There's a big red wall at Candlewick Publishing Company.
They have an office dog.
There is a tray on Kaylan Adair's desk. . . the top tray has very urgent papers, the middle tray has urgent papers and the bottom tray has somewhat urgent papers.
And then there is the SLUSH Pile. . . Ms. Adair's definition of a SLUSH Pile is - Things That Are Not Solicited. Sorry, they do not currently accept unsolicited manuscripts.
On Tuesdays they have Production Meetings.
On Thursdays they have Picture Book Meetings.
On Thursday mornings they have a Cover's Meeting.
When searching for an illustrator for a picture book, they narrow it down to three choices, then they show their choices to the author.
Final Art arrives and they spread them out on a table. Everyone gathers to look at them. They are scanned and put into layouts.
Kaylan has worked on more than 100 titles.
She looks for well written stories with interesting characters, strong unique voice and lots of heart.
She says for a Picture Book it takes 2-3 yrs from signing the contract with the author until the book hits the shelf.
For a Novel it takes 18months to 2 years. It all depends on how smoothly everything goes.
I attended her workshops at our writer's conference over the weekend. Those attending have until Sept. 13, 2010 to send a manuscript to her.
Now, all I have to do is decide what to send her, write it really, really good and then keep my finger's crossed.