Happy New Year readers – I hope you enjoyed your festivities and are raring to go with your new year’s writing resolutions. And I am here to help!
I will shortly be working through and updating both my list of publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts and my list of UK children’s agents, making sure that you get the correct information you need to submit. I’ll be deleting any markets that no longer look at unagented work or, in the case of new markets, haven’t developed as promised – but don’t worry, there’ll be a few new opportunities going in too.
I will also be continuing to offer my new critique service, giving you the chance to get an extra pair of eyes on your manuscript before sending it off into the big wide world. Alternatively if you have something that keeps being rejected and are wondering why, perhaps I can help? I have adjusted the prices slightly as the feedback I am giving is a lot longer than originally planned, but I hope you’ll agree it’s still excellent value for money and I have had some lovely comments from my first customers.
Finally as usual I will be looking out for new writing opportunities and reporting back from any useful writing events I attend. So let’s make 2017 the year you get published!
I am so happy to tell you that a picture book I submitted to Maverick Books has made its way up through the slush pile and has been accepted for publication! You will know that this is a dream come true for me and I am still afraid I will suddenly walk into an exam hall without my trousers on and realise it is a dream and I have to retake my physics O level instead.
I sent the manuscript at the end of April 2014 but I knew there was a big backlog and Maverick was my first choice so I decided to wait and concentrate on other material. I have a lot of manuscripts of different age ranges and genres all whizzing about at once! Then at the beginning of February I received an email asking if the manuscript was still available and for more information about myself. Funnily enough Maverick had already heard of me due to the number of click-throughs coming to their site through the list of publishers on this blog! I was thrilled to hear they were interested but tried not to get too excited as I have been at this stage so many times before. The next email invited me to visit their offices in Horsham. It was a two-hour drive but nothing was going to stop me!
It was very interesting seeing inside a publisher’s office and I learned a lot about the process as we talked about how a picture book was put together and how Maverick works. Although it is a small team they have big ambitions and really high standards. They also like to work closely with their authors and get them involved in editorial meetings, which sounded great. Contracts were mentioned, hands were shaken and I left the meeting walking on air and hoping I wouldn’t crash the car on the way home!
Putting together a picture book is a lengthy process, so I won’t see Professor McQuark come to life fully until 2016. But there is the editorial process to enjoy, plus the excitement of seeing sample illustrations from three different illustrators before a final style is selected to suit the Professor and her amazing inventions. I think that’s what I’m looking forward to seeing most of all.
I’ll keep you up to date with my publishing journey as it happens. But for now, keep submitting, keep writing – you never know what might happen!