|Photo by Lucas
My picture book In Search of Awe was awarded Honorable Mention by the Alabama Writer's Conclave. This very story was critiqued as part of Editor's Day in Lexington, Kentucky. In fact, all attendees had the opportunity to have their work critiqued for a small fee. Editor Maggie Lehrman of Abrams Books thought that the story would work better as a middle grade book. Hmmm....this would take some time to develop, but it may be worth pursuing.
My other picture book Maggie and the Third Grade Blues has a slightly new title, based on the first-page critique I received at Editor’s Day: Maggie and the First Grade Blues. Maggie Lehrman reminded me that the book should appeal to much younger children. Though basically the same story, the text was modified to engage a younger audience.
I am approaching my goal of contacting 30 publishers—only 3 more to go. But, I will submit to Abrams first, since I have a better understanding of their needs following Editor’s Day. Out of 13 agents, 8 responded with a no thank you. I will submit to two more agents this summer to bring the total to 15, as planned.
If I receive negative responses from Abrams and the agents, I will have to weigh whether to continue to submit my book to others (but of course, I’m staying positive). My goal is to continue to submit to many more publishers and agents. I keep in mind that many children’s writers have faced rejection. For instance, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) was rejected multiple times. J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected 12 times. She reminds all of us: Never accept rejection. Perseverance is key.