Children’s Writing

Writing advice for authors of children’s books — including picture books, young adult novels, middle grade fiction, and more.

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7 Things I’ve Learned so Far, by Julie Falatko

Kindness matters. Be nice. Celebrate the books you love. Help others when you can. Be gracious when you can’t. It never hurts to be kind to others. I suppose sometimes being mean might get you something, but mostly it gets you a reputation as a jerkface that no one wants to work with or...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Liam Walsh

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Liam Walsh, author of FISH) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they...

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How I Got My Literary Agent: Victoria Coe

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Victoria Coe, author of FENWAY AND HATTIE. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Annie Hwang of Folio Literary Management

Currently Seeking: She specializes in all categories of literary and upmarket fiction. She’s especially drawn to historical novels and psychological thrillers. In addition, she loves working with debut authors who have a gift for storytelling and are able immerse her deep within a well-built world in the space of a few sentences. Braided narratives,...

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10 Literary Agents Seeking Picture Books NOW

Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint which agents are open to submissions at any given time. So with that in mind, I’m creating some new vertical lists of agents seeking queries right now, as of summer 2016. This list is for children’s picture books. All the agents listed below personally confirmed to me as of...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Suzy Evans of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Suzy Evans of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. About Suzy: Suzy is an attorney, author, and agent who holds a Ph.D. in history from UC Berkeley. Her most recent books include MACHIAVELLI...

MORE-IGAMI. Text copyright © 2016 by Dori Kleber. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by G. Brian Karas. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

Should You Follow the Siren Song of a New Idea?

Writing, rewriting, revising, re-rewriting. It’s painstaking, and after months—or possibly years—of working on a novel, you can feel bogged down, exhausted, even defeated. And then it happens: You get a new book idea. And not just any idea. A great idea. In fact, you’re sure this idea is a hundred times better than your current...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Gill McLay of Bath Literary Agency

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Gill McLay of Bath Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.     About Gill: Gill graduated with a Publishing and Marketing degree from Oxford Brookes University in 1996....

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New Literary Agent Alert: Stephanie Fretwell-Hill of Red Fox Literary

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Stephanie Fretwell-Hill of Red Fox Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.     About Stephanie: Stephanie Fretwell-Hill started her publishing career in 2004 at Walker Books Ltd. in London,...

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5 Things I Learned on Deadline

My debut novel, ALIVE, recently hit shelves and I remember the pressure as my first deadline loomed. A couple years ago I was graduating law school, starting my first “big girl” job and taking work-for-hire gigs. A slew of rejections under my belt had made me slow to dedicate myself to new projects for...

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Selling Your Children’s Book: How to Write and Pitch Novels & Picture Books for Kids — Sept. 28 Boot Camp by the Agents at P.S. Literary (with a Critique for all Attendees)

In this Writer's Digest Boot Camp starting Sept. 28, 2015, "Selling Your Children’s Book: How to Write and Pitch Novels & Picture Books for Kids," the agents of P.S. Literary Agency will show you how to make your submission stand out. How do you write a children's book with commercial appeal? How do you...

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Selling Your Children’s Book: How to Write and Pitch Novels & Picture Books for Kids — June 29 Boot Camp by the Agents at P.S. Literary (with a Critique for all Attendees)

Children’s books—young adult, middle grade, and picture books—have taken over the publishing industry (in a good way). Readers of all ages are devouring the books that used to only take up space in libraries, children’s bookshelves, or school classrooms. Now, children’s books are celebrated for their enchanting prose, their relatable characters, their beautiful illustrations,...

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Have an Agent Critique Your Entire Picture Book or the First 10 Pages of Your YA/MG Book: Agent One-on-One Boot Camp Starts April 20

The world of children’s books-young adult, middle grade and picture books-has seen more growth in the last ten years than any other category in the publishing industry. Countless articles and op-eds have analyzed the booming success of now-iconic series like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Fancy Nancy. But while critics are debating the...

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5 Reasons to Write YA

When I first started writing fiction, I never expected to end up writing YA. But once I discovered what a vibrant, challenging category it was, I was hooked. I love young adult fiction, and I love the authors working in the category. Explaining to my friends and family, though, what YA is and why...

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Make Your Children’s Book Shine and Stand Out Above the Rest — Oct. 30 Webinar (With Critique) by Agent Danielle Smith

You're sending your children's book manuscript off for its very first round of submissions, but you hesitate. Everyone questions their work and often wonder if it's “finished.” After dozens and possibly hundreds of revisions when do you say enough is enough? When your hard work is ready to put into the hands of an...

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The 2015 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market Is Out — Here Are 8 Reasons to Buy It (and Naturally I’m Giving Away Books!)

The 2015 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market is out and available in major bookstores! What better way to celebrate its release than a giveaway contest? The CWIM a great resource guide for writers of picture books and novels for kids (young adult, middle grade) as well as illustrators. The new 2015 edition of the...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by A.B. Westrick

1. Stop trying to find time to write. Instead, make time. When you’re in “trying-to-find” mode, you’re not giving priority to your writing. Identify the time of day when you’re the most creative, then claim that time. Show up at the page. Get up early if you have to. Lock a door if you...

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Polish Your Work Before Submitting: 6 Revision Tips

1. Listen to your critique group. When I first began to write, I was fortunate to meet some wonderful writers who became fabulous friends. We met regularly to work on our manuscripts. We worked to give constructive feedback to one another and because we listened to each other, our writing got better. We listened...