Monday, December 31, 2018

Simple Edits

Fix these easy to find edits to make your manuscript stronger.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Informational Books

Use these three "D"s--delight, design, documentation--in evaluating nonfiction books.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Elements of Plot

Here's a handful of plot elements that go into good storytelling.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Processing Feedback

It's great that you've gotten feedback on your manuscript, but how do you process and filter it to make that feedback the most useful to you.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Narrative Beats

Why settle for a generic beat in your writing (look, said, etc.), when you can use this as an opportunity to reveal more of your character's personality.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Author Visits

Although this post is aimed at educators looking for authors to visit, it gives links to several lists you'll want to be on.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Contests and Awards

How do you determine if a contest or award is legitimate and whether you should enter?

Monday, December 24, 2018

Series, -Ologies, and One-offs

How do you determine if your book should be standalong, part of a series or an "ology" (trilogy, etc.)?

Sunday, December 23, 2018


When is okay to requery the same agent/agency with the same manuscript?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Story Pacing

Here are some tips to help you speed up or slow down the pace of your story.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Amazon Sales Rankings

Did you ever wonder how those Amazon sales rankings translate into number of books sold?

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Emotional Scenes

No one wants to make another person cry--except authors, who do so by writing emotional scenes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

When to Stop Revising

Sometimes it's hard to know when it's time to stop tinkering with a manuscript and submit it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

First Page Problems

Here's a collection of common first page mistakes along with suggestions for correcting them.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Legitimate Publishers vs. Scams

How do you tell if a publisher is legitimate as opposed to one who just wants to take your money.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Advances and Royalties

How does a book advance work and when do you start receiving royalties explained.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Writing/Marketing Balance

How do you market your existing books while leaving time to write new ones?

Friday, December 14, 2018

School Visit Resources

Here are several websites that will tell you everything authors need to know about school visits.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Log Lines

Describing your entire story in one sentence will help you make sure you don't have a wandering plot.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Ignore This Advice

As writers, we receive a lot of advice, but some of it is bad and should be ignored.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Twitter Pitches

Twitter pitch parties have become increasingly common, but how do you choose the one that's right for you?

Monday, December 10, 2018

Basics of Children's Book Publishing

Here's an insider's glimpse into what's involved in publishing children's books.

glimpse into the process behind publishing children’s books

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Meaningful Themes

Unifying your story around a meaningful theme will help it make a deeper connection with your readers.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Prolific Writers

Here are some tips to help you become more profilic, and hence more successful, with your writing.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Nonfiction Book Proposals

Longer nonfiction books are sold via a proposal like explained here.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Evaluating Small Publishers

Here are some hints to help you decide whether a small publisher will be good for you and your manuscript.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Query Letter Format

Your query letter, whether to an agent or an editor, should answer these questions about your story.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Book Profit and Loss

Here's an explanation of the profit and loss statements that publishers use to decide whether to make you an offer on your book.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Point of View

After understanding the different points of view, consider whether a different one would serve your story better.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Is That Scene Needed

Ask these four questions of every scene to see whether they move your story forward or should be deleted.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Emotional Spectrum

One emotion can have a range of expressions for you character, for example, from content to mania.

Friday, November 30, 2018


How to choose and adapt a folktale for a picture book.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Researching for Technical Accuracy

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you need to make sure the technical details in your story are accuracte.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Author Visits

Here are links of interest to both educators and authors about the nuts and bolts of author visits.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Author Newsletter or Blog?

What's the best way to reach your readers--through an author newsletter or a blog?

Monday, November 26, 2018

The First Three Pages

Ask yourself these questions to figure out how to start your novel.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Writing Multiple Books at Once

How do you juggle several writing projects with different priorities in different stages of development?

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Story Flow

Following these four easy edits will make your story flow better.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Strengthen Your Writing

These five edits will help strengthen and tighten your writing.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Five Kinds of Nonfiction

With many links to more resources, this blog post explains the kinds of nonfiction.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Picture Book or Chapter Book

How to decide if your story should be told as a picture or chapter book.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Character Flaws

Although all characters should have flaws, these are not always negative ones.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Tightening Your Writing

Here's a checklist of words and phrases to consider cutting in order to tighten your writing.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Picture Book Formats

A standard picture book is 32 pages, but that doesn't mean you have that much room for your story.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Questions for Prospective Agents

Here's a list of questions you might want to ask an agent before accepting an offer of representation.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Bringing Traffic to Your Website or Blog

In order for people to come to your website or blog, they need to know it exists.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Deep Point of View

This checklist for writing deep POV will help your manuscript make readers feel as if they're part of the story.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Here are seven tips to create the correct pacing throughout your novel.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Post-Debut Marketing

When marketing your second, third, or more book, you still want to keep interest high on all of your titles.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Interior Monologue

A character's interior monologue lets us glimpse his/her thoughts at a specific time.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Writing Child Characters

Children are not just short adults and shouldn't be written as if they were.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Log Lines

Can you distill your novel into a single, probably lengthy, sentence?

Friday, November 9, 2018

Time as a Literary Device

Flashbacks aren't the only way to manipulate time in your manuscript.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Flow of a Scene

There are many things to consider when considering which way would make a scene flow better.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Making a Book Trailer

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to use iMovie to make your book trailer.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Revision Checklist

Ask yourself these questions before you begin your next round of revisions.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Problems With the Middle of Manuscripts

Whether your story bogs down in the middle or even stalls completely, here are some tips to get it back on track.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Recycling Manuscripts

If you have some old manuscripts lying around gathering dust, here are some ways how to give them a new life.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Writing Young Adult Books

Here are six tips to make your young adult novel more authentic.  

Friday, November 2, 2018


Even if you write a contemporary story about a place you know, you still might want to do some research to bring that extra something to your writing.  

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Twitter Do's and Don'ts

Here are some tips to build your audience using Twitter.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Picture Book Humor

Although these tips are written about picture books, most of them can be adapted to books for older kids.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Podcasts for Authors

Here's a list of twenty podcasts of interest to writers.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Virtual Visits

I would add an additional tip to the list about virtual visits--tape a note next to your webcam that says, "look here."

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Instagram Tips for Writers

How to best use Instagram to connect with your readers and build sales.

Friday, October 26, 2018


When you receive feedback on your story, you need to process it to decide which suggestions resonate.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Sentence Structure

Your readers will soon get bored if you don't vary your sentence structure.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Your writer's voice is as unique as your speaking one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Use foreshadowing to set your readers up for what will happen later in the story.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Advance Reviewer Copies

When you receive ARCs of your new book, why not send them on tour with an ARC-sharing group?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Middle grade or young adult

In addition to the age of the main character, middle grades and young adult books differ in several other respects.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Author Visits

A school visit is all about the students, not about you.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Literary Nonfiction

The definition of literary nonfiction depends upon who you ask.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Chapter Hooks

Studying how TV programs choose where to break for commercial can help you improve your chapter hooks.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Book Titles

Even though your publisher may choose to change the title, you still want to choose one that reflects your story.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Paths to Publications

Whether you choose to traditionally publish or not, there are many possible paths to choose.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Character Names

Take the opportunity to reveal aspects of your characters by carefully choosing their names.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Writing Stage Directions

You don't need to tell your readers every single movement your characters make.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Royalty Statements

Even if you have an agent, it's important that you read your royalty statements.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Building Suspense

Suspense in your story will keep your readers turning the page to find out what happens.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Looking for an Agent

Here are some things you might want to think about before embarking on your agent search.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Tips for writing a strong novel synopsis that will make an agent or editor want to read your manuscript.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Other Senses

It's easy to describe what your character sees, but your story will be much richer if you include the other senses.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Internal Dialogue

How do you write your character's internal thoughts?

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Body Language

If your characters are always shaking their heads, here's a great list of alternatives.

Friday, October 5, 2018


Here are some general ways to think about the uses of punctuation, without getting into the specifics of what goes where.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

First Lines

Here are some ideas of ways to nail that first line of your manuscript.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Resurrecting Older Manuscripts

How can you tell whether one of your older unpublished manuscripts is worth trying to revise and submit.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Synopses Help Your Writing

Writing a synopsis helps you uncover plots holes and see whether the actions in your action flows from cause to effect.

Monday, October 1, 2018


Whether you write picture books or novels, adding wordplay will make your story more interesting to your readers.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Book Titles

Here are some tips for choosing a strong title for your book.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Pre-ordering Books

Why is it so important as part of your marketing plan to encourage people to pre-order your book?

Friday, September 28, 2018

Finding an Agent

How do you go about finding the perfect agent for you, and do you need one?

Thursday, September 27, 2018


There are many ways, both good and bad, to add imagery to your manuscript.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Agent Information

Cynthia Leitich Smith provides many links about agents and working with agents.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are a great way to interact with educators and fellow kidlit authors.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Revisions, Redrafts, and Rewrites

Although we often use the term "revising," also to mean redrafting and rewriting, they are three very different methods to make your manuscript the best it can be.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Planning a Series

If you plan to make your book a first one in a series, it helps to have an idea where the rest of the story is going.

Saturday, September 22, 2018


What is an agent or editor looking for in your synopsis?

Friday, September 21, 2018

Writing Out of Sequence

Here are some thoughts about whether it's better to write you story straight from beginning to end or to skip around scenes.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Dialogue Tags

There are many ways to let your readers know who is speaking.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Bad Agents

Having a bad agent, one doesn't do the job well, is worse than having no agent at all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Tone is the author's use of words and style to convey an attitude toward the subject of the writing.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Promoting Your Older Titles

If you want your books to keep selling, you can't stop your marketing efforts after the launch.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Point of View Breaks

Here are some ways to make sure you keep firmly with your point of view character.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Writing Different Voices

How can you write dialogue so your characters don't all sound the same?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Author Platforms

What is an author platform and do you need one?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Nonfiction Picture Books

Candace Fleming gives six fixes to make your nonfiction picture book better.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Questions for a Prospective Agent

Now that you've received "the call," it's time to find out whether you and the agent can build good business partnership.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Revision Resources

Here are some links to that all important step of revising your kidlit manuscript.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Writing Checklists and Tips

Make every word count with the help of these checklists and writing tips.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Blogs About Writing

Get writing tips and tricks by following some of these blocks, including ones specific to kidlit.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Character Quirks

Add depth to your characters by giving them quirks.

Friday, September 7, 2018

First Sentence

There are various methods to get to that perfect (or as close to perfect as it can be) first sentence.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Comparative Titles

When an agent asks you to provide comparative titles, what does that actually mean?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Small Publishers

How do you evaluate a small publisher before submitting?

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Abbreviations and Acronyms

Find out what many abbreviation or acronym actually stand for.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Character Descriptions

How much should you describe your characters and how much should you leave to the reader's imagination.

Sunday, September 2, 2018


Flashbacks, if used correctly, are a great way to introduce what's at stake for your character.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Successful Picture Books

There are many factors that lead to a successful picture book including re-readability.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Pen Names

In this day and age, pen names may be more trouble than they're worth.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Self Editing

Make sure your manuscript is in the best shape possible before you send it out.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Tighten Your Writing

Here are some common examples of overwriting that can be fixed to tighten your writing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


One way to approach writing the dreaded synopsis is to write a pitch first.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Advice for Middle Grade Authors

Kids tell what works for them and what doesn't when reading a middle grade book.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Researching Agents and Publishers

It's important to do your research before submitting, both to make sure your manuscript is a good match and to avoid scams.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

School Assemblies

A school visit presentation to hundreds of children presents unique challenges.

Friday, August 24, 2018


Here are twelve ways to make sure your readers will want to turn that first page.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Character Physical Features

One Stop for Writers offers this thesaurus to describe your character's physical features.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Age of YA Protagonist

What's an acceptable age for the main character of your young adult book?

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Yes, plot means conflict, but also needs to include a call to action.

Monday, August 20, 2018

No Agent Needed Publishers

Here's a list of some of the US publishers who accept children's book submissions without needing an agent.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Book Readings

Here are some things to consider when you're "performing" your book in public.  

Friday, August 17, 2018

Picture Book 101s

This is a great introduction to writing picture books.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Deep Point of View

Emotional layering is the key to writing in deep point of view.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Revision Steps

Sometimes the first step in revising is to create a second rough draft.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Monday, August 13, 2018

Publishing Credits

What publishing credits should you list in an agent query and what if you don't have any?

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Plot Basics

No matter what structure you use for your novel, there are certain basics you need to cover in your plot.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

A Career in Writing

If you want to be a professional writer, here are some steps to follow.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Writer's Conferences

From getting feedback to meeting other writers, there are many reasons to attend a writer's conference.

Thursday, August 9, 2018


What are the elements of a scene that will draw in your readers?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Editing a Novel

Breaking your novel into chunks will make the editing process less overwhelming.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Alien Character Names

If you're writing science fiction or fantasy, these patterns might help you choose the perfect character names.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Cover Reveal

What's the best way to reveal the cover of your soon to be published book?

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Query or Contest

Should you try to get representation through queries or contests?

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Critique Groups

Critique groups do more than just provide feedback on manuscripts.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Interviewing Experts

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you may need to find and interview experts in a field.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Pronoun Problems

Make sure it's clear to whom you are referring when you use pronouns.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Pitch Sessions

Be prepared for your pitch session by practicing the answers to these questions.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Active Verbs

Why use common, boring verbs when there are so many active ones to choose from.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Describing Your Character

Make every detail count when it comes to describing your character.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Pen Names

What are the reasons you might want to use a pen name?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Picture Book Structure

There are many ways to structure your picture book, from days of the week to a journey.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Social Media Tips

Social media is for connecting with your readers, not for giving them a hard sell.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Finding a Good Book Publicist

What you should look for in choosing and publicist and ideas for going it alone.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Tough Topics in Middle Grades

Themes that used to be seen only in young adult novels are now being handled in middle grades.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Author Bios

No matter where you are on your writing journey, you'll need to have an author bio.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Marketing Strategies

Josh Funk shares marketing ideas starting with "write a good book."

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Hook Your Readers

Twelve tips to writing an opening that will pull in your readers.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Is Your Work Any Good?

How can you tell if your work is ready to submit?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Will Your Idea Be Stolen?

If you submit your work to agents and editors, how can you be sure they won't steal your idea?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Book Readings

There's more to a book reading than just reciting the words on a page.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Emotional Meaning

Make your readers care about your characters by layering emotional meaning into them.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Book Sales

What constitutes "good sales," and how are sales tracked?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Novel Perspectives

Consistency is the key when choosing your novel's tense and point of view.

Saturday, July 14, 2018


There's no one right way to write a book with another author.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Switching from Self-Publishing to Traditional

If you self-publish first, you can still traditionally publish later titles.

Great Dialogue

Here are some hints to make your dialogue sound authentic to your characters.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Improve Your Writing

What can you do to become a better writer in addition to the obvious of read and write extensively.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Opening Sentence

How much really needs to be in the opening sentence of your novel?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Book Royalties

How are book royalties figured out, and how does the advance work?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Quick Outlining

Here's how to outline your story idea in only thirty minutes.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Writing Middle Grade

Here are some tips for writing a middle-grade novel that will resonate with kids.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

BookExpo 2018 Marketing Tips

What marketing tips can you learn from BookExpo, the biggest annual publishing conference in the US?

Friday, July 6, 2018

Writing Groups

Figure out which type of writing group you need at this point in your writing journey.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Using Your Theme

Thinking about your theme can help you develop subplots, supporting characters, and tension. 

Use Theme to Determine Subplots, Supporting Characters, and Tension

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Book Promotion Fatigue

Marketing is exhausting and sometimes you need to scale back your marketing efforts.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Website and Mailing List Privacy Regulations

You may need to update your website and/or mailing list to comply with The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which went into effect May 25, 2018.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Editorial Letters

How do you handle revising your manuscript, possibly extensively, after getting feedback from an editor?

Sunday, July 1, 2018

After an Editor Expresses Interest

Yay for getting interest from an editor on your manuscript, but what happens next?

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Describing Settings You've Never Visited

It's not always possible to visit every location in your book, but you still need to get the details right.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Literary Agent Etiquette

There are no hard and fast rules when approaching an agent, but it never hurts to be polite.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

First Novel Tips

Increase the chances that your first novel won't be a practice one, but will actually be published.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Useless Words

Tighten your manuscript by eliminating some of these useless words.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Nonfiction Book Proposal

Unlike fiction, most nonfiction books are sold by proposal.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Craft Tips

We all know the big tips like "show don't tell," but there are many other ways to make your manuscript sing.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Educational Markets

Writing a work for hire book is one way to get a book published.

Saturday, June 23, 2018


Everything you need to know about pitching your book.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Negative Reviews

Don't respond. Ever.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

First Sentences

Grab your reader from the first sentence by trying one of these ideas.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Kitlit Agent Twitter Handles

If you're looking to learn about agents, one way is to follow them on Twitter.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Alternatives to Querying

There are ways to get your pitch in front of agents other than the traditional querying.

Monday, June 18, 2018

After You're Gone

Be proactive about what happens to your intellectual property after you die.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Handling Critiques

It's not always easy to receive feedback about your manuscript, but it will help you improve your story.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Dialogue Don'ts

Three dialogue don'ts and how to fix them.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Epistolary Novel

An epistolary novel, one told in letters, still needs to be a good story.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Author Brand

You are your author brand, and you don't want to do anything to sully it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


More is not always better when it comes to plotting your story.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Picture Book Dummies

Even if you're not an illustrator, you should make a picture book dummy to show problems with your manuscript.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Author Websites

Why you need one and what should they include?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Social Media Images

Here are some creative ways to create images to use in your social media posts.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Middle Grade or Young Adult

What are the hallmarks of a middle grade novel versus a young adult one?

Friday, June 8, 2018

Talking to Literary Agents

Agents love books and you love books, so why not strike up a conversation with a literary agent about books?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Nonfiction Scenes

How to immerse your readers in the setting of your nonfiction book.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Series Queries

What's the best way to query with a book that is part of a series?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Make Your Character's Actions Count

Does the action in your book actually add value to your story?

Monday, June 4, 2018

Make Your Booksigning an Event

What can you do to make your next booksigning one that people will flock to?

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Following Up with an Agent

How long should you wait before giving a prospective agent a little nudge?

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Problem with First Person

First person is great for showing a character's inner world, but not so great if you want to describe the setting.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Hooking Nonfiction Readers

Follow these tips to write a nonfiction books that kids can't put down.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Writing about Real Places/Products

It's okay to include brand names and real locations in your manuscript as long as you don't defame them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Why You Need a Synopsis

Everyone hates to writing synopses, but they can help to show problems in your manuscript.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Kidlit Editor Twitter Handles

Keep us with the world of kidlit by following these editors.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Opening Scenes

What do you need to accomplish in the first few pages of your manuscript?

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Finding the Perfect Agent

You need to figure out your own career priorities to find the agent who will be best for you.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Writing Middle-Grade

Here are some tips to make your book appeal to this audience of eager readers.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Social Media Conventions

Here are some suggestions of how to follow the often unwritten "rules" of social media.

Thursday, May 24, 2018


Creating a map of your story's setting will make your vision more concrete.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


You'll have a great opening to your novel, if you start with conflict and action.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Choosing Your Social Media

Different social media platforms help authors connect with different audiences.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Premature Editing

Editing too soon may take away some of the creative spark for your story.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Author Photos

Avoid these mistakes in your author photos.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


For every scene you write, you should ask yourself, "What is the point of this scene?"

Friday, May 18, 2018

Query Letters

What is the standard information you should include in your query letter?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Author Website Mistakes

Don't confuse or turn away readers by having a poorly designed website.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Show, Don't Tell

We all know the writing rule that says, "show, don't tell," but how do you actually do that?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Social Media for Authors

The time to start your social media presence is now, even if you don't yet have a book out.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Book Series

Ways to make your book series better, both in the individual books and over all of them.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


Here are twenty tips on how to rethink the pacing in your book.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Bookstore Appearances

How to give patrons a reason to come up and talk to you when you're appearing at a bookstore.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Picture Book Publishers

Here's a list of children's book publishers that focus primarily on picture books.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Saying Goodbye to a Manuscript

How do you know if it is time to finally put away your work in progress for good?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Visual Thinking

Will thinking visually improve your writing?

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Author Category and Genre Loyalty

Should you stick to one category and genre in order to build your author brand?

Monday, May 7, 2018

Royalty Statements

You can't assume your royalty statements are correct; check them.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Author Rights

It's important to know your rights as an author.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Odds of Getting Published

Although the odds of getting published may seem overwhelming, most of the people who say they want to have a published book will never put in the work to get there.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Deep POV

When you're writing in deep point of view, you need to filter everything through your main character.

Thursday, May 3, 2018


A reason to edit as you write is to avoid small problems snowballing into larger, harder to fix ones.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


Here are some fairly common types of material you find in backmatter.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018


Help your readers make an emotional connection with your work.  

Monday, April 30, 2018

Unforgettable Settings

Settings can provide more than a backdrop to the characters and setting of your novel.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Tips for Authors

Author Ellen Jackson shares ten tips for authors.

Saturday, April 28, 2018


If you're writing a book with someone else, there are some steps you should take to avoid future trouble.  

Friday, April 27, 2018

Children's Publishers Open to Unagented Submissions

If you don't have an agents, there are some publishers closed to you, but here's a list of ones you can submit to.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

First Pages

There are several overused scenes for first pages that you should avoid.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Character Names

Make sure you choose appropriate character names and don't fall into these common traps.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Types of Picture Books

Picture books can be for older/younger children, fiction/nonfiction, and on a variety of topics.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Revision, Rewrite, Redraft

Make sure your not just revising your manuscript when you should be rewriting or even redrafting.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Researching Agents

How do you figure out which agents you should query?

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Author Blogs

Here are some reasons why you might want to consider starting an author blog.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Backstories in a Series

How do you bring readers of later books in a series up to speed if they haven't read the earlier ones?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Dialogue Problems

Sometimes the solution to dialogue problems in a scene is to not have any dialogue at all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

After an Offer

Congratulations on getting an offer from an agent; now what?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tightening Your Manuscript

Here are some tips to cut your word count and tighten your manuscript.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Book Signings

A few simple hints to make your book signings more successful.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


If you write your dialogue the way people really speak, you'll bore your readers.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Amazon Author Central

Set up your author page on Amazon to help your readers find out more about your and to receive sales figures.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Sentence Structures

Eliminate these clunky sentence structures to tighten and improve your writing.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Manuscript Formatting

Here's how NOT to format your manuscript.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Whether your write nonfiction or fiction, you can enhance the value of your book by including backmatter.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Picture Book Basics

If you're new to the world of picture books, the first thing to know is they're not just short books.  

Monday, April 9, 2018

Business Questions

Should you form an LLC for your writing business and other questions to consider.

Sunday, April 8, 2018


What exactly is the theme of a book and how does it differ from plot?

Saturday, April 7, 2018

First vs. Third Person POV

How do you decide whether to use first or third person point of view?

Friday, April 6, 2018

Why You Need an Editor

No matter how good a writer you are, you're work will be improved with the help of an editor.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Common Mistakes

These are some common mistakes that writers make.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Writers' Conferences

Conferences are a wonderful way to network with both professionals and your fellow writers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Author Readings

You can increase the chances of having a successful reading by following these hints.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Common Grammar Mistakes

Here's a handy guide to common grammar mistakes and how to fix them.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Transition Words

Make your writing tighter by avoiding these transition words.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Making Characters Come Alive

Your characters will be dull and lifeless if you do this to them.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Kidlit Blogs

Keep up with the world of children's books by following these blogs and websites.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Picture Book Templates

Debbie Ridpath Ohi offers free picture book thumbnail templates for download.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


When you're thinking about asking for a referral, think about what that means from both the agent and the referring author points of view.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Plot Mistakes

Watch out for these eight common plot mistakes and learn how to fix them.

Monday, March 26, 2018


If you are submitting a partial manuscript, don't use of any of those precious pages by including a prologue.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Picture Book Publishers

These publishers accept unagented picture book manuscripts.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Child Characters

If you write kidlit, it's pretty important that you be able to write believable child characters.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Second Drafts

Congratulations on finishing your first draft, but now it's time for revising, starting with your second draft.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Blog Posts

If you're stuck on ideas of what to post on your author blog, here are some suggestions.

Monday, March 19, 2018


What does it mean to write with #ownvoices?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Chosing a Writing Conference

With so many conferences aimed at writing, how do you choose ones that will help further your writing and your career?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Great Voice

If you want to write books with a great voice, you need to read books with a great voice.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Scaffolding in Nonfiction

In order to present new concepts in your nonfiction, you have to provide the informational support so they can understand it.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Book Events

Here are some tips to help you engage children's interest at book events.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Plotting a Novel

How to plot both the big picture and individual scenes in a novel.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Plotting a Novel

You need to plot your novel both at the book and at the scene level. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Networking with Agents

When you meet an agent at a conference, here are five questions to get a conversation going.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Children's Book Industry

It's important to understand the business of children's books if you want to be published.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Types of Editors

Your manuscript can benefit from the help of a different type of editor, depending upon where you are in the writing process.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Common Rejections

Here are some rejections you might receive and what they actually mean.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Realistic Characters

Five things your characters need to make them real.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Word Counts

Your book should be as long as it takes to tell your story and no longer.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Elevator Pitches

When you're asked to say what your book is about, you need to be ready.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

What to Write Next

Your manuscript is off to your agent or to editors, and it's time to figure out your next project.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Retyping Your Revision

Retyping makes you consider all the words and sentences in your revision and not just your changes.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Advice from Publishers

Here is some basic info children's book publishers wish writers knew.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Book Titles

How to choose the best title for your book (even though your publisher might change it.)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Author Visit Fees

How much should you charge for an author visit?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Picture Books 101

Picture books aren't just short books; learn the what makes it a picture book.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Researching Agents

Recommendations on how and where to find out more about agents before querying.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Writer Hashtags

No matter your social media platform of choice, you should be familiar with these writer-related hashtags.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Agent Rejects

Agent Marie Lamba shares five reasons why she rejects a manuscript.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Writers' Conferences

What do you gain by going to a writers' conference?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Elements of a Picture Book

Here are ten essential elements to a good picture book.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Character Description

When you physically describe your character, make each detail serve a purpose.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Picture Book Revision

Here are some common mistakes in picture book manuscripts.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Ten tips for a successful author blog.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


There are many ways to approach plotting your story.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Sunday, February 11, 2018


Six things to consider before writing a series.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

School Visit Fees

Here are some answers to the question of why pay authors for school visits.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Ways to Hear No

If you include these in your query, you're likely to hear "no."

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Book Marketing

This site contains many links to all aspects of book marketing.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Here are twenty ways to think about the pace of your novel.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Family History

Your family history is a gold mine of ideas for your books.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Episodic Writing

What is episodic writing and is it always a bad thing.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Self-Editing Basics

Once your manuscript is finished, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work revising.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Kidlit Blogs

The top 100 children's book blogs and websites for parents, teachers, and kids.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Handshake Agreements

Should you have a written agency agreement or is a handshake good enough?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Types of Editing

From copy editing to developmental editing, there are many ways for an editor to help you revise your manuscript.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Humorous Picture Books

Kids love to read funny stories, and here are some ways to introduce humor into your manuscript.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Historical Fiction

Here are some unconventional resources to add interest to your historical fiction.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Author Bios

You'll need an author bio from when you first submit to after your book is published.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Showing Emotion

When you let your characters show emotions, your readers will relate more to them.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Writing Picture Books

Writing a picture book is not as easy as it looks.

Friday, January 26, 2018


A look at referrals from both the agent and the client point of view.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Turn the Page

How do you get your picture book readers (and listeners) to want to turn that page?

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


Don't overthink it when you write your synopsis.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Hook your readers by building suspense.

Monday, January 22, 2018


Do's and don'ts to make your rhyming book better.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


Five quick tips for engaging your audience.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Debut Marketing Tips

If your first book is about to come out (or already has), these tips can help you up your marketing game.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Easy Edits

Sometimes it takes a few simple changes to bring your manuscript to life.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Every sentence in your manuscript is important, and here are some tips on how to improve them.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pen Names

In this digital age, should you still use a pen name?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tightening Your Manuscript

It's not always easy to cut words, but here are some hints that might help.

Monday, January 15, 2018


Your novel needs to go through all these drafts, including draft zero.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Text Structure

Melissa Stewart shows how it often takes a lot of trial and error (and letting a manuscript rest) to find the correct structure for your text.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Fast Draft Writing

Now that Nanowrimo is in the past, here's a way to keep up the momentum.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Writing Partnership

The primary rule of writing with a partner is to be flexible.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


There's more to writing than "just the facts, ma'am."

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Marketing in Person

Marketing online is all well and good, but it's nice to get out there and meet your readers in real life.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Query No-nos

Ripple Grove Press tells what not to say in your query.