Workshop Transcript

Submitting Articles

with Alice Pope


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*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Submitting Articles Workshop IN PROGRESS

Verla: Alice! Thank you SO much for coming tonight

AliceP: My pleasure, Verla

Verla: We really appreciate your taking the time to share your expertise with us

Verla: (I hope I spelled that right)

Verla: Are you ready?

AliceP: I'm ready

Verla: For anyone who might be new to these workshops, here's the "rules"

Verla: Welcome to our weekly Kidlit Workshop. We ask that you hold all personal chit-chat until the hour is up, but Please! Free free to join in the topic currently under discussion

Verla: Our leader tonight is Alice Pope, Editor of the CWIM (Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market guidebook)

Verla: Oh... and our topic is Submitting Articles

Verla hands Alice the microphone and steps down from the podium amid roars and cheers

lorrier: clap, clap, clap

Verla: WHEEEEEET! (that's a whistle)

LadyPen: Great to have you back again, Alice.

Verla: (You are on, Alice...)

AliceP: I'm up? Questions please, then.

LadyPen: Are we discussing article subs to the CWIM?

Verla: I think basically, we are talking about submitting any kind of article to any publication, Lady, but of course, Alice will be most knowledgable about the CWIM

AliceP: We can talk about CWIM and in general if you all want to.

Hether: I'm unsure what is meant, too by article...the really great bios and such?

Verla: Karma Wilson wrote a great article for CWIM 2000... it was on Query letters.

sammy69: How you decide what to cover for the new CWIM, Alice?

AliceP: What to cover, sammy...I get ideas from submissions, from things I hear at conferences...

AliceP: From reading newletters and PW...

NOTE: PW = Publisher's Weekly periodical found in some libraries and/or bookstores

AliceP: I get a number of ideas from spying on the CW list, too, and playing around on the Internet

NOTE: CW list = an email list for people who write for children

sammy69: do you ever assign articles to writers you've worked with before?

NOTE: This question was not answered at this time

Dani257: what kind of ideas have you gotten from spying on us?

AliceP: Dani, I got ideas to interivew Anastasia (Suen) for instance...

AliceP: I got the idea to ask Linda Joy (Singleton) to do an article on series for 2001...

Lyra_: Which I've started on already (g)

Verla: Hooray, lyra!

Verla: (See folks? It pays to write intelligent posts on writing lists. You never know who may be lurking in the wings.)

Dani257: Oh (resolves to be more interesting and insightful in her posts <to the CW list>)

Amishka will try to remember to have her first cup of coffee before posting on the CW list from now on

AliceP: I do try to chime in once in a while and not just spy, Verla :)

Verla: (I noticed that, Alice.)

AliceP: I keep a little file of topics that I might use one day.

AliceP: I'm also on the lookout for First Books subjects.

Lyra_: I LOVE first book stories

LadyPen: I do, too, Lyra!

sammy69: always inspiring for us yet-to-be-published!

traciee: me too!

AliceP: It's great fun to do First Books.

Lyra_: I also love stories about The Call

Verla: Ha. I missed getting in for First Books, Alice. Hehehhe. I went straight to an Insider Report...

AliceP: Verla, you moved too fast!

Verla: No I didn't, Alice. My first book STILL isn't published! It's coming out this fall, finally.

Amishka: LOL Verla how true!

NOTE: LOL = Laughing Out Loud

Verla: 6 years from acceptance to publication for that first book of mine that was pulled from the slushpile

Hether: is there a subbing distinction between the author interviews and the business of writing articles? are both areas subbed, or is one more created by you -- your choice

AliceP: Hether, I'm open to subs for all areas...

Verla: Hey, that's good to know, Alice

AliceP: I don't get as many -- or as many good ones --- as I would like.

AliceP: I actually do more in the way of looking for writers for a particular idea than I do from subs.

Verla: Can you tell us what you really hate to see in article subs, Alice? When you are opening the slushpile?

Verla: Or perhaps what you LOVE to see? Or maybe both?

NOTE: This question was not answered at this time

LadyPen: What is your time window for accepting subs?

AliceP: LadyPen, I'm always working on an edition...

AliceP: so if I can't use an idea now I can follow up later.

LadyPen: good answer!

traciee: I love the section on query letters that worked -- so helpful!

AliceP: Glad you like the query freature traciee

^GailM: I enjoyed the query section, too, and it just confirmed what I already knew. Good show!

okadee: I agree, I found the query letters (article) especially helpful.

traciee: It was great to read about verla kay, of course, and this site

Verla bows to traciee...thanks!

okadee: Yes Tracy, it was a kick to read about Verla

^GailM: And I am going to use your internet resources for a presentation at my local SCBWI. Why re-invent the wheel. Of course, I will add some other ones, too.

NOTE: SCBWI = Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators

Verla: You know, Alice, a really good candidate for FIRST BOOKS would be Jessica Swaim... (her nickname is Authoress in here) It took her 14 years to get her first book published (Isn't that right, Jessica?) And it's not even out yet, and her publisher has closed its she has a really dramatic story to be told

AliceP: Oh my--that sounds like quite a story. I'd like to hear more about it.

Katty: Oh, Authoress, What a heartbreaker!

LadyPen: Ooh, another one is Mary E Pearson, _David v. God, coming out soon.

AliceP: I'll be sure to review the transcript for these names.

AliceP: You all are a great pool for ideas and for potential writers and interview subjects!

Hether: and ...I know this is partly obvious, but "not enough good ones"..what would be in a dream sub? (as far as your personal delight..not just good nuts and bolts.

Verla: yes, please tell us what your "dream sub" would be, Alice.

AliceP: Hether, I guess I mean just inappropriate--too specific, too blah. It's hard to define what one likes and doesn't like.

AliceP: Dream sub: Idea that gets me excited, fits into my plan...

AliceP: makes me want to talk to them about it right away.

Hether: then I know what you mean.

AliceP: My biggest problem is that I don't have enough pages or $$ for everything.

AliceP: I try to think like a reader of the book

Verla: ah... so to get an article accepted by you for the CWIM, one needs to first find a good topic that would excite you

Verla: and then write it so well that you absolutely HAVE to have it in your next issue. :-)

Verla: I really loved the internet resource section in CWIM this year. I'd like to see some articles in next year's issue that focused on the internet

AliceP: Always a good timely topic, verla.

Lyra_: e-books are an interesting topic, too -- I may end up with two e-books even

traciee: Yes, for a novice- the internet has been the most helpful info. that and CWIM

^GailM: I feel the internet is where I got my major education in children's writing. It is better than a conference any day, and you can read at your leisure.

Lyra_: I wish I'd had the internet when I was starting out

okadee: Gail;, I feel the same way.

Verla: Me, too!

AliceP: did someone bring up e-publshing?

Verla: lyra did, Alice.

AliceP: we talk about this all the time at staff meetings.

AliceP: It will be addressed in some way in CWIM soon.

Windy2u: Maybe (we could have) a list of paying e-markets (in an upcoming issue of CWIM ).

Verla: Yep... internet publishers could just have another little symbol in front of them, Alice

Verla: You could give an article about them, telling how they work, then go from there. Hether: or lay out the pros and cons, the bewares and benefits

Lyra_: E-publishing is going to be SO big .. I already have some friends who've sold kid books there & I have two pending contracts

AliceP: It still seems a little iffy to me at this point. what do you all think?

Lyra_: The one paying market I wrote for has already dried up -- it changes too quickly

Hether: agree...this year

^GailM: That would be good, Alice, but I still can't see picture books on the internet. No warm lap to read from.

Lyra_: Alice--I think an article on e-publishing would be good, but I wouldn't rush into listing e-pubs until there are more clearly established

AliceP: I'm afraid to include them then have them fold by the time the next edition comes out.

AliceP: seems you're with me, Lyra

^GailM: I think internet publishing is too iffy so far.

Windy2u: Keystrokes (online newsletter for writers) has been going strong for 2 years now.

Verla: Actually, that's a good plan, lyra. Maybe just mention how to find them in search engines?

Lyra_: And Alice--I have one friend who has sold her first book after about 12 years -- it's a YA e-book

AliceP: E-publishing might be a good topic for a whole workshop, Verla. Have you done that?

Verla: Not yet, but one of the authors who has an ebook out is going to try to do a workshop for us soon, Alice

AliceP: Good--I'll have to come to that one, Verla.

Verla: Getting back to articles, I'd be interested in knowing how many people here tonight have ever submitted an article?

AliceP: good question

Charbroil: in general, Verla? or to CWIM?

okadee: To where, Verla?

Verla: and how many have been rejected and/or accepted? (To anywhere, char & okadee)

traciee: to an education journal

Authoress: i have, to School Library Journal

Charbroil: ah.. raising my hand then.. :-)

AliceP: accepted or not?

^GailM: To OUAT? Me, accepted and published.

Charbroil: lots and lots of really nice rejections! :-)

traciee: not at this time, similar topic recently.....

Hether: (about articles in CWIM)Thought it was a calling, like hearing from God! "Thou hast made it!"

Hether: But yes, regular articles subbed to ordinary places

lorrier: not to mention your bio :)

katrapp_: i do mag sales for articles

Authoress: accepted

Verla: that's terrific, Authoress! (Authoress is the one who took 14 years to get that first book out, Alice.)

Authoress blushes

Authoress: it was the magazine sales that kept me going

Verla: Yep. Mag sales can really boost your ego and your pocketbook while you are waiting for a book sale

^GailM: Ah, Verla, amend that. Magazines pay piddling. You have to have gobs of them to make a living, unless you enjoy stone soup, he he, he.

Charbroil is waiting on four more rejection letters... as we type! :-)

Verla: no no no, think POSITIVE, char. You are not waiting for rejections. You are waiting for ACCEPTANCES

Charbroil: if I expect rejections, I'm not nearly as disappointed.. <G>

Charbroil: besides, it's my goal to have 200 rejections this year!

Verla: If you EXPECT rejections, you will get them, char. You have to expect acceptances to get them

katrapp_: there IS POWER in positive thinking

katrapp_: just as there is POWER in negitive thinking

AliceP: Verla, I like how you think...good advice

Verla: no, change that goal to submitting 200 times, char...but expect to GET some acceptances in there

Amishka: How about a percentage, Verla. I've got 13 out, how about I expect four acceptances

Verla: (sounds good to me, ami)

Charbroil goes to change her Writing Goals list... :-)

Hether: Someday, I'd like to SEE what an article slushpile looks like. What is the CWIM'S like to deal with, Alice?

Verla: Oh, GOOD question, hether!

AliceP: Most of my submission are email--no real pile

Verla: Hey, that's interesting, Alice. Most editors don't want email subs

traciee: do you think about new writers, seasoned ones, or both?

NOTE: This question was not answered at this time

AliceP: I do get many misdirected picture book sub.

AliceP: Verla, I love email subs. I'm bad with the snail mail.

Verla writes that in her notebook...Alice prefers email subs...

AliceP: I don't know why other editors wouldn't want elec. subs

Amishka: Some emails get messed up over the net (if they are too long)

lorrier: I don't either, but expect it makes it a bit too convenient for some people

AliceP: It quicker, easier, no pile to stress me, and more casual, more my style

Amishka: and a delete button?

Charbroil: lol ami

Lyra_: In my email, though, you lose the format of the article

lorrier: sometimes you lose punctuation too (quotation marks etc)

AliceP: It depend on what gets submitted--I wouldn't want an article, just a query idea.

ch: One editor told me she doesn't like email subs because she likes to keep email

strictly for office communications.

Verla: Nice observation, ch

AliceP: that makes sense, ch -- whatever works

lorrier: I could see for some editors, it being possible to crash their site if too many emails

Amishka: you can have more than one email address though

Amishka: one for subs and one for office

AliceP: good point amishka.

AliceP: then I'd discuss. Most editors might not have the time to do that.

Hether: a very focused, developed query idea, I take it?

AliceP: hether, a very general idea like 'would you be interested in an article on writers conferences' would be enough for me...

Verla: Alice, I didn't see an answer to one question up above... let me find it again...

AliceP: okay verla--thanks for keeping up

Verla: This question had to do with articles you plan for your issues... traciee: do you think about new writers, seasoned ones, or both?

AliceP: traciee--both, any, as long as I think they can do a good job on the topic

Amishka: Do you use a cover letter on an article the same way you would on a ms?

NOTE: This question was not answered at this time

Windy2u: Alice, do you work in an office or at home?

NOTE: This question was not answered at this time.

Lyra_: are you already collecting your publisher info for 2001 or do you wait till closer to publication?

AliceP: lyra--we start to collect info in the summer for 2001

Lyra_: okay--so it's too soon to share any "inside" info yet (g)

Verla: Wow. 2001 already? That sounds so far away!

AliceP: It's only 9 months or so, right? I'm thinking about my New Year's Eve party already.

Verla glares at Alice and wonders if she would get hung if she put duct tape over Alice's mouth so she couldn't talk about the new year already...

Verla: but then...

AliceP: sorry verla...but I have a space odyssey theme idea...

Verla relents. After all, Alice IS the workshop leader...

Amishka: she couldn't answer questions either

Verla: yes, I realized that, too, ami

Verla: space odyssey theme? Is that for the CWIM?

Verla sharpens up her sci fi skills for an article for Alice....

AliceP: no new years. But that would be fun for CWIM. hmmm. idea for From the Editor

AliceP: I dig sci fi--that would be fun!

Amishka: You could have an interview with a sci fi author

Verla: You need to have an article on writing sci fi

Verla: yes, ami!

Verla: It would be very timely with the millenium, too.

AliceP: I don't think I've ever done anything remotely related to sci fi now that i think about it.

AliceP: See--you guys should come to planning meeting with me!

Verla smiles at the new idea Alice is getting...

Verla: Now who in here writes Sci Fi?

AliceP: This is why I love talking to you guys. You get my wheels turning.

Lyra_: You could mingle it with fantasy to broaden the topic -- with Harry Potter's success, I think we'll see more fantasy books

Verla: send Alice a query (by email, of course) on a sci fi article, gang!

Amishka: I know some of us write Fantasy

Verla: (And some of us just fancy writing, Ami)

lorrier: and some of us just fantasize that we write :)

Verla: LOL lorrier!

Amishka: LOL lori

^GailM: Alice, we have a brand new writer from our area who wrote a fantasy book with a new publisher, and it has really taken off. Is that something you might be interested in?

AliceP: Gail--sure.

^GailM: I just got an idea! I'll interview her and maybe get Alice to publish it in the CWIM. Cool!

Verla: Go for it, Gail!

Verla: (Aren't these workshops GREAT?)

AliceP: Oh--I can just see my out of control budget this year. I'm in trouble. Anyone want to explain to my boss..

Lyra_: But just think how the article wealth will reach out to new readers

Amishka: Have you ever done an article on an award winning Canadian Author?

lorrier: oh man just read my mind :)

AliceP: no amishka. our neighbors to the north have been neglected.

Amishka: They are your neighbors not my neighbors. You are my neighbours

Lyra_: Some savvy Canadian should publish their own version of CWIM (g)


AliceP: I stand corrected, Amishka

Amishka: :)

^GailM: I think the Canadians have too long, too cold winters, and that gives them too much time to write. And they seem to be too good, too.

lorrier: there is actually a Canadian market guide - but is generic to all genres/mkts

Verla: Like the Writer's Market guidebook is here, lorrier

Amishka: and I don't think it comes out every year either Lori

lorrier: write

lorrier: I mean right lol

AliceP: it's not annual, is is lorrier?

lorrier: no

Hether: is there another equivalent to cwim internationally...european?

AliceP: not that I know of Hether. Anyone else know?

NOTE: No one seemed to know the answer to this question

Hether: alice, you put so much together to help others write...would you ever use all you know in your own books full time(do you write part time?) , or is it enough to lead and guide?

AliceP: hether, I'm happy with the leading.

Verla: And we are so glad you are, Alice...because you do a marvelous job with that book

Verla: When you get a query that you like, what do you do next, Alice? Do you call the writer? Email them? Request the whole thing via snail mail? Do you give a contract immediately or wait for the article to come in to pay the writer?

AliceP: Verla, I would flesh things out over email--give my ideas, hear hers, send a contract, and we pay on acceptance

^GailM: Whenever I get a newbie in my clutches, I tell them that CWIM is their ticket. That is what got me started, and I have purchased three CWIMs, too, all by myself. I give Alice job security.

AliceP: Thanks, Gail.

Verla: :-) Gail

AliceP: This is just what I need this week. I've been feeling burned out for a few days.

Amishka: like a chicken with its head chopped off not really sure where you are going or what you are doing?

Verla: Are you already "full up" with articles and interviews, etc for the 2001 issue, Alice?

ch: I miss the hardcover CWIM but certainly understand the financial reasoning for the paperback.

lorrier: ask my husband how much the cwim means to me...I accidently dropped it in the bathtub last week...sobbed

AliceP: ooo--we should have an anti-tub gaurantee

Amishka: Good Idea Alice

Verla: lorrier...that is awful!

lorrier: I lovingly laid it out in the sun...

^GailM: Rule, keep your CWIM away from the tub.

lorrier: yes, well there should be a warning sticker :)

AliceP: the tub is a great place to read--efficient use of a writers time :)

lorrier: but it was the only peace and quiet I could get

Lyra_: I take CWIM to my junior high career days & show the part for kid markets

AliceP: I'm have a list of idea, but only a few are assigned, Verla.

Verla: there is actually room for some of us to submit ideas to you then, eh, Alice?

AliceP: Verla, I'd love ideas.

NOTE: Send an email to Alice Pope. <>

Hether: Do sales rise year to year? (Better sales, better budget for next year?)

Amishka: Good question Hether!

AliceP: hether, sales have risen every year since I've done the book.

AliceP: but we work for the man now--just bought my Citicorp--so tighening is the mode right now.

lorrier: how long have you been doing cwim alice?

Hether: another ? there a prticular year's edition that just clicked, that comes closer to what you wished for the volume than others

AliceP: i've been doing cwim since the 1994 edition (as assistant ed), then 1995 (as co-ed), mine since 96

AliceP: I always feel like the latest one is the best. I'm very happy with the 2000 CWIM

traciee: I don't see how anyone could get published in this market without cwim

Verla: Alice...we want to THANK you again for coming tonight!

lorrier: thanks so much alice

AnneB: Thank you. I learned a lot.

Hether: Alice, do you get a lot of feedback from writers who have met their goals from your work? It seems you're like the ladder to sucess, but no one thinks to thank the ladder maker/provider! (My thanks in advance!)

NOTE: This question came in after the workshop had ended so it was not answered

Verla passes out silly string....and pops blue all over everyone..

^GailM: I thank you, alice.

Verla: including Alice

Lyra_: applause throwing mardi gras confetti and beads at Alice

AliceP: Thanks so much for having me everyone!

Windy2u: Thanks Alice.

okadee: Thank you Alice.

AliceP: I'll look for that e-publshing workshop and pop in then.

AliceP: Invite me back, Verla :)

Verla: Hey, I will, Alice!

Amishka: great workshop alice

Hether: Thank you for your help and your time, Alice.

AliceP: I'm off now. Byebye everyone.

traciee: Thanks Alice!


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