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Writer/Illustrator Team?

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I really wasn't sure whether this would fit in writing or illustrating as it relates to both...

I read a post about author/illustrator teams: http://kidlit.com/2010/06/14/working-as-an-author-and-illustrator-team-before-submission/.

I also read this on SCBWI's site by Beverly Horowitz: "Realistically, it is best for the author to send in a text, and if this is accepted, the author can suggest the possibility of using the artist he or she knows. However, do not expect that this will be an accepted match. If you do send the project along as a team, you have a smaller chance of acceptance--although it is possible."

I can completely see the reasoning behind what they say, yet there is that tantalizing possibility that makes me want to try...

My brother has been working in the animation industry for years. He's done Sat. morning cartoons, worked for Disney and for a long time with Don Bluth Studios on most of their major films. He's done some illustrations for self publishers and some stuff for LeapFrog and he can do multiple styles of art, not just "Disney." In short, he's got far more creds to enter the children's publishing world than I do, but he's not as interested in the writing side as I am.

He's at a point in his life where he's interested in illustrating and has enjoyed the work he's already done. We work well together and balance each others strengths and weaknesses, so I do think we have the potential of making a solid team.

I love Don and Aubrey Wood's books, and there have been other successful teams. In fact, one of my favorite illustrators, Chris Riddell, had a post about this: http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2011/sep/22/chris-riddell-top-10-double-acts

Anyone out there doing this? What are the pitfalls to avoid? Any tips on how to make it work?



#1 - August 28, 2013, 06:55 PM
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I could be completely wrong here, but I suspect the whole 'don't send in a project as a team' thing is partly to avoid writers seeking out illustrators themselves to put a package together, or vice versa, because, um, they don't do a very good job of it.

If you and your brother can work really well as a team and really bring a story to life with the images and text, then I think it would be well received. At the end of the day, it all comes down to whether it's good or not, right? If you and your brother produce something that's top-notch, I don't think an editor would turn it down just because it's a team project.

But like I said, I could be completely wrong!
#2 - August 28, 2013, 07:29 PM

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Hoping someone else will chime in, too, but if you do this, I would for sure mention some of his credentials in your cover letter (the professional animation ones). If the rule is, let the publisher find a REAL illustrator instead of trying to cough up stick figures or find another amateur on your own, then this would be the exception to that rule.

*Except that I am not an editor or art director, so take my thoughts with a block of salt.
#3 - August 28, 2013, 07:42 PM

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The don't send in a team project is often as Franzilla says. Since your brother is a professional illustrator already and you are creating a project together, you may fall into the gray area.

It used to be that an illustrator wasn't supposed to write their own book and vice versa for the writer, but now an author/illustrator is becoming more of the norm than an anomaly. That said they have to have both writing and art at top notch levels.

Do your project. Revise and polish it until it's sparkly and squeaky clean, then send it out into the world and see what happens. There are notable author illustrator teams out there, no reason why you and your brother can't join them if your product passes muster.
#4 - August 28, 2013, 07:45 PM
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Animal Totem Mandala 2016
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Totally agree with everyone above.  :yup
#5 - August 28, 2013, 08:00 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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New!
Thanks so much.  :love5: I do want to try this. My brother would be fantastic to work with. He's incredibly talented but beyond that, he's just a really nice guy and so unassuming. I wouldn't even mind if he got picked up without me...okay, maybe I'd mind a little, but not too much  :cry2

Now I've got some more work to do...like figuring out how to query and sub as a team. Back to the research.

:thanx:...

#6 - August 29, 2013, 12:29 PM
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 05:47 PM by J.Swan »
Seek ye out of the best books...
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