Transcript #pblitchat 1/2 August

Hi everyone. After a week off #pblitchat last week it was great to reconnect with all of you lovely people once again. I (@KarenCollum) so appreciate the community of picture books writers I have discovered online and believe it really helps my writing. Today we had a general catch up and discussed any issues or problems we’re facing at the moment. Some people also got to share some good news about their projects, which was wonderful.

Remember, if you want to join in to #pblitchat then either DM myself or @KatApel on Twitter for the password or leave us a comment below and we’ll email it to you. Happy writing!

KarenCollum joined the chat 92 minutes ago

KarenCollum: Hi everyone :) Sorry – got carried away packaging up my manuscripts and lost track of time. Just made it!

KarenCollum: Hi Jen! So glad you could make it :) this is a much more reliable platform than Twitter so hope it works for you

heatherayris joined the chat 90 minutes ago

KarenCollum: Hi Heather

jothompsonillos joined the chat 89 minutes ago

heatherayris: Aha! I’m in. Couldn’t figure this out at first. Hi everyone!

Jen (aka notawriter) joined the chat 89 minutes ago

KarenCollum: I’m sitting outside in the sun while my 3 kids play – hopefully happily!!

KarenCollum: Hi Jo! Welcome

KatApel: I’m tweeting – and sipping – and nibbling. Hot chocolate chip muffin and vanilla-thriller coffee. Really!

KarenCollum: Yes, click ‘Join Chat’ down the bottom to join in easily

Jen (aka notawriter): wondered why I couldn’t type, then realized I hadn’t joined yet

KarenCollum: @KatApel that sounds rather scrumptious. Where’s mine??

chloe_kitten joined the chat 88 minutes ago

chloe_kitten: Hi everyone!

KatApel: The sunshine would be nice. I’ve opened to door to try catch the sun at my feet – but it’s the breeze that’s sneaking in!!

Jen (aka notawriter): Thanks, Karen! I’m already having an easier time keeping up :-)

KarenCollum: Hi Chloe!

KatApel: Great to see you Jen! And Hi Chloe and Heather too. And Jo! And Michelle…

KarenCollum: Just a few housekeeping things… Please keep your responses to one line so the conversation flows (Like it ever stops! LOL)

KarenCollum: And if you are replying to something someone has said just use the Twitter convention of @name so we can track the threads

KarenCollum: Just popping over to Twitter to see if anyone is waiting for me to send them the password…

chloe_kitten: Hi Karen and Kat. It feel like it has been a while since we have all chatted.

KarenCollum: OK, let’s dive in! Today’s topic is all about you – any problems, issues, bug bears with your WIP you’d like to air? What are you up to now?

KarenCollum: @Chloe so sorry this was cancelled last week. Food poisoning = not fun!!

KatApel: @Chloe – It has been a while since I chatted. I missed three in a row. And I mean ‘missed!’.

MichelleDEvans: just had a visit from my lovely neighbour! hello everyone :)

KarenCollum: Has anyone had any news from publishers? Feedback from crit buddies? New opportunities/ideas?

KarenCollum: Hi @Michelle!

gracefuldoe joined the chat 84 minutes ago

gracefuldoe: Hi everyone

KatApel: If you’re wondering why you can’t type to join the conversatioin, click ‘Join Chat’ – which is down the bottom. Means you can jump in and chat too. :)

KarenCollum: Hi @gracefuldoe :)

MichelleDEvans: I think I’m getting published!!!! Working out some details with publisher and others involved :) happy happy

gracefuldoe: @Michelle Great news!

KarenCollum: @Michelle Really???! That is so very exciting! Congratulations! May I ask which publisher??

Jen (aka notawriter): Yay, Michelle!!! Would this be your first time?

chloe_kitten: @Karen @Kat It’s not a problem. Just missed it too :)

heatherayris: @MichelleDEvans Wonderful! Congratulations!

KatApel: Wow! That’s so exciting, @Michelle. I remember your tweet – a week ago??? Late at night too.

chloe_kitten: Congrats @Michelle! That’s super exciting!

KatApel: @Michelle – can you share anything further yet – or is it still in the quiet/discussion stages?

MichelleDEvans: Thanks everyone… won’t disclose the details til I have confirmation

KarenCollum: @Michelle Understand. Discretion really is the best course of action until it’s all confirmed

MichelleDEvans: @Jen (aka notawriter) yes my first book :)

heatherayris: @MichelleDEvans Understandable. Good luck!

KatApel: @Michelle… Wise move. Things do change in the publishing business. Hope yours is a dream run. :)

KarenCollum: In my opinion, it’s best not to disclose specific information publicly until you have a contract in your hot little hand. It’s hard though!!

gracefuldoe: I’m all ready to query publishers, but I need a kick in the pants to actually send the query out. My nerves are holding me back.

KarenCollum: I’ll join in the good news. As most of you know, I got to see the first completed draft of my PB SAMUEL’S KISSES which is coming out in Dec.

MichelleDEvans: @gracefuldoe [kicking your butt] … go on … send send send :)

MichelleDEvans: @KarenCollum wow that’s so exciting :)

heatherayris: @gracefuldoe You just have to start sending stuff out. It gets easier. Really.

jothompsonillos: @MichelleDEvans Congratulations.Navagati​ng contracts is the next step. If you are ASA member, get contract checked .

KarenCollum: @gracefuldoe I remember that feeling all too well! It’s daunting but you really should go for it.

gracefuldoe: @Michelle Thanks :) I’m going to try to get up the nerve this week.

Jen (aka notawriter): I need to query too. I got my first rejection a few weeks ago, but never even queried the agent, so it hardly counts. Need to get the ms back out, but queries scare me.

heatherayris: @KarenCollum Yay!

KarenCollum: @Michelle @Jo excellent advice. If anyone needs an independent consultant to look over a contract I know someone in Brisbane who is fantastic.

MichelleDEvans: @KarenCollum yeah? who? :)

KarenCollum: @Jen Query writing can be daunting. Just think of it as a one-page seller for your book. Capture the heart of the book & you on a page!

chloe_kitten: @Karen That’s so exciting! Is it what you expected it to be?

MichelleDEvans: ASA ?? remind me… have heard of it but not a member

KarenCollum: @Michelle Her name is Alex Adsett & she’s a lawyer who’s worked in publishing in NY and here. Lovely person & great value – think it cost $110 & she negotiated on my behalf

heatherayris: @MichelleDEvans @jothompsonillos @KarenCollum SCBWI also has a good publication on contracts.

jothompsonillos: When you are on the high of being accepted it’s easy to sign and miss important contract details.

Jen (aka notawriter): @Karen, that’s easier said than done! LOL

KarenCollum: @chloe It is heaps heaps better than I expected! The first illustrator pulled out right at the last minute (as in sje

KarenCollum: whoopS! @Chloe she’d almost finished the entire book but personal reasons stopped her completely

KatApel: Back again. Just distributing sekret passwords on twitter… :) Now to catch up…

peg366 joined the chat 76 minutes ago

peg366: Sorry I’m late. Visitors from Michigan here.

KarenCollum: @chloe finding a new illustrator slowed the process down & I was nervous as I’d like the first illos…

jothompsonillos: @MichelleDEvans ASA is Australian Society of Authors. They have book contract lawyers to check contract for $100 for members.

KarenCollum: @chloe but the second illustrator, Serena Geddes has done an AMAZING job! She’s captured the heart of the book. Am over the moon.

heatherayris: @Jen What scares you about query letters?

KarenCollum: @Jen Yes! Writing queries is an art form of its own. Just try to let your book speak for itself.

KarenCollum: Hi @Peg!

MichelleDEvans: @jothompsonillos @heatherayris @KarenCollum thanks for the contract checker details :)

heatherayris: Hi @peg366

MichelleDEvans: hello @peg

Auntie Flamingo joined the chat 73 minutes ago

KarenCollum: I had a lovely moment when I shared the PDF of SAMUEL’S KISSES with my 5-yr-old son & my husband

KarenCollum: My hubby got all teary :) It was so sweet! He said he was touched because it was such a beautiful story. It was beautiful.

Auntie Flamingo: Hmmm, I didn’t have to enter the password. Must be cached from a couple of weeks ago

chloe_kitten: @Karen That’s excellent. Such a difficult journey though. But good to hear it worked out in the end.

KarenCollum: Hi @flamingo!

KatApel: Alas – I had the ‘problem’ side – the downer week. My ‘accepted’ PB got rejected by marketing dept. Too similar to my existing one. (Both cumulative rhymes – but different topic and pattern.) Deflating.

Auntie Flamingo: Hello, sorry I’m late

MichelleDEvans: Hello @Auntie :)

Jen (aka notawriter): @heather… probably fear of the unknown. Never written one, so I have NO idea what I’m doing!

KarenCollum: @auntieflamingo Really?? Hmmm…wonder if it remembered you…or if the settings are a bit dodgy?

heatherayris: I sent off my first online interview today. I have two more to do. Wasn’t as scary as I’d thought.

Belindastweets joined the chat 72 minutes ago

KatApel: Glad you got that okay Auntie Flamingo. Worried because the other two haven’t shown yet. Oh – here’s Belinda… Hi!

Belindastweets: Hi Everyone!

MichelleDEvans: @KatApel oh no – deflating big time :(

dosankodebbie joined the chat 72 minutes ago

KarenCollum: @KatApel Hugs {{{ }}} It’s so hard when because it’s often a loooooong time between acceptances….

Katrina G joined the chat 72 minutes ago

gracefuldoe: @KatApel Oh that’s not good :(

KarenCollum: Hi @Belinda

Belindastweets: Hey Kat, thanks for the password.

MichelleDEvans: @heatherayris what was your interview about/for?

KarenCollum: Ooh, we’ve got lots of people jumping in. Hi @katrina & @debbie!

dosankodebbie: I’m here! Sorry to be late.

KatApel: Alas – they then rejected two others too. That I loved. And wrote ‘for’ them. Crazy – but it still really rocks your confidence. :(

MichelleDEvans: Hi @belinda

MichelleDEvans: hi@katrina

KarenCollum: @heather That’s exciting! Are you being interviewed for someone’s blog?

MichelleDEvans: hi @dosankodebbie

gracefuldoe: @KatApel that would be hard

Auntie Flamingo: Kat I think you and I deflated at the same time *sigh(

Katrina G: @KatApel It’s especially frustrating when publishers sit on work a long time with an ‘acceptance’.

Belindastweets: Hi @Michelle and @Karen.

heatherayris: @Jen There’s some posted on Verla Kay’s chat board. I can share the one I used for my book coming out if you like.

Belindastweets: Reading through, back in a sec.

KarenCollum: @jen we have a transcript up on the blog http://picturebooksonly.wordpress.c… from a few week’s back where we discussed queries & tips

Katrina G: Have learnt a ‘yes’ is only a ‘yes’ when the contract is signed.

KatApel: Thanks for hugs. And yes – it is a long time between acceptances – especially with PBs. And I’d had the high of acceptance – and we’d done the little editorial bits. Publisher also disappointed…

gracefuldoe: I have to go everyone, I need to go start preparing lunch (just got the ‘I’m hungry mum’)

heatherayris: Aw. Sorry KatApel. Know how that is. :-(

dosankodebbie: Hi @MichelleDEvans @Karen

jothompsonillos: @KatApel So sorry to hear that. Send them somewhere else.

Katrina G: @gracefuldoe Catchya x

Jen (aka notawriter): Thanks @Karen and @heather… that week was probably the week I got tweets 5 minutes after they’d been sent and had given up joining!

KarenCollum: @Katrina Yes – signed contract is the first step…but even then I’m still wary until I actually see the book…

LauraRenegar joined the chat 69 minutes ago

KarenCollum: Bye @gracefuldoe I’m about to get the ‘hungry mum’ speech too!!

chloe_kitten: @Kat Oh Kat, that’s really deflating.

KatApel: Definitely! RT @KatrinaGermein Have learnt a ‘yes’ is only a ‘yes’ when the contract is signed. // That’s why I play it close. But now tell when it’s sad. :\ Crazy…

Jen (aka notawriter): Welcome @Laura! :-)

Katrina G: @KarenCollum a contract is much more concrete than an acceptance though.

KarenCollum: Hi @Laura! Welcome :)

KarenCollum: @Katrina yes especially with bigger pubs. I’m having trouble with the smaller pub I’ve got 3 contracts with.

jothompsonillos: @KarenCollum I had one week of illustration contract left when publisher pulled plug because of financial reasons.

heatherayris: @MichelleDEvans This was an interview about my blog. I have a couple more that are more about my book(an me too) that I need to get done asap.

KarenCollum: @Jo How frustrating!

dosankodebbie: I have a Q. Has anyone here ever tried rewriting their pb in a second language when the first language didn’t get published?

Katrina G: @KarenCollum Oh yes, I was talking large trade publishers. Usually only contract when very certain.

chloe_kitten: @Kat If I learnt anything from @KatrinaGermein’s blog, it is that you are now entitled to eat a full block of chocolate :)

KatApel: I think it’s the time frame thing that makes rejections so hard. All of a sudden you’ve lost a year of your publishing journey. Feels like it.

KarenCollum: @dosankodebbie – I wish I was talented enough to write in two languages. No, but I think the translation stuff you’re doing is v unique.

KatApel: YES!!! Thankyou – both of you. RT chloe_kitten: @Kat If I learnt anything from @KatrinaGermein’s blog, it is that you are now entitled to eat a full block of chocolate :)

Katrina G: @chloe_kitten LOL Glad I can offer such useful advice.

dosankodebbie: I’m thinking of entering a Japanese version of a pb I wrote in English to a pb contest next month

LauraRenegar left this message 66 minutes ago:

Hi! Hate to come late & ask for a repeat, but what’s the topic?

KarenCollum: My joy over an acceptance is now a cautious joy…

KarenCollum: @Laura – click on Join Chat down the bottom to make it easier to type.

jothompsonillos: @KarenCollum Luckily I was sus about small publisher and dodgy contract so hadn’t progressed too far

chloe_kitten: @KatrinaG Haha you are very wise.

KatApel: @dosankodebbie. Wow! That’s a great question. Many of us aren’t skilled up to do it – but you’re obviously a very talented lady…

dosankodebbie: @Karen, you could always get it translated for you.

KarenCollum: @Laura we’re sharing where we’re at, problems/issues/bug bears etc.

dosankodebbie: There’s no reason you’d have to do the 2nd lang yourself. Just thinking about different markets…

KarenCollum: @Laura seeing if as a community we can help each other with problems related to writing PBs.

KarenCollum: @dosankodebbie That’s a great idea & certainly something to keep in mind. At the moment I”m still trying to conquer Australia! LOL

Katrina G: @dosankodebbie So much depends on the rhythm I think translation would be hard. Only for the very talented.

KatApel: @dosankodebbie – I think it would be worth a shot. And with a second language to play with, you could bring even greater creativity into the m’script.

LauraRenegar joined the chat 64 minutes ago

dosankodebbie: @Katrina G Ahh, I see yoru point.

KarenCollum: That’s it, @Laura – should be nice and easy for you now!

LauraRenegar: Thanks @KarenCollum.

Auntie Flamingo: Right now I trying to fix the rhyming PB I waited 6 months for a rejection.

Belindastweets: Big hugs and congratulations @Michelle, @Karen and extra big hug for @KatApel.

dosankodebbie: @KatApel I was thinking if I could get an award in a 2nd lang, an Eng publisher might get interested

KarenCollum: What are you focussing on in your fixer-upper stage, @AuntieFlamingo?

heatherayris: @dosankodebbie My book is coming out in Spanish & English, but the publisher translated. Feel like I need to learn to read it in Spanish!

Belindastweets: Hi there @Auntie Flamingo :)

Katrina G: I think having more than one ‘baby’ helps with the waiting. Keep busy with lots of quality projects.

MichelleDEvans: thanks @Belindastweets

Auntie Flamingo: Submitted it to my crit group and got some great feedback. I can’t believe how many words I had that didn’t quite rhyme.

KarenCollum: @heather That’s exciting! Bi-lingual PB :) I know my pub for SAMUEL’S KISSES sells lot of international rights so maybe it will be translated somewhere one day

KatApel: Thanks Belinda. Confess, I need it.

Auntie Flamingo: Hi @Belinda nice to see you

dosankodebbie: @heatherayris That’s cool. If you already got an Eng publisher interested no prob! I need to find a way to hook an Eng pub

KarenCollum: @AuntieFlamingo Fresh eyes are so very important. We can’t see the problems often cause we’re too close.

KatApel: @heatherayris WOW! How exciting!!! Great news.

Jen (aka notawriter): Okay, I have a question…. and it totally gives away my clueless newbie status, so please forgive me! Is it a rule that your main character has to try 3 times to solve a problem in a picture book? Been reading that a lot lately, but incorporating it into some of my mss is making things worse, not better. Is it just a suggestion or a “must”?

MichelleDEvans: I was chatting with my possible publisher last week… she said ‘we publishers are busy people’ … so are we writers

KarenCollum: @Katrina Yes, multiple projects at different stages is important. Keeps you feeling like you’re doing something.

MichelleDEvans: I feel like we are at the mercy of publishers… it’s all in their timing

KarenCollum: @Jen I think the power of 3s is something we’re used to but not a ‘rule’

Auntie Flamingo: Very true @Karen. Once someone pointed it out I couldn’t believe what I did and how many more mistakes I saw. very helpful.

Belindastweets: @KatApel, you are a very special and talented writer. This just means that it’s meant for a different publisher.

KatApel: @AuntieFlamingo – It’s great to have a crit group that can help you learn along the way. Near rhymes are something we often don’t know about – but once we learn, we avoid them.

Katrina G: @Jen (aka notawriter): No it’s not a rule. Emotional impact is important but one complication can be enough.

jothompsonillos: @Jen 3 events add to the drama and suspense and make the reader eager to find out solution

heatherayris: @dosankodebbie Your plan sounds like a good one! And there are lots of English language publishers to sub to, for sure.

Belindastweets: You too @AuntieFlamingo.

KarenCollum: @Michelle At times it feels like we’re powerless as writers, but I’ve come to respect the way the industry functions.

Belindastweets: My big question is – How do I know when my story is ready? Surely everyone asks this question, so what’s the clue?

KatApel: Funny – they were talking about hte ‘rule of 3s’ at a workshop for teachers the other day. (Admittedly, a workshop given by a talented author!)

heatherayris: @KarenCollum When I saw Nina Laden she showed all her books that had been translated into different languages. So cool.

MichelleDEvans: So my solution is to write write write… I’m working on YA novel, tween chap books, and several pbs :)

KarenCollum: @Michelle Publishers desperately want to see the next hit cross their desks but there’s no magic formula!

jothompsonillos: @KarenCollum as illustrators we have to wait for publisher to remember us. We need a story to illustrate.

peg366: Missed a bunch. Hello to all who said hi. Kids are rowdy tonight. Needing a lot of tlc.

KarenCollum: @Belinda I think you don’t ever really know for sure when a PB is ready to send

LauraRenegar: I’ve been reading Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas. He suggests that the stakes should effect many. Do you think this applies to pbs?

Katrina G: @Belindastweets I tend to believe my story is ready when I can read it around ten times, over different days, and not want to change a single word.

heatherayris: @Jen No suggestion is a must.

LauraRenegar: Or are they more egocentric?

Jen (aka notawriter): Thanks, guys…. hope to get feedback on specific mss if I ever find a critique group, but had been wondering!

KarenCollum: @Belinda I can get too excited and send too early (though not so much now. I don’t press SEND for a very long time now!)

KatApel: @Katrina G: I have noticed how nicely spaced your stories are.

KarenCollum: @Belinda For me it’s when I have let it rest, put it through my crit group and I have a sense that it’s complete.

Katrina G: @KatApel Thanks x

macdibble left this message 57 minutes ago:

Thanks for the p/word!

Belindastweets: @Katrina, that’s great advice. Do you listen to that little voice that says something just isn’t quite right?

Auntie Flamingo: Writing is my hobby and not a full time job. I have a hard time finding a time to write. So many other tasks are calling me.

KatApel: @KatrinaG – Thinking I need to spread myself across a number of publishers – so that there is more things ‘happening’ – thinking positively that publishers will want me, of course. :)

Katrina G: @Belindastweets Yes @KarenCollum – the resting is very important.

dosankodebbie: Q. How impt are reviews? I FINALLY got a book blogger to review my latest pb translation and it hasn’t even caused a ripple in the waters

KarenCollum: @Laura That’s on my to-read list of writing craft. I think everything I’ve read about novel writing has a positive impact on my PBs too.

KarenCollum: @macdibble – click JOIN CHAT down the bottom for easier chatting :)

macdibble joined the chat 57 minutes ago

Katrina G: @Belindastweets: Absolutely! That little voice knows what it’s talking about. Good point.

Belindastweets: I also want to know how important it is to let the illustrator do some of the “showing” for your words?

macdibble: Thanks, took me a minute or two!

KatApel: My ‘right’ advice would be similar to Katrina’s. And must admit – I like the ‘bottom draw’ too. Leave it for a while and if you can then pull it out and be wowed by it (and not change a word) then you’re ready.

KatApel: @macdibble Yay! She’s in. :) Hope you’re having an A+ week!

KarenCollum: @dosankodebbie I think reviews are always helpful, but some more than others. High traffic, high profile reviews are great…if you can get them! LOL

LauraRenegar: @KarenCollum I wish I had read it 2 years ago. There’s lots to chew on in that book.

Katrina G: @dosankodebbie I think the important reviews are in the industry publications that teachers/librarians use to help them order. Or parenting sites with lots of traffic.

KarenCollum: @Belinda I think the pure beauty of PBs is that you let the illustrator tell as much of the story as possible.

Belindastweets: @KatApel, I can understand how it can take a year now to write and perfect a roughly 500 word picture book. :)

jothompsonillos: @Belinda You don’t have to write colours (unless super important to plot) the pictures will show this

KarenCollum: @Belinda However it’s something I’m struggling with myself. Had feedback from a pub that one of my PBs<<

macdibble: Ditto Auntie Flamingo. Hard to find the time, but the head is always full!

KarenCollum: @Belinda <<didn’t have enough character development. Find it hard to get the balance right sometimes….

KatApel: Of course, if you do change bits after retrieving it from the bottom drawer – then it needs to go back there for a time. It’s best to ‘forget’ what it says. So that each word speaks for itself.

peg366: I also want to know how important it is to let the illustrator do some of the “showing” for your words? I would think it is really important. A pb is supposed to be a marriage of the perfect text with the perfect illustrations per editor at Beach Lane Books.

dosankodebbie: @Karen @Katrina Hmm can you give me the name of an industry publication that I can ask for a review?

Belindastweets: I agree Karen, children love reading the pictures.

jothompsonillos: @Belinda You do need to write smells, thoughts, sounds, feelings – illustrators can’t draw these.

macdibble: A+ cause it’s Monday and I have a day off! Yay!

KarenCollum: @Katrina ‘Forgetting’ what it says is so important. Reading through the PDF of SAMUEL’S KISSES I was still delighted. Had forgotten the rhythm etc.

KatApel: @Belinda… I have noticed a weird thing… My PBs aren’t actually hitting the 500wrds at the moment. (Way off it.) Suddenly I write less. Still pondering that one…

Katrina G: @dosankodebbie: I’m really only familiar with Aussie ones but DM me if interested and I can send names.

KatApel: RT Great advice! @jothompsonillos: @Belinda You do need to write smells, thoughts, sounds, feelings – illustrators can’t draw these.

Belindastweets: @jot, thanks. Yes, I agree. They are also good “showing” words.

KarenCollum: @macdibble Hooray for day’s off!!

MichelleDEvans: @KatApel my pbs are running at 80 – 300 words at the moment!

peg366: I’m on a streak of writing pbs under 300 in rough draft which is unusual for me. Usually closer to 500 words.

dosankodebbie: @KatrinaG Great. The pub is actually an Aussie pub, so that would be good. I will DM later.

Jen (aka notawriter): @KatApel…. what’s your secret? Mine are twice that, and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong! LOL

Katrina G: Good illustrators are very masterful at showing feelings as well.

KarenCollum: I personally have benefited from reading widely on the craft of writing even though it doesn’t relate to PBs

Belindastweets: @KatApel, did you mention in a previous chat, that the reason for this is because you are allowing more room for the illustrators?

jothompsonillos: @Pegg366 PBs are better if the writer allows the illustrator to bring the unwritten story. Adding an extra dimension to the text.

KarenCollum: Everything I’m learning about structure, tension, character development, setting etc is distilled into a PB. Hopefully!

KatApel: @macdibble – so glad you’re week is tops. Keep it up! (I’ll be checking…)

peg366: @jothompsonillos I agree.

KarenCollum: @Jo @Peg @Belinda the best PBs have a visual narrative thread that intersects with the textual narrative

Belindastweets: Very true @Katrina.

KatApel: @Belinda – partly that – but I don’t think it counts for all the words. Partly younger age group – and I think too I’ve changed my rhyme style. Less structured. More little chunks… And a couple don’t rhyme at all.

LauraRenegar: When you send out submissions, about how many publishers do you try at a time?

Belindastweets: A bigger variely @KatApel. That’s really great.

KatApel: When asking ‘how do you know – readiness’ I think I KNOW much more easily with a rhymed manuscript. The PB I’m working on at the moment isn’t rhymed – and I seem to be forever changing – but not changing anything, really.

KarenCollum: @Jo @Peg @Belinda I went to great workshop run by an author/illustrator team. Talked about how visual narrative sometimes departs from text to add depth

jothompsonillos: @Peg366 Writers must leave room for the illustrator and the reader to bring their experiences to the story.

macdibble: I love it when an illustrator brings a whole new story to your story as well as capturing the mood. Ritva Voutila did that with one of mine recently. She’s so amazing. Another illustrator, just kind of outlined another, and I thought that was a bit sad for the sake of the story.

chloe_kitten: @Kat Is there an ideal length for a PB? Or is it just what is appropriate to the story?

MichelleDEvans: @LauraRenegar I only send 1 sub to 1 pub at a time

macdibble: (these were ed books, not pbs)

KarenCollum: @macdibble Yes! I want the illustrator to tell their own story in addition to the words.

KarenCollum: @Laura Depends on sub guidelines. If they allow multiple subs I send to 4 or 5 at a time.

Redstepchild joined the chat 48 minutes ago

MichelleDEvans: @chloe_kitten: I’m finding different pubs have different sub guidelines and tell you preference of length

KarenCollum: @Laura Otherwise waiting for 6 months for each pub to respond is just too long

KatApel: @Chloe There is the magic ‘600wrds’ – but that’s too much for younger children. And there are PBs that have more than that. Just a guideline really.

KarenCollum: @redstepchild Hi! Welcome :)

Jen (aka notawriter): Must take dog out so we can fall into bed in T minus 10 min…. be back to read in a sec :-)

Redstepchild: Hi everyone! Sorrry I’m late

LauraRenegar: So many publishers are saying no news in 6months = no. I think I need to be fishing in more ponds. : P

jothompsonillos: @KarenCollum It’s hard to add to a story when the text demands that you draw exactly what is written with nothing left to the imagination

Auntie Flamingo: I believe that non-fiction PB have a much higher word count

KarenCollum: @chloe I personally love PBs around the 300 word mark. Anything more and the pages look crowded to me…

Belindastweets: @Karen, yes. I love it as well, when the pictures tell more to the story, that isn’t mentioned in the words.

KatApel: That said – I rarely enjoy a PB with lots of words. It almost moves out of the PB genre. Superflous words.

MichelleDEvans: Does anyone else have moments of “Why do I write?” !!! so time consuming for maybe a possible return of little

KarenCollum: @Michelle I tweeted recently that being a writer is just plain hard work with a dash of awesome thrown in :)

KarenCollum: @Michelle It really is a hard slog because you’ve got to be so self-disciplined & internally motivated

jothompsonillos: @Kat Apel I think 600 is too much.

KatApel: The other day I opened a rhyming PB that I finished 2yrs ago (but started 4yrs ago) and just like that, chopped one whole verse. So glad I haven’t submitted it anywhere yet. May need the scissors out again!

Katrina G: @MichelleDEvans No. I know I write because I can’t stop.

peg366: @michelleDEvans all the time I have those moments. Like tonight.

MichelleDEvans: I know I can’t stop writing… but sometimes…

Belindastweets: Lately I’ve been only working on my stories, say once a week. I’m finding that now the pressure I had put on myself to write is gone, I find it more enjoyable.

KarenCollum: @Katrina @Michelle I’ve discovered in spite of the hours/hard work I am a happier person when I’m writing. It feeds my soul, regardless of whether I end up published or not

macdibble: Michelle, it’s hardly a sensible thing to do for money. But for the sake of creation, and the ability to amuse someone, or touch someone, it’s pretty amazing!

Belindastweets: I’m trying to work on 2 stories max at a time, to leave room for other things in my life.

MichelleDEvans: @KarenCollum yes me too! It fills my soul.

Auntie Flamingo: @MichelleD Right now I’m in a state of “Why do I write?” as in “Why do I bother?” Is that what you mean?

Katrina G: @KarenCollum Me too. Keeps me happy if nothing else :)

KarenCollum: @Macdibble LOL at ‘hardly a sensible thing to do’. Some famous person (can’t remember who!) said something like only write if you absolutely can’t do anything else.

chloe_kitten: Thanks @Kat, @Michelle, @Karen, @Auntie Flamingo. Seems like different publishers have certain preferences, but there are no hard and fast rules to word count.

KatApel: Funny, @jothompsonillos. The 600wrd comment. I think I must I agree with you – because mine are all panning out about the 260 mark. Even my rhymed – which have a tendency to creep up a little.

jothompsonillos: @MichelleDEvans I tell everyone at my PB workshops ” Do it because you love it”

KatApel: Happier person… Because of business with life, I realised Saturday that I haven’t

KarenCollum: @Jo @Michelle You have to love it & it has to have a personal reward factor – not based on acceptances etc. They’re too few to sustain the passion without ur own drive.

MichelleDEvans: @jothompsonillos yes, that’s why I continue :) I do love it

Katrina G: I don’t have ‘why do I write?’ moments but I do have ‘I’ll never be published again – I can’t do it’ moments.

KarenCollum: @Michelle I’ve discovered that getting up at 5am is simply the best option for me. I get up early to write, get my ‘fix’ then face the day :)

peg366: My problem isn’t my desire to write. it is fitting in all the other people in the house’s needs.

Belindastweets: Well said @Karen.

KatApel: Sorry – accidental send – Happier person… Because of busy-ness with life, I realised Saturday that I haven’t ‘really’ written since NaPiBoWriWee in May. TOO LONG! No wonder I feel sad inside.

KarenCollum: @Michelle It’s tough with little kids but I’m the one that benefits. It’s the one thing I do for me so I look forward to that time.

Auntie Flamingo: My “Why do I bother?” will pass and I will be slapped in the face with a great idea or the solution to my problem

KarenCollum: @AuntieFlamingo Here’s hoping you get slapped in the face soon! LOL

macdibble: Peg, that’s EVERY mother

macdibble: ‘s problem!

KarenCollum: I’ve been preoccupied with a grown-up novel I’ve just finished editing but I still have fleeting ideas for PBs that I’m playing with.

peg366: @AuntieFlamingo I add a second slap if it helps.

Auntie Flamingo: @peg366 I hear ya! How dare the family have needs when you want to write ;-)

Belindastweets: Yes, @AuntieFlamingo and that’s when you remember why you started writing in the first place. It’s the smile on the dial as you write the words.

KarenCollum: @Michelle It may sound strange but when my alarm goes off at 5am I actually wake up with a smile on my face…most days LOL

KarenCollum: But I have to confess, the pay off of seeing what started out as an idea transformed into a PB is pretty huge.

Redstepchild: @Auntie Flamingo CYBER SLAP!! Oh, you mean you want to be slapped with an idea!

peg366: I’m not a mom. I’m the aunt who is helping but mom is a virtual no show except every other weekend.

jothompsonillos: @Peg366 If you spend even half an hour a day, you can pick up where you left off, easily. If you leave it a week, you have to go back over to refresh memory, so takes longer.

MichelleDEvans: @KarenCollum I’ve been staying up til after midnight – to get more quiet writing time in – it’s working :)

KarenCollum: I couldn’t sleep Friday night because I was so excited by the illos/layout of SAMUEL’S KISSES

KatApel: I haven’t even had time for the ‘business’ side of writing of late. Have been hammering through a fair bit of that today though – thank goodness! (And touching the creative. Yay!)

Auntie Flamingo: @Karen @Peg @Red well thanks a lot everybody! geez! LOL

Katrina G: @KarenCollum I like your hat.

KarenCollum: @Michelle I used to stay up late but then was a grump in the mornings with the kids. Plus I felt pressured all day. For me, early am works best – but whatever works for you!

macdibble: Wait? You get every other weekend OFF? SoooOOooo lucky!

@_boobook_ joined the chat 40 minutes ago

Katrina G: Hiya @boobook.

@_boobook_: Just jumping in at the end. Will mooch about and eavesdrop and then go and read the transcript. :-)

KatApel: Hi _boobook_ Great to see you!

Auntie Flamingo: @Belinda “The smile on the dial?” LOL What are you working on? Another rhyming book? LOL

Jen (aka notawriter): Back, but signing off…. nite all!

KarenCollum: @katrina – My hat?? did I make a typo somewhere…?? (I’m a bit slow. Possibly the 5am starts…)

KarenCollum: Hi @boobook. And bye @Jen. So glad you could join us!

KatApel: Night Jen. Great you could make it. :)

Katrina G: @Jen (aka notawriter) Night :)

peg366: jothompsonillos: I general write something everyday. Just too much going on.

KarenCollum: @jo How is the industry from an illustrator’s perspective right now? Is work hard to get?

chloe_kitten: Night @Jen!

Belindastweets: Hee hee @Auntie Flamingo. Must be an aussie term. Dial meaning face.

@_boobook_: @katrina G @Kat Apel @KArenCollum Hi hi hi!

Katrina G: @KarenCollum lol I’m being silly. On the side bar. I think cos you’re administrator.

jothompsonillos: @Karen I was working round clock for 12weeks to meet illo deadline for The Glasshouse. Going to bed @5am and up to take kids to school @ 7

KarenCollum: Oh really! I can’t see it :) Is it a pretty hat??

Auntie Flamingo: OH I know what dial is…you just made me laugh

chloe_kitten: Hi @_boobook_

KatApel: @_boobook_ (We were just so happy to see you.)

KarenCollum: @Jo That sounds exhausting! You must find your work really ebbs and flows….

Auntie Flamingo: That was for @Belinda

Redstepchild: Oh, I see the hat – how cute!

Belindastweets: hee hee, I’m glad.

KarenCollum: (That was meant for @Katrina) Oh really! I can’t see it :) Is it a pretty hat??

@_boobook_: @KatApel Am running a kids story club on Monday mornings this term. Finishes at 10. Just catch the end of #pblitchat. :-)

Katrina G: @KarenCollum It’s okay.

KarenCollum: Ha! I wish I could see my hat! I’m really not a hat person. I have springy hair that pushes hats off my head LOL

@_boobook_: @chloe hi!

KatApel: @Karen – It is a very flat hat. A bowler???

KarenCollum: My issue at the moment is that I’m finding it hard to know what to do next – my last acceptance was April 2009 so it’s been a while between drinks…

Belindastweets: Funny you should say that though @Auntie Flamingo. Mister B’s kindy teacher asked me the other day if we rhyme a lot at home because he had been running around saying rhyming words. He’s 4.

@_boobook_: @KarenCollum looks a bit like a a gangster hat. I think. :-P

chloe_kitten: @boobook Kids story club sounds really interesting.

KarenCollum: (Not that I drink…) Although if I’m a gangster like @boobook suggests then maybe I should take it up! LOL

KatApel: What fun @_boobook_. Where are you running hte club? At the school? In the library. GOod on you!

Katrina G: @KarenCollum You had an acceptance last year. That’s good. But it can feel that way.

Auntie Flamingo: @Belinda That’s cute.

MichelleDEvans: @KarenCollum do you have many subs out there … in the publishers trays?

KarenCollum: @Katrina I think, like you, my first acceptance came easily. It’s not been quite so easy since then!!

Belindastweets: @Karen, do you have any stories out on submission? Any ready to go out?

@_boobook_: @KatApel At school. For a bunch of very talented 7 and 8 year olds. Ran it two terms last year on teacher’s request.

@_boobook_: @KatApel This year a few of the kids cornered me and please please please couldn’t we do writing club again. Um. OK!

KarenCollum: @Michelle @belinda Have 3 out with one pub (very hopeful still) and then 3 in CYA comp. will wait for comp results before submitting. I’ve got 4 MSs ready to go.

MichelleDEvans: A question… what is the most amout of subs or queries you’ve had out at one time?

KatApel: April 2009. @KarenCollum – my last acceptance was… Eeeek! I don’t want to go there. (If we don’t count the acceptance that changed hats…) My last publication was May 2009. Oh woe is me… :)

jothompsonillos: @Karen The Glasshouse will be launched @CYA conference and in store Sept. I’m writing teachers notes, making animated book trailers, updating efolio, making posters…

KarenCollum: That’s 4 MSs in total (3 of which are in the comp & out on sub).

peg366: @karencollum You are busy.

KarenCollum: @Jo How exciting! That’s wonderful news.

Katrina G: The pb market is very competitive. PBs so expensive to produce. Publishers very cautious.

Auntie Flamingo: @Karen @Kat are we talking about book publication or any publications (mags/online mags etc)

KatApel: @Jo – Looking forward to CYA and meeting you. Meeting lots of folk, actually. :) Highlight.

KarenCollum: @Peg These PBs have been critted by my crit group & are polished, but will get editorial assessment on one at conference to get further advice

peg366: I just got ambitious and sent out 4 this last weekend. have to wait and see. Have four magazine subs out as well.

KarenCollum: @Auntie I’m talking just PBs

MichelleDEvans: yay @peg

KatApel: @AuntieFlamingo – I was talking book publication. Have had mages in between times…

KarenCollum: I’m having trouble working out where I fit in the market. I tend to write a lot of PBs with emotional intelligence at the core.

macdibble: I sent 10 to Blake Ed at once. That proved to be very useful. Also had about 5 out elsewhere. Generally I don’t send much out tho.

KarenCollum: @Peg that’s great! Good on you.

LauraRenegar: @peg366 Good for you! Good luck.

Katrina G: @jothompsonillos Wow congrats :)

MichelleDEvans: wow @macdibble

chloe_kitten: Well I am signing out a little bit early today. Had a great time listening (reading) to all the tips etc. Sometimes it is just nice to know you are not alone :)

@_boobook_: @peg366 That’s excellent! I don’t have 4 in a state anywhere near ready to submit to anyone … :-P

jothompsonillos: @Karen All the promo stuff I’m expected to do for free is way more exhausting. Photo shoots, interviews,

KatApel: Yay @Peg. You must feel awesome right now. I love that thought of having work ‘out there’ So many possibilities…

chloe_kitten: Bye bye! See you all next week.

KarenCollum: I’ve often heard agents say that you need to write a million words before you find your style/voice/stride

KarenCollum: @Chloe bye!

Katrina G: Seeya @ChloeKitten

Auntie Flamingo: @Karen @Kat well in that case my past publication was…umm…never Yikes! LOL <—suppose to be funny not sure if it comes across as funny as a tweet

KatApel: By Chloe. Great chatting again. :)

KarenCollum: that’s a lot of PBs :P I think the concept is the same, however. Write and read awesome PBs a lot. Absorb & practise…

KarenCollum: @auntie Just a matter of time! You were SO CLOSE this last time…

Redstepchild: I’ve heard you have to work 10,000 hours on your craft before you’re an expert.

happybluejess joined the chat 31 minutes ago

peg366: @karen@Laura Thanks. I have one that is being held, magazine and two writers articles coming up in Nov and December in the Institute of Children’s Literature E’Newsletter.

KatApel: You’re a rare bird, @auntieflamingo. Funny too. :)

happybluejess: Sorry, late again!

Katrina G: I’m heading off too. See you everyone :) Thanks for the fun honest chat :)

KarenCollum: I got three rejections from same pub a few weeks ago but the MSs made it to editorial meeting so I’m counting that as a win.

KarenCollum: Hi @happybluejess!

@_boobook_: @KArenCollum definite win! Go you!

KarenCollum: @redstepchild I’m honestly viewing this time before my kids go to school as my apprenticeship.

Auntie Flamingo: @Karen Thanks I’m trying really hard to fix the last one but I think I’m stuck. It will come though.

KatApel: Lovely to see you happybluejess – and Redstepchild. Welcome! :)

@_boobook_: @happybluejess hi! I’ve only been here 5 mins myself, thought I’d be last on board. :-)

happybluejess: @Karen Hi! Just got back from visiting parents. Sorry to miss it!

MichelleDEvans: @KarenCollum yes anything but that standard rejection letter is a win :)

KarenCollum: Bye @katrina Thanks for sharing your wisdom & experience once again!

LauraRenegar: I heard a former editor at a conference advise writers to always have 10 subs out at a time.

Auntie Flamingo: @Kat “Rare bird” funny.

KatApel: See you Katrina.

KarenCollum: @Laura Wow! 10? I haven’t written that many well enough yet! Maybe over time…

@_boobook_: @LauraRenegar TEN SUBS?! *starts writing*

Auntie Flamingo: @Karen Made it to the editorial…that’s great

peg366: Wow! Ten. Guess I should get busier.

happybluejess: @Karen Editorial mtg. = reason to celebrate! Way to go.

LauraRenegar: She said the day you get a rejection is the same day you should send it to someone different.

KatApel: Wow!!!! 10 subs, 10,000 hours… Yep – all making sense now.

macdibble: The brilliant thing about the 10 was that they published 6. Ed books again. Not PBs. PBs are much harder.

KarenCollum: Before we go, anyone got any books on PB writing they’ve found useful? I’ve got the collection of Eve Heidi Bine-Stock books

LauraRenegar: It doesn’t have to be 10 diff mss. Can be the same ms to different pubs–if allowed.

KarenCollum: @macdibble Yes, you were taking over the Gigglers/Sparklers, weren’t you?? They’ll have to rename them the MacDibble’s :)

jothompsonillos: @Laura 10 is a lot to keep track of.

peg366: That I can do.

MichelleDEvans: @ LauraRenegar Thats good news! i have 11 out there :) not all pbs

KatApel: I’m loving twitter and the internet for useful PB advice. (@Karen)

KarenCollum: Bine-Stock studies hugely successful PBs and analyses why they work.

macdibble: Karen, I’ll suggest it to them. ;)

LauraRenegar: For the record, I’ve never had 10 out at a time.

jothompsonillos: @Karen Making Picture Book by Libby Gleeson

KatApel: @Laura – Ah! Not necessarily 10 different m’scripts.

KarenCollum: She then outlines a structure to use when plannign/writing. Not sure I totally embrace the scientific approach but it does have some value still

KarenCollum: @Jo Yes! Have that one too – it’s a great read & good for people to get a solid understanding of whole process

Belindastweets: I have to go. Plumber arriving soon to fix busted sump pump, 5 little kittens screaming to be fed and another coffee I need to drink.

happybluejess: I usually go to the local indie bookstore and just study the titles off the shelves. Went lat night and looked through hundreds!

Redstepchild: I don’t have it myself, but I’veheard a lot of great things about “Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication” by Ann Whitford Paul

peg366: I have had 10 out if you consider inspirational and writers articles in the count but not ten pbs.

Belindastweets: thanks for the chat everyone. And the fantastic answers to my questions. Have a fantastic week.

KarenCollum: @happybluejess Great approach! I don’t have the luxury of that as I usually have 3 kids in tow… LOL

KatApel: The Seven Steps writing course I did last week (to teach writing better in schools) had so much good stuff for me as a writer too. Was great. (Jen McVeity)

jothompsonillos: @KarenCollum “Illustrating Children’s Books” Martin Salisbury Great for writers too

KarenCollum: @belinda have a great writing week. Good luck with finishing your WIP

Belindastweets: Bye all.

macdibble: I love Jen. She’s a live wire.

KarenCollum: Excellent to see some great resources being suggested

happybluejess: @Karen I have two, but I wait until they’re in bed. (Our bookstore is open till 10 pm!)

Auntie Flamingo: Well, I must go and make editing changes electronically on the ms i worked on while I was on vacation last week.

peg366: Bye @Belinda.

KarenCollum: It’s time to wrap up our chat but it was good to catch up and reconnect again. The transcript will be up shortly!

peg366: Bye @Auntie.

Auntie Flamingo: Bye @Belinda

KarenCollum: Thanks again for being part of the #pblitchat community. You ladies are fantastic :) (Dave Seow isn’t here today so it’s girls only!)

Auntie Flamingo: Bye @Peg

KatApel: Lots of people signing off here, so I’ll say my goodbyes… Great chatting again – at last! :D

macdibble: There’s a certain rhythm and timing to PBs which I find very difficult.

happybluejess: Thanks, all! Great to say hi, if only for a minute!

KarenCollum: We can learn so much from each other & support each other along the way. This journey is supposed to be fun :)

KatApel: @happybluejess – does the time suit you ordinarily?

@_boobook_: Looking forward to the transcript. Where is David today?

jothompsonillos: @KatApel See you at CYA

LauraRenegar: I enjoyed chatting. Goodnight!

KarenCollum: @macdibble Reading aloud is the only way to assess a PB but I agree – hard to capture

KatApel: Was it just that you were away visiting that made this difficult?

peg366: Will have to check the transcripts to see if I missed responding to anyone.

happybluejess: You mean for this chat? Yes, I think it’ll work once we get back into our fall routine.

KarenCollum: @macdibble My favourite example of timing & rhyming is Karma Wilson’s BEAR SNORES ON. Brilliant book.

LauraRenegar: Thank you @KarenCollum.

Redstepchild: Bye everyone!

KatApel: @Jo – Yes! Counting down. :)

Auntie Flamingo: Night All

MichelleDEvans: Hubby arrived home 5 mins ago! bye all :) have a great writing week xx

KarenCollum: I’ll see you on the Sat night & Sunday if you’re around, @Jo.

KarenCollum: That’s at CYA @Jo

Auntie Flamingo left the chat 23 minutes ago

KarenCollum: See you next week! Hope you all get lovely acceptance emails this week :)

peg366: Bye @KatApel @karencollum @MichelleDEvans

KatApel: I have Karma Wilson’s ‘Where is Home, Little Pip’ – very different from ‘The Bear…’

KarenCollum: To log out either just close the window or type ‘/bye’ without the quotes

KatApel: Bye all. See you next week.

KarenCollum: @boobook Don’t know where Dave is today… Must be busy :)

@_boobook_: Bye everyone!

@_boobook_ left the chat 21 minutes ago

macdibble: I’ll look out for the book. Thanks for the chat. Bye!

jothompsonillos: @Karen I’ll be there. Looking forward to next weeks chat. Bye

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