June’s Picture Book Club saw us back in Oxford once again with James and Lucy Catchpole. Last year, James gave feedback on pitches. This year he very kindly offered to give feedback on whole picture book texts. Obviously, we said yes please!
As a writer, when you press the send button it is a bit of a leap of faith. You’ve no real idea whether your submission will actually be seen by anyone and, if it is, by whom. This is especially true if you don’t receive any kind of reply. And if you’re lucky enough to get a reply then the standard ‘not right for our list’ email doesn’t really help you move forward.
A bit of a gift, then, to be offered the chance to be critiqued in person by a successful agent like James Catchpole. Six people bravely and generously submitted picture book texts of 600 words or less on the proviso that their work would be shared anonymously. Only they would know if the feedback was for their story. Not everyone can attend Picture Book Club in person so I’ve attempted here to summarise the feedback that James gave. Each set of tips arises from a particular submission. You won’t know the texts but I hope you find it useful.