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The Flats

Picture book manuscript.

Photo of Frank Tupta
4 1

Written by

Some neighborhoods have houses with backyards. Others have parks and playgrounds. But down in the Flats, Benny has his monsters: Sid, Bridgette, and Cedric— massive steel bridges connecting his community with the roads and city above. Every morning, Benny watches, waiting, knowing his monsters will appear— something he can always count on, even if the one person he’s hoping to see is working a double-shift.


In the vein of NIGHT JOB and LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET, THE FLATS shows a world that’s gritty and magical. And that sometimes the most important moments are unexpected and filled with love.

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

This is a story about community, love, and pride in an urban neighborhood. All of which I think are important for children to understand, feel, and connect with.

Share your suggested book title

THE FLATS

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Some neighborhoods have houses with backyards. Others have parks and playgrounds. But down in the Flats, Benny has his monsters: Sid, Bridgette, and Cedric— massive steel bridges connecting his community with the roads and city above. Every morning, Benny watches, waiting, knowing his monsters will appear— something he can always count on, even if the one person he’s hoping to see is working a double-shift. In the vein of NIGHT JOB and LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET, THE FLATS shows a world that’s gritty and magical. And that sometimes the most important moments are unexpected and filled with love.

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

My story is a quiet story. But it is about the small moments we have with one another. Like sitting together and reading. I use magical realism and sounds to bring the community in my story to life. My research is based on reading with my own children and paying attention to what they respond to.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

Although I don't live in Philadelphia, I grew up in Cleveland, which I feel as a similar urban feel to Philadelphia. My story is also set in Cleveland, although it isn't specifically mentioned in the text.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

This manuscript invites readers into a real neighborhood in Cleveland called The Flats. I based my story around my experiences growing up in an industrial, gritty, and urban community-- Cleveland.

Location: Country

Peninsula, Ohio, United States

Location: State or Department

Ohio

Location: City

Peninsula

Website URL (optional question)

www.uptasomething.com

Tell us more about you / your team

I'm a picture book writer with two small children. My sons are 15 months and 3 years old. We read together every night. Reading is a huge part of their early education, and something that I firmly believe it and see results in regularly through my own children. Through my own books, I try to promote literacy throughout my own community.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

I'm not an illustrator, nor do I have any drawing abilities. But this is actually a project that I envisioned working with my wife on. She is a published author/illustrator: www.lindsaymward.com.

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

My first book, HOW TO BUILD A HAUNTED HOUSE, illustrated by Kyle Beckett, will be published with Two Lions (Amazon Publishing) in July 2020.

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

Attachments (1)

The Flats.pdf

Completed manuscript for THE FLATS

4 comments

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Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hi Frank Tupta  welcome to the Challenge Community!
Your manuscript has such a unique narrative of a city's elements from a child's point of view. Loved the essence of the story, look forward to seeing it evolve over the week.
Since your final readers will be from the age group of 0-3 yrs, it may be interesting to tweak the manuscript to make it simpler, rhythmic and more engaging for your readers. You can learn more about early childhood development and tips on writing for this age group in the “Challenge Resources” listed at the end of the Challenge Page.

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