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I have been writing my entire life and am currently a financial editor. Of late, inspired by my young kids, I am keen on delving into creative writing - my old major! I have self-published a book on Amazon.In and I have loads of ideas and plans for my next few picture books and maybe one YA manuscript. Would love to engage with community members and run my pitches/ ideas across you all - especially those who are writing for a children's market. Thanks a ton!

Anjilize Discussions
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I really valued the wonderful critique I got on the first draft of this book so am posting my second…
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Hello... May I please pitch for edits a children's picture book (3-5) with about 550 words? It will …
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Yes thank you so much C Beale ! I will definitely do that.

Wow Julie B ! Thank you SO MUCH! Your perfect edits have helped me so much! I will make a few more changes in line with your suggestions. Do you think it is polished enough to be sent to literary agents? What do you think I need to work on?

Thank you so much C Beale for the lovely feedback! Just wanted to point out that as this is a picture book, all the pages will be illustrated. My notes are only suggestions for the literary agent as to what I am thinking visually for this. It definitely wont be the first image - that would be Korra with his grandparents having a gala time. 

Added a forum 

I really valued the wonderful critique I got on the first draft of this book so am posting my second version. It is a picture book of about 700 words (I am aware it should be a bit shorter) but i would love your ideas especially on the end. Should there be a silver lining instead of a pearl?

Thanks in advance! 

Korra and the Cloud-Man

On Friday, Korra, Grandpa and Grandma hopped sky-high.

On Saturday, they went for a picnic. 

On Sunday, Grandma and Grandpa were leaving. 

“Don’t be glum,” Grandma said to Korra, “we’ll be back soon.”

“Be happy,” said Grandpa, and did one giant jump. 

“I am happy,” said Korra, but he wasn’t. 

Illustration suggestion: Mom & Dad standing beside Korra. 

And then, just as Grandma and Grandpa hopped away after one last hug, a very strange thing happened. 

A tiny Cloud-Man jumped into Korra’s heart. He felt heavy and uncomfortable. 

Hi, said Cloud-Man.

“Go away,” said Korra, bouncing up and down so Cloud-Man would go away. But he didn’t budge. 

Korra did a funny dance but no luck. 


He tried bouncing up and down. Still there.

So Korra decided to run away instead. 

Illustration suggestion: Ed, the Echidna, is burrowing. 


“Oye, Korra!” yelled Ed the Echidna, “let’s play pirates. Come and help me!”


Korra loved pirates. He dug until he was hot and sweaty.


Was Cloud-Man gone?  


Hi, said a tiny voice from behind his right ear.


Still there! Korra bounced off. 



Illustration suggestion: Wolly, the Emu, is hopping around on one foot.






“Oye, Korra!” boomed Wolly the Emu, “I’ve been waiting for you! Let’s play hop-scotch.” 


Korra loved hop-scotch. He hopped and he scotched until he was panting hard. 


Was he gone?  


Hi, said Cloud-Man, this time from behind Korra’s left ear.


Still there! Korra bounded off. 


                                                            Illustration suggestion: Kea, the Koala, is measuring.   



“Oye, Korra!” cried Kea the Koala, “Let’s make a leaf and berry cake!”


Korra loved baking. He also loved cake! 


He measured and mixed until his arm was tired. 


Was he gone?  


Hi, said Cloud-Man, this time from the back of Korra’s head! 


Still there! Again, Korra hopped off. 



To his favourite spot. 


He had tried everything so why was Cloud-Man still there?


He stomped his feet on the ground and let out a loud yell.




“Goodness!” said a wombat, “What a tantrum!”


“The Cloud-Man won’t leave! And I’ve tried everything!”


“Still no need to stomp and shout,” muttered the wombat. “Have you really tried everything?” 


“Yes! I tried dancing, smiling, cooking, pirates and racing!”


“Humph,” said the wombat. “You certainly haven’t tried the most important thing.”


“What’s that? What’s the most important thing?”


But the wombat was gone. 




Korra wondered. Surely he had tried everything.


Hi, said Cloud-Man.


Maybe he hadn’t tried … everything. 


Hi, said Cloud-Man again.


This time, Korra didn’t run away. He sat down and took a deep breath.


“Hi,” Korra said. 


He thought about his grandparents and how he would miss them. 


Cloud-Man blew a breath … whooooosshhh …  a purple cloud rose over Korra and burst in a little rain shower. 


Korra allowed himself to feel cold and wet.


After a few minutes, the purple cloud became a little white cloud. 


As Korra stared at it, he saw himself hugging Grandma and Grandpa. 


He felt drier and warmer.


The little cloud became a perfect tiny sphere … and dropped into Korra’s hand. It was a shiny white pearl.   


Cloud-Man whispered a secret in Korra’s ear. And then … suddenly … he was gone!


Korra felt better. He felt … happy! 


“Thanks a lot!” he shouted loudly, “thanks a lot!”


And he bounced away. 




Kea’s cake had baked and it was delicious.


“Thanks Kea!” Korra said. 


He joined Ed and they dug all the way down to … Australia!  


They found two nails and an old shoe. 


Wolly had hop-scotched and was now racing. 


“On your mark, get set, go!”


Korra loved feeling the wind against his face. 




That night, Mom and Dad tucked Korra in bed. 


 “We’re glad you’re feeling better,” Mom said, as she kissed him goodnight. 


“I kept running from Cloud-Man,” Korra said sleepily, “but instead I just had to talk to him first. He only left when I faced him.”


“Who’s Cloud-Man?” whispered Mom to Dad.


“Oh, it’s just his imagination,” Dad said softly.


But Korra smiled and curled his hand round the shiny white pearl. 


He would never forget Cloud-Man’s important secret. 


Do you want to know the secret?


Inside every Cloud-Man is a shiny pearl. 





Hey _ i think you do a great job of keeping the reader intrigued but i think you need to simplify. There is a great story here but you are making the reader work for it and it would be better if the writer engaged with the characters more proactively. Hope this helps!

 Hi Sue,

Let me start by saying i really love your synopsis and it sounds like your plot is also amazing. I really liked Glyn's comments too here on making Lloyd your pre-Gaits and then doing the role reversal/ tension build-up/ switcheroo at the end. That's a different conversation.

But just to your question here on the synopsis: is Lloyd revealed as a murderer from the start? Does the reader know his threat? If yes, then its fine to bring it up so soon in your synopsis. If not, I would keep that part of the synopsis instead and reveal it a bit later, parallel to when you reveal it in your book. That way the person reading the synopsis is also taken unawares that this kind sweet family guy is actually something much more sinister underneath. Hope that makes sense!

Hi Miriam McCarthy - are you still looking for another pair of eyes on the story?

Hello - I think you already have some awesome feedback here but one thing sticks out to me as a reader. While i feel there is a lot of wonderful imagery going on here, the story itself is hard to follow. Unless you are going for a particularly literary style, language should be clear, precise and pointed - with each sentence being there for a particular reason. I feel you could achieve that with more restrained in an edit. I hope this helps!

Added a post  to  , Anjilize

Hi! Although I said in my profile that I write and publish children's stories, these are little booklets, A5.

I am lucky that they are illustrated by a friend who is an artist and also part of a small publishing house here in France - which is how they are published; So I can't help with serious stroybook publishing; 

However I will happîly read what you have written - and illustrated?


Voted! All the best! This competition looks interesting. Has anyone else tried it? I am very tempted to enter.

Thank you very very much Julie. This is really useful and i LOVE your first line. Am going to go with that. Really appreciate your thoughts and input.

Julie! Thank you so much!! this is really really useful. I heard PBs could be anywhere between 24-32 pages and this falls on the shorter end but I absolutely love your recommendations on showing rather than telling in the first part of the story and also about leaving out words that can be illustrated.

Quick question if by any chance you know - do you know when i submit the PB for trad publishing, should it be a Word Doc or an image of the dummy book? Also should i include in the story itself my suggestions for illustrations or in the cover letter? Many thanks!!!

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