Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Insider Exclusive with Allyn Johnston



When you buy a book, what's your process as you edit?


"I am hoping every book I buy will be the beginning of a long-term editorial relationship for me and for Beach Lane. I love the experience of sharing a deep backlist with authors and illustrators. I love all the crazy ups-and-downs-and-ups of our collaborations over time. And I want the books and our friendships to be a part of our lives together for many years."


How do you think the business has changed for picture book publishing?


"I think publishers are much more open to buying picture books now than they were even just a few years ago. It seems to me that we're in a really dynamic and exciting time for them at the moment."


How many manuscripts has Beach Lane bought as a result of an SCBWI conference?


"25 and counting. We want to add YOU to that list!" You read that here first members!


Three Tips for Picture Book Writers:


1.    Don't summarize your story in the cover letter-let it speak for itself.

2.    Leave the illustrations to the illustrators: no art notes.

3.    Picture books are not snippets of novels-write for a read-aloud audience.