The Anatomy of a Manuscript Resurrection: An Analogy #KidlitZombieWeek

Hi Math is Everywhere Readers and Kidlit Zombie Week Friends!

Thank you so much for joining us for this new event!

If you haven’t heard how it got started, check out our inspiration here.

We’re going to spend each day of the week reading posts like this one, then shuffling our zombie booties over to Twitter to have a lively discussion, and at the end of the week you can win prizes through two different events: the pitch event and the pledge event. Find out more about those here.

And now:

The Anatomy of a Manuscript Resurrection: An Analogy

by Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez

To kick Kidlit Zombie Week off with a bang, we’ll start with a fun analogy comparing reviving your manuscripts to zombie resurrection.

First, like a zombie, a dead manuscript usually needs to be rotting away in a file for a LOOONG while to get that great zombie look.


Second, you’ve got to get the timing juuussst right:

On a magical night, when the moon is full and spirits are high like All Hallows Eve–or maybe it’s more like when your kids are in the backyard on a “camp out” with the other parent and the house is nice and quiet, FINALLY–that zombie manuscript is ready to rise up out of the folder and start searching for sustenance.

woman practicing yoga
Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on



Your manuscript knows what it wants–


But…if your brains haven’t satisfied it before, why will they now? You have some tricks up your sleeve! You’ve taken time away where you were working with other stories, reading books, taking courses, reading blogs and inspiring how-to posts (wink wink), and your brains have grown bigger and tastier! YUM!


But usually, your zombie manuscript needs more; otherwise, it wouldn’t have been rotting away anyway, am I right? 

So you’ve got to try to give it THE BEST brains, a delicacy that it’s been craving while it was wasting away waiting for you to come back. How do you create such lovely brains for your manuscript to feast on? Try to think about what the main focus for the story is and which words will lead it right to this tasty delicacy.


backlit dawn foggy friendship
Photo by Helena Lopes on

Sometimes–okay USUALLY–that’s still not enough. Your zombie craves MORE! That’s when you lead it to other BRAINS! You know the place: windows boarded, people huddled inside trying to form an escape plan just in case…your critique partners! They might just have little pieces of those super delicious brains your zombie has been dreaming about….you know in all that time it was…resting.


Finally, you may have to become your zombie. Yup, you need to take on that zombie drive. Keep clawing away at those boarded-up windows so you can get to the knowledge inside. Don’t give up. Sure, you can take a break…to heave a bit…you have never worked so hard in your afterlife, after all, but then come back to it and with all the new sustenance you’ll feed it, and all the tender love and care you’ll give it, your zombie manuscript will come back to life and be more vibrant than ever!



Remember: this story is special. You wrote it for a reason. And it will be so happy to see you when you dust it off and pull it out to be revived. So get to it! And if you’re not quite ready to revise, make sure to check out the blog post on Wednesday it’s all about revising!



For now, shuffle your zombie booty on over to our Twitter account and start discussing your zombie manuscripts with your other #KidlitZombieWeek friends (DON’T forget to use the #KidlitZombieWeek hashtag!) and don’t forget to shuffle back to the Twitter tonight at 7:30 PM EST for our live chat to chat with each other and answer your questions about #KidlitZombieWeek.


***Also note: not all zombie stories have been on the self SUPER long and not ALL of these steps have to be taken for a good manuscript revival–if you are inspired after just taking it out and all of a sudden you’re ready to sub, more power to ya!–but I sure hope this little analogy inspired you to pull out those zombie manuscripts. ***


I have one I’ve come back to over and over again, and at this point, I’m honestly hiding from it, shakin’ and quakin’ in my boots, terrified I won’t be good enough to make it work. But my hope is all our discussions this week will inspire me to stop hiding from Adventure Girl and try taking it once again.



Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez

PS. If you have more questions, please check out our FAQs page or ask in the comments below in this post or on our Twitter Page @6and_MANuscript. We hope you make new connections, get inspired, and have tons of fun with the amazing kidlit writing community!


PPS. If you haven’t read the super timely blog post featuring illustrator Nusha Ashjaee’s work on Don’t Stop and entered the giveaway, check it out here!

54 thoughts on “The Anatomy of a Manuscript Resurrection: An Analogy #KidlitZombieWeek

  1. Kaitlyn, I love this. I can hear an old manuscript groaning and moaning from my laptop right now…also this post is making me want to write a picture book about zombies!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the inspiration! All the lead up to #kidlitzombieweek had me thinking about one of my earliest manuscripts… I shelved it for a good reason (I wrote it in rhyme 🥴 and I didn’t know much about meter back then), but I still love the idea. Here’s hoping I’ll be brave enough to resurrect it…


    1. I agree! Some stories are meant to be told and kept to ourselves or just as a learning experience, but as my wonderful mentor, Diana Murray, always says, no writing is wasted, you learned something about your character or your writing or it even sparked a new idea😍


  3. Hi Kaitlyn,
    What a fun post! Thank you for the extra push and encouragement. This one MS is eerily calling my name. Strength in numbers right? Right?!???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have one that I want to bring back. I might change it’s form… maybe from picture book to first reader or little kid graphic novel. We’ll see what this bad boy wants to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Woohoo, thanks Kaitlyn. I love this!!! I do hear a few calling from the grace. Lol! It’s alive…well hopefully it will be soon. I have 5 I’d like to resurrect. So fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve always heard groaning and moaning from my computer and thought it must be getting old. Thanks to you, I realized its coming from a few manuscripts that are simply starving. Ready to feed them!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This post is so fun! Now I’m pumped for #KidlitZombieWeek. Although I cheated. I started resurrecting a manuscript on the weekend. Shh! Don’t tell anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m pulling out a manuscript that I wrote last July, which is about summer camp. Summertime has been giving me all the camp vibes, so I’m excited to start working on this piece again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such a fun post! I actually have several manuscripts that deserve to be resurrected.This is the motivation that I needed to bring them back to life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay!! It’s our motivation, too, thank you for joining us! And I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, I wrote it middle of the night and told my CPs this may not work but my middle-of-the-night brain thought it was awesome


  10. How fun and dreadful at the same time! I have a handful that I considered truly dead, so much so that I’m nervous to pull them back out of that drawer. It will be interesting to see what new direction they take after this week! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is such a fun post. Like every other writer, I have a number of moldering, sighing, and yes some whinning MS in my files. Of the two MSs I’d like to resurrect this week – because though they have holes and rotten bits, they are dear to my heart – amazingly they both involve dancing. One features mummies and the other a determined zombie. Off to get coffee and brain food to see where I can get today! Thanks for this event.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this! As writers we are adding what we learn and experience into our tool belts all the time. Why not use those things to revive a dead manuscript, right? Thanks for helping to organize this inspiring event!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww yay! I’m so glad you like my funny little piece here😍🙌 I’m so excited to encourage each other and make sure to thank Jolene and Brian and Brian’s agent Melissa Richeson because they’re the inspiration


  13. What a fun post! Like everyone, I have several zombie PB manuscripts, but there’s one that’s been moaning and groaning above the crowd! Thanks so much for the inspiration to resurrect it!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I loved the part about the critique partners forming an escape plan! I can imagine they have felt that way with some of my zombie manuscripts. This was nicely written and so fun. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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