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May I Resubmit My Picture Book To The Same Publishers?
by Peggy Tibbetts, Send your writing questions in!
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Peggy Tibbetts is a writer, editor, and full member of SCBWIPeggy Tibbets' POV: The world of children’s book publishing can be confusing and frustrating. In this column, Tibbetts offers her point-of-view in response to writers’ burning questions about writing and illustrating for children. As an Author, Associate Producer, Managing/Contributing Editor and Columnist, Tibbets knows what she's talking about! Check out the many articles by Tibbets under the category Tibbetts' POV.

I am a teacher and aspiring picture book author. Last year I sent out my manuscript to a number of publishers. Some had positive comments, but all ultimately rejected the proposal. Since this time I've revised and rewritten the cover letter and book in question. May I resubmit it to the same publishers or isn't that advisable?

A similar question about resubmitting to agents is covered in my August 2005 column: How do I handle resubmitting my novel? Since then I have encountered some disagreement among writers about whether or not to resubmit a manuscript. While many writers still feel it is not a good idea to resubmit to agents, it is probably okay to resubmit to an editor.

However, judging from my own experience, it's perfectly okay to resubmit to agents or publishers. First of all, timing is everything. And while your manuscript might not fit in an editor's plan one year, maybe after a second look she will find a place for it. Of course that's if the editor who reads it is the same editor who looked at it the first time around.

Editors move around from one publisher to another -- as a matter of fact that's been happening a lot lately. Harold Underdown helps writers keep track of editors on his "Who's Moving Where" page at his web site, The Purple Crayon. Many publishers employ editorial assistants or manuscript readers to sort through submissions. In those cases your manuscript is bound to get a second look, and perhaps move higher up the chain of command, so it's definitely worth the effort.

There is also some disagreement among writers as to whether or not you should mention in your cover letter that the editor has seen the manuscript before, or that you have revised it. My position on this, again based on my experience, is that you don't need to say anything -- let the manuscript speak for itself.

Peggy Tibbetts is a writer, editor, and full member of SCBWIPeggy Tibbetts is the author of the children's novel The Road to Weird, as well as the adult novel Rumors of War. She was managing editor and columnist at She has also worked as an associate producer of educational videos for Upper Midwest Films, contributing editor for Children's Magic Window magazine, and Children's Writing Resource Editor at Contact Peggy at: peggyt"at"


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