View Full Version : Pee'd Off With Poetry - Support Needed.

06-02-2007, 10:15 PM
I'm in here for a moan rather than R&D because maybe I just figure that you lot will get where I'm coming from.

I've been subbing rhyming text picture books. Lots and lots of brick walls.
Firstly, unless you have a publisher that is specifically for that age group, this type of thing doesn't seem to be taken seriously. Not as a marketing prospect anyway.
The first problem you hit is that if you are just allowed to query agents and publishers, they presume you can't write in rhyme without even seeing your work.

As an example, even when I mentioned it to an agent on AW his response was 'write better, self publish or put it in a drawer'
Not exactly encouraging.

Then we have the fact that publishers are shutting their doors to unsol subs, pb's in particular, rhyming text even more so.
They tell you to try an agent.
Agents tell me that to get a return PB's need to be translated (costs are high with rhyming text) and also you need to be a known writer or poet to get in.
So basically they don't take on new rhyming text writers.

So far this week, I've had four rejections - 3 of which tell me that they are closing to unsol pb mss.

So, I can't get an agent and I can't get a publisher to look at my work till I get an agent.
If I moan about it, people tell me to write something different - maybe I should consider erotica?
Only I don't 'do' something different. I write rhyming text ... (insert swear words of your choice)

Maybe my work is bad. Maybe it is mediocre. To be honest I haven't got a clue anymore.
I know I do the best I can and make it the best I can, although I never think it's perfect.
I know I believe that there is a place for rhyming text in the lives of children.
I know I believe that it can lead some children into reading that otherwise wouldn't necessarily want to go there.

Anyhow, I'm just having a moan because I'm at the point where I'm going to have to cut off my right hand in an effort to force me to put the pen down and just go out and get a proper job. And then I have the bigger problem of trying to switch my brain off and concentrate on things more important - cos at the minute it feels like everybody else thinks writing rhyming text for children is the least important thing in the world.

I have a sulky face - it looks like a smacked backside - I'll feel better tomorrow.

Thanks for listening.

06-03-2007, 02:24 AM
Hi, Dolly, I know what you mean. Rhyming poems for picture books don't seem to go over big for some reason. Hope you will keep at it and don't give up. If they're smart out there, someone will like it and it will get published. Much good luck.

06-03-2007, 04:23 AM

Poetry, like all other regimes, has peckerwood or licking priorities! And publishers/editors can vary from woe to woefully meglo, as can ones own hopes and talent!
Illustrious poetics, hmmm, been flogged to death that .. Halmark's responbility btw!
And never think that publishing a book will make you an author/ess imcomplete...Strewth, some of the dog poo I read from supposed genius is just that... Rat poo in a big nest - i mean!

Remedy ... write illustrious prose in metaphorical poetry... less the verse structure only! I've seen one lil lady I know only as Missy Spider do it once - and once only: but it's new, fresh, and bloody fabuloso ... illustrations are optive operatives - of course!!


PS: you better be bloody good though as it's the most difficult of all to pull off STS

06-04-2007, 06:02 AM
Well, I think a little sulk now and then is healthy. And it's encouraging (in a weird kinda way) to hear someone else (ie, not just me) gripe about rejections - although I imagine selling rhyming text picture books must be about the hardest sell at the moment. My only suggestion - and I could be totally wrong - is to consider a smallish local press, an Arts Centre or Uni press. I think I've read of a few in Australia that publish picture books. I don't see why it wouldn't be the same in America. And it might be easier to tackle these guys without an agent than it is to get a foot in the door at a big publisher first time off. Anyway, hang in there, and good luck :)