Kathy Temean’s wonderful blog, Writing and Illustrating, features first page prompts critiqued by an amazing array of industry professionals. Last month I submitted “Seeking Scarlett” which was among three pieces reviewed by Kate Sullivan, editor for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
I did a bit of background research on Ms. Sullivan, who focuses on commercial and literary middle grade and young adult fiction, before drafting a prose piece geared toward a middle grader reader. Stepping outside my usual picture book comfort zone, I went a bit wild with the adjectives and adverbs, thinking I had more room for description and scene-setting.
Having an expert editorial eye peruse my submission is incredibly helpful! Here’s a snippet from Ms. Sullivan’s critique:
Intriguing first page. Trust your voice. That first paragraph seems obviously put in because you were nervous about not having action! Also be wary of too many adjectives and telling too much information on the first page. We don’t need info or background, we need intrigue. You’ve got it here, and there are moments of real clarity of voice. Stay true to that.
To read the full review and other submissions, please click here.
As always, my thanks to Kathy. I’m so glad I could begin my 2013 blog posts on a bright note, and give credit to Kathy for all her work helping so many writers and illustrators. I am also grateful to Vesper Stamper for her intriguing picture prompt. Vesper’s work was also featured on Kathy’s blog in August 2011. Finally, my thanks to Ms. Sullivan for honest, helpful feedback and the ever important encouragement to stay true to one’s voice.
Happy 2013 readers!