One Writer’s Journey

March 3, 2009

Picture Books

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 2:33 am
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picturebooksOne of the new markets I cracked was Wow!  Women on Writing.  They published my piece on picture book writing, in their February issue. 

After this piece was in print, of course, I thought of one more piece of advice I should have given readers.


If you aren’t reading picture books, don’t write them.  And I don’t mean the picture books you loved when you were a kid.  Or the ones that your own kids loved 10 years ago.  Read old favorites but also read the ones that are coming out now.  That’s one of the things I love about reviewing.  I’m always getting and reading the newest books.

If you aren’t reading what’s coming out now, you won’t know what has already been done.  You want know what the current trends are.  Not that you should write to trends but picture books are shorter now than they used to be.  Lessons are woven into the story vs being boldly stated at the end. 

Why not set yourself a goal?  Read 50 new picture books.  That means 50 picture books that have come out in the last three years.  Where to find them?  Start with Newbery winners.  Go sit at one of the mega stores and read their faceout picture book displays.  Go to the library and pull the newest, shiniest books off the shelves. 

Read 50 new books and you’ll start to notice that you consistently like the work of certain publishers.  You may even get to the point that you can tell what publisher produced a book before you even look at the spine.  If you can do that, you’ll know where to submit your work when it is ready to go out into the world.



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