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Editor's Desk

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 You will find a collection of helpful articles written by editors, children's literature experts, authors, reviewers, and our staff.



Our Editor's Desk section is a resource for writers and illustrators at all levels of experience. You will find a collection of helpful articles written by editors, children's literature experts, authors, reviewers, and our staff. Editor's Desk is a mix of reprinted articles and original content. Our goal is to provide as much information about children's book publishing as possible. Topics span the entire publishing process, from the period before a book is accepted to the thrilling moment when you learn your manuscript has been acquired. The articles in Editor's Desk, along with those in BookTalk, demonstrate the collaborative process of publishing, including the time after a manuscript becomes a book, when an author must join the publisher in the role of publicist promoting his or her book to keep it alive. It is our hope that authors and illustrators find guidance and useful advice here, and that you will submit your best work to us and make a lifelong career of providing great stories for children.

If you would like to be notified by email when a new Editorial entry is added to Editor's Desk, please subscribe to our monthly E-News.

Rule of thumb: Familiarize yourself with a publisher's list before submitting your work. Download or request our latest Annual Catalog now.


WRITER GUIDELINES
Before you send us your manuscript please read our guidelines. It contains valuable information about our submission process and specifications.

ILLUSTRATOR GUIDELINES
LEE & LOW BOOKS is looking for skilled artists who can bring picture book stories to life with originality and authenticity.

TU BOOKS WRITER GUIDELINES
Before you send us your manuscript please read our guidelines. It contains valuable information about our submission process and specifications.

NEW! THE TRUTH ABOUT SCHOOL VISITS: BOOK SALES
By Alexis O'Neill
Author and school visit expert Alexis O’Neill discusses selling books at school visits, offering some valuable advice for getting your books into kid’s hands at school events.

NEW! THE TRUTH ABOUT SCHOOL VISITS: INCREASING INVITATIONS FOR MIDDLE GRADE AND YA WRITERS
By Alexis O'Neill
Author Alexis O'Neill shares some tips for getting into middle schools and high schools. Reprinted with permission.

NEW! EDITOR INTERVIEW: LOUISE MAY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Interview by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of fiction for young readers, conducted an interview with our very own Editor-in-Chief, Louise May. The interview is filled with information every aspiring author or illustrator won't want to miss. Reprinted with permission.

NEW! 2007 NEW VOICES AWARD WINNER AND HONOR SELECTED
From Our Editors
We are pleased to announce the 2007 winner and honor!

THE TRUTH ABOUT SCHOOL VISITS: AVOIDING BAD DAYS
by Alexis O'Neill
Author Alexis O'Neill shares some tips for pulling off a fun and successful school visit. Reprinted with permission.

HOOPS IN PARIS
by John Coy
Author John Coy shares some anecdotes from his international research for his basketball book Around the World. Reprinted with permission.

WORKING WITH CAUSE AND EFFECT
by Laura Backes
Sure, your story may make sense to you, but will it make sense to your reader? Read this article for tips on how to keep your story structured and believable. Reprinted with permission from The Children's Writing Resource Center.

BREAKING THE STORYTELLING MOLD
by Laura Backes
Stumped? Are you having trouble finding a fresh and original way to tell your story? This article will help you find new and alternative means of inspiration. Reprinted with permission from The Children's Writing Resource Center.

TWENTY TIPS FOR WRITING PICTURE BOOKS
by Pat Mora
Need some advice on where to begin? Veteran author Pat Mora gives her tips on how to write a great picture book. Reprinted with permission.

WRITING POWERFUL ENDINGS
by Laura Backes
Is your story really finished? Have you tied up all of the loose ends? Read this article for tips on bringing stories to strong and satisfying conclusions. Reprinted with permission from The Children's Writing Resource Center.

FINDING YOUR VOICE
by Laura Backes
Having trouble with you're writing? Laura Backes brings you tips on bringing out your unique voice in what your writing. Reprinted with permission from The Children's Writing Resource Center.

THE VOICE THAT SPEAKS BEST
by Elaine Marie Alphin
You've plotted your story. You know your characters and their conflict. You know how your viewpoint character will grow by achieving a resolution. Now you face one last decision before you start writing. What voice are you going to use? Reprinted with permission.

THE VOICE AS BACKGROUND AND FOUNDATION
by Jean E. Karl
Recently a manuscript was sent to me that had a good story that was well worked out and told in a clear, straightforward way that made it easy to read and engaging. But the material will never find a publisher, at least not in its present form. Why? Because the voice – the language used to tell the story – is not consistent with the story and is not consistent in itself. Reprinted by permission.

ASK THE EDITORS
From You to our Editors, and Back Again
Have you ever wished you could ask an Editor some inside advice on how to get published? We went through all your questions and here are our responses.

HOW CAN I HELP MY PUBLISHER PROMOTE MY BOOK?
A note from our Marketing Department
Getting published is an often discussed topic, but what about AFTER you get published? Promotion is key when it comes to the success of your book, so read our handy tips on how to promote your work effectively.

THE VIRTUALLY DO-IT-YOURSELF BOOK TOUR
by Sue Corbett
Novelist Sue Corbett shares her experiences promoting her book. Excellent tips for authors who may wonder what the next step is after getting published.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR THE CHILDREN'S BOOK WRITER AND ILLUSTRATOR
A note from our Editors
Good books for the author or illustrator interested in writing for children.

GETTING PUBLISHED: RESOURCES FOR TODAY'S TOUGH MARKETPLACE
A note from our Editors
First-time authors and illustrators trying to break into children's book publishing are faced with fewer places to send their work as more publishers close their doors to unsolicited submissions.... There is no magic solution to getting published. However, the following basic tips can't hurt – and hopefully will help improve – your chances.

GETTING PUBLISHED: INDEPENDENT PRESSES VS. LARGE HOUSES
A note from our Editors
A couple of years ago, while discussing a manuscript (unsolicited, by the way) with an author, she let drop a comment that drove home a troubling perception regarding independent presses vs. large houses. While she knew her story "needed work," she thought she'd send it to us first for our comments before sending the story to "a REAL publisher."

GETTING PUBLISHED: RESOURCES ON THE WEB
A note from our Webmaster
Getting published is an often discussed topic, especially here in LEE & LOW's Editorial Section. But there’s a big wide web world outside of here! Vast resources exist in web country – finding what you want is of course the adventure.

THE SUBMISSION PROCESS: A DEMYSTIFICATION
A note from our Editors
"Here are some...highly opinionated details that authors and artists at all levels of experience might find helpful when submitting materials to any publisher...."

THE SUBMISSION PROCESS: TIPS ON SUBMITTING SAMPLES FOR ILLUSTRATORS
A note from our Editors
As the people who open each and every illustration sample at LEE & LOW, we can only imagine the questions illustrators are asking: What happens to my samples once they reach a publisher?

WHERE DO I START? WITH THE RIGHT QUESTIONS!
Advice from our Editors
"How do you decide which projects to publish?" This is the question writers ask of editors everywhere, and LEE & LOW is no exception.

IS IT A STORY? KNOWING WHEN A MANUSCRIPT IS READY
A note from our Editors
As with any creative endeavor, there is no exact science when it comes to determining if a manuscript is ready for submission... Still, how does one know? There isn't an easy answer (sorry!), but perhaps the following suggestions will be helpful for those of you working on picture book manuscripts.



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