There have been times when I get calls or emails from beginning writers who want my input on their manuscripts. Used to be that I would read their stories and offer up comments. But not any more. I decided to leave that job to the editors. Yet I do recommend them to join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and take advantage of all their handouts about publishers and guidelines for submitting manuscripts.
Thankfully I have another place other than the SCBWI website to send aspiring writers – to Ann Whitford Paul’s new book, Writing Picture Books: A Hand-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication.
Ann has an accessible writing style that nudges you along, helping you to look at your manuscript objectively to figure out ways to compose stories that have better chances of selling in the current market. She uses many examples from her own writing to illustrate her points. She also includes playful ways to attack your manuscript using crayons, highlighters, scissors and tape to craft it into more salable shape. I’d recommend it for published writers as well, since it never hurts to refresh your skills, and perhaps find a new way of approaching the editing process.
So thanks, Ann, for helping us writers hone our skills.