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Ask the Editor, all please read

Posted by on Dec. 4, 2007 at 6:49 AM
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So, I decided I'd set up this thread for quick one/two sentence questionsabout anything at all to do with writing, illustrating, getting published etc.  

I want these to be the sort of Q&A that will help everyone who reads the post so NO manuscripts please! But if you have a question about grammar in your manuscript, that is fine as long as it is short!
by on Dec. 4, 2007 at 6:49 AM
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Replies (1-10):
GoldenDawne
by on Dec. 4, 2007 at 6:52 AM
Having problem finding agent...any suggestions?
MarloG
by Group Owner on Dec. 4, 2007 at 6:54 AM
Woah, that was fast! What steps have you taken so far?
AnnadelRichards
by on Dec. 5, 2007 at 12:50 PM
Do any agents actually rep picture books?  I've queried several whose information says they represent picture books, but I keep getting letters back saying they no longer consider anything below chapter books or middle grade.
mrsmoon
by on Dec. 5, 2007 at 5:24 PM
Got it.
GoldenDawne
by on Dec. 5, 2007 at 7:04 PM
I've submitted query letters to more agents than I care to think about. I have followed sample query letters and I've written my own. All I get is the same old form rejection letter.
I have an Associates' degree in early childhood, published articles online and in print (magazines) and I am a newspaper/reporter staff writer. I have about 10 years experience all togther.
I don't know where I'm going wrong.
Goldendawne
MarloG
by Group Owner on Dec. 6, 2007 at 7:39 AM

Quoting GoldenDawne:

Having problem finding agent...any suggestions?

My question is do you mean 'finding' an agent or 'getting' and agent?

It's nearly as hard to get one as it is to get a publisher.

If the problem is finding one, then look in the Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market. (2008!)

If the problem is getting one, perhaps it means that you just haven't tried enough of them, or perhaps it means your work is not something they feel they could sell. Or perhaps it means that your work is not ready yet. Without more information it's impossible to say.

Marlo
MarloG
by Group Owner on Dec. 6, 2007 at 7:42 AM

Quoting AnnadelRichards:

Do any agents actually rep picture books?  I've queried several whose information says they represent picture books, but I keep getting letters back saying they no longer consider anything below chapter books or middle grade.
Some do. Once again, use the CWIM. I know, I've had the same problem as you. I think that picture books probably just don't make a lot of financial sense to them. Persevere!

Luckily, in children's publishing at least, although an agent can certainly be helpful, it is not necessary. Just keep submitting to publishers and keep refining your work!

Marlo
MarloG
by Group Owner on Dec. 6, 2007 at 7:43 AM
Whatcha got Michelle?! A lovely writing style, I know that much!
MarloG
by Group Owner on Dec. 6, 2007 at 7:54 AM

Quoting GoldenDawne:

I've submitted query letters to more agents than I care to think about. I have followed sample query letters and I've written my own. All I get is the same old form rejection letter.
I have an Associates' degree in early childhood, published articles online and in print (magazines) and I am a newspaper/reporter staff writer. I have about 10 years experience all togther.
I don't know where I'm going wrong.
Well, it could be your material... your base idea/theme. It could be that the narrative is not strong enough and it shows through your synopsis. What genre are you writing and querying about? Perhaps your writing is not strong enough yet? It could be that you just haven't found that one agent who will love your work, but the form letter rejections suggest that's not it.

And why not submit directly to publishers? Yes, an agent can help... but it's not the only way.

And even though you have strong writing skills and experience in other areas, perhaps you're just not writing to your audience. (Although perhaps the articles are for children's mags?)

Do you belong to a critique group? Have you taken a class specifically on writing for kids? Are you a SCBWI member? Have you attended one of their conferences? Have you had a professional assessment of your work? These are all important steps to take.

Marlo
mrsmoon
by on Dec. 6, 2007 at 5:12 PM
Ohhh, now I understand.  i thought you were telling us that this Group was now for short questions only.  Whew!
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