Wednesday, February 18, 2015

MAJOR HOPE FOR PICTURE BOOK AUTHORS/ILLUSTRATORS...

HI, All,
Happy mid winter....

I know the north and east has been pounded with snow and I am know how aweful that can be. I hope and pray that you are all safe! 

When I was in NYC last week we did get a bit of snow, but nothing like is happening now. The SCBWI conference was AMAZING! I learned so much and felt so energized and excited about writing again. If any of you are in a slump, I HIGHLY recommend attending ANY regional or national conference it is worth it's weight in gold. Seriously, it was a costly venture, but the knowledge and advice I had received was priceless.

For those of you who are children's writers and illustrators, you will be happy to know that this genre is making a HUGE comeback. I have thought about doing a picture book for quite some time now. Since I can illustrate, it would be such a blast to create something amazing for younger kids. Once I finish with my current querying and WIP, I hope to create a picture book. It would be SOOO FREEING.

The guest speaker at the conference ranged from picture book artists, m/g/ y/a authors and commercial mega successes. Each had an amazing and inspirational story to tell. And the bottom line is DON'T GIVE UP! I know many of us just want to crawl back into our holes and cover ourselves up, never to be seen again. DON'T you DARE! Keep plugging away at it.

As for my featured story, I was very fortunate to be given some amazing advice on how to really fine tune my first few pages. AND...THANKS to my wonderful friend and fellow blogger, Carrie Butler, she had give me the final tweaks to really make my story blinding....  THANK YOU, CARRIE!

Now it is time to send it out to the agents and publishers from the conference. Many of you may not know this, but if you attend one of these conferences, your ms will be given a boost up. They will at least READ your query in first few pages. As we all know many of the top agents have assistants reading their queries. Yours will get a fighting chance. Isn't that the best we can hope for at this stage?

I was also humbled during my first round of the round table critique to get an ovation from the publisher and other authors. I was shocked and THRILLED. The editor liked most of it, but did suggest for me to start the story a bit differently. Will I take her advice? Maybe. I am still working through it. At least for the next day or so. I really feel the beginning is where it needs to be, so I may just leave it. Always remember it is OUR story, not theirs.

So the process continues... Believe me you will all be the first to know if I receive any full or partial requests.

I also have some news on the house hunt... if finally found a place! YAY! I put in the offer today. Keep those good vibes coming my way that the owner accepts it! Once it is finalized, I will give you all the details...

Anyway, I hope all of you are well and safe. As soon as I return to Chicago next week, I will be visible. Between the conference in NYC and looking for places in South Tampa, my life has been one, mad dash. Plus I didn't have internet access for almost two weeks. WE all know how hard that is...

Stay well, my friends and I'll be by to see you all soon!


25 comments:

  1. That's awesome news, Michael! Don't change that opening unless you know it's right. If she's the only one saying to change it, then it might very well be fine as it stands. Good luck!
    And hope they take up your offer on the house. I bet Tampa felt really good after Chicago and New York.

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  2. An ovation - how wonderful, Michael! Good luck with the querying. It sounds like you have a winner on your hands.

    Fingers crossed all goes well with your offer on the house.

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  3. Best of luck to you in finding a publisher and in getting the house you made an offer on too. You have a lot of excitement going on right now!

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  4. Sounds like the conference was fantastic for you. And awesome that picture books are doing so well. Good luck with yours.

    And fingers crossed that you've found your house. Stay warm when you get back to Chicago. It's frigid cold in Ann Arbor.

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  5. That is great news. Congratulations. It's also good to hear about a resurgent of children's books.

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  6. I know you were a tad nervous about the conference, but it sounds like that was wiped away with good advice, talks, and some applause. Good for you!!! Ever onward - your adventure in publishing continues. And safe travels as always

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  7. I'm pretty psyched for you right now! A boost in morale and double dose of anticipatory glee can only make things better.
    Be careful driving through TN! It's nasty out there today.

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  8. Great news all around. Raising my cup of coffee in salute to you. Can't wait to hear more.

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  9. Best of luck with your queries! It will happen. The only way you will fail is if you quit. It's a tough market out there. Fingers crossed you get your house!

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  10. It's wonderful that you found the conference rewarding, invigorating,and helpful! I wish I heard similar things about my local chapter, but ... ahem ... not so much. Best of luck to you as you do the final polishing before querying!

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  11. Good luck on the house! We're still trying to sell ours, then I get to the fun of house hunting.

    I have a couple picture books I wrote years ago. Someday I'll actually study the writing of picture books and see if I can make them work.

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  12. I'm glad you had a great time at the conference! If I had gotten an ovation, I would've fainted. Good for you!

    Best of luck with everything! :)

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  13. How exciting that you received an ovation at the conference! It sounds like you're very close to signing on with a publisher! Good luck with the house in Tampa! It would be such a great escape from our freezing winter weather! You deserve all good things, Michael!

    Julie

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  14. An ovation? That is something. I am with Alex ... go with your instincts on the beginning. And best of luck in selling your condo!! :-)

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  15. Congrats, Michael. An ovation—how fabulous is that??? I knew the conference would be made of win.

    Best of luck on the house. Fingers and toes crossed for you.

    VR Barkowski

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  16. Glad you had fun at the conference. I'd like to attend PNWA some day. Hope all goes as well on the non-writing front for you.

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  17. I agree. Attending a good conference is incredibly energizing. And I say that even though I've never received an ovation.

    May you land both the publisher and home of your dreams.

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  18. Yay to conferences. It's almost worth it to plan an entire week off afterward to take advantage of all the inspiration!

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  19. Michael, you SHOULD start on that picture book!
    ...an ovation from the publisher and other authors during the round table critique... that is GREAT!!
    Sending you loads of positivity for the house hunting and ms.
    Chat soon.

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  20. Life is sounding good on your side of the continent. So glad to hear the news about your story and your finding a place to live. Huge good news!

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  21. So glad that you had such an amazing time in NY at the conference. I agree with you that conferences are such an inspiration. Every one I have attended has taught me a lot and made me want to write, write, write! Awesome news about the PB industry. Best of luck with your current MS and your house hunting!
    ~Jess

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  22. So happy to read all your great news, Michael! How wonderful that you had such a fantastic time at the conference. And an ovation -woot! I'm sure you will be getting requests any day now. You've worked so hard, you definitely deserve to reap all the rewards.

    Take care and I hope your house is finalized soon!

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  23. Hey Michael, still plugging away, thanks to your good advice I may fianlly have a handle on this one. I'm so glad you found a place, can't wait to hear about it. And that beginning was good, grabbed this reader and made me want to know more. You'll make the right decision, like you said the story is yours. Thanks for sharing your conference experience.

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  24. Hi Michael - sounds as though you've had lots of encouragement - and that helps through all the upheavals of life. Good luck with everything ... and I hope you can find a new home further south very soon - Chicago sounds 'cold' ...

    Take care - cheers Hilary

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  25. I had to comment on this post. I joined SCBWI a year ago after attending a Writer's Days conference in LA. I googled, "children's books" and the local society popped up. It was AMAZING!!! I have the opportunity to submit to an editor from this year's conference and I'm trying to finish my first picture book. This was a GREAT post to read!! Best Wishes :)

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant;

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