Nancy's Books

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Gaps in Literature

Nonfiction picture books have grown in popularity in the last few years. State Standards for schools include the use of nonfiction titles in the curriculum and this had motivated many publishers to increased production of beautifully illustrated picture books with informational text and various types of back matter.   

Talk with teachers and ask what topics have not been covered in picture books or what topics/subjects need more books. When I was a librarian in an elementary school, I read an article about pink dolphins. The next day I searched for books on pink dolphins to order for the students. I was surprised when I could find not one book on the subject. Ah-ha! Inspiration struck and I wrote ON THE BANKS OF THE AMAZON, which included information on pink dolphins.  

On another occasion, I read an article about the two Hill sisters who were from Kentucky and wrote the world’s most popular song, Happy Birthday. So little had been written about their lives, I decided to write a picture book about how they got the idea for the song. My book, HAPPY BIRTHDY: THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR SONG, was the result of my research. 

If you think of a topic that has not been covered or if you think of a new angle for a topic, research it to see if a large number of books are already in the marketplace. If not, you may have a subject that teachers, parents, and young readers will gravitate toward. Let the editor know you have done your homework by explaining that you’ve researched the market and your book would fill a literature gap.  

Call for submissions for Adult Writers

FutureScapes is an annual writing competition that asks writers to envision a particular sort of world, and tell us a story about it. We could run projections and publish reports, but there’s a reason why Wilde didn’t say, “Life imitates empirical studies.” We want to help writers of excellent potential find their voice while shaping  tomorrow.




DEADLINE: July 15, 2016.

In particular, FutureScapes seeks:

Works of short fiction up to 8,000 words, written in accordance with this year’s prompt: Cities of Empowerment

Compelling stories that explore the nuance of technology, science, politics, and/or policy, without forgetting about plot and character!

-Stories that show us both the positives and negatives of this possible future.

-Stories that can provide a road-map for cities, states, and nations to follow.

-Stories that may be built in a rich and full world, but that manage to show us the reality of a single city, neighborhood, and/or life.

Stories worthy of the $2,000 prize for first place, $1,000 prize for second place, and $500 prize to each of the four runners-up.

-Stories that, when placed in the hands of a mayor or governor, could change the course of the future.

Deadline: July 15, 2016

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