I haven’t been able to post for over a month. October was busier than expected this year! I have a lot more to talk about, but I want to get started by talking about Picture Book Palooza! https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/pbpalooza2020.html
Join the PB Palooza
Picture book Palooza is going into it’s second year. The cost for entry is only $20 and you get so much great information. This is a fundraising event so that Mira Reisberg can continue to give class scholarships to BIPOC, Disabled, LGBTQIA+, Low Income ect.! These scholarships are designed to help even out the publishing playing field. In many of the Children’s Book Academy classes students get to show their work directly to Editors, Agents and Art Directors. Students are all given an equal chance to showcase their work in front of these industry professionals.
What You’ll Learn
It feels like 100 years since last year’s event, but I do know that it was epic. I just learned so much from taking part of the event. There were so many wonderful presenters. Lots of fantastic conversations and a ton of learning. You’ll get a lot of your industry questions answered. The events are: 21st Century Nonfiction, Fiction From Life, Writing for Social Justice, Kidlit Community Resources, How to Write Funny, Fiction vs. Concept Books, Editor & Agent Panel, and an Illustration & Writing Panel. Plus a break out Zoom room where you can get all of your questions answered!
The information you’ll get in this event is equivalent to an event put on a bigger organization. You will find that the people invited have information that will help you no matter what your level in writing or illustration. The information given in this event is current and relevant to those just starting out and those who have been in the industry for a while. Take a look at the picture below and go to https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/pbpalooza2020.html to see the list of all the wonderful people involved with this event! There is also a full list of what’s happening when there too!
Why I Love the Children’s Book Academy
I have learned so much in taking the Craft and Business of Illustrating Picture Books! I have taken the class twice and am currently a helper in this past class (and will be a helper in future classes as well). I just love seeing people go from good to great in these classes. Every single person who does the course works ends up with a huge jump in skills from start of the class to end. Also I mentioned that you get to show your work to actual Agents, Illustrators and ADs after class. Not to just any publishing companies, either. These are a range of great companies (that vary every class) that could give you a huge advantage going into or continuing your illustration or writing career! Please join me for this event! If you missed the link before here it is again: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/pbpalooza2020.html
To read more about the Middle Grade Mastery course go here https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/middle-grade-mastery.html
If you want to apply for a scholarship here is that link: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/andrea-davis-pinkney-mg-cb-mastery-scholarship.html Deadline is May 15th!
If you’ve read any of my posts on the Children’s Book Academy you know how much I love their courses. Mira Reisberg and I are friends and I just can’t not tell my other friends about their courses. I have taken the Craft & Business of Illustrating Children’s Books twice now. Earlier this year I went through the course and I’m still processing everything I learned.
You might want to know what processing looks like for me. Last time I took the class at the end of 2018. That class lead me to revamp my entire portfolio. I have now replaced every single image in my portfolio with digital work. I’ve also switched from picture books to graphic novels.
This year I’m working on a graphic novel submission package. I’m now working on 3 new spreads to add to the images I made in class. I also will be working on a script and other things to submit with my package.
I’ve learned a lot with the CBA and I highly recommend taking this course if you want to learn more about writing MG books!
There Are Scholarships!
The Children’s Book Academy has a lot of great features. You will get feedback from Hillary Homzie and Mira Reisberg. There will be webinars every week where they critique your work. Every webinar has an agent, editor or publisher guest! These guests, Mira, Hillary and a few other people will be looking at your work at the end of the course. If they like your work they might publish, or help you publish your book! Here is that link again for the course: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/middle-grade-mastery.html
This course is a bit costly for some. It is well worth the money, believe me! There are also scholarships to those who qualify. I have added a list below so you can see what’s involved. Please apply for these scholarships if you qualify! You can apply here: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/andrea-davis-pinkney-mg-cb-mastery-scholarship.html
Deadline is May 15th!
Easy Peasy Scholarship Criteria (as taken from the CBA email):
- Be a member of an ethnic minority, or identify as LGBQT, or having a disability, being low-income, being a kid’s librarian, an Aussie, or an SCBWI RA, ARA or IC (Society of Children‘s Book Writers and Illustrators regional helpers who do so much unpaid work for our industry).
- Be excited about making middle grade novels or chapter books and contributing to the field to help make a better world through these books whether it’s just by creating more joy or by skillfully and subtly integrating social justice themes in your work
- All applicants must write a 40-60 word description of themselves, their background, and why they’d be a good candidate for this scholarship
- Writers must compose an up-to 70-word descriptive pitch for the middle grade novel or chapter book that they’d like to work on during the course
- Illustrators must include a link to their website
- Let us know if you are already agented and/or published
A Bit About Publishing
There are lots of places where you could get your book published, but sometimes finding the right place is hard!
In many cases finding an agent is extremely important. They can help you tweak your story for publication. Agents have a bigger pool of places to submit work to, so a person with a good agent will likely do better than a person without. They also can help you get better contracts, money and answer questions you need answered. If you are thinking about an agent, submit to agents first. They get back to you faster, and won’t be able to shop your manuscript to editors you’ve already submitted to on your own.
You can find an editor before you get published. There are a lot of great publishing companies that do accept manuscripts/dummies from individuals. Do your research on these companies. Publishing companies should pay you, and you should not be paying anything out of pocket!
The Book by SCBWI — A publishing guide with kidlit places to submit your work. Must be a current member of the SCBWI to access. https://www.scbwi.org/online-resources/the-book/
The Writer’s Market Books — A series of books created for writers and illustrators to get their books published. Recently acquired by Penguin Random House so the website may change. https://www.writersdigest.com/WritersMarket
#PB Pitch http://www.pbpitch.com/
Pitch Wars https://pitchwars.org/pitch-wars-schedule/
#MSWL (not a pitch Event) on Twitter (Manuscript Wish List). https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/
This is in no way a full list, but it will help you get started! Check out this post for more events and writing help: https://www.daniduck.com/writing-fun/
The Children’s Book Academy writing class is over, but there is time to sign up for her illustration class here: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/p/the-craft-business-of-illustrating-children-s-picture-books