Nancy's Books

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Bones of a Picture Book/Calls for Submissions

This article is the first of a series based on the basics of writing a picture book.

Some picture book manuscripts garner contracts. Many more do not. Let’s look at the bones of a picture book to see what makes the story work so successfully that an editor offers a deal.

Interesting character. The main character should be likeable and identifiable, someone with which the reader can identify. Kids enjoy reading (or being read to) about characters that accomplish big acts. Allow the character to fix his/her own problem, whether it’s handling the bully or getting in out of the storm. Children are small and young, but they enjoy stories in which they succeed on their own. Good fiction is all about the character. If the character doesn’t have a problem or goal, you don’t have a story. Jim was happy. He was happy yesterday and he’s even happier today. No problem. No goal. No story.
Universal appeal. Children enjoy characters that face similar problems and situations as their own. When creating a problem for the character, consider problems children face: moving, losing a pet, fight with a friend or sibling, or changing schools. These are just some issues children endure. Children can learn ways to cope by reading about characters that deal with similar situations.

Next week, I’ll continue with the article.

Call for submissions for adult writers:

Appleseeds Magazine

"We're looking for new, different, and interesting activities that kids will love to do.

No crosswords or word searches. Activities requiring adult supervision are acceptable.

All activities MUST relate to upcoming theme so check guidelines before submitting.

Call for submissions for young writers:

GREYstone, a subdivision of BRICKrhetoric, is now accepting submissions
of poetry, artwork, flash fiction, photography and scientific art from
students {and teachers} K-12 for our quarterly online publication which
comes out in the months of February, May, August & November. Submissions
are accepted year-round, and submissions to multiple genres are permitted.

Check out more contests on my blog:

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