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Archive for May, 2013

This week’s post touches on three things.

1. My exciting announcement

2. Using the word titled versus entitled

3. Marcie Flinchum Atkins’s great blog series “We’re All in This Together”

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT – COMING SOON! INTERVIEW WITH AWARD-WINNING  AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR KATHRYN OTOSHI

Kathryn Otoshi is the author/illustrator of many picture books, including the highly successful picture books “One” and “Zero.”

In a question and answer format, Ms. Otoshi shares what it is like to be an extremely successful independent publisher. She gives tips and shares her experience as an author, illustrator and independent publisher. You won’t want to miss this interview.

TITLED VERSUS ENTITLED

I just saw it again this week. . . . “Thank you for considering my story entitled, Bla-Bla-Bla.

Over the years, I have seen the word entitled misused all over the place. I have even seen it in published books about writing. To make matters worse, in one book, the error is in an example of a query letter. This means that anyone following this example is sending a letter to a publisher or agent with a writing error that was passed down by an expert. I think it is time I stop letting this bug me by sharing a bit about it on my blog. By the way, in the above example the word entitled should be titled. “Thank you for considering my story titled, Bla-Bla-Bla.” or you could drop the word “titled” all together. “Thank you for considering my story, Bla-Bla-Bla.”

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I offer links to three articles on the subject below. Happy reading!

Purdue.edu – AgComm: Agricultural Communication – “Grammar Trap: titled vs. entitled”

Daily Writing Tips – “Titled versus Entitled”

Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing – “Titled or Entitled?

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

About a month ago, Marcie Flinchum Atkins started her blog series, “We’re All in this Together.” Marcie and a group of other talented and experienced writers share many inspiring and enlightening personal stories and tips related to the topic of the week. I believe after this week, the series will become a monthly post. Each post makes for a very interesting read, and I encourage you to visit Marcie’s blog, if you have not done so already.

Here is a list of the first four topics posted.

1. Rejection

2. Making Time to Write

3. Revisions

4. Books that Impact Writers

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catch that babyOne day, I was studying Nancy Coffelt’s picture book, CATCH THAT BABY! Illustrated by Scott Nash (Aladdin 2011). I realized Nancy must have had to write a lot of art notes for this story. If you give CATCH THAT BABY a read, you will see how I came to this conclusion.

I had the good fortune of having Nancy as an instructor for my advanced course with The Institute of Children’s Literature, and we have continued to stay in contact. I emailed Nancy and asked her if she would have time to share with me the proper way to submit a manuscript with art notes. Not only was she gracious enough to help me out, she is also allowing me to share this information with you.

This year, Aladdin released a second Baby Rudy book UH-OH BABY! Also written by Nancy Coffelt and illustrated by Scott Nash. To give me examples of how she handles art notes for these “art note dependent” books, Nancy has shared a VERY EARLY draft (she wants me to stress “very early draft”) of UH-OH BABY! What I am sharing today is a work in progress. The fun thing about this is if you read the final product, you will be able to see the evolution of UH-OH BABY! from rough draft to published book. UH-OH BABY 2

Before I offer what Nancy shared with me, I want to clarify a few things.

  • What I am presenting is the actual manuscript format that Nancy uses. I kind of see it as being more of a script. This format works best for her art note dependent stories.
  • “Off screen” means the character that is speaking is not visible to the reader.
  • “Panel” or “panel sequence” means several panels of illustrations on one page or spread.

Now for Nancy’s email to me. Although she sent me the complete manuscript, I have opted to share only a portion of it.

(email) Alayne, I am pasting a very early draft of my latest book UH-OH BABY! Everything that is in brackets is an art note. Since I already had a working relationship with this editor, she understood that the bracketed areas were art notes. But if this were a new relationship I would have made it clear that’s what they were. A cover letter would be a good place to state that information. Perhaps under the title on the manuscript a brief note such as: Art notes are in brackets–might be a good idea as well.

Page 4-5: [half title]

[Page 4: Mom opening present.]

Mom: It’s wonderful!

[(panels) Rudy looks on. Rudy runs off.]

[Page 5: Rudy finds ladybug.]

Page 6-7: [Title page, panel sequence, Rudy runs back to family.]

Page 8-9: [Rudy presents Mom with ladybug.

Mom: Hello Rudy! What do you have?

[Ladybug flies off.]

Mom: Oopsie, Rudy!

Rudy: No oopsie! Wonderful!

Page 10-11: [Brother walking past, Rudy holding blocks]

Brother: Hello Rudy! What are you doing?

[Rudy looks at blocks and then frenzied Rudy building action. In all the frenzied action scenes, no one is watching so the outcome is always a surprise.]

Rudy: (off screen) Wonderful!

Page 12-13: [Big reveal-amazing block construction. Mom and brother are so impressed]

Crash! [Buddy crashes into block tower and it collapses: no dialogue; like a comic book]

Mom: Rats!

Rudy: No Rats! Wonderful! [off to the next one…]

Page 14-15: [Rudy and Buddy in the backyard.]

Dad: Hello, Rudy! What are you up to?

[Rudy looks at flowers and then frenzied Rudy garden action]

Rudy: (offscreen) Wonderful!

Page 16-17: [Big reveal—Rudy briings in a flower sculpture of Buddy? Mom and Dad are so impressed]

Slurp! [Buddy jumps on Mom, muddy footprints everywhere, sculpture flies apart]

Mom: Icky, Rudy!

Rudy: No icky! Wonderful! [and off to the next one… Can Rudy look a little less enthusiastic with each exit to show he’s getting either discouraged or frustrated?]

Page 18-19: [Sister painting]

Sister: Hello, Rudy! What’s going on?

[Rudy looks at art supplies and then frenzied Rudy art action]

Rudy: (off screen) Wonderful!

Page 20-21: [Big reveal—amazing collage type painting of Mom. Mom and sister are so impressed]

Whoosh! [A gust of wind blows the pieces of paper all over]

Mom: Shucks, Rudy!

Rudy: No shucks! Wonderful! [off he goes…]

A big thanks to Nancy Coffelt for giving us an inside look at her creative world.

nancy-coffelt

ABOUT NANCY 

Nancy Coffelt began her career as a fine artist and soon branched out into illustration and writing for young people. While she is known for her bright oil pastel imagery and humorous picture books, Nancy’s young adult work has an edgier side. Her books have garnered praise ranging from starred reviews from Kirkus, Horn Book and SLJ as well as her FRED STAYS WITH ME receiving an ALA Notable mention as well as the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Award.

Nancy lives, paints, writes, teaches and obeys the whims of her family’s two small dogs in Oregon.

Here are links to Nancy’s books currently in print.

Catch That Baby!

Uh-Oh Baby!

Fred Stays With Me!

Aunt Ant Leaves through the Leaves

Pug in a Truck

Big, Bigger, BIGGEST!

SOME OTHER EXCELLENT POSTS ABOUT ART NOTES

Susanna Leonard Hill: Oh Susanna – How Do You Handle Illustrator Notes in Picture Book Manuscripts?

Picture Book Den: How do you present a picture book text to a publisher? By Ragnhild Scamell

Tara Lazar, Writing for Kids: Art Notes in Picture Book Manuscripts

KidLit.com: Should You Include Illustrator Notes in Your Picture Book?

PLEASE SHARE: HOW DO YOU HANDLE ART NOTES?

Read Full Post »

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