Monday, December 31, 2012

Avoiding Scams

Remember, money flows to the author, not from the author.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Elusive Voice

What do editors mean when they say they are looking for a strong, unique voice?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Writing in Meter

It's not as easy as it seems to keeping your rhythm consistent.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Book Trailers

Now that you've made your book trailer, what should you do with it?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holding Back Information

When you're pitching or querying, don't leave any surprises.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tension on Every Page

Here are some tips to put tension, even if only a little bit, on each page of your manuscript.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Series Pitfalls

Even if you're writing a series, each book has to stand on its own.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Submission Guidelines

This incredibly useful site provides links to the submission guidelines for Children's Book Council publishers.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Picture Book Biographies and Story Arcs

Not all picture book biographies fit neatly into the standard story arc structure.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Action and Reaction

Your story is a chain of actions and reactions, each leading to the next one.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Common Core Standards

What are the standards and which states have adopted them?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How Many Books to Pitch

Only pitch one book, your best one, in a query.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Royalty Calculations

You need to look past the percentage.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Free Indirect Discourse

How do you give your character's thoughts, even when you're writing in third person.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Writing Rules of Thumb

You need to know the rules before you can decide if you want to break any of them.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Visual Editing

Break out your colored highlighters/crayons/markers before you revise.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Creative Nonfiction

How does creative nonfiction differ from nonfiction and historical fiction?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nonfiction Mistakes

It always helps to have someone else's mistakes to learn from.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


There are many ways to speed up or slow down your book's pace.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Facebook Profiles, Fan Pages, and Groups

What are the different types of Facebook pages and when should you use each type?

Monday, December 10, 2012


When you query longer nonfiction, you're usually asked to submit a proposal.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fruit and Vegetable Idioms

Make your writing more interesting by using these idioms based on fruits and vegetables.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Reference Books

Seven reference resources for writers.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ticking Clock

One of the best ways to increase suspense in a novel is to add a deadline.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Word Choices

How to choose the best word(s) to say what you mean.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Turning Down a Contract

It takes courage, but sometimes it's in your best interest to reject an offer.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Twitter Etiquette

Make sure your tweets project a professional image. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012


This one-line summary boils down your book into a simple statement that can be easily understood.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Contract Negotiations

Use these tips to help you negotiate several typical contract clauses.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Daily Writing Tips

Take a few minutes each day to read these great daily tips.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Not to Blog About

There are some things which you shouldn't announce to the world on your blog.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Don't let your minor plots lead your story astray.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Getting Past Rejection

Kelly Light shows one you shouldn't give up.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Foreign Language Words

Five tips on how and when to use foreign language in your manuscript.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Literary Contracts

What are the many things to look at in your book contract.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Character Brainstorming

Author Martina Boone shares her worksheet for thinking about characters.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


When you should and should not add an epilogue to your book.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Third Person: Omniscient vs. Limited

When you use the third person point of view, you have some decisions to make.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Ever Elusive Voice

There are many paths to creating a great voice.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


When should you use flashbacks and how should you incorporate them into your writing?

Friday, November 16, 2012


What do editors look for in a nonfiction project?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Word Counts

Most of us know the approximate word counts for different genres of kidlit, but this post also gives the "sweet spot."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Too Didactic

There's a limited market for issue books and even these should never be preachy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Contests and other giveaways are a book-marketing tool.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Writing Prompts

How writing prompts can help you improve your craft.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Author Spots

Promote your school visits by creating mini-videos to be shown to the students before you arrive.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Blog Photos

Photos are copyrighted, so you can't just copy them from other blogs and websites.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Editorial Letters

After you sell your book comes the wait for your editorial letter.

Should You Blog

Here are some points to help you decide if blogging is for you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Terrible First Drafts

If you assume your first draft is going to be dreadful, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

School Workshops

Suggested sequences and timings for various length school visits.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Foreign Settings

Whether your setting is far away or just unfamiliar, you need to do your research.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Chapter Breaks

Choose your chapter breaks so your reader won't be able to put down your book.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Here's a three-part series about writing the three books of a trilogy.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Boilerplate Contracts

There can be many pitfalls in a standard publisher's contract.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Picture Book Biographies

Kathi Appelt shares her thoughts about writing picture book biographies.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012


You don't want to telegraph the future to your reader when you're foreshadowing.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

YA Agents

If you write YA, you'll want to check out this list of agents who rep young adult books.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kindergarten Books

Here are the must-read titles for the Kindergarten set.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sensory Details

Use all five senses to make your writing jump off the page.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How Not to Get a Book Deal

Don't do the things on this list if you ever want to get an agent or be published.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First Drafts

Some hints for writing a quick and dirty first draft.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Novels in Verse

Here's a list of novels written in verse, from middle grade to adult.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Story Structure Charts

There's more than one way to tell a story.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Launching a Book

A few do's and don'ts for getting your book out in the world.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


What are the pros and cons of writing with a partner?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Photos and Copyrights

Make sure you don't do these common mistakes when using other people's photos on your blog.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Finding Author's You Might Like

After you put in the name of a favorite author, you'll see a map of other authors you might like.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Map Your Setting

Drawing a map of your settings will help you keep everything in the correct place.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Editors at Conferences

Going to a writing conference is a wonderful way to make a personal connection with and have the opportunity to submit to editors.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Show, Don't Tell

Here's a new way to determine if you are telling instead of showing.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Picture Book or Short Story

They may be the same number of words, but they're not the same.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

SCBWI Events

Listing, by month, of SCBWI regional events around the world.

Friday, October 12, 2012


You're not always doing someone a favor when you include his/her name in your acknowledgements.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Book Contracts

Ten key points to consider in your book contract.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Writers' Organizations

National and international writers' organizations by state.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Heinlein's Rules for Writing

Rule One: You must write.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Festivals

Some hints to make your appearance at a book festival go more smoothly.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Magazine Markets

Author Evelyn Christensen provides links to submission guidelines for children's magazines.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


How to integrate conflict into the overall structure of your novel.

Friday, October 5, 2012


In this age of social media, are pseudonyms a relic of the past?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tighten Your Writing

Some simple tips to eliminate unneeded words and phrases from your manuscript.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Reasons for Rejection

What are the biggest reasons editors and agents say no?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Don't try to push your own agenda in your writing.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Great Pitches

The secrets to a great pitch lies in answering these questions.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Work for Hire

What you need to know about taking on a work for hire job.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Complete Rewrites

Revising your book is more than just changing a word here and there.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Promoting Your Book Apps

How to help people hear about and find your book app.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Trailers

Eleven tips to making a good trailer for your book.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New MG/YA Imprint

Kathy Dawson Books, a new imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, will publish  "emotionally driven" MG and YA titles.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Reasons why the conflict in your manuscript may not be working.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Agent-Requested Revisions

Agent Joan Paquette discusses why and when an agent might ask for a revision.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New Children's Imprint

McSweeny's has a new imprint dedicated to books for children -- McMullen's.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Agent Plagarism

There are many things in this life to worry about, but having an agent plagarize your work isn't one of them.

Managing Social Media

How to participate in social media while still have to time to write.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

YA Publisher

Spencer Hill Press specializes in urban fantasy, sci fi, and paranormal romance for young adults.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Editorial Bug

What do editors think about as they are editing a manuscript?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Agents are Good for Authors

Even if you're not agented, you benefit from the work agents do on behalf of their clients.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rhyming Rules

The "Meter Maids" give ways to improve your rhyming manuscripts.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Write with Urgency

Ways to make your nonfiction (and your fiction, too) more interesting.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Revising Means Re-visioning

If you're only making small changes here and there, you're not revising, you're copy editing.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Choosing a Writers' Conference

How do you decide whether a particular conference is worth it?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Storybook Apps

If you want to write an app, you need to read and play apps already out there.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Breaking Into Nonfiction

An interview with author Jennifer Reed discusses how to get started writing nonfiction.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Picture Book Month

For those of us who love picture books, let's celebrate in November.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Finding Time to Write

No, these hints won't give you more hours in a day, but they might help you carve out some writing time.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Opening Scenes

Five reasons why your opening scene is like a blind date.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New MG/YA Publisher

In addition to books for adults, Jolly Fish Press accepts middle grade and young adult novels.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Comp Titles

In your nonfiction book proposal, you should include titles of similar books.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blog Designers

Some things to think about before you hire someone to set up a blog for you.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tips for a Better Blog

Thirteen simple tips to make your blog better.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

First Page Concepts

What are some common things editors see in first pages?

Friday, August 31, 2012

What takes so long?

What is it about publishing that makes it take year(s) before your book comes out?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ending a Blog

Five things to consider before you pull the plug on your blog.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Is Your Manuscript Ready to Query?

Here's a checklist to make sure your manuscript is all sparkly and ready to go.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

When to Outline

Even if you don't make an outline before you write, it helps to do so after each draft.

Monday, August 27, 2012

picture book titles

Two things to avoid when you're titling your picture book.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Quiet Books

Even if your book is quiet, it still needs to be interesting.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Writing Contest Scams

Watch out for these red flags before entering a writing contest.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Best-Ever Teen Fiction

NPR (National Public Radio) conducted a poll to choose the 100 best young adult novels.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

21 Plot Shapes

There are many more ways  plot shapes than what you learned in school.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Character Names

Some tips for choosing appropriate names for your characters.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Small Presses

What are the pros and cons of publishing with a small press?

Monday, August 20, 2012


How to write a synopsis, using The Wizard of Oz as an example.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dialogue Punctuation

Using the correct punctuation makes your dialogue more readable.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Getting Critiqued

Give yourself enough time to think about a comment before you dismiss it.

Friday, August 17, 2012


If you're writing nonfiction, and often fiction, you need to do research.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Writer's Resume

Every once in a while, a publisher will ask you for your writer's resume. Here's how to do it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Boy Readers

They don't just want to see boy protagonists.

Monday, August 13, 2012

After Publication

You thought your work was done after your book was published. Wrong.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Multiple Critiques

How do you synthesize the feedback from multiple sources?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Strengthen Your Novel

Thirty one-minute tips to make your novel stronger.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

What are E-Books?

The answer is not as simple as you might think.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New MG/YA Publisher

Month9 Books will specialize in speculative fiction for tweens and teens.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Waiting for Your Contract

Why does it take so long after acceptance to get your contract?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Believable Fantasy

Seven trips for writing a fantasy your readers will buy into.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New MG/YA Agent

Kathryn Patten, a new agent with Sherre Bykofsky Associates, is interested in acquiring middle grade and YA novels.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Children's Imprint

Seven Stories has a new children's imprint, Triangle Square Books for Young Readers.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Even if you're envisioning a series, each book still needs to stand alone.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Library Purchasing

How libraries choose which books to publish and how you can increase the possibility yours will be picked up.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Inexpensive Book Promotion

Free and almost free ways to promote your book.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Formatting Your Manuscript

Here's a refresher on proper manuscript formatting.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Multi-layered Characters

Make your characters more interesting by adding more layers.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Even introverts can participate in promoting their books.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Writing tips to take away from the writings of Ernest Hemingway.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bilingual (Spanish/English) Market

What you need to write for the bilingual children's market.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Outliners and Pantsers

Why you should be both--an outliner for your plot and a pantser for your characters.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Blog Tour

What is a blog tour and how does it work.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Starred Reviews

Publishers Weekly provides a list of the starred reviewed children's books for 2012 so far.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Make Your Blog Work

Here are many tips to improve the odds of people reading your blog.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Agent Kristen gives three reasons why prologues don't work.

Pitching an Unfinished Novel

Don't approach agents or publishers with until your novel is finished and polished.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fantasy World Building

A website for YA fantasy authors to learn about building worlds.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rights vs. Copyright

What you need to know about them and the difference.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Do Book Trailers Work?

Here's an article from the Chicago Tribune about why book trailers fail to help sell books.,0,1514308,full.story

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Interesting Nonfiction for Kids

The I.N.K. blog covers all things nonfiction in children's books.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Editorial Letters

What to do after you receive an editorial letter.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bilingual (Spanish/English) Publishers

Spanglish Baby offers a list of publishers who put out books in Spanish and English.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Make Your Blog Work

How to get more people to read and comment on your blog.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Online Reference Desk

Hundred of links to fast fact sites, such as almanacs, magazines, organizations, etc.

Reading Level

Find out the reading level for many titles.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nonfiction for Kids

If you write nonfiction, you'll want to join the Yahoo group, NF for Kids.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book Packagers

A question and answer with Dori Butler about working with book packagers.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Literary Contests

How to tell whether a literary contest is legit or just out to take your money.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Your villains still need to be well-rounded characters.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Writing Resources

An exhaustive list of resources for writers on the internet.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Revise and Resubmit Requests

Editors and agents don't want you to rewrite your story into something you don't want.

Friday, June 29, 2012

School Visits

Detailed advice from author Susan Uhlig and getting, planning, and doing school visits.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


A question and answer chat with author Joanne Mattern about writing biographies for children.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Business Expenses

Author David L. Harrison explains what does and does not qualify as a writing business expense.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Agency

Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, has formed a new agency, New Leaf Literary & Media .

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Book Proposals

If you're thinking of writing a nonfiction book, you need to know how to write a book proposal.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Setting as a Character

There are many ways to let your setting also work as a character in your novel.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Children's Publishers

Links to many publishers, large and small, of children's literature.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

M.F.A. Programs in Children's Literature

Here's a cheat sheet to help you decide which program is best for you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sound Words

An onomatopoeia is a word that sounds like a sound.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What do Agents Do?

Agents do much more than submit your manuscript.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Editor and Publisher Interviews

Author Cynthia Leitich Smith interviews editors and publishers.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Agents for Jewish-Themed Books

These agents have shown interest in children's books with a Jewish theme.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Writing Mistakes

Common mistakes of new (and sometimes veteran) children's book writers.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Talking Animals

What are the "rules" for having talking animals in your story?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Word Count

Here are is the range of word counts for the various genres of children's books.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Work for Hire

Here are some great links to get you started in the world of work for hire.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Picture Book Apps

Five reasons why picture book writers should stay the course.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Call

Questions to ask when you receive "the call" from a prospective agent.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Reader Age

Some hints to make sure your writing fits the age of your reader.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Publishing Contracts

What are the typical things a publishing contract contains?

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Some ways to help you never run out of ideas.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Character Names

Some things to think about when you're naming your characters.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Email Lists

Strategies to expand the email list you use for promoting your book.

Monday, June 4, 2012


How do advances work and are they negotiable?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

CBC Diversity

The aim of this Children's Book Council is to promote and celebrate diversity in children's literature.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Grounding Your Reader

You don't want your characters to be just talking heads.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Conference Critiques

How to get the most out of your professional manuscript critique.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Novels in Verse

Here's a list of middle grade and young adult novels written in verse.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Writing a Series

Maybe you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Editing Clauses

How to protect yourself from having your work edited without your approval.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mass Market vs. Trade

What's the difference between mass market and trade books?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Revise and Resubmit

What should you do after you receive a revise and resubmit request from an agent or editor?

Friday, May 25, 2012

GLBT Books

Look on the left column on Lee Wind's blog for a list of books with gay teen themes and/or characters.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Looking for an Agent

How to search for an agent and what questions to ask when he/she calls.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Perfect Plot

Author Linda Joy Singleton tells how to create the perfect plot.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Independent Editors

How to choose an independent editor and avoid getting scammed.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Manuscript Blindness

You need to let your manuscript rest before you revise, or you'll miss changes that need to be made.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Creative Writing Degrees

How to you choose the best BFA/MFA program?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Humor in Multi-cultural Books

Why aren't there more funny multi-cultural books?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Picture Book or Magazine Story

What's the difference and how to tell which one you've written.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Next Books

What if your agent doesn't like your next book?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tightening Your Manuscript

Simple tips to cut thousands of words.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Legal Information

The Publishing Law Center site provides legal information for the publishing community.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Read Aloud Books

Here's a list of books (plus another list of ones missing from the first list) you should read to children by the age of 10.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Twitter Tools

Here are four (out of over a million) useful Twitter tools.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Popular Names

Search the social security database for popular first names by year of birth.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Perfected Your First Page

Here are three exercises to make your first page shine.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Reversion Clauses

It's important that you have a non-ambiguous reversion of rights clause in your contract.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Guest Posts

Writing guest posts on other peoples' blogs may be the most effect social media effort you can do to sell more books.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Conference Mistakes

Avoid making these common mistakes at your next writers' conference.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Exclusive Queries

Should you give an agent an exclusive on a query?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New MG/YA Agent

Michelle Witte of Mansion Street Literary is looking for mg and ya.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Illustration Notes

Should you include illustration notes in your picture book manuscript?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What is Young Adult?

What's the history of the YA genre and what does it mean now?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Value of Blogging/Tweeting

Does blogging and/or tweeting help a book's success?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Conference Expectations

If you sign up for a conference critique, expect to get a professional assessment of your manuscript, not a book contract.

Monday, April 23, 2012

blog tours

Tips on how to plan a blog tour for your book.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Nonfiction Picture Books

Nonfiction picture books aimed at older readers often have bigger word counts.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Racism and Sexism

How to check for racism and sexism in your manuscript.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Why Small Publishers Fail

If you're thinking of submitting to a smaller publisher, read this post first.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Balancing Story and Prose

How do you find the sweet spot between story and prose at the macro and the micro level.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

editing someone else's work

Some hints from Nathan Bransford about critiquing other people's work.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Longer Picture Books

Even though picture book word counts are getting shorter, for older readers you might be able to include more.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Multicultural Blogs

Blogs to help you become more familiar with multicultural books and customs.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Press Coverage

How to get exposure for you and your manuscript.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Blogging Mistakes

If you have a blog, avoid these mistakes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Narrative and Transition

How to maintain forward momentum in your manuscript.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Eight things you should know about Goodreads.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Why Your Book Isn't Selling

What you can do to boost your sales.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Publishing Terms

Some resources and advice about publishing terms and contracts.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ending a Chapter

You don't want your readers to put down your book at the end of the chapter.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Children's Writers Forum

If you write for children, you should be looking at the Verla Kay Blue Boards.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Free Social Media Tools

50 free tools you can use to increase your social media presence. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Children's Magazines

Here's a new site with information of children's magazines.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Writing Funny

What makes for a funny situation?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Don't Overshare

Some things to think about when using social media.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tips on Your Publishing Journey

Author Natalie Whipple shares what she would have done differently.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Things you should know about Pinterest.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

School Visits

Some tips from author Debbie Dadey on how to make them less horrifying.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Revision and Rewriting

Revising is more than just polishing your writing.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Author-Agent Agreements

Here are a few things to look for in your agreement.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Picture Book Agents

Not all agents represent picture books. Here's a list of some that do.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to Annoy Your Reader

Don't do these things or you'll pull the reader out of the story.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Automatic Manuscript Rejections

If you do any of the following, you risk having your manuscript immediately rejected.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Genre Novel Names and Nouns

Here's some great advice about naming characters and other nouns in your world-built novel.

Friday, March 16, 2012

After Signing Your Contract

Do these things right away, while you have time and before you forget.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rewriting vs. Revising

Is it enough to just change a word here and there or should you be typing material in from scratch?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Radio Interviews

Practical suggestions for making the most of a radio or podcast interview.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How to Pitch

Simple advice on how to approach and editor/agent pitch at a conference.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Inner Thoughts

How do you punctuate inner dialog and what tense should you use?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Agent Follow-Ups

Should your agent follow-up on submissions to editors?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Editorial Process

A quick peek at what happens editorially after your manuscript is acquired.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Categorized Picture Books

Are you looking for a picture book on a specific topic?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Questions From Agents

What might an agent want to know about you when he/she makes the call.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Selling Poetry

Advice on how to sell poetry.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012


Especially with nonfiction, you may be asked to give a competitive titles.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blog Analytics

How to figure out who is reading your blog.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

How to Impress an Agent

Thirteen tips to put your best foot forward.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book Trailer

How to make your own book trailer.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Questions to Ask a Prospective Agent

When you get "the call," what questions should you ask an agent?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sentence Fragments

What are some situations where it might be appropriate to use sentence fragments?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Twitter Hashtags

Loreen Leedy's list of twitter hashtags to follow for: children's books, writing, publishing, and education.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

100 Greatest Kids' Books

Parent and Child Magazine picks the 100 greatest children's books.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sentence Structure

25 dependent clauses you can use to vary your sentence structure.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What Does Your Character Know?

How to keep track of your characters' knowledge.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Concept Critique Groups

An interesting alternative (or addition) to the traditional critique group.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Author Photos to get the best possible business photo. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Google+ Profile

Five mistakes you need to fix in your Google+ profile.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Conflicting Advice

Is it really conflicting or is something else the problem?

Friday, February 17, 2012


How eliminating the frame makes your writing stronger.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Updated Publishing Terms Dictionary

Terms you need to know about the publishing industry.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Freelance Editors

How to find a good freelance editor for your manuscript.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Crafting a 90-second pitch

These hints work whether you're pitching in person or in a query letter.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Words for Facial Expressions

Don't limit yourself to a standard few descriptions of facial expressions.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cutting Scenes

How to decide which scenes can and should go when you revise.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Small Presses

Should you consider publishing with a smaller press?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012


How to craft a short storyline to use when asked what your book is about.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tighten Your Writing

These specific suggestions will help you trim the fat from your manuscript.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ideas for Choosing a Title

What makes a good title and how to choose one.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fast First Drafts

Why should you speed through your first draft.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Word a Day

Build your vocabulary.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fix Your Opening

Openings that might cause your manuscript to be rejected and how to fix them.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Status Queries

An agent gives good and bad examples of how to find out what's happening with your submission.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monitor Twitter

How to keep up with twitter posts of interest while still having a life.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Query Mistakes

The most common query mistakes according to a survey of agents.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Reverse Dictionary

When you know the definition, but can't think of the word, you need a reverse dictionary. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Formatting No-nos

Make sure you've taken care of these formatting problems before you submit.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Too Much Promotion?

How to promote your book without annoying people.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Publishers

How to evaluate the risks of accepting an offer from a new publisher.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cross-Cultural Writing

Stacy Whitman of Tu Books gives advice on how to write about a culture other than your own.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Internal Dialogue

How do you balance internal dialogue with showing visceral responses?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hooks, Loglines, and Pitches

What's the difference between them and examples from The Wizard of Oz.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New MG/YA Agent

Rachael Dugas of Talcott Notch Literary is looking for mg and ya, including historical fiction.

Monday, January 16, 2012

phrases to avoid

Tighten your writing by avoiding these redundant phrases.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Scene Checklist

What to look for to make sure every scene has tension and conflict.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Skype School Visits

Some points to consider when you're planning a Skype school visit.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Too Much Dialogue

How to tell if your manuscript is dialogue-heavy and what to do about it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

YA Dystopian

Dystopian titles by decade of publication.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dialogue Tips

Simple advice to improve your dialogue.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Five worksheets to help you brainstorm and inventory your author platform.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Idea Theft

Are you afraid someone will steal your work?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

North American Book Awards

Annotated list of nationally sponsored children's book awards.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012


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