Day 149 – Agony

Still waiting on my final two critiques for the short story. In the meantime, I am revising my picture book and doing a little memoir exploratory work. I’ve been reading memoirs in different styles chronological vs. thematic formats etc. Two very different memoirs that I’d recommend reading if you are interested in memoir are Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson and The Duke of Deception by Geoffrey Wolff. Both are very different book and both knocked my socks off. Anyway, it’s late, way past my bedtime. Hopefully the magic will happen tomorrow. My first literary journal submissions. Squee! There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. – Maya Angelou Prompt:  Write about a sexually frustrated...

Day 118 – Picture Book Critique

In addition to being a solid networking opportunity, writing conferences are one of the few opportunities aspiring authors get to sit down face to face with top editors and agents for objective feedback about their work. Yes, it takes a little bit of money, but it’s well worth it. You get insight into the business and also put a face to your name. Most of the editors and agents attending the conference will allow you to submit unsolicited manuscripts to their agency for up to year so make your meeting count. That access alone is worth the conference fees. At the Houston SCBW conference, I got a critique from the lovely Julie Ham who is an Associate Editor & Contracts Coordinator at Charlesbridge Publishing. Note, if you plan on attending a conference...

Day 106 – Rejected, Rejected, Rejected

Cheers! My children’s book is officially rejected. All three agencies rejected it via non-response. No encouraging notes. Nothing. This is what I feared and expected, but it’s ok because we have a backup plan in place. Earlier this year I signed up for the Houston SCBWI. There I will receive a critique on my manuscript from a professional editor and I’ll be able given a window of submission time to agents and editors who don’t normal accept unsolicited manuscripts. There is still hope. Let’s cling to it! CLING! Only a mediocre person is always at his best. – W. Somerset Maugham Prompt: Write about something that is unresolved.

Day 76 – Rejected

One literary agency rejected my children’s book manuscript. It was rejected via a non-response, a if you have not heard from us within four weeks, please assume we are not interested in your manuscript type of deal.  The worst kind of rejection possible. Believe it or not, you want a response even if it’s negative. When you get a response it means the person who read your manuscript thought it had potential. Apparently, this particular agency thought my manuscript lacked potential. Maybe it does… or maybe they can suck it.  Either way, I am still in love with my book. Rejected.  Let’s sit with that a little while. How does it feel? Like nothing. Because nothing has actually changed. I am still breathing. I am still writing. I am still me. In...

Day 43 – Sent

Query letters have been sent! Four query letters were planned initially, but I only sent three. I didn’t like the 4th agency’s website. That sounds horrifically superficial, but it’s true. It’s hard to get past a poorly put together website these day. But it wasn’t just the webpage, it was the tone of their text, a tinge of something between the words made my stomach go sour so I decided not to submit. Not out of fear this time, but self respect. I really love my manuscript, adore it in way that wasn’t expected. I want it to be in good hands no matter where it goes. Now we wait.  And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed! – Dr. Seuss Prompt: Write a silly...

Day 42 – My Sample Query Letters

Literary agencies come in 2 kinds, those that have very detailed submission guidelines and those that are vague. Those that say please submit your full picture book manuscript with your query letter and those that do not specify. Do I follow the industry standard and include my full manuscript? Or do I just send a query?  I don’t know. I’ve never done this before. So it’s trial and error. I will send the full manuscript to the agencies that say to and I will just send a simple query to those that do not specify then go from there. If it that doesn’t work, we can always try something else. Below are two query letter letters I plan on sending. Feedback is more than welcome. Query 1: Requires Manuscript Dear Xx. Xxxx, I am seeking...