Opportunity for picture book authors

One of our clients, a Melbourne-based children’s media company, is looking for an author to write a six-book picture book series aimed at two to six year olds. This series will be based on a concept that they have developed.

The client has big plans for the picture books, wishing to expand the concept to other media platforms if all goes well.

If you are interested in this opportunity, we’d love to hear from you. We’d like to be able to see examples of your writing, so if you have one or more manuscripts to show us, please get in touch, by email in the first instance. Please send us a brief summary of your experience and areas of interest, one manuscript, and any specific questions you may have.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Inky Awards shortlist is released!

The 2012 Inky Awards shortlisted books have been announced on the insideadog website this morning. Two of the books are the best books I’ve read this year: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Both were books I didn’t want to end, with the most amazing characters.

For all the 12–20 year olds out there, get voting! Voting closes at midnight on 14 October. See the insideadog website for more details.

Submitting to a publisher

If you’ve finished writing your manuscript, you’ve had someone critique it and you’re sure you can do no more to improve it, you might now be ready to approach publishers. This can be a daunting prospect! It’s extremely difficult to secure a contract with a publisher, so you must do your research before trying to submit your work. If you get it wrong the first time, you’re unlikely to get a second chance with a publisher.

The first step is to identify the publishers that accept submissions in your genre (many publishers only accept specific genres). Also check that they are currently accepting submissions – some only accept them at certain times of the week or month, and some don’t accept them at all.

Publishers also have different procedures and guidelines for submissions. It’s vital that you check the submission guidelines of the publisher you’re researching, because if you don’t follow them correctly, your manuscript often won’t be considered.

They may request a synopsis and a few chapters of the work, or they may be happy to receive the whole manuscript, especially if it’s a picture book or a short chapter book. You may be asked to provide a document identifying the book’s market and competition, among other things. Publishers will usually also specify whether you should submit a hard-copy or electronic file.

Eliminate as many grammatical and spelling errors as possible from the text, and do not submit a first draft to a publisher. The manuscript must be in the best possible shape before submission.

See the Australian Publishers Association for a comprehensive list of Australian publishers, and SPUNC for a list of small and independent publishers.

CBCA Book of the Year 2012 winners announced

Big news today for the Australian children’s book community – the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year 2012 winners have been announced!

Here are the winners:

  • Older Readers Book of the Year: Scot Gardiner for The Dead I Know
  • Younger Readers Book of the Year: Kate Constable for Crow Country
  • Early Childhood Book of the Year: Nick Bland and Freya Blackwood for The Runaway Hug
  • Picture Book of the Year: Bob Graham for A Bus Called Heaven
  • Eve Pownall Book of the Year: Alison Lester and Coral Tulloch for One Small Island: The Story of Macquarie Island

See the CBCA website for full details of the winners and honour books. Congratulations to everyone!