Archive for the ‘Writing Picture Books’ category

Update on My Upcoming Picture Book

June 16, 2022

In case you didn’t know or have forgotten, I have a debut nonfiction picture book coming in spring of 2023 from Sleeping Bear Press. Working closely with my editor, we’ve tweaked the original text and title.

The New Title

Here’s a recap: Colonel Thomas S. Meacham, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a dairy farmer, living in Sandy Creek, NY, had a slice of an idea that grew into a colossal idea. In 1836, he gifted the President of the United States an enormous wheel of cheese that stood in the White House vestibule until March of 1837. In the interim, the cheese ripened and caused an overwhelming odor in and around the White House. At the end of his term in office, the president invited the public to the White House to “eat cheese” where chaos ensued. This is a quirky event in the history of the United States that will make your nose twitch and put a smile on your face.

My editor shared sketches created by the talented Lesley Breen which led to more research to check for accuracy. The designer is busy working on the layout of illustrations and text. Hopefully, I will have a cover reveal for readers in the coming months.

When I signed my contract, I thought 2023 seemed a long way off. I’ve learned that time flies trying to get everything done when creating a book. I’m now working on promotion ideas.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back with more news as it happens. Make sure to check out my author website: http://www.cathystefanecogren.com

Catching the Eye of an Editor

May 23, 2019

I’m sure many of us wish we could write the perfect picture book that would immediately catch the eye of an editor.

 

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It’s not an easy task, but here are some tips to keep in mind while you’re writing your masterpiece.

First of all, your book should be marketable. Research your competition. Has your book done before? How is your book different from the others? Do you have a unique angle?

More tips to consider as you’re writing and revising. Does your manuscript have:

A strong voice

A compelling plot

Conflict

A unique theme

An interesting structure

Sentences that flow seamlessly

Visual potential

 

Other writing elements to consider:

Pacing

Page turns

Rhythm

Repetition

Rule of Three

Wordplay

 

Of course, there’s much more to consider when attempting to write the perfect picture book. Keep on your toes.

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Read, read, read everything in your genre. Hone your craft. Join critique groups. Revise, revise, revise and keep on writing. Never give up. When you least expect it, one of those picture books you’ve been working on, for what might seem forever, may catch the eye of an editor. And that just might happen because you finally discovered how to create magic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture Book Month

November 12, 2015

November is Picture Book Month. That’s always a great incentive to get my brain churning. I’m cleaning out the cobwebs and searching for picture book ideas hiding in the recesses of my mind. November is also Picture Book Idea Month, and this year I decided to take the challenge – thirty picture book ideas in thirty days. I need to pull out all the stops so my mind and senses are at their sharpest.

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Author coffee cup = motivation.

I know the basic elements of a picture book are characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. But picture books are much more than that. Once the basics are in place, there are other challenges in order to produce a standout picture book. You need originality and a hook that grabs the reader’s attention in the first few sentences. Word choice is of the utmost importance as is the pacing in a picture book. Your story should have a story arc. It should flow easily and have an ending that satisfies. If and when you accomplish all that, you’re still not finished. It’s time to revise, revise, revise. Cut excess words and tweak for a tight manuscript that sings.

It’s day twelve of PiBoIdMo. I have twelve ideas. Some may have potential. Who knows? I need to put what I know about writing picture books into action. It isn’t easy, but I’m up to the challenge. Are you?

Make sure to check out Tara Lazar’s blog, Writing for Kids (While Raising Them), for some great posts by guest bloggers.


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