Open to Picture Books! Tentatively.

imgresIn case you missed the news back in 2013, I have two clients coming out with picture books in the next year! Ruth Horowitz, award winning author of Crab Moon and a bunch of other books for young readers, has a picture book coming out with Scholastic about Abel and Beatrice, two friends who raise apple trees and bees,  who get in an argument that escalates (in very silly ways), tentatively titled BEES IN THE TREES.


Debut author Joe McGee has a picture book coming out with Abrams, about a zombie who would rather eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches than brains, tentatively titled PEANUT BUTTER AND BRAINS.

Both tentatively titled… yes, titles do change and sometimes it takes a while for publishers to commit to a title. And, apparently minds change, too. I’ve repeatedly said, “I don’t do picture books. I don’t do picture books. I don’t do picture books.” The problem is, when a project comes along that I LOVE, I have a hard time saying no. So….. I would like to tentatively declare that I am now open to picture books submissions.

BUT (and this is a big but!) please be aware that I am only interested in quirky, funny, off-beat, or high concept picture books. Do NOT send me your sweet, sappy, life lesson picture book manuscript. Do NOT send me your cute, saccharine, didactic issue-based picture book. If you’re not an illustrator, do NOT send me pictures (although I’m very interested in author/illustrator submissions).

And please know what a picture book manuscript should look like. That is to say, way less than 1000 words and only put in illustrator notes if they are integral to understanding your story.

There. I’ve said it.

Any questions?



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9 responses to “Open to Picture Books! Tentatively.

  1. I have two mss that may be right for you. One is a 47-word animal board book in prose (no moral), and one is a quirky/funny 670-word animal story, but with a definite moral and a character heart change. Are you game?

  2. Sarah Floyd

    Yay! Glad to hear you are opening the door. I will have something for you soon…

    Must add that I love CRAB MOON. (My son shares the mc’s name, we have read it a zillion times). Ruth Horowitz is a gorgeous writer.

  3. Hello Linda,
    No questions.:) You were clear as a bell.:) A critique partner just emailed me the link to this post – I’m so glad that she did. Thank you for being candid about what you want and don’t want in picture book manuscripts…this helps everyone! I’ll be checking your submission guidelines in order to send you a funny quirky pb manuscript.:)

    Your blog banner brings back memories of the typewriter I should have kept.:)

  4. Quirky? That’s my middle name!

  5. Can you name a few books available at the library now that are similar to what you’d like to see?

    • Some authors that I admire are Kevin Henkes, Mo Willems, Sandra Boynton (I know these are board books, but they’re awesome); of course Dr. Seuss & (most of) Maurice Sendak; Rosemary Wells, William Steig, Ludwig Bemelmans… there are too many to list really. Off the top of my head, some of my (old time) favorites are RUDE GIANTS by Audrey Wood, TOUGH BORIS by Mem Fox, CHARLIE PARKER PLAYED BE BOP by Chris Raschka, OFFICER BUCKLE AND GLORIA by Peggy Rathmann, HOW I BECAME A PIRATE by Melinda Long, WESLANDIA by Paul Fleischman. These are the books that I read to my own children but if I were in the library or at a book store I’d probably be like, “Oh and this one and this one and this one! And how could I forget this one?!”