The 2013 Edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market
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Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, also known as "CWIM," has changed over the years, and there are more changes this year (see below), but remains one of the few truly essential books for a children's writer or illustrator. It includes detailed and annually updated listings of children's book publishers, magazines, and agents; information about conferences; basic how-to information; and interesting feature articles. I've been reviewing it annually, for almost 10 years.
Let people know:
Contents of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market: The core of CWIM continues to be the Markets section. This provides information about publishers of books, magazines, agents, and artist representatives (as well as conferences, organizations, and so on, but I'm not counting those as "markets"). This year, there are about 650 entries in the listings, across a total of 133 pages, about 10 pages less than last year. As usual the listings include addresses and other basics; they may also include names and titles of editors and art directors, a brief description of a publisher's program, sample titles, award-winning books, and other information. Indexes help you find publishers by subject, a very useful feature, and a "Names Index" lists editors and agents--handy if you know someone's name but don't know where they work. Purchase of the book also gets you access to all of the book's listings in an online database: there is a code in the front of the book that gets you into the children's section of the writersmarket.com web site, and to updates of publisher listings across all markets.
The book also includes standard features beyond the listings and indices: interviews, including several with first-time authors, and longer ones with established authors (none with illustrators, editors, or agents this year); several articles repeated every year that cover important basic information; and information about organizations, conferences, and contests.
Changes from last year: There are a considerable number of changes. One is simply the return of something that had been dropped last year: the age-level and general indices, which give readers additional ways to find people or companies. What's new? There is a lengthy new feature that introduces 30 SCBWI regional advisors and their regional conferences, both US and international; a 6-page "Glossary of Industry Terms"; a "New Agent Spotlight" feature that highlights new agents in the listings; and 16 pages of "Your Writing Calendar," displaying each month from August 2012 to December 2013 in calendar format, along with a tip and some blank lines.
Six new articles include three on social media: "Social Media Roundup," "Why Illustrators Should Blog," and "Building Your Author Platform." Two relate to picture books: "Picture Book Pacing" and "Illustrators and Authors" (on their different roles in creating picture books). And one, "Writing Buddies," explains how to find and work with a writing buddy.
For brief comments on previous editions, from 2004 to 2012, see this list of past CWIMs.
Comments As I noted last year, CWIM seems to be evolving towards being more of a writer's guide, as the market listings become less important. They have continued to keep the listings current (entries added or removed or updated), as I noted myself and confirmed by email with editor Chuck Sambuchino. Considering the amount of material in different sections, in fact, CWIM has already become a basic writer's guide (not so much illustrator's) that also includes market listings. And that's a good thing, because those on a budget can get what amounts to two books in one.
So I continue to recommend CWIM as a highly useful resource, though I must add an asterisk to that endorsement this year, because there are features this year that seem to me to have been added mainly or partly to keep the page count at 440; the book lost pages because it has 2 fewer feature articles and the market listings lost 10 pages. Most obviously, the writer's calendar is a pretty thin use of 16 pages. The SCBWI RA feature, though it does help to highlight the SCBWI to people who may not know about it, also fills pages. I hope to see more solid content next year, especially for illustrators, who had only one feature article directed to them, and no interviews.
As usual, keep in mind that the research for this edition was completed by the spring of 2012, and so is already in need of updates -- use resources such as my Who's Moving Where page (and others noted on that page) to stay current: I suggest noting such information in the pages of CWIM itself, to keep it all in one place.
Who Needs Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market: Obviously, writers and illustrators need this, and should consider buying a new edition every year--because so much does change. But other people can use it too---teachers and librarians and others professionally involved with children's books will find this a useful reference, since it puts addresses and other contact information for children's publishers at your fingertips. Publishing professionals looking for a handy and inexpensive alternative to the usual industry guides may also want this on their shelf.
Where and How to Purchase the 2013 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market:
- Buy Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market at Amazon, a major online retailer, which usually sells the book at a 30+% discount. There is a Kindle edition available too.
- Buy Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market through IndieBound, a program of America's independent bookstores. You can have it delivered or pick it up at your local independent bookstore.
- Buy Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market at Amazon Canada, if you live in Canada.
- Buy Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market at Amazon UK, if you live in Europe and want a guide to the American market.
You can, of course, also purchase CWIM at any bookstore. If they don't have it, they can order it for you.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book free of charge from the publisher, as do most reviewers. I also earn commissions on purchases of books via links on this site, as explained on my policy page.
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