Sheep, a Blender, and a New Picture Book Contract!

Or maybe I should say “Baaa-aaa-aaa!”

I’m super-excited to announce that I just signed a contract for a funny nonfiction SHEEP picture book to be published by Boyds Mills Press. I’m thrilled to be working with editor Rebecca Davis on this project, who is also the editor of my next poetry collection (about NIGHT), which will come out from WordSong. Yay!

This picture book has a wry sense of humor to it and a different approach to the topic, and, sure enough, my agent at the time and the few editors we showed it to immediately picked it as the strongest out of the group of several of my manuscripts pitched to them. Wrangling a picture book into being can sometimes be very awkward (like the sheep-shearing I watched at a sheep festival earlier this month–see pic below).

Sheep Shearing But this one, once I came up with the concept/structure in my head, fell into place rather quickly (well, for a picture book). What I’m realizing more and more this past couple of years is that marketable picture books right now, especially if you like nonfiction and/or poetry, are all about finding a NEW approach.

Paraphrasing Hugh MacLeod paraphrasing Grateful Dead and applying it to writing: If you’re creating picture books, you have a much better chance of finding a home for it in traditional publishing if you show editors the ONLY book like yours they’ve seen, rather than showing them the BEST version of a story/topic they’ve seen many times.

So, I’m challenging you to put your picture book ideas in a blender along with some NEW settings, elements, twists, topics, structures, etc., and see what you can whip up.


About Laura Purdie Salas

children's writer, poet, reader, visiting author, speaker/teacher, mentor, copyeditor, freelance writer
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9 Responses to Sheep, a Blender, and a New Picture Book Contract!

  1. Hi, Laura, Congratulations on whipping up just the right new look at sheep and night! I look forward to seeing these books in print!

    • Thanks, Jane. I am super excited! SHEEP will be my first trade NONrhyming picture book:>) And NIGHT will be my first poetry collection in several years (don’t even have a pub date yet on it, but can’t wait!).

  2. Fantastic news, Laura! Congratulations! šŸ™‚

  3. Tina Cho says:

    Congratulations! Thanks for the tips.

    • Thank you, Tina! Hope you have great writing plans for the summer before you head back into the classroom. When does school start for you? I might have the timing/seasons totally wrong!

  4. Congratulations Laura. This is fantastic news! I will look forward to reading it once it gets published.

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