Old Manuscripts? 2 Questions Before Deciding to Revise


I’m at a place where I’m looking for a new novel idea. (Yes, I’m still looking around for a new idea. I’m slow this time, but I think I’ve found an event that is fascinating. Reading background material now.) One strategy I’m using to find ideas is to re-read old novels from my file drawers. […]

Donna St. Cyr: 2k9 Debut Novelist


Introduced first in 2007, authors debuting children’s books have formed a cooperative effort to market their novels. Last year, I featured many of the stories of how the 2k8 Novels Were Revised. This is part of the ongoing stories from the Class of 2k9 authors and how they went about revising their novels. From Creative […]

Revision Attitude

Yesterday, I started brainstorming on revisions for a picture book. I got some editorial feedback in February when I saw the editor in NYC. But it’s been hard to approach this revision because when we talked, I disagreed with much of what the editor said. Cooling Off Period Helps Me See Editor’s Wisdom So, I […]

Manuscript Length

How Firm are Book Publisher’s Guidelines on Book Length? I had a question come up last week: how hard and fast are the rules about the length of a picture book manuscript? Can you get by with 1900 words? 2000 words? 2500 words? The length requirements for every genre, from picture books to easy readers […]

How to Mock-up a Picture Book

When you’re happy with the revisions of your picture book manuscript, it’s time to make a mock-up, or what is usually called a dummy. Why Make a Dummy? Picture books combine text and words in a short 32 page book. The structure is so unusual, that you need a dummy to refine and polish your […]