You may already know this, but I live on a secluded mountain in the state of Washington. Needless to say, I don't get the opportunity to hang around with many writers, let alone kidlit writers. And I certainly doubt I will ever run into any agents or editors around here...or will I?
Well, maybe not in person, but that's why there's Twitter. Maybe you're on it already so you know what I'm talking about. But if you're not, I suggest you give it a try. I've learned a lot about different agents and what they're looking for. I've gotten to ask editors questions. I've even been asked to submit something to a publisher! But best of all, I get to "hang out" with writers. Now that may sound silly, but it's true. I can just turn on Twitter and there are writers right here at 3500 feet, chatting it up. I've made some good friends on Twitter too. That's not something I ever even considered when I reluctantly joined.
So, if you haven't tried Twitter, as you can see, there are lots of good reasons why you should. Don't know who to follow? Well, Twitter gives the capability to create lists, and as a professional list maker I just have to list everyone! Here are some of my lists that are good starting points for children's book writers and illustrators:
Kidlit writers: https://twitter.com/#!/heatherayris/kidlit-writers
(These people have taught me that kidlit writers are AMAZING!)
Illustrators: https://twitter.com/#!/heatherayris/illustrators(They all have rad avatars, because ILLUSTRATORS ARE COOL LIKE THAT.)
Kidlit agents: https://twitter.com/#!/heatherayris/kidlit-agents
(Some agents are so sharing and helpful on Twitter it is ridiculous. OF COURSE I MEAN THAT IN A GOOD WAY. They do #askagent chats for crying out loud! Just because they want to!)
(I try to keep this to publishers who do children's books, but a few adult only publishers may have snuck in there.)
You can follow an entire list if you like. Or you can go through the list and follow individuals. I would recommend that because chances are high that they will follow you back and then you can have a conversation. And that's what it's all about.
If you need some help just ask me. You can find me @heatherayris