After the SCBWI (kidlit group) conference in Nashville back in September, I got seriously back to work on the Mr. Darcy picture book. I've changed it a lot. It's no longer his Odyssey across the country but the story of his getting a home as a rescue dog. I also got excited about board books and created a counting book based on a walk we had this past summer where we saw one deer, two snails, etc.
The protocol for submitting a children's book is to make dummy books (handsewn with many rough sketches and a few color pieces to show what finished art would look like) and send them off in the mail. Art editors don't want a fully finished book because they'd like to collaborate a little and feel as though there is space to make changes. I took a moonshot today and submitted both dummies to Candlewick, my dream press. They were at the conference, so I was allowed to do that (as an attendee) without first finding an agent.
Above is an out take, one of the rough sketches in pencil and water soluble graphite. Below are the two dummy books about to get packed up to go. Fingers crossed. This is a whole new, highly competitive world, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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