Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Nikki Loftin, whose debut picture book If You Get Lost was just sold at auction to Anne Schwartz Books! The book will be illustrated by Deborah Marcero.
Told in just 144 words, If You Get Lost “tells the story of a stuffed bunny, who falls from a car window at the start of her family’s camping trip, and begins a magical adventure through the forest to find its way back,” according to the Publisher’s Weekly announcement. Nikki has previously published three middle-grade novels but this is her first foray into the picture-book market.
The story didn’t begin as a picture book, however. “Last year I decided I wanted to put together a chapbook of my adult poetry,” Nikki says, “and started writing and revising with that goal in mind. That decision more or less lit a poetry fire inside me, and at the end of the frenzy, I ended up with one poem about dealing with the fear and anxiety we feel in that moment when we look around and discover that we are in unfamiliar territory. Re-reading it, I recognized there was a narrative line there, underneath the poetry, and I wrote that into art notes. My lovely agent, Ginger, sent the very short manuscript out to three houses, who all offered, and I got to feel the whirling fun and joyful stress of an auction… and then delight at having a debut picture book contracted at last!”
If You Get Lost is scheduled for publication in Spring, 2023.