CELEBRATING YOU (Yes, you!)

As 2019 winds to a close, I’d love to celebrate you, our wonderful blog readers. Many of you are fellow picture book writers (some pre-published, others well-published.) So let’s take a moment and share your hard-earned writing accomplishments this year! 

If you achieved any of the following in 2019, please share few details and I’ll announce your accomplishment in this post. Creating a picture book is a long process, so each step is worth celebrating!

  1. Wrote a picture book(s) manuscript (but haven’t submitted yet), share your story’s title(s) in the post comments.
  2. Bravely submitted a new picture book manuscript(s), please give the title(s) in comments.
  3. Received a contract for an upcoming picture book, share the details in comments.
  4. Had a picture book published (by SCBWI PAL publisher) or have one releasing in 2020, please email details (release date, title, publisher) to me (slade357-Suzanne@yahoo.com) and attach a jpg of the cover.

Now let’s get this party started!

Woo hoo and a hearty congrats to …

*Debra Kempf Shumaker got an offer for her debut PB, FREAKY FUNKY FISH: ODD FACTS ABOUT FASCINATING FISH, with Running Press Kids. Publication for this fantastic rhyming NF PB is scheduled for Spring 2021!

*Mary Bleckwehl‘s THE BIRTHDAY COOKBOOK is set to release Sept. 2020 with Black Rabbit Books, and she received another contract from Black Rabbit Books for 4 books in a NF series called AWESOME DISGUSTING CAREERS! Scheduled release 2021.

*Beth Anderson sold Revolutionary Prudence Wright: Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence (illustrated by the fabulous Susan Reagan) to Calkins Creek, due out spring 2022.
She also has 2 pbs releasing in 2020:

LIZZIE DEMANDS A SEAT: ELIZABETH JENNINGS FIGHTS FOR STREETCAR RIGHTS, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, Calkins Creek, 1/7/2020

“SMELLY” KELLY AND HIS SUPER SENSES: HOW JAMES KELLY’S NOSE SAVED THE NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY, illustrated by Jenn Harney, Calkins Creek, Fall 2020

*Angie Quantrell has been working hard and subbing several manuscripts. The newest is NO PEAS FOR LUNCH. 

*Becky Scharnhorst sold her debut picture book P.S. WILDWOOD ELEMENTARY STINKS! to Philomel. It is set to release in 2021.

*Tina Cho has 2 picture books releasing in 2020:

My Breakfast with Jesus, Harvest House, June 2, 2020

The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story, Kokila/Penguin Random House, August 4, 2020

*Maria Gianferrari is busy with new stories on sub; revision requests, a new offer not yet announced, and one she’s really excited about: BE A TREE, illustrated by the amazing Felicita Sala, coming from Abrams in 2021 

*Cathy Ballou Mealey announces her new, upcoming picture book entitled PICKLE PACKERS coming from Kids Can Press in 2021, with Kelly Collier (A HORSE NAMED STEVE) illustrating. 

*Rebecca Hirsch sold a picture book, not yet announced, to Millbrook. She also has a rhyming, guessing picture book, WHOSE WINGS?, out on submission, and several more manuscripts in progress.

*Sally Lotz had a picture book, Jersey’s Spots, release from MacClaren- Cochran Publishing on 10/15/19.

*Carol Cole submitted her lovely pb manuscripts, “Tooth Fairy in Training” and “A Not so Quiet Night at the Zoo” this year, and is hoping for good news soon.

*Kristin Davis finished a picture book manuscript! And has many more ideas brewing.

*Vijaya Bodach received contract for two PBs, one fiction, one NF, which will be out 2020 and 2021 respectively. She can’t say more yet!

*LeeAnn Rizzuti submitted several picture book mss this year. One story, TRISTAN PERSISTED has been collecting  “positive/encouraging rejections”. So LeeAnn is using that boost to reassert her own persistence!

*Carol Gordon Ekster has been busy writing and submitting lots of manuscripts. One that started out as a picture book just sold to Highlights Magazine! And earlier in 2019 she got a contract for SOME DADDIES with Beaming Books, coming out 2021. 

*Angela Kunkel‘s debut picture book with illustrator Paola Escobar, DIGGING FOR WORDS: JOSE ALBERTO GUTIERREZ AND THE LIBRARY HE BUILT, will be published in September 2020 by Random House/Schwartz & Wade. She also has a second book under contract that has not been announced yet. And this month, she’s written two new drafts! 

*Lisa Riddiough signed with an agent and sold a picture book (not yet announced.) So I am mum, for now. She also has two other PB’s out on submission and completed a middle grade novel.

*Buffy Silverman has a new picture book releasing in February, 2020 titled Snow-Melting Day: Seeking Signs of Spring. It received a starred review from Kirkus!

Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade is the author of more than 100 books. A mechanical engineer by degree, she enjoys writing about science topics and fascinating historical figures. Recent books include: A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon, The Daring Dozen, Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon, Astronaut Annie, Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story, Dangerous Jane, The Music in George's Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue and The Inventor’s Secret. Coming soon -- Exquisite (Abrams, 2020), SWISH! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters (LIttle, Brown), and TBA titles from Calkins Creek, Peachtree, and Sleeping Bear Press. Learn more about Suzanne and her books at: www.suzanneslade.com

29 Comments:

  1. Avatar
    Debra Kempf Shumaker

    I got an offer for my debut PB with Running Press Kids in January. The deal for FREAKY FUNKY FISH: ODD FACTS ABOUT FASCINATING FISH was finally announced last month. I can’t believe my debut will be a rhyming NF PB!

  2. That’s huge! Congrats Debra! You are the first announcement in our celebration post!

  3. For the school market (non-fiction), I have THE BIRTHDAY COOKBOOK, to be released in September 2020 by Black Rabbit Books as part of a 6 book series called Holiday Recipe Box. I just got another contract from Black Rabbit Books to write 4 books in a NF series called AWESOME DISGUSTING CAREERS! Scheduled release 2021.

  4. One sale, Revolutionary Prudence Wright: Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence, illustrated by the fabulous Susan Reagan, due out spring 2022 with Calkins Creek.
    Subbed a very different sort of manuscript for me…still out there.
    Fingers crossed on another ms – nothing to share yet.
    WOOHOO! Thanks to the kid lit community for all the support you provide!

  5. No offers for me. Boo-hoo. But I’ve been subbing several manuscripts. The newest is probably NO PEAS FOR LUNCH. Congrats everyone!

  6. I’m excited to share that my debut picture book P.S. WILDWOOD ELEMENTARY STINKS! was acquired by Philomel and will be coming out in 2021.

  7. Stuff written & on sub; revision requests, a new offer not yet announced, and one I’m really excited about: BE A TREE, illustrated by the amazing Felicita Sala, coming from Abrams in 2021 :).

    Thanks, Suzanne!

  8. I am a novelist who admires the work of picture book authors and illustrators. I studied PB writing a decade ago and learned that I am a novelist. I don’t have the ability to be succint, and I am in awe of those who do it well. I did submit a new novel to my editor in 2019.

  9. What a wonderful idea for a post, Suzanne! I love this. And congratulations to all you brave and creative souls out there. It takes great courage to share your tender ideas. Yay, to all!

  10. I am so encouraged by each one of these steps celebrating a book’s journey from idea to shelf to reader!

    My good news for 2019 was the announcement for a new picture book entitled PICKLE PACKERS coming from Kids Can Press in 2021, with Kelly Collier (A HORSE NAMED STEVE) illustrating.

    Congrats one and all!

  11. Avatar
    Jennifer Lane Wilson

    Congrats to everyone! Writing is a tough trek, so let’s celebrate the big and small victories along the way.

  12. Congrats to everyone!

  13. What a great idea, Suzanne! Writing is a long and lonely haul, and it’s so fun to stop and celebrate everyone’s successes! I sold a picture book, not yet announced, to Millbrook. I have a rhyming, guessing picture book, WHOSE WINGS?, out on submission, and several more manuscript in progress.

  14. No takers yet for my “Tooth Fairy in Training” PB but I continue sending it out as well as “A Not so Quiet Night at the Zoo.”

  15. I have written a picture book manuscript. No subs yet. I have many more ideas brewing as well.

  16. Congratulations to everyone on your hard work and progress with your writing! Your in the game – yippee!!

  17. Congratulations to all. After some years of working alone, I’ve been enjoying our PB critique group that meets once a month for a year now. My next two PBs, one fiction, one NF, will be out 2020 and 2021 respectively. Can’t say more yet.

  18. Lots of manuscripts written and submitted. One that started out as a picture book just sold to Highlights Magazine! And earlier in 2019 I got a contract for SOME DADDIES with Beaming Books, coming out 2021. So great to celebrate with you all! Happy writing!

  19. Congrats to everyone with good news and “Keep the faith!” to everyone still waiting for that good news. Of the picture book mss I’ve had out on submission this year, TRISTAN PERSISTED has been collecting what I’ve been told are the kind of “positive/encouraging rejections” you want to get if a pass is all they can offer. That has been just the boost I needed to reassert my own persistence.

  20. It’s so fun to read everyone’s good news!

    My debut picture book with illustrator Paola Escobar, DIGGING FOR WORDS: JOSE ALBERTO GUTIERREZ AND THE LIBRARY HE BUILT, will be published in September 2020.

    I also have a second book under contract that has not been announced yet.

    And this month, I’ve broken a long creative dry spell and written two new drafts! I hope everyone has a wonderful and productive 2020.

  21. It’s so fun to read everyone’s good news!

    My debut picture book with illustrator Paola Escobar, DIGGING FOR WORDS: JOSE ALBERTO GUTIERREZ AND THE LIBRARY HE BUILT, will be published in September 2020 by Random House/Schwartz & Wade.

    I also have a second book under contract that has not been announced yet.

    And this month, I’ve broken a long creative dry spell and written two new drafts! I hope everyone has a wonderful and productive 2020.

  22. Thank you, Suzanne, for this inspiring post! Congratulations to all!!

    I am pleased to say that I in 2019 I signed with an agent and sold a picture book. It is not yet announced. So I am mum, for now. I also have two other PB’s out on submission. Additionally, I completed a middle grade novel – a first for me!!

    Happy holidays to all! See you in 2020.

  23. So wonderful to see all this great news! Thanks for asking and compiling, Suzanne, and congrats to all!

  24. Wonderful to read all this great news! Here’s mine:

    Snow-Melting Day: Seeking Signs of Spring comes out from Millbrook Press in February, 2020 and received a starred review from Kirkus!

  25. Excited for everyone’s success and looking forward to reading these amazing books!

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