One of the professional highlights for me each year is attending the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Annual Conference in Los Angeles, CA. This year, I have the added privilege of being on the faculty and speaking on a panel moderated by my dear friend, co-author, and editor, Emma D. Dryden—SMALL PRESSES: THOUGH THEY BE SMALL, THEY BE FIERCE. Be sure to follow the excitement of the annual conference in social media—#LA15SCBWI. Little Pickle Press values the commitment to excellence in children’s literature and the strength of community fostered by scbwi. We would be especially thrilled to meet the author (and/or illustrator; our Art Director will also be there) of our next book at the annual conference. Setting that as our intention, here is what we are seeking currently . . .
The common denominators. All of the manuscripts that we select involve conveying meaningful messages to children or youth. They catalyze conversations between parents and children, teachers and students, about the topics that matter most to the generation of children we are shaping today. The manuscripts are well written, thought-provoking, progressive, fresh, distinctive, and, if a picture book, lend themselves well to not only illustration but also to extrapolation into other mediums, such as interactive eBooks, book apps, and animated shorts.
The heart of the matter. At present, we are most interested in receiving middle grade and young adult submissions. What subjects are most interesting to us at this point? They include (in no particular order and not exclusively):
- Kindness—the power of it
- Dare To Be Different
- Choices: It’s Not All Black And White; Most of Life is Gray
- Racism—the deleterious effects of it
- Complex Family Structures
- Anti-Princess Themes
- Creativity—the importance of it, fostering it, etc.
- Leadership and/or Entrepreneurship
- Divergent (vs. Convergent) Thinking
- Systems Thinking
- Responsibility/Accountability/Moving Beyond Gen M Thinking
- Taking Care of Yourself and Your Community/Planting the Seeds of Being a Locavore
What we don’t want are books with hidden messages to grownups. We want books that convey true messages to children and youth. It is also worth mentioning that we do not shy away from controversial subjects, and we are open-minded about the genres and literary vehicles employed to convey the messages.
First things first. As you consider submitting your manuscript, please learn a little more about Little Pickle Press and our new young adult imprint, Relish Media. Here’s a recent interview I did for our friends at Mom’s Choice Awards. We just launched our new submissions platform, powered by Authors.me, which sets forth our submissions guidelines. Consider liking Little Pickle Press and Relish Media on Facebook. Please also consider following @LPP_Media and @Relish_Media on Twitter.
Our selection process. Once we receive your submission, our First Reader designated for the target age range of your work reads it within four months and sends the acquisition team his or her preliminary thoughts. If the First Reader has a favorable opinion of the manuscript, then we have another member of the acquisition team read it. If the second member of the acquisition team likes it, then we have a Junior Reader (a reader in the intended age group) read it. If the Junior Reader likes the manuscript, then it gets presented during the next acquisition meeting. If at any point during our process, a team member thinks that the work is not a good fit for us, then we let you know.
Thanks for your interest. I kindly thank you for your interest in Little Pickle Press and Relish Media, and for reading this post. If you elect to send us a submission, thank you also for considering us as your publisher. I know from experience all that you have gone through to get to this point, and I respect and honor you for it.