Nancy's Books

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Picture Books: Nonfiction/Call for submissions

Many picture books focus on information. Nonfiction text should not sound like a textbook. Instead, mix and stir and serve the information in an exciting, fresh manner.

Ear appeal is vital to a picture book. These books are designed to be read aloud. Before mailing a manuscript to an editor, test drive the story by reading it aloud. Your ears will pick up on the parts that don’t flow easily. Reading silently isn’t as effective.

Aim for lyrical, rhythmic prose to add a cadence to the text and to give an overall tempo to the piece. Listeners will cling to every word when the story has a musical quality. Carefully consider each word to maximize the rhythm, descriptive details, and dialog.

Editors want books that delight the reader/listener so a satisfying ending is critical to a successful manuscript. The story may have a gentle, rip-roaring, or surprise ending. When I’m writing, I know the ending before I ever begin a story. The ending is the last impression a writer makes on a reader so make the ending memorable.

One of the best ways to learn how to write picture books is to read lots of them from a variety of authors. Notice the different styles. Read like a writer and write like a reader.

Good picture books should remain interesting over multiple readings. The depth and richness of the writing and emotions can make a child say, Read it again. Ah, sweet music to a writer’s ears.

Call for submissions for adult writers
Lightspeed Magazine . CURRENT NEEDS: "Original science fiction stories (not fantasy) of 7500 words or less. Preferred length is 5000
words or less." 1000-7500 words.

Check out more contests on my blog: http://nancykellyallen.blogspot.com/

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