Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 23, 2014

Picture Book Contest and Tips



This is the 4th year for the Kids’ Book Review’s Unpublished Picture Book Manuscript Award. They are located in Australia, but this year they have added and International segment, (separate to the Australian segment), with Feedback Sheets.

Plus this year they are introducing a fabulous opportunity for illustrators!

There is a lot of information in the post. Don’t miss the picture book tips at the end of post.
HERE IS A QUICK VIEW OF IMPORTANT INFORMATION. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED THEN READ EVERYTHING:

DEADLINE: May 5th 2014

FEE: $25 for Writer’s and Illustrators $15 per illustration

The International Segment

Eligibility: Foreign nationals living anywhere in the world, including Australia, aged 18 or over.

Picture Book Manuscripts: No more than 400 words.

Illustrators: Only electronically submit illustration – $15 entrance fee. One winner will score a manuscript appraisal, a certificate and the chance to have their manuscript viewed by the editors at Penguin Books Australia. There is no guarantee of publication, and normal Penguin manuscript submission rules and timings apply. There is no monetary prize offered for the international segment at this stage.

We will also nominate several Highly Commended manuscripts (no prize).

All entrants will receive a feedback sheet.

THE WINNERS

The Australian Segment

Eligibility: Australian residents living in Australia or overseas, aged 18 or over.

Three winners will score $150, a manuscript appraisal, a certificate and the chance to have their manuscript viewed by Sue Whiting, Publishing Manager at Walker Books Australia. There is no guarantee of publication and normal Walker Books manuscript submission rules and timings apply.

We will also nominate several Highly Commended manuscripts (no prize).

All entrants will receive a feedback sheet.

Winner must have an Australian bank account to receive prize money.

http://www.walkerbooks.com.au/

The International Segment

Eligibility: Foreign nationals living anywhere in the world, including Australia, aged 18 or over.

One winner will score a manuscript appraisal, a certificate and the chance to have their manuscript viewed by the editors at Penguin Books Australia. There is no guarantee of publication, and normal Penguin manuscript submission rules and timings apply. There is no monetary prize offered for the international segment at this stage.

We will also nominate several Highly Commended manuscripts (no prize).

All entrants will receive a feedback sheet.

http://penguin.com.au/

The Illustrator Segment

Eligibility: Australian residents living in Australia or overseas, aged 18 or over.

We are absolutely thrilled to announce an opportunity for illustrators, as part of our Picture Book Award.

Ten winners will score the chance to have one of their images seen by Walker Books Australia, with a view to showing their full folio. There is no guarantee of contracts/publication and normal Walker Books illustration submission rules and timings apply.

Please note there will be no prize money and no feedback sheets for this section of the Award. Certificates will be emailed to the ten winners.


GUIDELINES + TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Manuscript submissions are for picture books of 400 words or less. A word count above 400 will exclude your submission. This word limit is for your story text only and does not include the title, author details or illustration notes.

Illustration submissions are to be made electronically–ONE IMAGE ONLY per entry.

Both published and unpublished creators are eligible. Creator names must be on manuscript and illustration file name. Our judging system remains impartial to creatorship.

If you are an author/illustrator, you can submit an image that correlates with your manuscript submission, however, images and manuscripts will be judged completely separately.

Please don’t submit a manuscript you have submitted to the Award in previous years.

Submissions must be in English.

Submissions—both written and image—must be original and unpublished elsewhere, in any form including electronic, in whole or in part, even heavily edited or re-worked versions. There is a small exception for images–they can be previously published on a personal blog or facebook page, but should not have been part of a publication. If the submitted work—both written and image—is accepted for publication during this competition, KBR must be advised on or before Monday 28 April 2014.

The competition is open to writers aged 18 or over.

Authors: entry fee is A$25 per manuscript.

Illustrators: entry fee is A$15 per image.

This section forms our Terms and Conditions of Entry. By entering this competition, you agree to our Terms and Conditions.


PRIVACY AND COPYRIGHT

Copyright for all work submitted is retained by the author.

We do not publish or share entries or entrant details with third parties.

At end of competition, all electronic manuscript copies and author/illustrator details are permanently deleted.


HOW TO SUBMIT

We have made changes to the submissions process. Please read these submission requirements carefully and if you still have questions, check our FAQs at the bottom of this post before emailing us. 

Submissions open Monday 3 February 2014 and close Monday 5 May 2014 at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. Emails must be time-marked on or before 11.59pm, on 5 May, to be eligible, including those from overseas.

A shortlist will be announced on Monday 9 June 2014. Winners will be announced Monday 23 June 2014. Winners will be emailed shortly before the announcement on KBR.

We ask for emailed submissions only.

If you are an Australian living overseas, PLEASE indicate you are entering the AUSTRALIAN segment of the competition.

If you are entering the INTERNATIONAL segment of the competition, please type ‘KBR Award 2014 INTERNATIONAL’ in the subject line of your email.

Author entries should be emailed as an attached Word .doc or .docx to KBRawardATkids-bookreviewDOTcom with KBR Award 2014 in the subject line. Entries in other formats will be ineligible. The title of your Word document and manuscript should be the same.

Illustrator entries should be emailed as an attached .jpeg or .png file ONLY to KBRawardATkids-bookreviewDOTcom with KBR Award 2014 Illustration in the subject line. Files should be no bigger than 3MB. Entries in other file formats or over 3MB will be ineligible. The title of your image file should include your name.

Please take care when typing the KBRaward email address—it is KBRaward NOT KBRawards. If you do not receive confirmation within 48 hours, we have not received your submission and you will need to resubmit.


SUBMISSION CHECKLIST – AUTHORS

The ability to follow our submission format will count towards your overall score.

DO

  • Double line-space your submission
  • Keep the text left-justified and use Arial or Times New Roman, 11 point
  • Make your payment at the same time as your submission
  • Your story title and Word document title should be the same and the document title should also include your name
  • Provide the following information at the top of your manuscript (NOT in the header) and ALSO in the body of your email:

Story Title
Word count: 496
Jane Smith
4 Writer Lane
Booksville Vic 3000
jane@emailaddress.com.au
03-9999 1111
INTERNATIONAL (if you are entering the International Segment)
AUSTRALIAN (but only necessary if you are an Australian with an overseas address)

DON’T

  • put your story or document title in capital letters
  • add any kind of visuals or any kind of formatting, including words in all-capitals, bolding, centering, indents, tabbing, tables, varying fonts and sizes and colours; text should be completely format-free
  • add page numbers or headers and footers
  • divide your story text into ‘Page 1, Page 2’, etc
  • send résumés, synopses, title pages or any other material

Illustrations + Illustration Notes
Please do not send illustrations to accompany a manuscript (but do feel free to enter an image, separately, in our Illustrator section), even if you are an artist or feel they are central to the story. Succinct illustration notes (in brackets or italics, directly below corresponding text) are fine but only if the text doesn’t clearly intimate illustrations.


SUBMISSION CHECKLIST – ILLUSTRATORS

The ability to follow our submission format will count towards your overall score.

DO

  • Email your .jpeg or .png as an attachment, 3MB or under
  • Add your name to the image’s file title, eg: Flower Kids by Jane Smith
  • Make your payment at the same time as your submission
  • Provide the following information in the body of your email:

Image Title

Jane Smith
4 Writer Lane
Booksville Vic 3000
jane@emailaddress.com.au
03-9999 1111 (add country code if you are international)

DON’T

  • send your image embedded, or provide a link for us to follow
  • send résumés, image explanations or any other material

RECEIPTS

You will receive a KBR confirmation of receipt shortly after sending your entry—this serves as your entry receipt (along with your Paypal confirmation-of-payment email). If you do not receive the KBR confirmation within 48 hours, we have not received your entry. Please resend or make contact via taniaATkids-bookreviewDOTcom or message us on our facebook page. PLEASE don’t leave it until competition end (or later) to let us know you haven’t received confirmation. 


IMPORTANT NOTES

Multiple entries are welcome, though a fee of A$25 per manuscript and A$15 per image applies. Multiple entries can be submitted together or separately, but please ensure all illustrator/entry information is included with each submission.

Please take the time to submit your final version. We regret that we cannot accept updates.

Please don’t submit a manuscript you have submitted to the Award in previous years. We do feel your entry will be at a disadvantage if you do this. We prefer fresh, unseen work.

Please take the time to follow submission/payment guidelines. The ability to follow guidelines does count towards your overall score.


PAYMENT

Cost of entry is A$25 per manuscript and A$15 per image. This is Australian dollars. There is no GST/tax component in this entry fee.

Paypal is now our only accepted method of payment. As such, we have wiped the $2 Paypal transaction fee. You do not need a Paypal account to make payment. All major credit and debit cards are accepted. Payment is fast and easy and safe. www.paypal.com.au or www.paypal.com.

Payment should be made at the same time as manuscript/image submission.

Please send Paypal payment to KBRawardATkids-bookreviewDOTcom, leaving your name and manuscript/image title in the note field. Take care when typing the email address correctly—it is KBRaward not KBRawards. Many payments are not reaching us because the email address is not being typed correctly. Please ensure you type the address exactly – KBRawardATkids-bookreviewDOTcom.

We cannot accept Paypal e-cheques.

International section entrants: Paypal payment must be made in Australian dollars; please do not deduct tax.

We are unable to advise receipt of payment but will be in touch if we find any issues. Your ‘confirmation of receipt email’ and Paypal’s confirmation of payment email serves as your receipt.


FEEDBACK SHEETS

All author entrants will receive a feedback sheet (illustrators receive no feedback sheet). Sheets will be emailed within twelve (12) weeks of the end of competition. If you send in multiple entries, you will not receive all sheets at the same time.

Feedback Sheets consist of 10 components, with a total score of 50. Sheets may contain a small amount of written feedback, though this is not guaranteed.

We had exceptional feedback on our sheets last year and hope you find them valuable. We regret we cannot discuss or provide further information on them. Please do contact us if you haven’t received your sheet by 31 July 2014.

See our FAQs below and if you still have any queries, email KBRawardATkids-bookreviewDOTcom. Please email us, as opposed to leaving a comment below.


PICTURE BOOK TIPS

Golden Rule: don’t use too much dialogue, text or description. Let the pictures do the talking—don’t say what the pictures can show. Cut and cull your text. Be ruthless! If your text is 400 words long, it should be vibrant and intensely edited.

Think carefully about rhythm and flow—this is one of the most common obstacles between a work-in-progress and a publisher-ready ms. Read the work out loud and listen to the way the words work together. ‘Hear’ the beat and flow as you read, and adjust words as necessary.

Don’t attempt rhyme. It is not popular with publishers but if you simply can’t resist, make sure it’s infallible. Two rhyming end-words do not a perfect rhyme make. Rhythm and beat is as important as word rhyme—in fact, even more so. Don’t create awkward sentences with odd word placement in order to make a rhyme; rewrite the entire stanza instead.

Look at your word usage and sentence structure. Is it dynamic and interesting? Does it pull the reader along and make them want to read more? or does the reader stumble or become confused? Does it delight? Does it sound good?

Never talk down to the reader. Use big words. Use unusual words. Use a unique voice. Don’t patronise and don’t explain. Never hammer readers with morals. If you simply must use them, thread them through the story in an imperceptible way.

Unless you want your book to appear like an information brochure, attempting to educate children on social, physical, emotional and mental issues and conditions needs to be done cryptically and cleverly. Add humour. Create an unexpected storyline that intimates things in a subtle way and you will have a winner with kids.

Think about the plot. A good story leads the reader through conflict to resolution in a Beginning Middle Ending way, or in a Cyclical way. Things HAPPEN. Showing someone going about their day and going to bed at night is not a story. It’s an account. Write a story, not an account.

Have a protagonist. Your protagonist, or main character, does not sit by and observe—they action, take part and instigate.

Think outside the square. Cover unusual topics, with untouched themes (avoid monsters, fairies, trucks, mud, grandma dying, rainbows, farmyard animals, dogs and other overdone topics). Use different writing voices and story structure. Do something DIFFERENT.

Think twice about supplying detailed illustration notes. Too many notes absolutely do hamper your text; rely on the reader’s ability to imagine what your words are showing. Only supply notes if the text is very cryptic and needs ‘explaining’, and even then—make notes extremely short.

Look objectively at your story. Is it clear and simple or cluttered and confused? Be wary of submitting something that is wrapped up in your own head and unable to be deciphered by someone else. This happens A LOT.

Have an ending. A PB ending needs to be shocking, surprising, funny, quirky or in some way resolving and/or related to the plot. Around sixty per cent of the ms endings we have seen are either non-existent, confusing or dull. Go out on a top note, not a kerplunk. A great ending demands a repeat reading—and that is exactly what you want.

Write your book for kids, not adults. If you hit the nail on the head for kids, most adults will love it, too.

Keep it simple.

Follow submission guidelines to the letter. With hundreds of entries coming in, these guidelines are there for a reason, even if you don’t understand why. The ability to follow guidelines will be reflected in your overall score.

See our FREE ebookPicture Book Writing Tips for more tips.

Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: