Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Use sound to add another dimension to your writing.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Writer Blogs

Use this tool to find writer blogs of interest.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Submission List

Look behind the scenes at how an agent crafts a list of editors to submit to.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

How Not to Start a Novel

These scenes might not be the best to choose for your opening.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

Response Times

What's an agent doing before he/she responds to your query?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Are You Easy to Work With?

Follow these suggestions to make your relationship with your editor or agent better.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Even though we're writing for children, there's a place for adults in our stories.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Book Release

What should you do in the month before your book is going to be released?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Deep Point of View

When the author disappears entirely from the story, you're in your character's deep point of view.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Music for Book Trailers.

There are several sources of LEGAL music to use on your video.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

LGBTQ Stereotypes in YA

Here's a five-part blog series on how to avoid LGBTQ stereotypes in young adult novels.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Picture Book Structure

There are many different ways to structure your picture book.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Social Media Etiquette

Avoid social media gaffes by using these tips.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Agency

Newly formed Rising Bear Literary Agency will represent picture book through young adult authors.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Signing Checklist

What to do before, during, and after your book signing event.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Micro-Level Revision

After you've revised your manuscript over and over again, it's time to look at the individual words and sentences.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


There are many different ways to choose a title, and here are some examples.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Agent Move

Lana Popovic has switched agencies to Chalberg Sussman and is actively looking for new middle-grade and young adult clients.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Leaving Your Agent

If you and your agent no longer connect, maybe it's time to think about moving on.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Writers' Conferences

Why should you go to conferences and how to get the most out of your experience.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


How to incorporate older characters into your books while avoiding stereotypes.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Finding Your Audience

You need to think outside the box to expand your reading audience.

Monday, December 8, 2014


How do you avoid the dreaded infodump while still giving your readers the information they need to understand your story?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Mailing Lists

Here's a source for bookstore and library mailing lists.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Types of Picture Books

Here are some types of picture books that work for different ages of children.

Friday, December 5, 2014

New Agent

Heather Alexander has switched from editor to agent and is now representing picture book through young adult authors at Pippin Properties.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Kill Your Darlings

It's not always easy, but it's important to trim the fat from your manuscript.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Whether you're being paid or not, your critiques should always be professional.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Social Media Errors

Avoid sabotaging your book promotion by making sure you don't do these social media goofs.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Character Arc

Can you get a story published that's only about a situation, but with no character arc?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Books

What's involved in writing and getting published a nonfiction picture book?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

New Agent

Rich Richter has joined the Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Agency and represents picture books through new adult.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Being Professional

What writing mistakes will signal to an agent or editor you're not professional?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pantser of Planner?

Do you plan out your novels in advance or write by the seat of your pants.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Picture Book Structure

There are many possible structures for a picture book.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Short Stories

Short stories are alive and well in the young adult market.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Getting Your Book Reviewed

It never hurts to ask nicely if you want someone to review your book.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Characters are Key

Your book might have the best hook in the world, but it won't be published without well-written characters.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Reasons for Rejection

If your book is rejected, it doesn't necessarily mean it's poorly written.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Do nonfiction books always have to have a story arc?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dialogue Tips

Seven tools to help your dialogue be realistic, but still interesting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

World Building

Here are some techniques to use when creating a fantasy world for your story.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

University Presses

Some books are better served by a university press than a trade publisher.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Similar Titles

When looking for an agent, how similar (or not) should your book be to his/her existing clients?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Booksellers and Librarians

When it comes to marketing, booksellers and librarians are an author's best friend.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Rights Reversion

What's involved in getting the rights to your book back from your publisher?

Friday, November 14, 2014


See samples of many of the colors that might be appropriate for your text.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Whether or not your picture book is written in rhyme, you still need to pay attention to the rhythm of your text.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Agent Call

Prepare before you get the call from a prospective agent so you know what to ask.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Public Speaking

How to make your talks easier for you and more engaging for your audience.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Opening Chapters

Ten things your opening chapter should do.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Scam Literary Agencies

Don't get taken in by a bogus literary agency.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Fairs

Get exposure for your book by participating in a book fair.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Launch Parties

Make your book launch party a success by following these tips.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Book Trailers

How to plan what your book trailer should say and how to accomplish it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Conference Tips for Introverts

How to get the most out of a writing conference, even if you're not comfortable networking.

Monday, November 3, 2014


Here's a list of reviewers for traditionally published books.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

World Building

Do you have to have your story's world completely figured out (and described) before you write the rest of your book?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Song Lyrics

Do you need to have the rights in order to song lyrics in your manuscript?

Friday, October 31, 2014


How to make your dialogue sound as kids would really say those words.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chapter Titles

Your chapter titles can do more than just announce the next pages of your book.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Authors and Editors

How the author and editor partnership makes for a great book.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Opening Chapter

Ten things your opening chapter should do.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Character Based Plotting

Do you need to fully know your character in order to plot your book?

Friday, October 24, 2014


There are many ways to incorporate symbolism into your story.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Scene Breaks

Here are some things you need to think about when you transition to another scene.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Not all prologues are created equal.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shorter is Sweeter

When you write picture books, you need to pare the text to the bare minimum.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Writing Scams

Beware of scams perpetrated by authors and/or malicious others. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Children's Agent

Rachel Brooks from the L. Perkins Agency is looking for fun picture books in addition to novels.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Poetic Lines

How do you decide where to end each line in a poem.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Grandparent Names

Lists of grandparent names, from the traditional to the trendy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

First Drafts

You've finished your first draft. Now what?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Virtual Author Visits

What's the best way to give a presentation when you're not there in person?

Monday, October 13, 2014


How do you format email queries?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Author Events

How to book author events and what to do at them.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Picture Book Tips

Twenty do's and twenty don'ts from Mem Fox about writing picture books.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Career Planning

Agents can do more for you than just selling your book.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dialogue Tips

Written dialogue does not consist of simply writing down the spoken word.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


You can still lay the groundwork for a possible series while writing a standalone book.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Writing Videos

Brian Sanderson has posted videos of all his lectures from his 2013 creative writing course.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bad Reviews

Every book gets some bad reviews, but here are some ways you can minimize them for yours.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New Writer Mistake

The most common mistake new writers make is to rush to publication.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sound Effects

Add fun and interest to your writing with sounds effects.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Write Faster

These three techniques will help you to increase your daily word count.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Leave Room for the Illustrators

Picture book writers can tighten their manuscripts by remembering the illustrations will help carry the story.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Three-Act Structure

Whether you're writing picture books or novels, the three-act structure is a common way to plot your story.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

There's a Book

This website contains reviews of many kids' books.

Monday, September 29, 2014

New U.K. Agency

Skylark Literary will specialize in children's and young adults books.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pen Names

Reasons you might want to consider writing under a pen name.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Amazon Author Pages

Increase your sales by using these strategies on your author page.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Learning from Illustrators

Even if you write novels, your writing will benefit from thinking like an illustrator.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How Many Words

What's the typical word count for the different genres (picture book, middle grade, etc.)?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hiring an Editor

Is it necessary for you to have your manuscript professionally edited before submitting?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Attending a Conference

There are many advantages to going to conferences with a writing friend.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Being a Writer

Contrary to what you might think, you don't need any of these things to be a successful writer.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Introducing Your Main Character

Fourteen things to do (or not to do) to introduce your protagonist.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Myths About Dialogue

Don't believe everything you're told about writing dialogue.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Endpages in hardback picture books help justify their higher price.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Selling Your Picture Book

Here are some things to think about as you try to find a publisher for your picture book.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Middle Grade or Young Adult

What are the key differences between middle grade and young adult novels?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Reader Pet Peeves

What bothers readers about a book?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

How Not to Start a Novel

Here are a few things not to put in your opening pages.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Picture Book Agents

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

Funny Novels

Why you should (and shouldn't!) write humorous novels.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bad Agents

It's true. A bad agent is worse than no agent at all.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014


How much should you refer back to the previous book in a sequel?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Book Events

Get the most out of your next book signing or author visit.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Time Transitions

Sometimes you need to give your reader a hint when time elapses between scenes.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

100 Children's Books to Read

A list from Amazon of 100 children's books everyone should read.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Twitter Hashtags for Writers

Here are some hashtags you may want to follow on Twitter.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Critique Group Advice

Though you should sometimes ignore the advice from your critique group, you should still have one.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Agent Building List

Leon Husock, associate agent at L. Perkins Agency is looking for middle grade and young adult authors.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

We Need Diverse Books

The ground roots movement for more diversity in books now has an official organization.

How Not to Write a Picture Books

Make your picture book better by avoiding these common traps.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Revising Too Much

Overworking your revisions can sometimes be as bad as underworking them.

Friday, August 29, 2014

When Agents Go Bad

How do you know if your agent has gone off the rails?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Adding Depth

Adding more scenes is not the same as adding depth to your story.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blogging Mistakes

Don't make these mistakes on your author blog.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Writing Mistakes

Ten things that will make an editor stop reading your manuscript.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pitch Equals Concept

In your pitch, you need to give the concept of your book.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Things to consider if you're planning on writing a series.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Types of Book Publishing

As shown by this chart, there are many paths to a published book.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Picture Book Techniques for Novelists

Many of the lessons learned in writing picture books are also applicable to writing novels.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Giving Better Critiques

Are your critiques as helpful as they can be?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

What is Voice?

It's hard to define voice in writing, but we recognize it when we read it.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Searching for an Agent

Don't be scammed in your eagerness to find an agent.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pitch Etiquette

There's more to planning your pitch than figuring out what you're going to say.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Writing Scenes

How to make your scenes, the building blocks of your story, the best they can be.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Writing Young Adult

If you're going to write young adult books, you should be reading them.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Do You Need an Agent?

Whether or not you need an agent depends on how you see the path for your career as a writer.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Conference Tips

Make your conference-attending experience a success by following these suggestions.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Reversion Clauses

With the advent of digital media, it's more important than ever to understand the reversion clause in your contract.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mischief In Kidlit

The Wild Things website is devoted to showcasing mischief in children's books.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

New MG/YA Agent

Whitley Abell of Inklings Literary is looking for middle-grade and young adult books.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Author Bios in Queries

What you should and should not include about yourself in a query letter.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Advice from Stephen King

Twenty-two suggestions on how to become an amazing writer.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Path to Publication

Here are some things to remember on your way to being published.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Picture Book Structures

There are many ways to structure your picture book, and here are seven of them.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Crafting Scenes

We all want to write great scenes that keep our readers engaged.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Writing a Series

When you're writing a series, the subsequent books usually have to be written quickly.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Picture Book Revision

Here are some common problems in picture book manuscripts and how to correct them.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Get your story moving and keep it moving.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Essential Story Ingredients

Make sure your stories contain these five vital ingredients.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Nonfiction Detectives

Two librarians review the best nonfiction books for children.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Writing Contests

Winning a writing contest can boost your confidence and maybe even lead to greater things.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Agent

Alexander Slater of Trident Media Group is looking for children's, middle-grade, and young adult authors.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Unusual Words

Add interest to your writing by using fun and different words.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Agent Offers

What do you do after an agent says, "Yes?"

Monday, July 21, 2014

Writing Dialogue

Remember that written dialogue is different than real speech.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Foreign Rights

Even if you have an agent, it's important to understand how the sale of foreign rights works.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Show Don't Tell

We've all heard this advice, but how do you write it?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Educational Materials

Having a teacher's guide for your book will help sell more copies.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Role of an Agent

Having an agent does not guarantee a book sale.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tween Voice

To capture the tween reader, your book needs to have an authentically tween voice.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Subtle Interiority

In addition to interior dialogue, you can inject emotion toward an outward object, place, or person via description or narration.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Query No-Nos

Keep your query letter professional by avoiding these no-nos.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Conference Tips

How to make the most out of your writers' conference.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tough Choices

It's important for your character's growth to face tough dilemmas.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Young Adult Basics

Here are a few things to think about when planning your young adult novel.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Querying Hints

Here are many hints about what to put and not to put in your query letter.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


How can you prevent your character's interior monologue from being all about telling?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Making Picture Books Sing

Use of these poetic tools will help make your picture book memorable.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pre-Flight Checklist

Forty question to ask before you send out your manuscript to make sure it's the strongest you can make it.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Editing on Spec

Should you accept an agent's revision suggestions with no promise of representation?

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Should you promote your book, yourself, or both?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Proofreading Matters

Of course, it's all about the writing, but if you don't proofread your query/manuscript, the reader may never finish your story.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Gap

Make your book a page turner by taking advantage of the moment in your characters' lives when the world acts in a way that surprises them.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Crafting a Pitch

Answer these eleven questions to help you craft your fiction pitch.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Don't be afraid to let your characters talk to themselves.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Our children's books need diversity and non-stereotyping of older people.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Michael Crichton used 3x5 index cards when plotting out his stories.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Curriculum Guides

Make it easier for teachers to incorporate your book into their lessons by providing a detailed curriculum guide.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fast Drafting

Commit to getting that first draft on paper and then put away the manuscript for later revision.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What's Your Book About

Before you can perfect your pitch, you need to understand what your book is about.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Getting an Agent

There are many myths associated with the process of acquiring an agent.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Art Notes

Another approach to use when you need to put art notes into your picture book manuscript.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Why do we love anti-heroes, and why aren't more of them women?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Critique Comments

What if you don't agree with your critiquer's comments?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Query Language

Use of effective language in your queries will increase the chances of receiving interest from an agent or editor.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Writing Young Adult

Here are some tips for writing YA from author Seth Fishman.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Publisher Mergers

What happens and what should you do if your publisher merges with another one?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Books

Led by children's book historian Leonard Marcus, a panel of picture book experts discusses nonfiction in picture books.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Disagreeing With Editorial Letters

What do you do when you receive suggestions from your editor that you don't agree with?

Rejecting Rejection

Remember that rejections are part of the business of getting published.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

World Building Rules

Sometimes it's okay to break the rules when you're building a world for your book.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Overnight Success Stories

Most of the "landing an agent in a day" stories hide the years of work leading up to them.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Plot Issues

Don't force them, but rather use them as an opportunity.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Editorial Process

Here's a description of three phases of editing: macro, line, and copy.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Join the campaign to increase diversity in books. #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Query Letter Additions

Your query letter should only include those items specifically requested by the guidelines, such as the letter itself, SASE, and pages.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Being Nearly There

Sometimes it seems as if the hardest part of the writer's journey is when you've almost succeeded.

Monday, June 2, 2014

School Visits

Hints for planning, preparing, and performing school visits.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Middle-Grade Characters

Middle-graders are becoming independent and starting to solve problems on their own or with limited help.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Face-to-Face Pitches

Pitching sessions are a wonderful opportunity to talk with an agent about your manuscript, but they also have some problems.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Disabled Characters

All children should have the opportunity to see themselves reflected in the characters of our books.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Action Scenes

Action scenes add much more to your story than the action depicted.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Contemporary World Building

Just because you're not writing fantasy, that doesn't mean you can skimp on the world building.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Selling Your Book at Events

Things to do before and at events to sell more books.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Blog Tour Tips

How to arrange and conduct your blog tour.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Meeting Deadlines

Here are some tips to avoid the ever-present distractions of life.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Teacher's Guides

Teacher's guides aren't just for nonfiction.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Don't Forget Setting

Your setting affects your characterization, plot, pacing, voice, and much more.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Finding the Right Title

Just remember, no matter how much you like your title, there's a good chance your publisher will change it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

TV Interviews

What you might want to know before you go on the air.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fantasy Worlds

Three tools to make your fantasy world more realistic and come alive.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Endowed Objects

Giving your characters props does more than just surround them with things.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

All About Agents

What do agents do, and do children's writers need one?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Does Your Story Have Emotional Impact?

Your characters need to show both empathy and sympathy for other characters.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Author Panels

How to make your author panel run smoothly, even if you're not in charge.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Here's a handy list of useful transitional phrases.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sometime It Is Who You Know

Never underestimate the value of networking with your fellow writers.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Picture Book Tips

Five award-winning picture book authors give their advice.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

To Outline or Not

A third choice is to write the outline and then throw it away as soon as you start writing.

Friday, May 9, 2014


Revision and polishing are not the same thing.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Writing Out of Order

Rather than writing your novel from the first scene to the last, try writing them out of order.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Editing for Agents

Many times an agent will give you feedback and suggest revising before offering representation.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Emotional Plot

Unless your character experiences highs and lows, your story will be flat.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Lack of Agent Communication

What might be happening if your agent has gone missing in action.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Kidlit Blogs

Kidlitosphere Central contains links to a wealth of children's and young adult blogs.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

First Pages

A group of agents give advice on writing the first pages of a novel.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Layers of Characterization

There are many layers you can give your character to add to their depth.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

School Visit Toolbox

Bring a box of these essential tools on every school visit.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Improve Your Writing

Nine ways to challenge yourself and grow your writing skills.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Free Trailers

How to make a great trailer for your book without spending any money.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Do You Have a Good Agent?

Having no agent is better than having a bad agent.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Secondary Characters

What role do secondary and minor characters play in your novel?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

Query Letters 101

Include all the information needed in a query letter, but make it short.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Writing Tips

Here are some tips (not rules!) about the creative writing process.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Alphabet Books

Writing an alphabet book isn't as easy as A,B,C.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Formatting Your Manuscript

Using standard manuscript formatting won't get you published, but it will help.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Unlikeable Protagonists

A main character doesn't have to be likeable to be interesting and complicated, worthy of knowing better.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

How to Write a Query Letter

The purpose of your short query letter is to attract an agent's interest enough to request more of your work.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Writing is Seeing

Author Kate DiCamillo tells us writers see and pay attention.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Emotional Anticipation

Build tension to build your character's emotions.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Picture Books

Author George Shannon blogs about all things picture book.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Synopsis Checklist

Make sure your synopsis covers all these points before you send it out.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Middle Grade Nonfiction

Here are some tips for writing nonfiction for the middle-grade level.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Slush Pile

Here's how a first reader describes the reality of the slush pile.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Inspired Openings

As the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a good first impression.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Rhyming Nonfiction

Sometimes a poem is just what you need for your nonfiction topic.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


How much money can you really make as a children's book author?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Learn how to ramp us the tension in your novel.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Crafting a Series

Even if you're a pantser and not an outliner, there are techniques you can use when writing a series.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

1,000 Words Or Less

It's not easy to write with the low word count of the picture book.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

50 Tips to Better Writing

From general tips to editing, here are suggestions to improve your writing.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Writers' Conference Tips

Five simple tips to improve your experience at a conference.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Transitions help the reader switch from one idea/setting/time/person to another.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pitch Sessions

What do agents think about when they listen to your pitch?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tips on Writing a Synopsis

Here are some things to consider when writing a synopsis.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Picture Book Database

Search for picture book titles by category in this database.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Agents and Sales

Just because you have an agent, that doesn't mean your manuscript will always sell.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Writing Picture Books

Here are a few basic rules you may not know about writing picture books.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Nonfiction Research

One of the challenges is deciding how much of your research gets into the book and how much remains for research only.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Historical Fiction

Authors of historical fiction give reasons why it's important.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pinterest for Authors and Illustrators

How authors and illustrators can use Pinterest to market themselves and their books.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Diversity Within Diversity

When writing diverse characters, it's important to remember they're not all the same.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Write the Whole Manuscript

Why you need to finish your book before looking for an agent or publisher.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Skype in the Classroom

Use Skype for a virtual school visit anywhere in the world.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sometimes It's Good to Be Rejected

Author Sarah Aronson looks back on a manuscript she's glad was rejected.


When do you need to seek permission for quoting material, and how to go about getting it.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Rhyming Picture Book Month

The first annual rhyming picture book month opens for registration of March 16, 2014.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Author Platforms

What it means, and doesn't mean, when agents and editors talk about having a strong author platform.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Strong Characters

What's the best way to create strong, believable characters?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Prologues in Submissions

If the guidelines say to send the first x number of pages, should you send your prologues?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Word Choice

By the judicious choice of words, you can save pages of world building text, whether your book is fantasy or realistic, historical or contemporary.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

What to Look For In an Agent

You have to understand your own needs before you can decide whether or not an agent will be a good fit.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Getting Ready to Pitch

The secret to good pitches is being prepared.

Edit Without Mercy

It's not enough to be a good writer--you also have to be a good reviser.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Is It Young Adult

If the main character is a kid, does that automatically make it young adult?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fantasy Finales

Here's a list of fantasy series which have ended and are worth reading.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Protagonists and Antagonists

Every story needs a protagonists, but it doesn't always need an antagonist.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Capstone YA Imprint

Capstone launches a new young adult imprint, Switch Press.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Agent Questions

Links to posts about questions to ask a prospective agent.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Middle-Grade Themes

Middle graders learn about these common literary themes in their language arts class.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Grammar No-Nos

Sometimes it's okay to break the grammar rules--just look at the writing of these famous authors.

Friday, March 7, 2014

How to Write YA

Here are a few simple "rules" about writing young adult novels.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Heart of a Character

Questions to ask in order to truly understand your character.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

When the Publishing Process Goes Awry

It's not always smooth sailing to publication, even if you have an agent.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Giving and Receiving Critiques

Newbery Medal winner Linda Sue Park gives detailed information about the critiquing process.

Monday, March 3, 2014

YA Novels Everyone Should Read

Young adult novels aren't just for kids anymore.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Reading Like a Pro

Here are tips to make your school or bookstore reading professional.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Character Wounds

Seven common themes for the psychological damage of characters.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Writing Cross-Culturally

Ten great resources for understanding how to include diversity in your writing.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Conference Dos and Don'ts

Get the most out of your conference attendance by following a few simple "rules."

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thought Verbs

Show your story instead of telling via what your character thinks, wonders, believes, understands, etc. something.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Starting Your Novel

Find the place that feels right and start your novel there.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Characters with Disabilities

How should you portray characters with disease or disability?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Color Thesaurus

What a great idea--color names to enliven your writing, displayed atop a swatch of the color.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Overused Words

Here are some great suggestions for words you can cut from you manuscript.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

First Drafts

It's not just you. Nobody writes good first drafts.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Is it MG or YA?

What determines if it's middle-grade or young adult--the age of the protagonist? the themes? the word choices? something else?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Make sure your book ends as strongly as it begins.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Trailers

Eleven tips for making the most out of a book trailer.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New MG/YA Agent

New agent, Laura Zats of Red Sofa Literary is open to queries for MG and YA novels.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Writing Race

Ten questions to ask yourself when writing cross-culturally.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Protecting Your Ideas

Even if another book comes out based on a similar idea to yours, it's all about the execution of that writing.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Positive Traits

Use your characters' morals and basic needs to showcase their positive traits.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Interiority vs. Telling

How can you show your character's interior thoughts without lapsing into the dreaded "telling?"

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Don't Quit Writing

Here are a few tips to help keep you on your writer's journey.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Skype Visits

A school librarian shares why Skype visits work for her and her students.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Writing a Series

If you're planning a series, it's a good idea to plan out the broader strokes.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Rewriting History

Ten rules of thumb for writing historical fiction.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Large Revisions

Organize before you revise to help avoid being totally overwhelmed.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Inciting Incident

What is the even that really starts your story?

Sunday, February 2, 2014


How to change scenes without resorted to the hackneyed, "meanwhile, back at the ranch."

Saturday, February 1, 2014

World Building Tips

Even if you're writing realistic fiction, you still need to build the landscape of your story.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Writing Out of Sequence

There's no law that says you have to write your rough draft in order from the first word through to the last.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blog Tour Tips

Here are some tips to help you have a successful blog tour.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Writing Group Rules

Hints from members of a writing group that has been together for twenty years.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Creating Active Characters

What does your character want, what does she need to do to get it, and what stands in her way?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Opening Scenes

We need to care about your character in your book's opening.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fantasy Novels

Ignore the trends and don't write a "me too" novel.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Research Links

Links to government, university, library, and other sites for doing research.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Query Dos and Don'ts

Agent Rebecca Sherman tells what you should and shouldn't do when querying.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Worldbuilding in Science Fiction

How to create a universe for your story without using the dreaded infodump.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Revising on Spec

What to consider if an agent asks for revisions before offering representation.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Weaving a subplot into your novel will help bring out more facets of your characters.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Rules for Writing YA

Teens despise fakes and won't read a young adult novel unless it feels real.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Midwest Book Review

A description of one journal's way of doing it, gives insight into the book review process.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Character Building

Use this online tool to see which archetype your character is.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

School and Library Visits

Get your understanding for the visit in writing using these forms as a template.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Reader Age

Though this article was written about magazine articles, it's also applicable to books.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Researching Agents

The Literary Rambles blog keeps adding to its interviews of kidlit agents.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Suspending Disbelief

Make it so your readers can't help but be carried along by your story.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cross-Cultural Fantasy

It's important to be respectful of all cultures when you write fantasy.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Secondary Characters

Supporting characters tend to fall into certain archetypes.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Inspired Openings

The more you care about your character, the better you can make your opening.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Successful Dialogue

Tips from playwriting can help improve the dialogue in your manuscript.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bad Query Letters

If your query contains some of these, an agent might pass without even reading your manuscript.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


How do you write a realistic and gripping battle scene when writing for children?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Biographer's Challenge

In a biography, how do you make your character more than just his or her accomplishments?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mapping Your Story

This simple method will help you keep track of multiple storylines.

Character Chart

You can use this very detailed chart to learn more about your character.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014


Here are some hints to creating a good beginning for your stoyr.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Emailing Submissions

Formatting an email submission takes some work on your part.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Picture Book or Short Story

It's important to know if your manuscript will work as a picture book.