Month: April 2014

Query Writing – A Guide For The Anxious

Originally Published: Jan. 8, 2012

by Sarah Davies, Literary Agent

I toyed with much fancier titles for this post, but then decided to say it straight. What you want to know is how to write a great query and the whole process worries you sick, right?

Everyone else in the industry has blogged on this topic, so there’s no shortage of great advice around, but having just faced around 350 queries on my return from vacation, I’m weighing in with a few simple pointers.

Let’s start with the perfect (French) cup of coffee. Short, strong, elegant. Served in cup and saucer, and usually with tiny square of chocolate balanced alongside. (S*bucks, with your buckets of hot milk, please note.) The first thing to know about queries is that they’re not nearly as hard as you think, so lower your shoulders, breathe deeply and say, “I can do this!” (more…)

Portfolio Critques With Patti Ann Harris

Originally Published: Mar. 16, 2012

By: Wallace West

Patti Ann Harris, Senior Art Director for Little Brown Books for Young Readers, critiqued the portfolios of three SCBWI Metro Members on 13 December, 2011. Aside from providing both praise and constructive criticism she offered the invaluable advice of a seasoned industry professional.

In response to the age-old question of whether or not an illustrator should restrict a portfolio to only one style, Harris said it is not unacceptable to have two different styles in a portfolio. However, the illustrator should be able to consistently deliver the styles and it should be clearly defined to an Art Director which style will be used for a project.

“It’s a great thing to experiment [with styles],” said Harris. “Every artist is always hopefully evolving and you have to give yourself permission to do this.” (more…)

Creating Picture Books In A Challenging And Changing Market

Originally Published: Jan. 8, 2012

By: Melanie Hope Greenberg

Clarion Editor Lynne Polvino, opened her talk for the November Tuesday Night Professional Series by asking the audience to think about their formative memories of the classic books they loved.  She suggested that we approach our careers as “a noble endeavor, an important and worthwhile undertaking, but one that is not easy. Creating and publishing a successful picture book takes a lot of work, practice, research, and honing of talent.”

She offered practical suggestions to navigate our noble endeavors into a published book. (more…)