Three years ago, I applied for an SCBWI grant for a nonfiction picture book I’ll call Pioneers. I didn’t get the grant, and since my plan was to spend the grant money on a research trip necessary to complete the manuscript, I set Pioneers aside and focused on other projects (The Day-Glo Brothers, Smith, James) instead.

Well, now I’m back at work on a proposal for Pioneers — not for a grant application, but to shop around to editors. I’ve revised the synopsis, mostly by adding in a bit about how the book would fit into the market (vertically, with the spine facing out). And I’ve totally redone the writing sample.

Turns out, the “picture book” sample I’d written three years ago was more for a middle-grade text, and a fairly dry one at that. I’ve drastically shortened the length, removed the un-punchy parts, gave it a new beginning, and tried to make it work for the first 3-5 pages of a picture book.

We’ll see how it goes. I think Pioneers would be a fun project, and it would certainly be an educational one for me, since the topic is one I know relatively little about (just enough to know that I’d like to know more). I just hope it isn’t 2009 before I get back to it again.