Saturday, January 14, 2012

So we say we want to be published

We complain, as children's writers, that publishers do not want to publish children's stories. True enough. But it would seem that when opportunity knocks we do not take advantage of it. Pearson (UK Publisher) is publishing a number of children's books as supplementary readers for the Caribbean. The call was sent out from Pearson last year through various outlets. The deadline was extended from mid December to Jan 16, 2012, and to the best of my knowledge, they have only received submissions from Trinidad and Jamaica - not many writers either. It's just that those who have submitted have sent in more than one story or selection.

Guys, we need to take advantage of everything coming our way, and to be published by a major publisher is a good beginning, or if you've been published already, continued recognition. Now I don't know if the target audience, grades 1-3, has challenged some writers. However I think we should still try. Mind you, I was discussing this with a writer friend today and then remembered they had said I should feel free to submit also, and I haven't. Hmmm! Is it that everybody is overwhelmed by work, like me? So I'm going to see if I have anything stored away and forgotten about in my archives. I'm truly disappointed that there hasn't been more of an interest in this. I had my start by writing supplementary material on a project for the Ministry of Education (see image of one of the books produced then with selection on Mary Seacole written by me). I'm forever grateful for that.

I'm attaching the call for authors in this blog with the hope that you find/write something by Monday.

Call for authors

Pearson is looking for Caribbean content for a primary literacy series, and seeks writers from all islands/territories across the region to contribute to the reading material for the course. Both fiction and non-fiction pieces are required for grades 1-3, with specifications as indicated below.

· Grade 1: 16 pages: approximately 4 – 10 words per page; approx 160 words per book
· Grade 2: 16 pages: approximately 10 -25 words per page; 240 – 400 words per book
· Grade 3: 16 or 24 pages: 800 -1,200 words per book

Prospective writers may also find it useful to look at some existing Pearson levelled-reading schemes, such as Rigby Star, for examples of the approach to the material.

For fiction pieces, writers should be aware of the various ethnic groups in the Caribbean region.

For non-fiction pieces, suggested topics for grade 1 are (a) Caribbean fruit and (b) opposites.

For grade 2, suggested topics are (a) growing things; (b) types of weather; and (c) action words.

For grade 3, suggested topics are (a) whale watching in Dominica; (b) Tourism activities/Caribbean landmarks/landscapes; and (c) wild animals of the region/protection of wild animals of the region.

The above are merely suggestions; writers may have topics in mind which are equally interesting.

In addition to the above, Pearson is also looking for folktales and oral narratives which may be more suitable for grades 4 – 7, and longer in length. These would be part of an anthology rather than individual picture books.

Interested parties are invited to submit their work, along with a covering letter detailing the grade the work is for, and a short author bio, by email to Submissions will be accepted until 16th January 2012.

1 comment:

  1. I had emailed Rachel Brown last year, and she was to have sent me further information when it became available. Having had to change my email address, I missed out on that. However, after reading this post I looked up some stories which may turn out to be suitable, so I will send. Too late to write any non-fiction, but then there may technical considerations of which I am unaware.