Children's Writer's Guild Forum » General Chat

What category does this work belong in?

(3 posts)
  1. Anonymous

    Hello Everyone. I've written a 65-stanza humorous poem for children. It's done in a proper ballad form, with great attention to meter and rhyme. Since it took me a year to write it and it’s a fairly substantial meal, I hope to see this work come out as a book, rather than a poem for a children’s magazine.

    The storyline concerns a pre-schooler who constantly misbehaves at his daycare and, in due course, is appropriately (and “humorously”) punished for his misdemeanours. I had initially envisioned the work as a picture book—and certainly it should be heavily illustrated—however I’m told by a retired elementary teacher friend that it would be better enjoyed by kids in grades 2 to 4, maybe even grade 5. I realize that each age group prefers stories about kids their own age or greater, but, hopefully, the humor and the poetic form will permit it to reach these older children.

    I just have a small problem, which will come up when I try to market the work, and it’s this: How do I refer to this work? Should I call it a chapter book? Or should it be still be called a picture book, irrespective of the fact that it’s now aimed at older kids in grades 2 to 4?

    I’m really at a loss, and any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Thanks. Don.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  2. Don,
    I don't think we've met, but let me give you my 2 cents worth on your dilemma. From my experience, limited though it is, publishers seem to think in terms of very short books when thinking of picture books. If it were my 65-stanza poem, I'd try to market it as [an illustrated] chapter book. Chances are, your best bet would be to send a few stanzas to a publisher together with a query letter, and, if they like the story and the writing style, let them determine where it would "fit" from a market perspective. At any rate, good luck with it.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  3. Anonymous

    Hi Marvin.

    Thanks for your good advice.

    Another option--which for some reason I didn't even think of--is simply to call it a poem for children.

    You're right about normally submitting a sample. Experienced editors/readers can judge the worth of something like this by just looking at the first couple of stanzas. Anyway, thanks again.

    Cheers, Don.

    Posted 6 years ago #


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