From Slushpile to Contract

I am over the moon to share that I recently signed a publishing contract with Affirm Press!

My picture book manuscript is now in the process of becoming a real live picture book and will be released sometime in 2023.

Here’s how it happened…

August 2020

I was on maternity leave and decided to make the most of my time away from work by participating in a short course – Writing Picture Books, with the Australian Writers’ Centre.

September 2020

I had completed the five-week course and, feeling good about some of the feedback I received, I was enthusiastically researching publishers and submission opportunities.

I came across Affirm Press and learnt that their submission day was only a week away. I quickly set to work. I tidied up my favourite picture book manuscript, wrote a synopsis, found some comparison titles, hit ‘send’ and then waited…

Post-Submission Day

The weeks passed. Then the months passed.

I wrote more stories and made more submissions (both to publishers and competitions).

I kept learning.

I went back to the manuscript which I’d submitted to Affirm, and I refined it. A lot! I deleted some words and replaced others. I brought the word count down from about 450 words to 320 words. I gave more depth to some of my characters. And I experimented with the arrangement of my spreads.

I loved the original version, but I began to wish I’d refined it a little more before my hasty submission.

But I was in luck…

April 2021

Affirm Press had seen potential in my manuscript and sent me an email expressing their interest!

June 2021

Over Zoom, I met with two lovely members of the Affirm Press Kid’s Team. They explained that Affirm Press would soon have an acquisition meeting, in which they hoped to pitch my manuscript.

Prior to our Zoom meeting, I had sent through my updated version of the manuscript. We talked about the two versions and the Kid’s Team were keen to keep some parts from the old, but also really loved some of my new changes. I happily agreed to blend the two together.

July 2021

Affirm Press took the new blended manuscript to the acquisition meeting and it was a success!

August 2021

One year after beginning my Writing Picture Books, I signed the contract with Affirm Press.

Now

I’m excitedly and busily attempting to build an author platform.

If – like me – you’re keen to see what happens next, then please follow along!