Friday, March 6, 2020

Introducing The Picture Book Party Submission Forms!

Hello! Mindy and Michelle are so happy to welcome you to the last post before submission! You've seen our amazing agents and editors, now it's time to share the Entry Forms!

Please read everything carefully and take your time!

Remember that the submission forms will not unlock until 3:30 pm Eastern time on Monday, March 9th. The forms will stay open for two hours until 5:30 pm Eastern time on March 9th.

If you are unable to access a computer during that time, please don't hesitate to ask a friend or relative to load your information for you! Getting help is not against the rules. With that said, we also suggest you have someone else read your query and excerpt before you send. 

You can not revise your entry once submitted so check, and double, then triple check everything before you hit submit.

After you hit submit, there will be a message saying thank you for entering. That is your confirmation. There will not be an email confirmation. 

Below you will find the links to the entry forms and a repeat of the rules and information you will need to enter. Please check out the FAQ post for answers to other frequent questions.

I will post the chosen finalists a day before the agent round starts. I've no idea what time I will post the results on March 17th, because I'm unsure how many entries we will receive and thus how crazy busy we will be. So stay tuned to hear how many entries we receive.

Also please scroll to the very end of this post where you will find our Twitter Party topics. The Twitter party will start on Monday, March 9th and go through March 17th. This is where we hang out and have fun and talk about our love for picture books! Please join us there at #PBParty!

The Links:

Please note there are links to two different forms to load your information to PB Party: one for author/illustrators to include a place for images and another for everyone else. Do not use both!

PLEASE SLOW DOWN and read this again! Do not pick the wrong form. Take the time to get it right.

Please note there are two different forms to load your information to PB Party: one for author/illustrators and another for everyone else. Do not use both!

For author/illustrators only use this link:

You MUST have a Google account to use this link. Make sure you have one (and know how to log into it) before the short submission window opens. This is ONLY for author/illustrators who are including illustration samples!!!

For EVERYONE ELSE use this link:

(Note: this link will NOT allow you to include illustrations.)

The Rules:

Please follow this blog by clicking the "Follow" button in the left sidebar under the Followers app. Or if that is stubborn and won't work, you can subscribe to Michelle's newsletter or follow @Michelle4Laughs and @MindyAlyseWeiss on Twitter. If you aren't on Twitter, Mindy will have updates on her Facebook. Or do all four options. We will be tweeting hints and advice as well as partying!

NEW THIS YEAR: You may send ONE entry and only one entry. We got so many entries last year (818!) that we need to scale down this year. Only one entry will be chosen per person, meaning if you are picked for the story part of the contest, you will not be picked for the illustration showcase. Any attempt to cheat will result in entries thrown out (and sadly it has happened in the past.) 

On March 9th at 3:30 pm Eastern the submission window opens and the Google form will go live for two hours. 

You will see a thank you for submitting as a confirmation of entry.

1. This contest is for unagented writers and writer/illustrators with finished and polished manuscripts. They must be ready to submit if requested by an agent or editor. 

2. Also, if you have had an agent in the past, but no longer have one, you may enter. Or if you are traditionally published without an agent. 

3. If you have submissions, including fulls out, with other agents or editors, you may enter PB Party. But please let us know if you receive an offer during the contest time. This happened last year-we celebrated the great news and made room in the final round for a couple more dazzling entries!

4. If you have self-published other stories--but not this one--you may enter.

5. If a manuscript or illustration was featured in PB Party or a previous contest showcase anywhere in the last year--congrats--but we'd rather not see it. Send us something agents haven't already seen in a contest. 

Info you need for the Submission Form:

In Order as they are on the form:

1. Title

2. Sample/Excerpt

Include your first 50-60 words for a picture book, 100 words for chapter books. Do not stop in the middle of a sentence. We will go by the word count given by Word. 

Do not go over 60 words/100 chapter book. (Entries in the past were disqualified for going over.)
Single space and put spaces in between paragraphs. 

For shorter picture books, less than 50 words may be submitted. *Do NOT enter a PB if over half of it is in the sample—you don’t want that much of your work online, even for a few days.

Please use all caps for titles as the form strips out formatting like italics and bold type.

Art notes count toward your 50 words

Michelle will delete parts of entries after the contest ends for those writers uncomfortable with their work being out there for all to see. Please request this directly to her on Twitter.

3. Query

Your entire query letter. Include everything, including your comps, bio, greeting, closing. Please be sure to note diversity and ownvoices in the query as well. (You may use whatever you want for a greeting. Dear Agent. Dear Michelle and Mindy. But do not address your query to a specific agent or editor.)

Here's the chance to make your entry shine and make the agents and editors fall in love with your words. Dazzle us with your plot and characters, don't just list themes.

Don't worry about including personal information like names, as that will not be copied into the showcase. If you include links in your bio, we will assume those can be made public.

The form scrubs out all formatting. Don't worry, it does this to everyone so all is equal. But for italics you can use all caps for titles (comps). 

4. Word Count (round to nearest ten, hundred for chapter books)

5. Genre Please check all genres for your manuscript—and be sure to let us know if it’s diverse or own voices. If you’re not sure about genre, maybe one of these will help: humor, character driven, metafiction, concept, STEM, STEAM, rhyming, lyrical, board book, fantasy, bedtime, historical fiction, contemporary.

If it’s non-fiction, what type of non-fiction (biography, narrative, etc.) 

There will be a place to check Other and add your own genre.

6. Name In case we need to contact you.

7. Email Address 

8. Twitter Handle This is optional, but we suggest Twitter is a great place to learn craft information. And a quick way for us to locate finalists.

On the Author/Illustrator Form Only

9. Upload Two Image Files 

Author/Illustrators may upload two illustrations to show an example of your artwork. They should be from the same manuscript and must be illustrated by the author. Please no storyboards.

You will need a Google account to use this form. You might make sure ahead of time that you have one. 

Now for the #PBParty Fun Topics:

Reminder: Don’t forget to include the #PBParty hashtag!

Monday, March 9  All day: Great parties require great food! What’s your main character’s favorite dish or sweet treat? Even if it isn’t in your book, this can help you know your character better. Dig deep and share!  

PM: Congrats and good luck to those who entered PBParty! Tell us what genre you submitted and what other genres you write. How do you make time pass faster while waiting for news?

Tuesday, March 10  AM: Do you listen to music when you write? Have word count goals? Set aside BIC time (butt in chair)? Share your daily writing routine. 

PM: Which authors and illustrators have influenced your manuscripts the most? Tag the authors to make others aware of their amazing books.  

Wednesday, March 11 AM: How do you handle writer's block or your bossy internal editor? How many drafts do you write before you consider a project finished?  

PM: Share your best tips and resources for writing picture books. What were you surprised to learn about the process?

Thursday, March 12 AM: Tell us if your MC is human, animal or something else. What surprised you most about your manuscript?  

PM:  What are your top tips for getting your word count down and making your manuscript sing?

Friday, March 13 AM: Share a favorite line from a story you wrote.

PM: How have contests helped you or your CPs?

Saturday, March 14 AM: What picture book character would you like for a best friend? 

PM: How many manuscripts do you work on at the same time and how do you decide what feedback to use when revising?   
Sunday, March 15 AM: Are you the type to have a book spring into your head, write it down quickly and then take a long time editing your words....or do you spend a long time meticulously planning and drafting?  

PM: Who has helped you through the writing and querying process? Time to share your thanks and spread the gratitude. 

Monday, March 16 AM All Day: Share your favorite picture books and chapter books, current and from childhood. We hope agents and editors will share their favorites…and ones they’ve worked on, too!

PM: What are some great conferences, workshops, classes, and other events for picture book and chapter book writers and author/illustrators?    

Tuesday, March 17  All Day: The finalists will be announced today! Congrats to them…and everyone who entered. You worked hard on your entry and sent new hope out—that definitely makes you a winner in our eyes!

If a ‘no’ gets you down…what helps take the sting away so you can dive back into writing, revising, and submitting?    

Good luck and have fun everyone! If you have any questions, please leave them as comments on this post.


  1. In another post, you asked us to share our favorite cookie. Because I am new to this, I couldn't figure out how to do that, but now am trying again. My favorite cookie is actually the cookie dough before it is baked...I love beginnings. Thank you to Michelle and Mindy for helping beginnings result in positive endings...

  2. Thank you doing this for us Michelle and Mindy! For the pictures, is there a limit on the size/format of the pictures to upload?

    1. I have no real guidelines to offer. We've never limited size or format. JPG and PNG files work for me. If you could avoid sending really huge files, that would be appreciated as it takes longer to add into the website.

    2. Thanks for the clarification! I will keep that in mind for the submissions.

  3. You have put SO MUCH work into this!! It really shows! Thank you for another opportunity to connect with agents, editors and other authors/illustrators. I'm so excited to be a part of it!

  4. When closing the query, is it signed by author or left blank?

  5. A very last minute question: Are you posting the query letters plus the first 60 words for those chosen on your website?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Yes. Entries of the chosen few finalists are posted on my website.

  6. As coauthors, do we enter just one of our names/email addresses in the fields for name and contact info, or are we able to enter both names and email addresses? Thank you!

  7. You may enter both names but just one email please.

  8. Michelle & Mindy, Thank you so much for all the time and work you have put into making this awesome contest available! :)

  9. Thank you, Michelle and Mindy, for hosting this great contest! It's such a wonderful opportunity for the kidlit community to come together, work on our manuscripts and queries, and to root each other on. You now have your work cut out for you. Thanks, again!!