Monday, May 13, 2013

Roaring Good News - an SCBWI Success Story!

Dear Whoever-Is-Reading-My-Blog;

I won't keep you waiting. I'll cut to the chase:

I SOLD ANOTHER PICTURE BOOK!

I've been holding on to the news until the contract was officially signed, which I did tonight:

Feels good to finally tell everyone the great news!

Of course, some of my awesome critique group and fellow SCBWI-Wisconsin members, a few 12 x 12ers, and my closest friends knew about the deal that was in the works, and graciously kept this fantastic news a secret. But now, the real excitement begins as I get to finally shout from the mountaintops that:

My second picture book, WATER IS WATER, will be published by the distinguished NEAL PORTER at NEAL PORTER BOOKS (Roaring Brook Press)!

(As in. . . Neal Porter who has worked with a number of Caldecott illustrators—Ted Lewin; Laura Vaccaro Seeger; Eric Rohmann; and Erin Stead, who illustrated A SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE. Mr. Porter's imprint also published ISLAND: STORY OF THE GALAPAGOS by Jason Chin, which won the 2013 Gryphon Award and he edited AND THEN IT'S SPRING, for which Julie Fogliano won a 2013 Ezra Jack Keats Award. Amazing.)

I'm tickled...
thrilled...
inspired...
...and ready to begin the next steps as this unfolds into an illustrated picture book!

This deal is so very special to me because:

1) I love water. I grew up (and have since moved back to a house) approximately 2.75 miles from the vast shoreline of beautiful Lake Michigan. And the book, as you probably guessed, is about water.

2) I wrote it during a challenge called 12 x 12 in '12.

This year's logo! I joined again in 2013!

I knew my original draft (OK, I actually had 4 different versions of this MS) as well as my many other crappy unpolished 12x drafts needed help, though.

That led me to sign up for one of Mira Reisberg's Picture Book Academy courses so that I could think more like an illustrator, and get help on some of my current MSS.

One of her videos in the course gave me a Gestalt AHA! moment, and subsequently, I made a mess employed an artistic storyboarding process that looked like this:

This is the story-boarding birth,
of the new version that became

the manuscript I've now sold, called WATER IS WATER.


3) The third reason this manuscript is special to me is because it's what is called an "SCBWI Success Story." An organization I love, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), afforded me the opportunity to make this happen. At the 2012 Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, I received a manuscript critique with Neal Porter.

Mr. Porter gave me some great advice on  that particular manuscript (which was my first PB sale), and between the consultation and his presentation that weekend, he filled me up with plenty of insight into the type of books he loves to publish. When I polished this manuscript, I had a good feeling it would be something that was a good fit for him (and, actually, a couple other editors saw it as a great fit and made offers as well. That auction/pre-empt experience was a whirlwind and a story a for later post).

4) The last reason this deal is so special to me is because it's a rhyming book AND a fiction/non-fiction sort of concept blend (is that called faction?). A win-win combo, anyway, because it doesn't fit cleanly in any one category. . .and I'm that sort of gal. Cheers to breaking the mold and thinking outside of the proverbial box. And cheers for selling what they say is considered tough. I'd really like to know who "they" are, anyway!

Before I sign off to have a glass of wine, finish grading my students' papers, and turn in for the night, I want to thank each and every one of you who've been a part of this amazing past year I've had.

I'm especially grateful for my local critique group members (Linda, Stephenie, Jennifer, Cindy, and Elizabeth, and Angie), my local writing buddies (Susan, Nancy, and Melissa), my mentor (Lisa), my agent (Karen) who never seems to stop working, my favorite children's librarians (Sharon and Molly), for always clueing me in on what's needed on the shelves or for story time, my husband (Baptiste) who puts up with the piles of laundry, my kids who assure me that they will grow up and publish my books if no one else will, my crazy cats (Doggie & Zella) who know when it's time for me to take a break, the volunteer judges at Rate Your Story who help me wade through the never-ending pile of submissions and therefore get my own writing done, and my many, many online friends and colleagues who are all there for me in so many different ways.

Now, you go write that amazing picture book so I can cheer you on when you sell it!

HAVE A GREAT NIGHT!

Love,
Miranda



47 comments:

Melissa said...

Congratulations :) That is such wonderful news.

Miranda Paul said...

Thank you so much, Melissa!

Beth Stilborn said...

So excited for you, Miranda! Congratulations!!!

Miranda Paul said...

Thank you, Beth! You've been a part of my writing journey, too!

Yvonne Mes said...

Congratulations! It is inspiring reading your journey from beginning to signing a PB contract. Well done!

Christine M. Irvin said...

Congrats!!!

Carolyn said...

SUPER!

Miranda Paul said...

Thank you, Yvonne, Christine, and Carolyn!! I'm sure I'll post even more about my journey, because I think it's helpful to others to see the many paths to publication. Especially ones with a happy-dance ending!

Pop Pastor said...

Couldn't happen to a sweeter, more talented author! Huzzah! So proud to be a part of it.

Miranda Paul said...

Oh, thank you so much, Elizabeth! You've been such a part of my writing journey and I am so glad that our local group formed and that we still get together (though I wish it were more often!) Say hi to the family!

Lori Degman said...

What a fantastic, exciting story, Miranda!! I can't wait to read both your books!! Congratulations!! BTW - I heard Neal Porter speak last summer in LA and I loved him - he's going to be great to work with!!

Ramona said...

What exciting news Miranda, I am thrilled for you!

Donna L Martin said...

What WONDERFUL news, Miranda...congratulations!!

Mira Reisberg said...

Miranda - you rock. I can't wait to get my free autographed copy and thank you for the shout out to the Picture Book Academy :)

Julie Hedlund said...

Miranda, I could not be more happy for you! I love how you took the bull by the horns and used every opportunity you had to improve and succeed and look what happened! You are an inspiration to me and to everyone in the picture book community!

I can't WAIT to add this book to my library!!

Darshana said...

Congratulations Miranda! I am so happy for you.

Hannah Holt said...

So happy for you Miranda! Congratulations!

Deborah Holt Williams said...

Hurray, Miranda! So happy for you! You have given so much help to others through Rate Your Story that you deserve every drop of success!

Vivian Kirkfield said...

Miranda...I am so very happy for you! That is fantastic...and it makes me want to take Mira's class even more. Maybe when I return from Singapore.:)

Dana Atnip said...

Excellent Miranda! Many congratulations and I can't wait to read it! :-)

Tina Cho said...

Double congratulations!! Thanks for sharing your path to getting this published!

Renee LaTulippe said...

Congratulations, Miranda - what great news to wake up to!!! Happy dancing for you!

patientdreamer said...

Oh, congratulations, Miranda! How wonderful. I am so excited for you.

Juliet Clare Bell said...

Fantastic, Miranda! I'm so happy for you.

Joanna said...

Huge congrats, Miarnda! I too wrote a faction PB about water as one of my 12x12 drafts last year!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Congratulations, Miranda! This is SUCH fantastic news! YAY! :)

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Congrats, Miranda!

Michelle Cusolito said...

WAHOOO!!!! Congratulations!

Meg Miller said...

Congratulations!!! How exciting!

Wendy said...

Fantastic news! It was inspiring to read about your writing outside of the box success.

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Great news! Congratulations.

pennyklostermann.com said...

Way to go Miranda!!! I am thrilled for you. Can't wait to read your books!!!

julierowanzoch said...

Oops - I Julie Rowan-Zoch am 'Anonymous'! But I didn't get an option to identify on the last comment, hmmm.

Mom and Dad said...

We are so proud of you!! Congratulations!!

Jill Proctor said...

Congratulations, Miranda! That is SO exciting! I wish you well, and keep 'em coming!!

Ella said...

So very awesome! And so completely deserved, I'm sure. I'm so honored to have gotten to know you towards the early stages of your writing career -- I know you have so much more in store for the world!! Can't wait to read your watery faction!

Lisa Albert said...

Congrats again!!! W00T!

Julie Musil said...

Oh my goodness, congratulations!

Miranda Paul said...

Oh, my! Thank you EVERYONE! The congratulatory messages keep coming! I really appreciate these words, and all of the camaraderie you've all provided over the past years!

creatingcuriouskids said...

Miranda, there is no way around it...you ROCK! Thanks for being an inspiration for all of us who love fact-filled fiction and nonfiction. Kirsten Larson

Pat Miller said...

What a huge sale! Neal Porter knows the best when he sees it. Congratulations--and can't wait to hear about the auction. You're living the dream I aspire to. :-)

Nancy said...

Congratulations Miranda...can't wait to read your book!!!! That is sooo awesome!

Romelle Broas said...

Congratulations, Miranda! I give this news a #1 on my rate your good news scale.

Teresa Robeson said...

You're my inspiration, Miranda! And hearty congratulations on your success through hard work and perseverance!!

Dana Carey said...

Congratulations, Miranda! Enjoy the wine!

Kelly McDonald said...

Absolutely wonderful news!!!!

Carrie F said...

Miranda, I'm so excited for you. Congratulations! I'll look forward to reading this one.

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