re: Have I Waited Too Long to Submit Post-Conference?

in Picture Books/Submissions by

Dear Editor…

At a SCBWI conference, I had an art director show interest in my pb dummy, however she wanted to see some changes. I have made those changes, but it has taken me five months. May I submit the ms and dummy to her at this point? Or should I submit it with the SCBWI sticker used for conference attendees to the “acquisitions” dept. and send her a follow-up letter it is submitted the usual way? It is a long time after the usual three months. We did connect via email about this project, and she was interested. Which way to proceed? Thank you for your ideas.


Dear Lisa…

Build on the connection you’ve already established – send that revised dummy to your art director contact. Five months is fine as long as she put no time limit on submissions from that conference. I wouldn’t even give it a second thought before six months. An explanation is in order, though, if you take longer than six months. At a year, you’ve pretty much missed that boat. The art director may question your ability to produce in a timely manner, or she just might have left the company altogether. There’s a lot of house jumping in publishing.

Happy writing!
The Editor


  1. Hi Deborah! I kind of thought I could approach her, but I wasn’t sure about it. I’m excited she liked it in a rougher state. Now it shines in blazing color! I will go ahead and take the plunge and submit it to her.
    Thanks as usual for the great advice. Maybe your ears ring? I talk about Dear Editor all the time!!!


  2. That’s really good advice. Good luck to Lisa!

    (I wonder why there’s so much house/agency jumping in publishing. Are they unhappy? Do they see a chance to make more money? Hmm…)

    • For many people in publishing, Laura, it’s quicker way to move up the ladder than waiting for an in-house promotion. And it’s fairly easy since so many publishers are in New York—you don’t have to relocate your family, just take a different train to work.

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