Kidlit411 is pleased to feature Jodell Sadler, founder of Sadler Children's Literary, an agency representing children's writers and illustrators. Jodell earned her MFA in Children's Writing from Hamline University, studying picture book pacing, and has taught five Writer's Digest University tutorials on the subject.
Please join her in a Twitter chat on picture book pacing on Tuesday, May 20, at 8 p.m. EDT/ 7 p.m. CDT, using the hashtag #PBpacing.
Art informs words, and to know instinctively when to pause, halt, speed or move your manuscript is awesome. I think there's a true gift to doing both, and the market is ready for new talent. I most recently have picked up graphic novel illustrators and admire their talent as well. What I look for in a submission is pretty undefinable except to say that I love finding writers and illustrators at every genre level that shares the kind of passion for children's literature that I have.
That said, presentation, I look for short queries: hook, pitch, bio and done. I like the query in the body of the email and the manuscript as a Word or PDF attachment.
What are the things that stand out for you (in a bad way) when you look at submissions?
I get emails that address me as another agent, dear agent, or dear sir, which throws me off right away. The easiest way to get my attention is to let me know why you are sending to me. That word "exclusive" gets my attention as well. If a query is a long novel, I read the first paragraph and skip to the manuscript and/or art. I am looking for quality writing and illustrating and it's all about the writing—it's all about quality and craft.
My most recent sales include an author-illustrator picture book, picture book illustrations, a cover project, and a few nonfiction teen projects (one was my own).
Thank you so much.
Jodell will be joining us at a Twitter chat to talk more about picture book pacing. Tune in on Tuesday, May 20, at 8 p.m. EDT/ 7 p.m. CDT. Use the hashtag #PBpacing. (Here's a quick refresher on participating in Twitter chats)