Children’s Writing

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

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...

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...

Ripple Grove Press Seeks Picture Book Submissions

Meet Ripple Grove Press, they're a publishing house actively seeking picture book submissions. Check them out and see if they're a good fit for your work. ABOUT RIPPLE GROVE: Ripple Grove Press is a family-owned children’s picture book publishing company started in 2013. "Our mission is to create picture books that come...

Tackling Tough Topics in YA

When I started working on my young adult novel My Life After Now, which is about a teenage girl who learns she is HIV-positive, the only thing I was thinking about was telling a good story. Okay, I knew I specifically wanted to tackle the subject of HIV/AIDS because not only has...

5 Tips for How to Write a Young Adult Crossover Novel

1. While you should certainly feel free to include characters of whatever age you choose, make sure there’s at least one teenager. While young adults often read books without teenaged characters (I was partial to Somerset Maugham stories and Solzhenitsyn, to cite a needlessly bizarre example) those generally aren’t considered part...

Picture Books Are Not Just for Children: 10 Reasons Why

2. Picture book language is often more sophisticated than the first chapter books that children read, and therefore an excellent way for children to learn language. It is here that children, and others, can learn vocabulary, imagery, rhythm, shape, structure, conciseness, emotional power. 3. The picture book is the most flexible of...

Writing Historical Fiction Based On A Family Story

1. Research Comes First. Because I new little about tuberculosis or life on a farm in the 1920’s, I began reading novels set in that time period, North Carolina history books, memoirs written from sanatoriums, and doctors’ accounts of the disease. I consulted experts at the North Carolina Museum of History...

6 Reasons Being a Pirate is Like Being a Writer

Here are 6 things I learned from a pirate about writing. It turns out pirates and writers need the same things in their arsenal. Every pirate (and writer) needs: 1. A hook: Hooks grab the reader in the first few sentences or can be found at the end of a chapter...

Literary Agent Interview: Susan Hawk of the Bent Agency

This interview features Susan Hawk of The Bent Agency. She came to the agency from Children's Book Marketing, where she worked for over 15 years, most recently as the Marketing Director at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, and previous to that as the Library Marketing Director at Penguin Young Readers....