Melissa Manlove and Ariel Richardson edit children’s books at Chronicle Books, and they’re team teaching the Submission Ready class that starts on January 26th. I’d like to introduce them and clear up any misconceptions there may be about the course. There’s also another giveaway at the end of this post.


Melissa Manlove


In addition to being an editor at Chronicle Books, Melissa Manlove has also spent years working as a bookseller. She’s also been a keynote speaker, an illustration judge, and a presenter for SCBWI. If you watched our Black Friday Bootcamp, you know that she has a lot to say about voice.


Chronicle Books has a blog, and you want to go read Melissa’s post, “The Surprisingly Complex Principles of a Successful Picture Book.” I’ll wait.



Wasn’t that excellent? I’ve been a Kate Messner fan for years.


Ariel Richardson


Ariel Richardson also works as a bookseller and presents at conferences. She wrote a wonderful post for the Chronicle blog that I recommend: “So, You’ve Written a Children’s Book . . . Now What?



Ariel primarily edits board books, picture books, and novelties. In the course, one of the subjects she covers is how Chronicle finds illustrators for their projects.


Submission Ready


Last week, I watched all of the videos for the course, and there’s so much more to this course than I originally thought there would be. The editors are going to take you from generating ideas through getting your story right to submitting that story to industry professionals. If you read the blog posts that I linked to above, you’ve just gotten a taste of what they’re offering in their course.


We gave the impression last year that if you didn’t already have a polished story, you should hold off on taking this course. But the editors will give you tools to write and polish a story as part of this course. If you’re interested in the course and willing to put in the work, I’d go ahead and take it, especially if you want to participate in their live workshops (Wednesdays 6:00-7:00 p.m. PST).


By the end of this course, you’re going to know more about the market, what makes a great story, and how to submit your story to editors and agents. This course ISN’T a golden ticket to publication, though, or a way to cheat the slush. There’s an excellent chance the work you put in for the course will help you rise to the top on your own merits.


Giveaway Details


The winner can choose any item from the Chronicle Books website. It doesn’t have to be a children’s book—or even a book! It does have to be $25 or less. To enter, you can comment with a question about the course, a comment about the instructors, or tell us which Chronicle book you’d choose. For additional entries, you can share the post on social media and post a link to where you’ve shared in the comments (preferably as a comment to your original comment so that all of your entries are grouped together).



This book giveaway is not open to international participants. I’m sorry. Most of our giveaways will be, but it doesn’t look like Chronicle ships outside the United States. You’re welcome to enter the giveaway for one of Arree’s books.


I’ll close the contest at midnight PST on January 22nd and announce a winner on January 23rd. Thanks for reading and sharing!