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Writing for Children & Young Adults

Young Adult and Children’s books are hot! Here you’ll learn about trends in the marketplace, what’s working and what’s not, plus how to write for this very special group of readers without dumbing things down.

Finding One Voice

Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson turn an unlikely pairing into a prequel to a children’s classic. Read more

Advice from Agent Steven Malk

Steven Malk of Writer”s House, who handles children”s book authors like Jon Scieszka and Elise Primavera, talks about the advantages of having an agent, offers tips on choosing one, and reveals what he looks for in a manuscript. Read more

Using Research as Inspiration for Picture Books

Jacqueline Briggs Martin, author of the Caldecott award-winning Snowflake Bentley, has written more than a dozen children”s books, many of which celebrate the natural world. Here she talks about how her research on historical figures, nature, and snowflake photographer Wilson Bentley spark pictured books that are part story, part fact. Read more

Q&A With Newbery Winner Linda Sue Park

Linda Sue Parks won the 2002 Newbery Medal for her third novel A Single Shard. She talked to Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market about working with her editor, getting ideas and doing research for her historical novels. Read more

Writing for Kids With Judy Blume

Children’s author Judy Blume explains her rise to success, the benefit of keeping a notebook, the importance of imagination when writing for children and the need for “honesty.” Read more


Ann Brashares zipped up her mega-selling the sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series this year and released her first adult novel. But, as she reveals in this interview, finding a new path isn’t easy. Read more

8 Basic Writing Blunders

These big-picture writing errors might make you cringe with recognition. But shake it off: Bestselling novelist Jerry B. Jenkins will help you fix them.

by Jerry B. Jenkins Read more

Seven Tips for Writing Children’s Nonfiction

Here are seven tips from Brandon Marie Miller on researching and writing children’s nonfiction. Read more

Tips for Breaking Into Children’s Writing Through Magazines

Children’s magazines offer great break-in potential: magazines can be hungry for contributions, and selling to a magazine proves that your a pro—a big step in breaking into book publishing. Read more

On The Edge: Poetry for the Younger Set

Will the creation of a Children’s Poet Laureate and the staying power of novels-in-verse allow room for new writers in this burgeoning market? Read more

How to Be a Kid Again—or at Least Think Like One

Marcia T. Jones and Debbie Dadey provide several idea generators to help you get inside the mind of your younger characters. Here are five sense activities to help you recall the vivid experiences and emotions of childhood. Read more

Tackling Tough Issues for Teens

Author Nancy Garden discusses the challenges of writing young adult novel featuring gay teen characters. Read more

A Push Into Teen Fiction

An editor and author of teen novels discusses the children’s book publishing industry and his new imprint. Read more

How to Be a Kid Again—or at Least Think Like One 2

Here are idea exercises you can use to help you get started. Read more

5 Tips To Polish Your Fiction

5 Tips To Polish Your Fiction Read more

How a Great Picture Book Comes to Life

Caldecott-winner Peggy Rathmann shares the process she went through to create her book Ten Minutes Till Bedtime, from the spark of an idea through countless revisions to the finished product. Read more

A Crafty Way to Break into Children”s Writing

reprinted from 2002 Children”s Writer”s & Illustrator”s Market Read more

Don’t Be Such a Baby

Writing for children isn’t for sissies. This genre demands your best work. Answer our columnists’ questions and find out if you’re up to the challenge. Read more

Modern Myth Maker

Alice Hoffman, author of Practical Magic and Here on Earth, proves once again that fairy tales and fables aren’t just a thing of the past. Read more

Children”s Poetry Markets

Special thanks to Alice Pope, editor of 2008 Children”s Writer”s & Illustrator”s Market, for help with compiling this list. October 2007 Read more

David Almond: A Sense of Coming Home

reprinted from 2002 Children”s Writer”s & Illustrator”s Market Read more

Hook Kids’ Attention With Your Writing

Between the Internet, Nintendo and the TV remote how can “boring” books compete? If you’ve never asked yourself a similar question, you’ve probably never written anything for children. Marcia T. Jones and Debbie Dadey explain what it takes to grab a kid’s attention and hold onto it from the beginning to “the end.” Read more

Writing for Kids: Create Believable Characters

Thinking Like a Kid Read more

Postscript: Finding my Way

This debut YA author contemplates her so-called “lucky break.” Read more

5 Tips for Writing for Children

"Dialogue not only keeps young readers engrossed in the action, but also makes the page appear less formidable by breaking up the text." That’s one of the tips from Tracey Dils, author of You Can Write Children’s Books. Read more tips here. Read more

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