By Lindsay Leslie
Starting in early 2015, I hit the query trenches and was a BIG FAN of all the various contests and pitch events on Twitter that seek to connect writers and illustrators with agents and editors. I felt it was a great way to get immediate feedback on my queries and overall story concepts. Back in March 2017, I decided to participate in #PitMad on Twitter, which is a huge pitch event covering all genres — everything and anything. I’ve participated in #PitMad a couple of times before, and I’ve always wondered whether picture books get lost in the scrolling madness of YA and adult novels.
I’m glad I didn’t give up. I pitched four of my picture book manuscripts, and I only got one “favorite” that day.
It was the only one I needed.
That favorite came from Kristen Nobles, children’s publisher with Page Street Kids. I carefully reviewed my query letter and manuscript, and then sent it on with a fist bump and fingers crossed. And, I forgot about it. I seriously did. I was battling a mystery illness at the time and to this day I’m still shocked I even had the wherewithal to participate in #PitMad. (I was diagnosed a few months later with Tick-borne Relapsing Fever and have fully recovered now.)
So, when I received an email from Page Street associate editor Charlotte Wenger a month and some change later with a request to revise and resubmit, I was floored. Absolutely gobsmacked. I think my mouth just hung open for about two hours. I worked with Charlotte back and forth for the next month and a half to see if I could shape THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS into a picture book Page Street Kids would want to publish. And it worked! I received an offer directly from Page Street.
With an offer in hand, I quickly continued my search for an agent. Through various conversations with my Austin SCBWI friends and a call with a literary lawyer who referred me to Red Fox Literary, Stephanie Fretwell-Hill and I connected, and I’m happy to say she represents me.
A diary keeper, a journal writer, a journalism major, a public relations executive--Lindsay Leslie has always operated in a world of written words. When she became a mom and began to tell her kids bedtime stories, Lindsay connected the dots to children’s literature. Lindsay is the author of THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS, her debut picture book (Page Street Kids, Feb. 19, 2019). Her second picture book, NOVA THE STAR EATER (Page Street Kids), will launch on May 21, 2019. Her third picture book, WANTED: DUSK RAIDERS (Page Street Kids), will launch in spring of 2020. She lives with her husband, two young boys, and two fur-beasts in Austin.