POLLY ALICE MCCANN
Picture Book Editor
I’ve been working as an independent Editorial Illustrator since 2018. I've been a children's book author since 2008. I have an MFA in writing for children and young adults with my thesis in picture books. I studied with and have had mentorships with award-wining authors like Jaqueline Briggs Martin, Phyllis Root, Jane Resh Thomas, and Claire Rudolf Murphy. I have also studied poetry under several award-winning poets and authors and with my undergraduate degree in art, I am able to give you really helpful advice to create a professional quality children's book to send to agents, editors, or straight to the printer!
Character and Setting are key to rooting your readers into the narrative of your picture book. Setting is one of your Characters! The protagonist or main character must change usually has conflict or choices to move the action forward. A great story often comes from something I call personalizing the archetype, or simply just personalization. Specific little details can mean everything.
Each story has its own style and form with scenes, micro scenes and careful weaving of point of view from the protagonist. Picture books are mostly written in the third person and past tense. They are now usually under 500 words. Theme for me is often the best way to find nuances in your story to help you make decisions in revision
ACTION AND CONFLICT/ DIALOGUE
The most important thing I look for in a picture book is how the action and conflict share something encouraging and entertaining to the reader. This is where everything hinges on revealing who your characters are and how they relate to their world. The most important thing is for the character to have a wish or a desire and to experience a change or growth in the story. That will help create a plot with enough conflict and resolution to give the reader a sense of wonder or closure, even to the point of an enjoyable reread.
THINGS I LOOK AT AS YOUR EDITOR...
What is the editing process like?
What does the editing process look like?
You contact me with any questions you might have, and I answer them.
You use the email me your manuscript and I will send a quote.
After payment, I will get your manuscript back to you within 14 days with page turns, edits, suggestions and an editorial letter describing what your story is doing well and where it could be improved.
If you have any questions about my comments, we can go over those in a one-hour session online or by phone.
My Style of Editing:
I have a master's degree in writing for children with an emphasis on picture books and illustrations. I have worked with several authors and illustrators as well as authored and illustrated my own books. I'm an encouraging editor, and I will tell you all about the wonderful things in your story, but also gently suggest the places where it could improve and exactly what ways this could occur. As a writer myself, I know it’s difficult showing your work to someone, and I want to encourage you through the revision process.
My job is to help you break down the short story into understandable pieces with strategies to get it working at the next level. Some of my students and private clients have been very ambitious about their writing careers or have already published with a few of the top five houses, while others have simply wanted to capture their life experiences to share with family or friends. It’s my goal as a developmental editor to help you get your story read for the path you've decided upon.
When you contact me, please tell me about yourself. What kind of critique has helped you in the past, and what are some of your goals for the work that you are sending me. Whether you are a beginner or have written stories for decades, I'll provide experienced editorial guidance to help provide the best reader experience as well as help you meet your goals for your work. You'll receive an editorial letter, editorial notes with a chart to mark page turns and illustration notes, as well as a complimentary conference call if you like.
To schedule a call to talk about your picture book and set up a consultation fill out the form below.
PICTURE BOOKS I'VE EDITED
"Polly is so encouraging. She caught my vision and reflected it back to me! She has been a light and an encouragement every step of the way! Polly helps and encourages me to present my best work! She's a visionary with positive energy!!!" Leanne Litka
"Thank you Polly! Wow! It is beautiful" Maria Ordinar
"Wow, thank you so much . . . I appreciate your detailed feedback, line notes, encouraging kind words..."
"This project has meant so much to me to make this dream come true." D.W.