Nancy's Books

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Illustration Notes in Picture Book Manuscripts, part II/Calls for Submissions

Today’s blog is part II of a series.

Illustrators are creative artists who are trained to interpret text. They don’t need nor expect a great deal of detail in manuscripts. Editors, too, can visualize a story and do not expect illustration notes to accompany text.

Opinions vary on illustration notes in manuscripts. Some editors don’t want any notes at all; others accept them if the notes are absolutely necessary. At a conference I attended, an editor said a well-known illustrator refused an assignment to work on a story because the manuscript contained illustration notes. When an illustration note is critical to understanding the story, a note or two may be okay, but I usually try to avoid using them.

If the story is historical fiction or nonfiction, visual references can be helpful to the illustrator. Example: a photo of a Minie ball, a civil war bullet, could be attached or the photo source noted. Visual references aren’t used for art direction purposes; instead, they are merely a source for information.

To use illustrator notes or not, that is the question. The answer depends upon the text. My advice: use them sparingly, if at all.

Next week, I’ll discuss first draft revision.

Call for submissions for adult writers:

Kasma is a digital science fiction magazine that is currently open to submissions. The magazine prefers stories 1,000 to 5,000 words, and is not closed to longer. Fantasy and other genres are not published often, but submissions of these stories are considered.

Kasma looks for “fiction that is intelligent, with well-thought out plots and characters. Beyond this, exactly what happens in your world with your characters is up to you. We enjoy a broad range and don't want to stifle author creativity by having elaborate expectations. Often enough, the best stories come as a surprise.”

Email stories in the body of the email to editors@kasmamagazine. com.

Submission details at

Call for submissions for young writers:

Cuckoo Quarterly. An online literary publication of poetry, short fiction, rants, reviews, interviews, and more. Open to submissions from youth under 19 years, with no restrictions on genre or format. The theme for issue 6 is “Power”

For the themed section we will accept writing of any form (poetry/non-fiction/script/illustration etc) relating to the chosen subject. Interesting or unusual angles on this subject are encouraged! Please mention in the accompanying email that the work is intended for the themed section.

Deadline for issue 6 is 15 March 2013

Submission guidelines at

Check out more contests on my blog:

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