Sunday, December 31, 2017


Young adult writers will find many of their readers on Instagram, so how should you use this to market your book?  #KidLitTips

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Avoiding Scams

As a new (or not so new) writer, beware of leaving yourself open to scammers.  #KidLitTips

Friday, December 29, 2017


Ten simple ways to edit your own manuscript.

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Sometimes a flashback isn't one--it's part of non-linear plotting.  #KidLitTips

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Likeable Characters

What can you do to make your characters more likeable?

Common Writing Errors

If you commit these errors, you run the risk of being branded a newbie.  

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


What you as a writer need to know about taxes.

Monday, December 25, 2017


Are pitch sessions at conferences worth it?  #KidLitTips

Sunday, December 24, 2017


Knowing your story's takeaway will help in pitching and marketing it.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Historical Newspapers

Did you know that there are sites where you can view historical newspapers for free?  #KidLitTips

Friday, December 22, 2017

Marketing Strategies

Powerhouse marketing advice from Josh Funk.  #KidLitTips

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Quitting a Project

How do you decide when it's time to give up on a project and move on to something new?  #KidLitTips

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

When Your Agent Lets You Go

If your agent decides to drop you, it's rarely about the quality of your writing.  #KidLitTips

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Author Websites

These four elements belong on the homepage of your author website.  #KidLitTips

Monday, December 18, 2017


If you decide to have a prologue in your book, keep in mind these "don'ts." #KidLitTips

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Snowflake Method

One way to design your novel is to use the snowflake method. #KidLitTips

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Figures of Speech

You may not know the proper name for these figures of speech, but using them will make your writing more interesting. #KidLitTips

Friday, December 15, 2017

Historical Novels

Just because your book is fiction, that doesn't mean you can forget to do your research.  #KidLitTips

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Here are some writing and publishing podcasts.  #KidLitTips

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Reading Your First Draft

Before you can revise your first draft, you have to read it.  #KidLitTips

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Strengthening Your Writer's Voice

We always hear that agents and editors are looking for a great voice, but how do you write that?  #KidLitTips

Monday, December 11, 2017

Young Adult Marketing

Young adults are choosing their own books, so you have to reach them where they are--on social media. #KidLitTips

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Picture Book Agents

Over 170 agents who accept picture books, including my own Liza Fleissig and Ginger Harris at the Liza Royce Agency. #KidLitTips

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Author Websites

These should appear somewhere on your author website homepage. #KidLitTips

Friday, December 8, 2017


There are four classic ways to end a story. #KidLitTips

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Nonfiction Mistakes

You'll want to avoid these nine mistakes when writing nonfiction. #KidLitTips

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Revise and Resubmit

What's involved when an agent requests a revise and resubmit, and how long can/should you take? #KidLitTips

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Point of View

It's important to choose the point of view that best serves your story. #KidLitTips

Monday, December 4, 2017


Here are five common, but easy to make, dialogue mistakes. #KidLitTips

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Boring Words

Why use these common boring words when ones more interesting will do? #KidLitTips

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Historical Novels

Here's a huge list of links to sites that will help make your historical fiction more accurate. #KidLitTips

Friday, December 1, 2017

Author Blogs

Ten reasons why you should start an author blog. #KidLitTips

Thursday, November 30, 2017


We know how important your opening is, so make it the best you can. #KidLitTips

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Facebook Pages and Groups

Here are some best practices to take advantage of Pages and Groups in Facebook. #KidLitTips

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Software for Writers

From productivity apps to spreadsheets, software can help you write your manuscript. #KidLitTips

Monday, November 27, 2017

Beyond the Manuscript

Assuming an editor likes your manuscript, what other factors enter into the decision whether or not to publish it? #KidLitTips

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Book Giveaways

What is the best way to hold a book giveaway to get the most marketing value from it? #KidLitTips

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Twitter Hashtags

Connect with other authors on twitter by using these hashtags. #KidLitTips

Friday, November 24, 2017


It's worth your time to outline your settings before you start writing. #KidLitTips

Thursday, November 23, 2017


E-Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your readers. #KidLitTips

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Building an Author Website

Follow these ten detailed steps, and you'll end up with an author website. #KidLitTips

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Freelance Editors

Do you need to hire a freelance editor to get published? #KidLitTips

Monday, November 20, 2017

Writing STEM Picture Books

This handout from Melissa Stewart gives links to many resources on writing picture books about STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). #KidLitTips

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Social Media Mistakes

Ten things you shouldn't do on social media. #KidLitTips

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Picture Book Tips

If you're new to writing picture books, you'll find these ten tips helpful to get you started. #KidLitTips

Thursday, November 16, 2017


There are many ways to brainstorm ideas, and this infographic shows some of them. #KidLitTips

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Attending a Conference

Ways to keep your conference experience in perspective. #KidLitTips

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Character Description

Stephen King gives six tips for describing your characters. #KidLitTips

Monday, November 13, 2017

Writing Picture Books

Here are twelve lessons from Josh Funk on how to write picture books. #KidLitTips

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Getting Published

Here's an overview of the steps you need to follow to get your book published. #KidLitTips

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Revise and Resubmit

Now that you've received a request to revise and resubmit, what should you do? #KidLitTips

Friday, November 10, 2017

Make Your Writing More Visual

Help your readers visualize your story by using these tips to make your writing more visual. #KidLitTips

Thursday, November 9, 2017

What Does an Agent Do?

Everything! An agent does much more for your writing career than getting a publication contract. #KidLitTips

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


The theme is the underlying meaning of your story. #KidLitTips

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Researching an Agent

Not every agent will be a good fit for you and your writing. #KidLitTips

Monday, November 6, 2017

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Starting a Blog

How to launch a blog with your book in mind. #KidLitTips

Saturday, November 4, 2017


When you have a switch in time in your novel, it's not always a flashback.  

Friday, November 3, 2017


Don't waste your one chance of getting a blurb before you have a contract for your book.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Out of Your Control

There are many parts of the publishing journey that are completely out of your control.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


When do you need permission to quote someone in your writing, and how do you go about getting it?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Story Opening to Avoid

Read why you should avoid these nine story openings.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Online Etiquette

As an author, it's tempting to engaging with online trolls. Don't.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Word History

Use this Merriam-Webster website to find out what words were first introduced during any given year.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Unnecessary Words

We all have crutch words that can be eliminated, and here's a list of many of them.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Book Review Blogs

This interactive website will help you find the perfect places to approach for a book review.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Hooking Nonfiction Readers

Here are some ways to entice a young reader to open a nonfiction book and keep turning the pages. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Using acronyms can make your writing more interesting, as long as they don't confuse your reader.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Retelling Myths and Fairytales

What's the difference between and myth and a fairytale, and does it make a difference to your retelling?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Bookstore Events

The success of a bookstore event is more than just the number of books sold that day.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

#Pitchwars and #Pitchmad

These Twitter contests are one way to get your work in front of agents.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Grand Openings

You only have one chance to hook your readers, so make it good.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Your Writing Voice

You may have the greatest story, but it always comes back to your writing voice.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Unanticipated Sequels

If your lucky enough to be asked to write a sequel, even if you hadn't planned for one, here are some suggestions.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Distant Settings

If you're setting your novel in a faraway land, you want to make sure you get all the details correct.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Building an Author Website

Even if you're not tech savvy, you CAN and should build a simple author website.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Scene or Summary?

In most cases (but not all), it's better to write a scene than to summarize the action.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Improve Your Query Letters

Follow these simple hints to make your query letter stronger.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Supporting Authors

There are many ways to support your fellow authors in addition to buying their books.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Critique Group Hints

One way to make your critique group stronger is to name it. (Shout out to my own group, the Squirrel Girls.)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Photos for Nonfiction

In many cases, your nonfiction book will use photos instead of illustrations, and it's up to you to find them.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Twitter Handle

Here are some reasons you should use your name (or a variation, such as adding books) as your handle on twitter.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Picture Book Style

Picture books are more than short books--they have a style all their own.

Monday, October 9, 2017


These three steps are all you need to create an outline for your novel.  

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Keep your writing muscles exercised by keeping a journal.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Local Publicity

When it comes to marketing your book, local media and organizations are your best friends.

Friday, October 6, 2017

First Drafts

Certainly no one expects a first draft to be perfect, but it would be nice to make it as good as possible.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

After the Conference

What to do (and not to do) when you get home from a writers' conference.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Filter Words

You want to engage all of your readers' senses, but you don't need to filter this through your character's senses.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Helping Other Authors

We're all in this crazy profession together, so let's help spread the word about each other's books.

Monday, October 2, 2017

World Building

No matter what genre of writing, your characters need to inhabit a world that you create.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Query Letter Breakdown

Your query should contain the four paragraphs of information described here.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Character Emotions

There are many ways to show, not tell, your readers your characters' emotions.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Evaluating Feedback

Some critiques of your manuscript are more useful than others.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book Sales

It's surprisingly difficult to find out how many copies of your book actually sold.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Permissions and Fair Use

If you're quoting another book, song, or poem, it's important to know what's permissible under the fair use rules.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Twitter Pitches

There are several opportunities now to pitch your manuscript via a Twitter contest.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Middle-Grade Historical Fiction

When you're writing for eight to twelve year olds, you can't always assume the knowledge of history they have.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Seventy-five questions to help you know more than you ever thought you could about your characters.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Networking With Writers

Here are some tips on how to get to know other writers and form a community.

Beginnings and Endings

It's easy enough to say start when the story starts and end when it stops, but how do you do that?

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Voice isn't just important in fiction--nonfiction writing has voice, too.  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Personalizing a Query

Making an agent query personal is more than getting the name right (though that helps a lot).

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Sometimes the use of imagery in your description can add to your story, but sometimes it's just overkill.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Paths to Publication

There are many ways to achieve your dream of having a book out in the world.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Believable Characters

If your readers believe in your characters, you'll win them over.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


Use this handy cheat technique to take the pain out of writing your synopsis.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Picture Book Revision

Here are some common picture book problems and the solutions to them.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Do you need an agent?

How to decide if an having an agent is for you. (It IS for me!)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Time and Place

It's important to ground your young adult characters in a specific time and place.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Revise and Resubmit

What does it really mean when an agent or editor sends you a revise and resubmit request?

Monday, September 11, 2017

New to Social Media?

Here are some lessons for debut (and not-so-debut) authors.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Author Websites

There are certain pages your author website must have.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Young Adult or New Adult

How do you determine whether your book is young adult or is in the category of new adult, and should you care?

Friday, September 8, 2017

Time Passing

How do you indicate that time has passed between two scenes in your novel?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Second Novels

Writing your second book is a different experience than writing your debut.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Passive Voice

Passive voice in your writing distances the reader from the action and prevents them from engaging in your story.

of the story

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Revising Your Manuscripts

These are fourteen things to consider as you work through a revision.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Back Matter

Back matter is where you put all that information you'd like kids and adults to know that doesn't fit within your nonfiction story.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


When should you use italics in your manuscript?

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Editorial Letters

The first step after receiving notes from your editor is to breathe.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Small Presses

Here are some guidelines to decide if a small press is a legitimate traditional publisher.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Naming Characters

Here are thirty-three resources you can consult when choosing a name for your character.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Nonfiction Proposals

If you're writing a novel-length work of nonfiction, you'll want to submit a proposal.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Hiring an Editor

How to avoid getting scammed if you're hiring an independent editor.

Monday, August 28, 2017


No, the theme of your book is not the same as the plot.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Collaborative Marketing

Expand your marketing efforts by joining forces with other writers.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Twitter for Writers

How should writers use Twitter to their best advantage?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Personalizing Queries

How do you draw the line in your query letters between showing you've done your homework and being creepy?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Creating a Character

A good way to know your characters is to start by interviewing them.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Character Descriptions

Stephen King gives six tips about describing characters.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Public Speaking

Here are some tips for speaking in front of groups.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Science Books

What properties go into making an excellent science book.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Unnecessary Words

Tighten up your writing by eliminating words that aren't pulling their weight. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Practice Novels

Maybe that first novel you right should stay in a trunk.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Questions for Agents

Before you sign that agency contract, here are some questions you might want to ask.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Contrived Plots

Make sure your plots and subplots are believable.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Query Problems

Avoid these common mistakes in your queries.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Toxic Feedback

Sometimes the advice you receive about your manuscript should be ignored.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Writing Career Mistakes

Mistakes to avoid while building your writing career.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

First Page

Tips for writing a killer first page.

Friday, July 28, 2017


Use the dot test to plot the rise and fall of tension in your novel.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Cost of Publishing a Book

Here's a breakdown of expenses to show why it's so expensive to publish a book.  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Whether they're trying to scam you or simply incompetent, stay away from shmagents.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Instead of Using "Feel"

Chances are, if you say your character is feeling something, you're telling not showing.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Book Launch Tips

Here's a list of tips and tasks you need to do in the months leading up to your book launch.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Your Protagonist

Sometimes, after writing your story, you think you may have chosen the wrong main character to tell it.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

World Building

Whether you write fantasy or realistic fiction, your readers need to believe in the world of your story.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Formatting for E-Readers

Make it easier for an agent to identify your manuscript on an e-reader using this simple trick.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Writing Contests

There are many writing contests out there, so be sure to choose the ones that are right for you and your manuscript.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Facts About Book Publishing

Here are 15 facts about book publishing, some of which may be new to you.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Historical Fiction

Eight suggestions for researching (and writing) historical fiction.

Monday, July 17, 2017


It's not easy to proofread your own manuscript, but these hints will help.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tasks for Self-Publishers

50 tasks you need to take on if you decide to indie or self-publish.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Author Branding

What is author branding and does it really matter?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Agent Survey

Agents opinions about personalization, credentials, comp titles, and more.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Critique Groups

If you want to bring your writing to the next level, you may need to transform your critique group.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


You might want to think about whether your prologue is helping or hindering your story.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Most of these hints to extend your Instagram reach apply to other forms of social media.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Dreaded Synopsis

Before writing your synopsis, make a list of events vital to the story.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Narrative Distance

When writing in third person, you can adjust the zoom on your storytelling camera.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Query Rejects

Here are some of the reason your query might be getting rejected.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Writing Conferences

If you want to get the most out of your writing conference, don't do these things.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Twitter Hashtags

Every writer should be familiar with these Twitter hashtags.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Compressed Narration

Sometimes it's okay to give a quick description of events--to tell not show.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Book Blurbs

Here's how to get those testimonials to put on the back cover of your book.

Monday, July 3, 2017


We all need to revise (and revise and revise) our books, and here are some suggestions on how to do it.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Classic Books

What are the attributes of a classic picture book?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Author Website

As an author, you need a website, and here's a step-by-step guide of what you need to do.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Being a Professional Writer

If you want to be a professional writer, don't do these actions that will brand you as an amateur.  

Thursday, June 29, 2017


How you can use Instagram to reach more readers.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


This is an amazing compendium of sound words organized by category.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


When you write a sequel, you can't assume everyone has read the previous book.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Reversion of Rights

Here are the steps to follow if you need to get the rights back for your book.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

What Do Literary Agents Do?

I can't speak about other agents, but my agent, Liza Fleissig, does all these things and much more.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Changing Genres

Here are some things to help you change genres in writing for young adults.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

High Concept

What do agents and editors mean when they say they're looking for high concept books, and how do you give it to them?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Street Teams

A street team (or fan club) can greatly help you market your book.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Design Terms

Understand the specialized vocabulary your art director and designer use.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Word Associations

Find words that aren't synonyms to the one you start with, but rather are related in some way.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Make Your Submission Stand Out

Make your submission one that agents and editors will want to read instead of look for a reason to reject.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Chapter Books

Writing a chapter book is a little like writing a picture book, but also not.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Twitter Basics

Here's a step-by-step guide to using Twitter.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Body Language

Here's a cheat sheet for translating emotions into written body language.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Illustration Notes

When should you give illustration notes for your picture book manuscript?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Hand Selling

The first tip to selling books at festivals is to stand up.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Author Websites

There are a few pages every author website should have.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Writing to the Market

How do you balance writing what you think will sell versus what you want to write?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

After the Offer

Congratulations on getting an offer from an agent; now it's time to ask questions.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Show vs. Tell

We all know you should show not tell, but what does that look like?

Monday, June 5, 2017

World Building

The world you build for your fantasy novel needs to be believable, but also your own.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Picture Books Critiques

As yourself these questions when revising your picture book or critiquing someone else's.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Is Your Manuscript Ready

Find and correct these manuscript problems before submitting.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Book Launch Timeline

Here's a handy checklist of all the tasks you need to do leading up to the launch of your novel.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Openings and Closings

As important as the beginning of your book is, you want to make sure your ending is just as strong.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Middle Schoolers

If you write middle grade, you'd better understand the daily life of children that age.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Editorial Letters

When you receive suggestions from an editor or agent, your first impulse is to do whatever they say, but don't; stop and listen to your heart.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Query Do's and Don'ts

Make your query stand out, but make sure it's in a good way by following these hints.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Should You Leave Your Agent

Think about these issues to decide if leaving your literary agent is the right choice for you and your writing.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Building an Outline

Even if your not comfortable with outlining, if you follow these five steps you'll end up with an outline for your story.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Story Checklist

There are so many things that go into making a good story, and this checklist will make sure you don't miss any along the way.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

How Much Is Luck?

Do you need to be lucky to be published and how can you make your own luck?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Getting an Agent

When it's time to get serious about finding an agent, these tips will help.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Nonfiction Picture Books

Use this form to guide your study of nonfiction picture books in order to improve your writing.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Writing and Money

Laura Purdie Salas shares how much money she makes as a children's book author.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Picture Book Opening Lines

By studying opening lines of published books, you can learn what works and what doesn't.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Core Problem

If your manuscript is missing a core problem, it's fatally flawed.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Publishing Deals

It's great that you were offered a publishing contract, but make sure there are no hidden gotchas.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Query Tips

Fill in this formula with the specifics of your book to create your query.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Good Synopsis, Good Story

Writing the dreaded synopsis can actually help you write a better story.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Skype Visits

Although this article is aimed at educators, it's helpful for authors to learn about doing Skype visits.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Foreign Rights

Whether your book can be sold abroad depends upon how foreign rights are handled in your contract.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Raise the Stakes

What will happen if your character doesn't reach his/her goal?

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Writing LGBTQ

Your LGBTQ characters should not be tokens or stereotypes.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Writing Rules

Five simple writing rules that everyone should know.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


What works and what doesn't when writing a prologue?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bad Reviews

Everyone gets some bad reviews, so don't let it get you down.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Your story will drag under the weight of too many unnecessary words.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Preparing for a Conference

Get the most out of your writing conference by preparing in advance.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Parallel Story Structure

Having two story lines running side by side can add depth to your picture book.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Online Research Sources

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you often need to check your facts.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Social Media in Novels

Social media is a fact of life for today's teens, so it might also appear in your novel.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Evaluating Criticism

How do you determine if a critique of your writing is valid?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Writing About Siblings

Here are some ways to portray realistic sibling relationships in your stories.

Monday, May 1, 2017


How to successfully write with a co-author.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Critique vs. Edit

What's the difference between getting a conference critique and receiving editorial feedback?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Query Letter Bios

It's can be hard to decide what to put in your bio when you're not yet published.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Virtual Visits

Tips to make help avoid technical hiccups and make your video school visit go more smoothly.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Facebook Timing

Is there a perfect time to post on Facebook for maximum exposure?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Young Adult Verse Novels

An interview with three authors who write young adult novels in verse.

Monday, April 24, 2017

No-Advance Publishers

Things to consider if your traditional publisher doesn't offer an advance.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Why Your Manuscript Was Rejected

Here are six reasons you might get a "no" on your submission.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Here are many samples of worksheets that are useful for your writer's notebook.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Small words can make a big difference in your story.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Networking Events

Here are some tips to get the most out of a publishing networking opportunity.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Poetry Terms

Common words used to describe poetry and what they mean.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pen Names

Three reasons you might want to consider using a pen name.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Vetting Publishers

Not all publishers are created equal, so do your due diligence before submitting.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Before Talking to an Agent

Figure out the answers to these three questions before talking to an agent.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

What Do Agents Look For in a Writer?

When agents choose an manuscript, they're also looking at the writer.

Friday, April 14, 2017

How Writers Get Can Get Noticed On Social Media

If you're new to social media, maybe some of these hints will help ease your way in.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Book Marketing

There are steps you can take before your book is released to kickstart your marketing efforts.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Middle Grade Themes

You can go wrong by building your middle-grade story around one of these themes.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Picture Book Premise

Is the premise of your picture book strong enough to make it stand out from the many others that agents and editors are considering?

Monday, April 10, 2017


Overused sayings and actions turn into cliches.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Writing Conferences

As we enter conference season, it's important to learn what not to do if you don't want to sabotage yourself.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Dialogue Errors

The dialogue in your story will sound more natural if you avoid these common errors.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Pitch Contests

What are pitch contests and is it worth entering them?

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Most titles change before publication, so don't agonize how to title your manuscript.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Book Launch Essentials

Seven steps you need to take to prepare for a successful book launch.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Secondary Character

Yes, your protagonist is the star of the story, but you don't want to make the other characters flat or stereotypical.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Getting Rich from Writing

No, writing may not bring in a lot of money, but it will enrich you in many other ways.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Historical Fiction

There's a lot to think about if you want to write historical fiction.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Editing with Text to Speech Software

Let your computer read your words out loud will help you find problems with your manuscript.

Friday, March 31, 2017


Several ways to edit descriptions to avoid both over- and under-writing.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Picture Book Agents

This list contains 170+ agents who accept picture book (usually as well as other) manuscripts.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Scene Issues

Three common reasons why a scene might not be pulling its weight and how to fix them.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Underdeveloped Characters

Here are some ways your character might not be a fully developed as you'd like.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Luck and Getting Published

What may look like luck to an outsider actually is created through hard work.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Query Letter Basics

All you need to know to write a query letter that represents both you and your work.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Author Blogs

Here are some good reasons why authors should or should not have a blog.

Friday, March 24, 2017


Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, here are some places you can go to check that all the facts you present in your story are correct. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Difficult Subjects

How do you write a picture book biography about someone who's had difficult issues?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Middle Grade or Young Adult

What factors determine the age level of your manuscript?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Revising for an Editor/Agent

When an editor or agent suggests revisions without offering a contract, it's up to you to decide if your should make them.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Flexible Outlines

Just because you've written an outline, that doesn't mean you have to slavishly follow it.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Writing Hints

You can learn a lot about writing by observing editors.  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Query Letter Rejections

There are reasons an agent might pass after only reading a query letter.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Starting Your Story

There are many ways to start your story, including the unexpected, an image, and action.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Character Flaws

There are four types of characters flaws: core, lesser, tragic, and fatal.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

Conference Packing List

It's easy to forget, so here's a handy checklist of things to bring to a writers' conference.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

All About Agents

Everything you wanted to know about agents, but were afraid to ask.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Record Keeping

No one likes paperwork, but these downloadable templates will help you keep better track of who has seen your manuscript.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Starting and Finishing

You'll never have a publishable manuscript unless you start writing it and eventually finish doing so.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Contract Options

There are parts of a standard publishing contract that you may be able to negotiate.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

After a Conference

What do you do when you get back home after taking advantage of everything your writers' conference had to offer?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Why Don't Agents Explain Rejections?

There are several reason agents send form rejection letters, not the least of which is they need to spend their limited time on their clients.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Agents and Marketing

Your agent's role doesn't end when a publishing contract is signed.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Inner Editor

Though we're often advised to ignore our inner editor, sometimes it's worthwhile to pay attention.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Picture Book Revision

When revising your picture book, it may help to ask these questions about your manuscript.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Agent Pet Peeves

You might want to make sure you're not hitting any of these pet peeves when you query agents.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Writing Books

As writers, we need to keep learning, and here are some craft books to help you do just that.  

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


It's not always easy to figure out where your story actually starts.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Words to Eliminate

Tighten up your writing by getting rid of these unnecessary words and phrases.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Character Descriptions

It's the detailed descriptions that bring your characters to life.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Formatting Matters

You may think formatting rules and agent/editor guidelines don't apply to you, but you're wrong.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

No-Show Book Events

If despite the best efforts of you and the bookstore  no one shows up, what should you do.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Picture Book Endings

There are several ways to end a picture book that will make a child want to immediately hear the story again.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Understanding Writing Advice

Some commonly heard advice for writers is often misunderstood.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How Many Queries?

Authors share how many queries it took for them to sign with an agent.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

Core Problem

To keep your readers' interest, your novel needs to contain a core problem they care about.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Scene Structure

How asking the right questions can create a powerful scene.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Everyone loves to read about villains, the badder the better.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Agent or Editor

Here are some hints to help you decide whether you should submit your manuscript to an agent or to an editor.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

New Agency

On January 15, 2017, Lupine Grove opened to submissions of picture books through young adult novels.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Conferences and Festivals

Here's a list for 2017 of writers' conferences and book festivals.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Great Endings

How to write a satisfying ending so you don't let your readers down.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Free Writing

Liberate your creative mind through the use of free or side writing.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Memorable Characters

What can you do to make your characters stand out for your readers?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Query Tips

Thirty-eight agents give you suggestions about the best way to make your query successful.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Planning Your Book Launch

Preparations for a successful book launch have to start long before your publication date.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Guest Blogging

There are right and wrong ways to request being a guest blogger.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Agent Matching

You and your agent should match in personality, business style, and agency relationship.

— Personality — Business and Professional Style — Nature of the Agency Relationship

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Scene Structure

One way to structure your scene is to think of it as a series of questions and answers.

Monday, February 6, 2017


The first rule of writing a book with a co-author is to suppress your ego.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Getting an Agent

An author offers these lessons learned from the great agent hunt.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Book Titles

Though your editor might choose to change your book title, a good one will help your book sell.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Copy Editing Checklist

There are so many things to check during the copy editing stage of publishing.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Proposal Evaluations

Editors and Agents look at your book's idea, its execution, and your author platform.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

First Draft Fails

Even if your first draft is a complete mess, you can still clean it up with these revision tips.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tips for Beginning Writers

If you're just starting out on your writing journey, you might find these tips helpful.

Monday, January 30, 2017

How Many Queries

Here's an interesting, but non-scientific, survey about how many queries it takes to land an agent.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Wrong Word Errors

It's important to carefully review your manuscript to make sure you haven't inadvertently misused a word.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Pen Names

If you decide you don't want to publish under your real name, here are some things to consider as you choose your pen name.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Small Publishers

If you don't have an agent, it's up to you to evaluate a publisher.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Author-Illustrator Teams

Here are some things to consider if two people, an author and an illustrator, want to submit a manuscript together.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Deep Point of View

Writing in deep point of view allows you to get past your character's surface emotions.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Backstory in a Query

There's limited room in a query, so leave out the backstory of your manuscript.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Red Flags

Avoid these writing red flags to increase the chance an agent or editor will ask to see more.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Book Category

The category of your novel (middle grade or young adult) determines where it will be shelved in a bookstore.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

When Your Agent Says, "No"

Your agent is not going to love every manuscript you send, so what should you do if it's a pass.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Slang and Jargon

The judicious use of slang and jargon will make your dialogue more authentic.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Communicating With Your Editor

To make the most of your author-editor relationship, you need to have good communication between the two of you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Agent Search

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you begin your search for an agent.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Word Count Trackers

If you want to keep track of how many words you've written each day, there's software to help.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Don't Rush Revising

When it comes to revision, it's important to take your time.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Your endings should make your readers say, "wow!"

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Editorial Letter

The first step after receiving an editorial letter is to take a deep breath.

Friday, January 13, 2017


Follow this checklist so you don't miss anyone in your acknowledgements pages.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Series

Writing a book series is more than simply having multiple books about the same characters.  \

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bad Writing Rules

You shouldn't blindly follow all the writing rules you hear along the way.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Third Person

When writing in third person, you need to choose between an omniscient or limited point of view.

Monday, January 9, 2017

TED Talks

Children's writers and illustrators might find these TED talks both useful and inspiring.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Inner Editor

When you should, and shouldn't, listen to your inner editor telling you what to do.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Picture Book Elements

As you write your picture book manuscript, keep these ten elements in mind.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Boring Edit

This revision technique simply involves identifying the boring parts of your manuscript, then fixing them.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Book Launches

Questions to ask yourself as you plan your book launch, including, "What are your goals?"

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Book Blurbs

What can you do to increase the chances someone will agree to blurb your book?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Sales Figures

What does it actually mean when you hear a book sold a certain number of copies?

Monday, January 2, 2017

What Do Literary Agents Do

An agent does much more for you than just selling your book.

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Here's an introduction to Goodreads for both readers and writers.