Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Writing on TV

Yes, I watched it--Celebrity Apprentice. The episode where the celebrities have to write a picture book and one team wins and gets their book published. As I watched I could hear my writer friend's eyes rolling, even from way up here on my mountain. Yup, writers know that writing a good picture book isn't as easy as it looks by any means.

But if you think about it, with all the reality shows that are on TV it is rare to see any that involve writing because watching someone write is, well, boring. So there's the conundrum. Do we want to see writing on TV? I'm not sure. But if they are going to show people writing on TV the picture book is the logical choice because it is short and visual. I know, I know. Now everyone is going to think writing a picture book is easy. They are going to think every one can do it. Slush piles are going to grow even bigger. The last remaining houses open to submissions are going to close and go agented only.

I actually did wonder if the closing of submissions by Marshall Cavendish the week or so prior to the airing of Celebrity Apprentice had anything to do with the foreseen numbers of submissions they might get from being on national TV and judging and therefore approving(to the untrained eye) picture books that were literally written overnight.

So was it a good thing or a bad thing? I did like seeing a children's book editor and an illustrator on TV. I did like seeing picture books being featured and talked about. I guess it's just like everything else. You gotta take the good with the bad. Now wouldn't it be fun to see some real picture book authors compete to win a publication deal. What? No? Nobody would care because we're not famous? Oh. Okay. We'll just keep writing books for kids anyway, because that's what we do. And we're not afraid to work hard to get it right.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I couldn't bring myself to watch, but I admit.. a part of me was curious!

  2. I almost couldn't watch it, but I had to! I think I had my hands over my face a lot of the time. Eep!