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Picture book mentorship

After years of writing, drawing, painting, and researching (so much researching), I finally broke into the publishing market with my debut picture book LLOYD FINDS HIS WHALESONG (Spring 2020, Page Street Kids).

I worked on LLOYD off and on for six years. That's right: six years. I struggled through everything you could imagine—learning the ropes of story structure and character development, drawing and re-drawing the art, reading countless articles about book dummies, researching agents and editors—when what I really wanted to do was just make art.

If you’re anything like me, you want to educate yourself, follow industry guidelines, and do the best work you can. But if you’re overwhelmed with all the information out there about writing and illustrating picture books, you’ve come to the right place!


Check out my standard and customized options for picture book edits and portfolio reviews. Email me at skyamann(at)gmail(dot)com to talk about the right plan for you!

Developmental edit

If your story isn’t connecting with agents and editors, or you’re not quite ready to submit, a developmental edit may be the right fit.

What you get

  • Custom edit letter tailored to you and your story covering strengths and areas to improve.

  • Suggestions and pointers relevant to your story (e.g., pacing, page turns, character development, dummy formats, etc).

  • Comprehensive in-line edits and comments in either Word or Google Docs.

How it works

  • Flat rate for one story/edit: $78.

  • Second edit on same text: $44.

  • Text can be submitted to me in Word or Google Docs.

  • Maximum word count 800.

  • Payment due upfront (via paypal).

Query and submission prep 

I will do a deep edit on your query letter focused on hook, story, format, and market.

What you get

  • Comprehensive in-line edits and comments in either Word or Google Docs to make your query shine.

  • Focus on developing a strong hook and specific but concise overview of your story.

  • Advice on category, age group, market, and comps.

How it works

  • Flate rate for one query edit: $39.

  • Second edit on same query letter: $24.

  • Please send me the completed story text as a Word or Google Doc for reference.

  • Payment due upfront (via paypal).

Illustration portfolio review

Send me your picture book illustration portfolio, and I will do a concentrated assessment with actionable suggestions to help you move forward.

What you get

  • A comprehensive letter covering your strengths and wow moments.

  • Specific, actionable, and respectful notes on areas to improve or grow.

  • Discussion of both technical and conceptual/narrative options and observations, as appropriate.

  • Notes on composition, character development, color/light, and other fundamentals, as appropriate.

  • Notes on what the industry is looking for and where I think your work might fit in.


How it works

  • Flat rate for portfolio review and assessment: $119.

  • Send me around 10 images in a pdf or easy-to-view webpage of your best picture book illustration work.

  • Include any specific questions or concerns you have about your portfolio and I will address them in my assessment!

  • Payment due upfront (via paypal).

Mentorship and customized plans​

If you’re looking for a more tailored approach, email me! People choose this option for lots of reasons. Here are just a few:

  • You’re not sure where to start (e.g.. turning an idea into a story, or submitting a portfolio).

  • You want help learning a specific skill (like developing a character in text or drawing).

  • You want to check in monthly on story edits or portfolio development with a short- or long-term cheerleader, mentor, and editor (*waves* Hi, that’s me!).


How it works

  • Rates vary but generally between $99 and $200 (per service or per month, for example).

  • Documents can be sent via Word, Google Docs, PDF, website, etc. We’ll work it out ahead of time.

  • We’ll create a schedule that works for you!

  • For custom plans, I’m usually available for one-off email questions and ongoing discussion too.

  • Payment due upfront (via paypal).

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© 2020 Skylaar Amann