Thursday, September 2, 2010

Writing Advice/Writing Sea-crets from Author/Illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg

I am honored and excited to present today's Guest Blogger for many reasons. One, she's the FIRST author/illustrator talent to be featured here <3 Second, she's a New Yorker, like me! Third, her book features an unusual event that happens at a wonderful place -- Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York! Fourth, she's a sweet and wonderful person who spends lots of time and energy promoting children's literature and art <3 Fifth, she has Mermaids in her book! And Sixth, her tip can be used by BOTH illustrators and picture book story writers to map out their story!


Writing Sea-crets from Author/Illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg

I’ve written and illustrated a story about a shy mermaid coming out of her shell. How do I go about getting my story published?

To present my book idea to a publisher I take these steps.

* First, a Thumbnail Grid is the entire 32 page book on one a sheet of paper. It's an outline and a map for the sequences of scenes.

* Second, a 32 page Storyboard brings the words and pictures together. Here starts composition, camera angles, and characters.

* Last, is a dummy, or a fake 32 page picture book in the size that you envision. The dummy contains the storyboard sketches enlarged and refined. The words are pasted in to see if they work with the art. The dummy is a good place for self-editing. How does the book's pacing sound and feel with each turn of the page when read aloud?

The Book Dummy is finished! What is the next step?

* Find an editor who is interested. Or, send to a publishing house Slush Pile, in other words, the cattle call.

* Send that editor (or the Slush Pile) a packet with a Cover letter, Typed Manuscript, Book Dummy and Color Art Samples, and a SASE. Remember, never send original art, send color reproductions only!

Good Luck!

See Melanie's Thumbnail Grid, Storyboards and Picture Book Dummy for "Mermaids on Parade" at her blog:
Illustration Blog:


Once a year, mermaids, Neptunes and legendary sea creatures come to life - leaving their oceans to parade on the land. They sparkle and glitter and make the streets of Coney Island electric with excitement. In the middle of it all, a shy little mermaid comes out of her shell to march with all the others. Young and old alike can enjoy the salt water taffy-hued costumed entrants who come to open the ocean and march in the nation’s largest art parade around a once world famous amusement park.

Keep reading to find out where to get your own signed copy of  "Mermaids On Parade!"


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