Top 10 Picture Book Takeaways from the RMC-SCBWI Conference

My Top 10 Picture Book Takeaways from the RMC-SCBWI Conference

10. Beware of dialog-heavy picture book manuscripts.

9. The only beef editors and agents have against rhyming picture books is that they’re so often poorly written.

8. Manuscripts need to be more perfect than ever before they’re ready for submission.

7. While marketing yourself is certainly important, a writer’s MOST important job is to make his/her book amazing.

6. Perfect picture books are like a dance between text and illustrations.

5. Adding just one word – the perfect word – to a picture book text, can carry layers of emotion like wistfulness, uncertainty or imperfection.

4. Picture book pacing is a combination of text on the page, text-free pages, punctuation, page turns, timing and breathing.

3. Even humorous picture books carry an emotional truth and strike an emotional and harmonic chord at the end.

2. Picture book endings should disarm us. They must have a touch of mystery, a touch of magic, and space for the reader to fill in the ending or ponder it.

1. If you ever have a chance to see Allyn Johnston and Marla Frazee present together, don’t miss it. You’ll leave with inspiration (and laughter!) for a lifetime.

8 Responses to “Top 10 Picture Book Takeaways from the RMC-SCBWI Conference”

  1. sruble

    Great tips Jean, thanks! I've been thinking a lot about these while doing my recent revisions and PB dummy. Got rid of lots of dialog yesterday and #4 is already on my to do list for tomorrow. 🙂

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks for posting these, Jean. It doesn't hurt to hear these tips over and over again.