and then will hand it off to my wonderful CG's.  Pickles, maybe I'll be sending it off to you in the near future.  Thanks for all the great tips!  I hope my manuscript and myself will swim along happily instead of sinking. 
 :bubblebath:  (Ok, the bubble bath guy was the closest thing to a pool!  ;D )
#52 - July 09, 2007, 07:06 PM
« Last Edit: July 09, 2007, 07:39 PM by momalisa »

Soosaw

Guest
Hi Kay -  ;D

You've been so thoughtful with your tips and information, I hope I'm not exhausting your generosity.  Could you tell me, though, whether BTP would consider a pb with a Christmastime setting, involving Santa?  I believe there are some publishers that won't consider some topics, and a search of BTP's books came up with none about Christmas and/or Santa.

Thanks a heap, Kay!

Susie Sawyer
#53 - July 10, 2007, 10:37 PM

Pickles

Guest
Susie, yes, we have no problem with Santa. Send it to us when we re-open for subs.

#54 - July 10, 2007, 10:43 PM

Soosaw

Guest
Great! Thank you!  :)
#55 - July 10, 2007, 11:01 PM

Pickles

Guest
If you choose to use an editor or an agent, please check them out on sites like Preditors and Editors or Writers Beware. You can easily google to find these sites.  My heart aches for writers who send me manuscripts full of typos, common grammatical errors, and just general poor construction...yet they say they've been edited or the manuscript is "agented." I google. Yep, guess which lists the names show up on.

If you are very, very, VERY new to this whole game the best way to spend your money is on conferences and classes.

That's my public service announcement for the day.
#56 - July 14, 2007, 06:51 AM

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That's my public service announcement for the day.

And an excellent one, if I may say so....
#57 - July 14, 2007, 01:01 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

Pickles

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Thank you Harold!
#58 - July 14, 2007, 01:25 PM
« Last Edit: July 24, 2007, 09:26 PM by Lill »

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I agree with Harold - great PSA!

COngratulations on the promotion!!!!!!!
#59 - July 15, 2007, 07:34 AM
Site - http://sruble.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/StephanieRuble

picture book: EWE AND AYE (Disney-Hyperion)

kay

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I am learning so much on this site!  Wow.  I only wish i had seen a site like this 7 years ago when I wrote my first PB and sent it out to a few publishers...what a joke! I was pretty clueless. I'm sure my manuscript was thrown on the slush pile immediately!

I put it away after that and only recently pulled that baby back out and have been doing some revising.  Live and learn...here we go again!   :faint:

If anyone has time to look at it and give me some feedback, I would be ever-so grateful  :)
It's a rhyming PB under 500 words.

thx!
#60 - July 16, 2007, 01:29 PM

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