Saturday, December 31, 2016

Copyright Pirates

There are actions you can take against illegal copies of your book online.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Age Bands in Children's Books

Children's books tend to fall into age bands, from board books through young adult (and even on to new adult).

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cause and Effect

Make sure you're telling your story in the correct order.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Revision Checklist

Thirty questions to think about before you tackle your next revision.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Between Final Text and Publication

Many things have to happen after you hand in the final text of your manuscript and its publication.

Monday, December 26, 2016


There are several reasons when you should use a flashback, and many why you shouldn't.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Body Language

Here's a handy chart to help you add emotion to your manuscript through body language.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Multi-Author Events

If you're planning an event involving many authors, you need to start planning early.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Picture Book Agents

You need to have more than one picture book, no matter how awesome it may be, to get an agent for your picture books.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Powerful Picture Books

According to Eve Bunting, the most important picture book writing advice is to think visually.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

First Person POV

First person point of view can be powerful, but can also be limiting.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


How to write endings that make your readers say, "wow."

Monday, December 19, 2016

Picture Book Language

The language of picture books is different than that of prose.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Agent Communication

It's important to keep the lines of communication with your agent open.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Book Titles

Choosing a good title for your book, even if your editor ends up changing it.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Multicultural Fiction

We certainly do need diverse books, but what does that really mean?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What To Expect From an Agent

It's important to know both the many things agent do and also things they don't.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Offline Marketing

Sometimes you need to meet your readers in real life.

Middle Grade

Four writing tips to make your middle-grade adventure novel a book children can't put down.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Filter Words

Filtering thoughts and sensory information through your characters creates a wall for your readers.

Monday, December 12, 2016


It's helpful to see sales figures from Bookscan, but they don't represent your total books sold.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Multiple Points of View

When your novel is told from multiple points of view, how do you layer them?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Picture Book Principles

For a book with so few words, successful picture books have principles for follow.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Agent Questions

After you receive "the call," don't forget to ask questions of a prospective agent.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Goodreads for Writers

Use Goodreads to interact with your readers and get reviews.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Revise or Give Up

It's sometimes hard to decide if it's possible to save your manuscript in trouble.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Character Hooks

Giving your character a special talent or skill will help elevate your manuscript.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Revision Problems

There are many reasons your revision might not be working, and here are a few common ones.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

In-Person Pitching

The first step to pitching your manuscript to an agent in person is to take a deep breath and relax.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Young Adult Novels

When writing for young adults, it's important to get the voice and language right.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Personalize Your Query

It's easier making your query personal if you follow one of these examples.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Nonfiction Voice

Your voice when writing nonfiction needs to convey your authority.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Email Marketing

Avoid being considered spam by following these suggestions for marketing via email.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Breakout Picture Books

What are the elements that will turn your picture book into a breakout title?

Monday, November 28, 2016


Bookscan gives you valuable information about your book's sales, but excludes many sellers, so the numbers don't reflect your true number of sales.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Self-Editing Checklist

Use the items on this checklist when revising your manuscript, including the important first one: "Develop a thick skin."

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Social Media No-Nos

If done well, social media can help your book marketing efforts.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Animal Characters

Tips for writing well-developed animal characters include paying attention to scale.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


There are many ways to bring humor to your picture book.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Picture Book Agents

Not all agents represent picture book writers, but these do (including my agent: Liza Fleissig of Liza Royce Agency).

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

First Line

Your opening line needs to encourage readers to continue on with your story.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Free Verse

Successful novels in verse often follow these general guidelines.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Series Book Beginnings

How do you bring new readers up to date without boring those who are familiar with your series?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Press Kit

Make it easier for reporters by creating a press kit about you and your books.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Picture Book Dos and Don'ts

Here are 20 tips about writing picture books from Mem Fox.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Although it's like your title will be changed before publication, you still want to choose a good one to help attract the attention of an agent or editor.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

After the Call

What are the next steps after you get the call offering representation?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Five Big Publishers

There are five big publishers, but they have many divisions and imprints.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Amazon Reviews

Amazon has specific rules governing how they decide if a review is legit.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Story Arcs

Here are three types of story arcs: change, failed, and static.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Goodreads Giveaways

How to plan your Goodreads giveaway to get the most bang for your buck.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Query Dos and Don'ts

Remember a query is your first introduction to a prospective agent or editor.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Young Adult Publishers

Here's a list of 21 publishers who accept young adult manuscripts.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Memorable Characters

The secret to creating characters you're readers won't forget is in the details.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

When to Say, "No"

As exciting as it is to receive an offer of publication, sometimes the best decision is to refuse it.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Critique Notes

After you receive a critique or an editorial letter, put it aside for a cooling off period before you get to work.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Reasons for Rejection

There are reasons your manuscript may be rejected that are unrelated to its quality.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Dynamic Characters

You want your characters to resonate with your readers.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Seasonal Stories

If your story has a strong season or holiday tie-in, it needs to be unique to make up for the shorter selling window. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Query Letter Extras

There's more to a query letter than the pitch, such as personalization and your bio.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Levels of Editing

Your manuscript needs different levels of editing for different revisions. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Virtual Visits

Doing a Skype school visit needs different preparation that an in-person one.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Twitter Pitches

Perks and pitfalls of participating in Twitter pitch events.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Character Names

Things to think about when choosing your characters' names.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Working the Booth

Here's some advice for selling your books at festivals and other events.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Weak Words

Avoid these five words to make your writing stronger.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

World Building

Here are a few practical tips for creating a believable world in your story.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Storyboarding Your Picture Book

There are several methods to choose from in creating a storyboard for your picture book.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Query Letters

There are some things you should NOT include in your query letter.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Formatting Your Novel

Here are the basics of formatting your novel for submission, including submitting via email.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Critique Groups

Being a member of a critique group may help your career, but it also may hurt it.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Middle Grade vs. Young Adult

There are several key differences between these two types of novels.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Book Clubs

What about a book makes it a good candidate for book clubs?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Information about how libraries acquire and categorize their books.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Submitting, Then Getting an Agent

If you choose to submit on your own before getting an agent, what do you need to consider?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Weak Words

Avoid these five weak words to make your writing stronger.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Query Letters

There are five basic parts to a successful query letter.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Novel to Movie

Don't get your hopes up--chances are there won't be a movie made out of your novel.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Picture Books Publishers Don't Want

There are several types of picture books that, for the most part, will not interest editors.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Story Holes

Find holes in your story by using a novel journal.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Preparing for Writers' Conferences

Get the most out of your conference experience by doing a bit of work ahead of time.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Author Platform

What is (and isn't) an author platform and do you need one?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Your Copy Edit

Just when you thought your book was finished and ready to go, you get notes back from your copy editor.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Children's Book Publishers

Here's an extensive list of children's book publishers with links to their websites.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

Boring Words

Why use boring words when you can make your writing sparkle by using these alternatives.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Continuing On After Rejection

It helps to hear about how there can be success after multiple rejections.  

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Pitch Your Novel

Here are several tips to make your pitch the best it can be.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Very Young Audiences

Here are some tips to keep your littlest audience members engaged at an event.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Book Terms

Here's your chance to find out what all the different parts of a physical book are called.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Finding an Agent

The first step in finding an agent is to decide what you want in an agent.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Sales

There could be many reasons why your book isn't selling as well as you expected it to.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Critique Partners

Why is it so important to have someone else read your work-in-progress?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Show, Don't Tell

We've all heard the advice to show, don't tell, but how do you do that?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Large Book Advances

Even if you're one of the very few who gets a six-figure book deal, you might want to keep your day job.  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Show, Don't Tell

Show, don't tell, doesn't mean you should never have narrative in your book.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Scene Lists

Whether you're a pantser or a plotter, a scene list will help keep your novel on track.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

First Page Tips

Here are five suggestions for writing a first page that will draw in your readers.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pen Names

Here's why you might (or might not!) want to use a pen name for your writing.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Story Concept

Is the concept of your story strong enough to sustain an entire book?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Understanding Voice

Everyone talks about the elusive voice, but what do they really mean?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Making Twitter Work for You

Here are some reasons that the way you use Twitter might not be building your author platform.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Opening Pages

What do editors look for when they begin reading your story?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Giving Up On a Manuscript

How do you know when it's time to move on from a beloved manuscript?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Funding Author Visits

Help schools afford to bring you in for a visit by sharing these resources with them.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

YouTube Reviews

Widen your social media marketing efforts with YouTube reviews.

Saturday, September 10, 2016


Here are some ways to write, and not write, descriptions in your novel.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Writing a Better Picture Book

With so few words in a picture book, it's important to make sure each one of them serves your story.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Keeping Your Reader's Interest

Here are some of the reasons a reader might put down your novel.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Successful Book Launches

Ten steps for launching your book, including an important eleventh step--celebrate.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Do You Need an Agent?

Maybe not, but here are some reasons you might want an agent.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Types of Nonfiction Picture Books

There are many ways to structure and write a nonfiction picture book.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Missing deadlines can sabotage your writing career.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Friday, September 2, 2016

Getting Book Reviews

There are steps you can take to increase the chances a blogger will want to review your book.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Query Letter Rejections

Here are some reasons your query letter might be rejected, and what you can do about it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Perfecting Your Pitch

To perfect your pitch, think of it as a verbal query letter.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Critiquing Other People's Works

Here are some things to consider before agreeing to look at someone else's manuscript.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Critiquing Other People's Works

Here are some things to consider before agreeing to look at someone else's manuscript.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

After the "Yes"

After an editor says he/she wants to publish your book, it still has to be approved by other editors and the acquisitions committee.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Family Stories

How use a family story as a basis for your historical fiction middle grade or young adult novel.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


If approached correctly, bloggers can be your book's best friend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Grammar Checklist

This handy checklist will help you eliminate grammatical mistakes in your manuscript.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Mapping Your Book

Create a roadmap of the scenes in your book to make sure it all works together.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Character Voice

There are many ways to give your characters their own unique voices.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

Astronomical Event

If you're going to refer to an astronomical event in your book, make sure your science is correct.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

First Five Pages

There are several things you need to accomplish in the first few pages of your novel.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Pitching Your Book

It's better not to simply talk rather than read a scripted pitch or recite it from memory.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Book Festivals

When you're an author at a book festival, there are things you should NOT be doing.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Plot Twists

For a great plot twist at the end of the story, you need to provide clues and misdirections along the way.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Critiquing a Novel

Whether your critiquing your own work or someone else's, this checklist will remind you of points you need to consider.

Great Dialogue

Great dialogue gives your reader information about your characters' fundamentals, history, and wants.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Instagram for Writers

Instagram is the social media platform of choice for many teens, so if you write YA, maybe you should be on it too.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Weedy Words

Don't let these words be the weeds invading your manuscript.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Setting Mistakes

Make your setting work for your story by avoiding these mistakes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Libraries Promote Books

It's not enough to get your book into bookstores--it needs to also be available in libraries.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Copyright Myths

Yes, your story is automatically copyrighted as soon as you write it.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Picture Book Publishers

There are many publishers who acquire picture book manuscripts.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Sale of First Novel

How long does it take to sell your first novel?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Facebook Regulations

You need to understand these Facebook rules or they might take down your profile.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Dialogue Problems

Avoid these common errors in writing your dialogue.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Query Problems

Here are some common issues that agents see in queries.


How do you separate helpful feedback from that which you can ignore?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Writing Pitfalls

Here are some common problems seen in the first five pages of a manuscript.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Free Writing

Free writing helps get your character out of your head and onto your pages.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Balancing Writing and Marketing

Yes, it's important to market your book, but you need to leave time to write your next book, too.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sales Figures

How much do the sales of a previous book impact your ability to get your next book published.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Organizing Your Edits

Here's one method to keep your novel's revisions on track.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


The difference between Instagram and Twitter is more than just pictures vs. words.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Big Five

This handy-dandy chart shows you all the imprints and divisions of the big five publishing companies.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Botched Beginnings

Here are some things to avoid in the opening pages of your novel.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


How do you decide to whom you should dedicate your book?

Getting Rejected Can Help Your Writing

Why you should aim for a hundred or more rejections a year.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Why Queries Are Rejected

Agent Janet Reid shares the reasons she rejected some queries.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Introverts and Conferences

With careful preparation, introverts can attend and benefit from conferences.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


If you have a flashback in your novel, it's better to not have it in your opening pages.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Words to Use Instead of "Very"

Rather than adding "very" to increase the impact of a word, try using some of these words instead.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Voice vs. Grammar

Sometimes you have to break grammatical rules to bring out your voice.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Outlining a Scene

Answering these ten questions will help you lay out your scene.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Author Photo

Your author photo is an important part of your book marketing.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Letter of Agreement

If you're doing a school visit, it's a good idea to agree to a letter of agreement ahead of time. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Participating on Twitter

Tips to help you join in on Twitter conversations,

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Is Your Query Letter Ready

Use this handy flowchart to decide if your query letter is ready to send.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

LGBTQ Parents in Middle Grades

Here are some tips on how to write LGBTQ parents in your middle grade novel.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016


Not all sales have the same impact on the success of your book.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Naming Characters

The last thing you want to do is confuse your readers by a poor choice of character names.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Plot Twists

All the elements for your plot twist have to already have appeared in your manuscript.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Speaker Introductions

Make it easier on your hosts by giving them a standard biography to use as your introduction.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Post-Contract Schedule

Your work doesn't end just because your manuscript is accepted.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Picture Book or Short Story

Though they may have similar word counts, picture books and short stories are not the same.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Dialogue Problems

There are some standard mistakes writers make in dialogue.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Query Formula

Take the anxiety about writing queries by following this simple formula.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Publicity Department

An advantage of publishing traditionally is you have access to a publicity department.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Boring to Exciting

How to turn the boring parts of your story into the parts people want to read over and over again.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Debut Author Lessons

There are so many business- and marketing-related things to learn as a debut author.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


There are no hidden secrets to the submission process--editors and agents are clear about what they want and how they want it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Leaving Your Agent

If it's time to divorce your agent, these statistics will show you that you're not alone.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Turn the Page

Write your picture book so that the reader won't be able to resist turning the page to see what happens next.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Common Writing Errors

We all make these errors occasionally, but it's worth trying to avoid them.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Successful Book Signings

In order to have a successful book signing, you first have to get people to show up.

Friday, June 24, 2016


Here are some things to consider if you're thinking about writing with someone else.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


There are a few simple things you can look for correct when you're revising your manuscript.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Submit to Editors First?

If you're planning to query agents, should you be also be submitting to editors?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

After the Offer

Here's a checklist of things to consider before you accept an offer.

Monday, June 20, 2016


We all want to thank the people who have helped us with our book, but make sure they want to be publicly acknowledged.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Third-Person Point of View

There's more than one type of third-person point of view you can use in your story.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Author Visit Schedules

It's up to you to make sure the schedule for the day of your author visit makes sense.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Email Query Formatting

Your email query letter should not be formatting the same way as a snail mail one.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

World Building

Whether you write realistic or speculative fiction, you need to build a world for your characters to inhabit.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Out of Print

How does a publisher decide your book is out of print, and what does that mean for you?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Make your dialog better serve your story and your characters.

Monday, June 13, 2016

What Does an Agent Do?

Selling your manuscript is only one of the many ways an agent helps your writing career.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Critique Partnerships

Follow these suggestions to maintain a mutually helpful critique partnership.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Crutch Words

Here's a list of words that writers commonly overuse in their manuscripts.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Twitter Pitches

Should you be participating in twitter pitch sessions if you're looking for an agent?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Nonfiction Plots

Just because you're writing nonfiction, doesn't mean you can get away without a story arc.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


In general, you should avoid random switching between different character's points-of-view.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016

Kid-friendly Words

Check out this list of fun, cool, and interesting words that kids will love.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Agency Contracts

Contracts can be overwhelming, so here are some things to look for in your agency contract.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


How to not only survive co-writing, but use it to your best advantage.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Kill Your Darlings

We've all heard the advice to "kill your darlings," but what are some common ones that can go?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Successful Book Signings

The first key to a successful book signing is to choose the right bookstore.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Basic Tips

If you're new to writing children's books, here are some tips to get you started on the right path.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Automatic Rejects

If you you want to sabotage your query, just follow these suggestions.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Planning a School Visit

Help a school plan and fund your school visit by sharing this information with them.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Merchandising Rights

More than you ever wanted to know about the right to create merchandise (toys, games, stuffed animals, etc.) based on your book.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rhyming Mistakes

It's easy to write poorly in rhyme, so make sure to avoid these mistakes.

Friday, May 27, 2016

School Visit Tips

Here are some basic things to keep in mind when you're thinking about doing school visits.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Picture Book Process

There are many steps from thinking about writing a picture book to showing the published book to children,

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Debut Year Tips

You learn so much as a debut author, including many of these tips.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Educational vs. Trade

What are the differences between educational and trade publishers, and what do these mean to the author?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Agent Red Flags

It's important to check out prospective agents before submitting to them.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Secrets of Publishers Authors

Here are some things that you learn after you've been published.

Friday, May 20, 2016


Most children's book authors earn more from their school visits than from sales of their books.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Facebook Profiles vs. Pages

As an author, is it better to have an official page or use your personal profile to market your book?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Historical Research

If your write historical fiction, you want to make sure you are being true to the time period.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Use subtext to get your idea across without explicitly saying it in your text.

Monday, May 16, 2016


The first rule of choosing a title is to make it unique.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Turning Points

Build a compelling story by using these turning points in your narrative.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

State Standards

This chart of state standards by subject and grades will help you decide if your nonfiction idea for a book will fit into the school curriculum.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Author Visit Grants

Increase your chances of receiving a request to do a school visit by sharing this list of grant and funding sources.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Social Media Networks

Why you should join all the social media platforms, even if you plan to concentrate on only one or two.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Story Structure

The three-part structure is a common way to plot your book.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book Trailers

Some libraries will let you upload your book trailer to their catalog.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Point of View

There are many possible points of view you can choose for your story.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Debut Authors

The most important thing you can do to help the success of your book is to write a great story.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Rhyme Crimes

If you choose to write in rhyme,  avoid these mistakes.  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Role of an Agents

Agents do so much more than sell your book to a publisher.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Writing Apps

There are now many apps available to help you with your writing.

Monday, May 2, 2016


Agents at Bologna 2016 discuss trends in children's and young adult publishing.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Opening Pages

It's not always easy to figure out where your novel should start.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Publishing Terms

Thirty-five terms about the book business that all authors need to know.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Books

For those who write or are thinking of writing nonfiction picture books, here are some helpful hints.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Goodreads Giveaways

Follow these tips to get the most bang for your buck with your Goodreads giveaways.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Socializing at Conferences

One of the reasons to go to writers' conferences is to network with other writers and publishing professionals.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Author Website

Even if you're not yet published, an author website is your business card on the web.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Too Many Ideas?

If you don't have time right now to develop your latest great story idea, make sure you make some notes for the future.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Revise and Resubmit

Is it appropriate to grant an exclusive after you've received an editorial letter with an offer to revise and resubmit? (Hint: yes)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Independent Publishers

The best home for your manuscript might be with an independent publisher--one who's not part of a major conglomerate.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Show Don't Tell - Usually

Though the general rule is "show, don't tell," there are always exceptions.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Publishing Business

Be prepared to delays and surprises on your road to publication.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cutting Words

There are some simple techniques you can use to tighten your writing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Facebook Author Page

Give people a reason to "like" your author page.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Paid School Visits

When you're asked why you charge for school visits, you can give these answers.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Professional Writers

Here are some tips on how to treat your writing as a professional career.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Writers Conferences

To get the most out of a conference, you need to both prepare in advance and reflect afterwards.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


When writing a series, avoid these seven deadly sins.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Giving Too Much Away

It's tempting to say yes to book donations, free author visits, and the like, but you need to learn to say no.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Character Descriptions

Bring your character to life with vivid character descriptions.

Monday, April 11, 2016

How Much is Enough?

How do you know when to stop spending time, money, and energy on promoting your book?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

New Agent

Stephanie Fretwell-Hill of Red Fox Literary is looking for picture books, middle-grade, and young adult titles.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Promoting Your New Book

Your book's first year after publication is the time to pull out all the stops.

Friday, April 8, 2016

After Leaving Your Agent

How do you approach a prospective agent if you and your previous agents have gone your separate ways.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Work for Hire

Writing work for hire books is a nice way to bring in income from your writing efforts.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Comparable Books

When you're trying to catch the interest of an agent or editor, it often helps to compare your book to published titles.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Book Events

It's up to you to make your book event successful.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Writing Tips

Maybe one of these nineteen writing tips will be what you need to take your writing to the next level.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Contract Negotiations

Negotiating contracts is more than just getting the biggest advance.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

100 Writing Blogs

Here is a list of 100 writing blogs along with a description of their contents.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Multiple POVs

Sometimes using multiple points of view is the best way to tell your story.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Twitter for Writers

Using Twitter incorrectly will cause your marketing efforts to backfire.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Author Platform

What do agents and editors actually mean when they say you should have an author platform.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fictional Nonfiction

Can you still call a book nonfiction if it contains fictional elements?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Picture Book Publishers

This website features detailed descriptions of the types of picture books put out by different publishers.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Books About Slavery

With all the current discussions about the depiction of slavery in picture books, it's important to read how other recent titles have handled the subject.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Don't Ask Agents These Questions

If you ask a prospective agent these very basic questions, it shows you're not read to get an agent.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Picture Book Extra Features

What's involved in writing a book with extra features, like gatefolds and diecuts?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

World Building

There are many things you need to decide when building a completely new world.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Don't be "That" Author

You want to be an author that agents and editors want to work with.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Highlights Foundation Scholarship

Apply for a James Cross Giblin Scholarship to attend one of the many kidlit courses offered by the Highlights Foundation.

James Cross Giblin Scholarship

Monday, March 21, 2016

Freelance Editors

If you choose to hire an editor, make sure you find one who's right for you and your project.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


If you're planning on a series, you need to plant plot hints along the way.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Question and Answer Time

Sell more books simply by moving the question and answer period after the signing.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Reinventing Your Career

Even the most successful writers sometimes need to do a course correct on their career.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Getting the pacing of your story right is a balancing act.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Children's Book Market

You need to pay attention to the market, but not write to the market.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Revising is more than changing a few words and moving some scenes around.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Historical Fiction

Yes, it's fiction, but you still need to do your research.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Character Names

Here are some thoughts on choosing your characters' names.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Book Publicists

How to find and work with a book publicist.

Friday, March 11, 2016


There are many types of nonfiction in children's books.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Publisher Rights

It's important to understand the rights in your contract that the publisher may want to keep.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Writing Conferences

Get the most out of a writing conference by following these tips.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Common Rejections

No one likes to receive rejections, but it's helpful to understand what the common ones are really trying to tell you.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Book Signings

Careful planning is the key to having a successful book signing.

Researching with Twitter

Think of the Twitterverse as an introduction to experts in any field.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Here are nine tips to help you write the dreaded synopsis.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

New Agent

New agent Stephanie Fretwell-Hill  represents everything from picture books to young adult.  

Friday, March 4, 2016


How do you find the balance between too much and too little interiority?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Writing Tips

A writer shares what she wishes she had known when first starting out.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Questions for Agents

During the excitement of "the call," don't forget to ask questions of your prospective agent.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Reader Empathy

You can increase your readers' empathy by showing the vulnerable side of your characters.

Monday, February 29, 2016

First Lines

There are many techniques to craft a first line that will pull in your readers.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

New Agent

Tanusri Prasanna is look for children's books from picture book through young adult.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Offer of Representation

Congratulations, an agent wants to represent you. Now what?

Song Lyrics

Before using someone else's lyrics in your story, you need to understand the legalities.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Craft Books

If you're looking for a writing craft book, this list will help you make a decision on which to read next.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


Sometimes having constraints on your writing, like word choice or number of words, can spark your creativity.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Children's Book Categories

From board books through new adult, it's not just the age of the main character that differentiates the different categories of children's books from each other.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Here are some things editors look for when deciding whether or not to acquire nonfiction.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Opinions differ on whether it's acceptable or not to have a prologue.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


How do you condense your story into a single sentence?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Out of Print

In this era of print on demand and ebooks, how do you know if your book is officially "out of print?"

Friday, February 19, 2016

Why Write for Children?

Not that those of us who love kidlit need an excuse to write for children, but here are some additional reasons.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Unrealistic Tropes

How to avoid using unrealistic, but common, actions and events in your story.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Learning From Your Agent

An agent is your partner in your writing career, and can share many lessons with you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


It's tempting to include all the backstory you know about your characters, but you need to resist the impulse.

Collaborative Writing

Will writing with a partner work for you?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Fictional Worlds

Whether you write fantasy or realistic fiction, you still need to construct the world your characters live in.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Publishing a Picture Book

You need passion, persistence, and professionalism to get a picture book published.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


There are many things you should consider before writing a biography.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

School Visits

From planning your presentation to selling books, here are some essential tidbits for successful school visits.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Good agents

Things to think about when you're search for your perfect agent."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Chapter Endings

We all know how it's nice to have a cliffhanger at chapter's end, but how do you go about doing that?

Monday, February 8, 2016

The First Chapter

Here's a checklist to help you revise that oh-so-important first chapter.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Outdated Slang

Make sure you're not accidentally using slang words in your YA that will date your novel.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Writing Books

With so many craft books from which to choose, how do you decide?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Promotion Timing

If you're running a promotion, make sure it's in place before spreading the word on social media.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Misused Words

Make sure you don't confuse these similar words.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Character Descriptions

The writing rule of "show don't tell" applies when describing your characters.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Picture Book Literary Agents

Read what excites agents who represent picture book authors.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Writing Advice

What do you wish you had known before embarking on your writing journey?

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Book Promotion

Can you launch a book without making yourself miserable?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Style Sheets

Keep track of all the important details in your story with a style sheet.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Know Your Character

You need to understand many minor details of a character's life in order to bring him/her to life in your writing.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


A story's voice is how the words, sentences, and paragraphs are put together.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nonfiction Plots

Here are some things to consider when deciding how to plot your nonfiction book.