Competitions are a great way to get your work seen, so any competition that is aimed at debut picture book writers and is judged by picture book supremo Amy Sparkes and superagent Julia Churchill is a must. It’s also sponsored by Writing Magazine which features regular articles by Amy on how to write for children.
Entries of up to 800 words can be in rhyme or prose, and you have plenty of time to hone your masterpieces before submission as the entry window doesn’t open until 1 September 2018 (and closes on 31 October). Prizes include consultations, critiques and cash, but most importantly being a prize winner can be an valuable step towards publication.
Details are on Amy Sparkes’ site and I recommend following her on Twitter to get her Wednesday Writing Tips. And if you need any help prior to submission, why not check out my critique service?
After having had several enquiries about manuscript assessments, I have decided to launch my own critique service. Simply choose your rate depending on the length of your manuscript and email to me. Once I have received your payment (Paypal or bank transfer) I will aim to respond to you within 6-8 weeks. You can also include your synopsis and covering letter for each manuscript for free! Payment is per thousand words. For a longer book, why not send the first three chapters plus synopsis and covering letter for an appraisal of your complete submission package?
My critique includes:
- Assessment of pace, plot, characters, dialogue and your author voice.
- Advice on grammar and punctuation.
- Help with presentation and layout.
- Suggestions on how to edit your work.
- Areas to work on, and most importantly, your strengths!
- Appraisal of your submission package, if applicable.
I specialise in picture books and young fiction as that’s the age group I’m published in, but I’m happy to look at any writing for children up to young adult.
Please see Critique Service page for current prices.
Plus free synopsis and cover letter critique with each manuscript!
Payment should be via paypal to lou dot treleaven at sky dot com or bank transfer (please email me for details). I look forward to hearing from you!
Today I reached a milestone for this blog – 1000 followers! I’m so pleased to have reached such a wide audience. I’ve also been loving hearing the recent success stories some of you have been having with your manuscripts – some mentioned on this blog already, others to come over the next few months. We all know what a difficult and frustrating journey it can be, and to hear that publishers are still keen to accept new authors is heartwarming indeed.
To celebrate I’d like to offer you a present. We all know how hard it is to get a second opinion on your work. Scrub that – an honest and useful second opinion. Family are lovely but will always say it’s ‘good’, even if you give them a pencil and ask them to scrub out whole chapters. Some writers swear by having a ‘beta reader’ – someone to go through an early draft and give them a useful critique before they start submitting. I have recently started doing this with two other playwrights for the short plays I’m working on and I feel it has improved my work hugely, as well as decreasing the sense of writing ‘in a vacuum’. You can find willing beta readers in writers’ groups, online forums, social media groups, or sites where you post work up for others to critique and repay them the favour, such as Authonomy.
Or – as a thank you for being such a lovely follower – you can simply post a comment below and I will pick one out of a hat for a free writer-to-writer critique. (A nice, encouraging one, not a tearing-you-to-shreds one, delivered in confidence by email, not published on the blog.)
It could be for a work in progress, something you are preparing for submission, or something you are already sending out but would like some feedback on from a fellow author. All I ask is that it’s under 50,000 words. For very short works like picture books I’d be happy to look at three.
Feel free to talk about your manuscript in your comment, or if you want to play your cards close to your chest then that’s fine as well, just make a remark so I know you’re in the draw. After a month I will print out this page, cut the comments into strips, put them in a hat and ask one of my children to pull one out, then the winner can email me their work.
Good luck and I look forward to reading your manuscript!