Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Here are some podcasts of interest to children's writers. 


Monday, December 30, 2019

Self Editing

Here are sixteen tips for effectively editing your own manuscript. 


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Author Visit Benefits

A school superintendent lays out the many benefits of having an author visit a school.


Saturday, December 28, 2019


When an agent or editor asks you what your book is about, you need to be able to provide a short, simple answer. 


Friday, December 27, 2019

Cover Reveals

What is a cover reveal and how to you arrange one to your book's best advantage? 


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Characterization vs. Character

For your readers to truly understand your characters, you need to provide more than their characterization or the surface details. 


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Writing Conferences

If, like many authors, you're an introvert, here are some hints to surving a writing conference.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Spaghetti Agents

You want to avoid an agent who will submit your work everywhere, as opposed to carefully making a submission list, and hopes that it will stick somewhere. 


Monday, December 23, 2019

Character Motivation

A strong motive for your character's actions will keep your readers turning the page. 


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Middle-grade Marketing

Middle-grade authors provide marketing tips that worked for their novels.


Saturday, December 21, 2019

Expository Nonfiction

An irresistible hook helps make expository nonfiction sing.


Friday, December 20, 2019

How Authors Make Money

How books advances, royalties, subrights, and more provide income to an author.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Critique Groups

The positives and negatives of being in a critique group.


Wednesday, December 18, 2019


Your story's theme is different than its plot. 


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Critique Steps

To provide a thorough critique, there are many items you need to consider. 


Monday, December 16, 2019

Picture Book Basics

From how many pages to text vs. illustration, here are some basics you need to know when writing a picture book. 


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Flat Characters

Here are some reasons your readers may find your characters flat. 


Friday, December 13, 2019


Why are preorders important for the future sales and marketing of a book.


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Simple Tweaks

Here are three simple tweaks to make your manuscript stronger.


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Bookending Your Writing

Why is it so satisfying when your ending echoes, or bookends, your opening? 


Monday, December 9, 2019

Choosing a POV

There is no best point of view, rather the best one to to tell your story. 


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Traditional Publishing

Here are some of the realities for most authors of traditional publishing.


Saturday, December 7, 2019


Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, research often needs to be a part of your writing process. 


Friday, December 6, 2019

Cutting Words

It's not always easy to trim your words, but here are some hints to help you cut out the fat in your manuscript. 


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Writers' Organizations

How do you find the writers' organization that will help you bring your work to the next level? 


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Picture Books and Older Students

How can you best incorporate picture books into your middle school (or older!) classroom? 


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Query Format

What does and doesn't go in your query letter? 


Monday, December 2, 2019

Query Formats

Here's a simple of the do's and don'ts of formatting your query. 


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Picture Book Biographies

Here are some things to consider before writing a picture book biography. 


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Website Protection

If you have hired someone else to do your website, there are some due diligence steps you should take. 


Friday, November 29, 2019

Long Sentences

When writing colloquially, you'll want to avoid long, complicated sentences. 


Thursday, November 28, 2019

Press Releases

Here are some common mistakes authors make when putting out a press release. 


Wednesday, November 27, 2019


How do you write those scenes that make your reader have to turn the page to find out what happens next?


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Target Audience

What does an agent mean when she asked you to include your target audience in a query? 


Monday, November 25, 2019

Writing Sounds

We all know our writing should include all five senses, and here are some suggestions as to how to add sound. 


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Prepublished Author Websites

What should you include on your author website before you get an agent or book contract?


Saturday, November 23, 2019

Story Ideas

How do you choose which of the many story ideas in your head that you should write about? 


Friday, November 22, 2019

Deep POV

Using deep point of view will bring your readers along on your characters' emotional journey.


Thursday, November 21, 2019

Making Characters Sympathetic

Your readers will identify more with your characters if you make them more sympathetic, even if they're villains. 


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Follow Through

If you have a person or object at the beginning of your book, you need to follow through and have something happen to/with them. 


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Brand Names

Is it okay to use a brand name in your story or do you need to get permission? 


Monday, November 18, 2019

Book Marketing Ideas

Have you thought about all of these online and offline book marketing ideas? 


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Pseudo Narratives

Fact-based books can resemble a narrative when the information is reported by a fictional narrator, such as an animal or inanimate object or a person other than the author.


Saturday, November 16, 2019

Benefits of Author Visits

Author visits are more than just a fun time for students. 


Friday, November 15, 2019

Picture Book Rules

There are many rules about writing picture books, but sometimes they're broken.


Thursday, November 14, 2019


We've all heard the term "theme," but what does it really mean. 


Wednesday, November 13, 2019


These seven tricks will help you master the pacing of your story. 


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Manuscript Checklist

Here are some last minute items to check before submitting or handing in that manuscript.


Monday, November 11, 2019

Novelty Books

Everything you wanted to know about writing a novelty book and getting it published. 


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Agent Pitches

Here are some tips to make the  most of your agent pitch session. 


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Picture Book Publishers

You can submit your picture book manuscript to these publishers without having an agent. 


Friday, November 8, 2019

Worksheets for Writers

Here's a great collection of links to worksheets that are helpful to writers. 


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Characters with Mental Illness

Here are some do's and don'ts about including a character with mental illness in your fiction. 


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Finding the Right Agent

The right agent is the one that's right for you and your writing. 


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Literary Devices

Here are ten literary devices that will enhance your writing. 


Monday, November 4, 2019

Cover Reveals

Part of your social media strategy is where and when to reveal your book cover. 


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Character Goals

How do you show your reader what your character wants? 


Saturday, November 2, 2019

Researching Settings

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, it's important you get the details of your setting correct. 


Friday, November 1, 2019

Mental Illness in Novels

Here are some do's and don'ts to think about if you're considering including a character in your story who has a mental illness. 


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Planning Your Story

One approach to planning your story is to start at the end/goal and work backwards. 


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Agent's Vision for Your Work

It's important that you and your agent share the same for your work and your career. 


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Author Visits

There are many ways for schools to afford to pay for an author visit. 


Monday, October 28, 2019

Bad Critique Groups

Critique groups are wonderful for getting feedback on your work, but you want to avoid ones that hold back your writing.


Sunday, October 27, 2019


It's about time for NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month--and here are some tips to get you started. 


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Funny Picture Books

Kids love reading funny books, and here are some ways to make your picture book a laugh outloud one.


Friday, October 25, 2019

Picture Book Topics to Avoid

There are some topics that have been overdone in picture books, but publishers are always looking for a fresh take on them. 


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Building a Scene

How to build a scene from the ground up, brick by brick. 


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Nonfiction Outlines

When you submit a nonfiction proposal, they'll ask for an outline, too. 


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Evaluating Feedback

Here are some tips on how to deal with critical feedback you receive about your work. 


Monday, October 21, 2019

Book Titles

Here are some hints on how to create a compelling book title. 


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Offer of Representation

An agent has made an offer of representation--hooray--but now what? 


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Small Publishers

Here are some ways to evaluate a small publisher. 


Friday, October 18, 2019

Deep Point of View

What is deep point of view and why do readers like it so much? 


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Author Website

What information needed on your author website depends on whether or not you're yet published. 


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Public Domain

Even if a work is in the public domain, you may need to consider the publicity and privacy rights of an individual portrayed. 


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Getting Critiqued

When you're looking for critiquers, look for the nit-pickiest ones you can find. 


Monday, October 14, 2019


Now that the climax of your book has happened, it's time to bring the action down and end your story. 


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Filler Words

Tighten your writing by eliminating these filler words that add nothing to your story. 


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Comp Titles

It's sometimes helpful to include books that are similar to yours, that is comp titles, in your query.


Friday, October 11, 2019

Hashtags for Writers

If you're on social media, here are some hashtags the find your writing community. 


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Video Trailers

Here's how to use Canva to create some simple trailers for your book. 


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Grammar Rules

It's okay to break some of the conventional grammar rules in your writing. 


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Freelance Editors

If you're considering hiring a freelance editor, do these five things first. 


Monday, October 7, 2019


No one likes receiving rejections, so here are several reasons you may be getting them. 


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sense of Smell

We know we should incorporate all five senses into our writing, but including smell is not always easy.


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Book Series

When you're planning out a series, here are some points to consider. 


Friday, October 4, 2019

Book Title Generators

These websites can help you think of possible names for your book. 


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Middle Grade or Young Adult

How can you tell if the category of your novel is middle grade or young adult? 


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Contract Terms

This video explains the terms used in agent and publisher contracts. 


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Point of View

Some things to consider when choosing whether to use first or third person point of view. 


Monday, September 30, 2019

Character Description

When you're describing your character, avoid the boring bits. 


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Art Notes

You can think of your art notes in a picture book as action notes. 


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Picture Book Structure

There are several ways you can structure a picture book, and here are two of them. 


Friday, September 27, 2019


Here are some things to consider when tying up all the loose ends in your novel. 


Thursday, September 26, 2019


QueryTracker is one way to keep track of your submissions while you're looking for an agent. 


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Character Changes

By asking these three simple questions, you can show how your character changes through the course of your story. 


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Paths to Publication

There are now many ways to get your book in front of readers. 


Monday, September 23, 2019


How to write dialogue that rings true and gives insight into your character.


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Picture Book Biographies

Here are ten things to consider when writing a picture book biography. 


Saturday, September 21, 2019

Killer Opening Scenes

How do you write an opening that will hook your readers and keep them turning the pages? 


Friday, September 20, 2019

Niche Marketing

Is there a niche (hobby, holiday, setting, etc.) area you can focus your marketing efforts on? 


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Holiday Books

The positives and negatives of writing holiday-related books.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Internal Narrative

Internal narrative allows your readers to dive deep into and identify your character. 


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Lead-in Phrases

Get rid of these superfluous lead-in phrases and tighten your writing. 


Monday, September 16, 2019

Book Preorders

Why does it matter whether or not people preorder your book before it's released? 


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Creative Nonfiction

Creative nonfiction does not mean that you can play fast and loose with the facts. 


Saturday, September 14, 2019


These tips for writing dialogue will bring your characters and your scenes to life. 


Book Income

What are the various income streams that are possible from your book? 


Friday, September 13, 2019

Book Events

Here are some suggestions to make for a better book event. 


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Querying Agents and Editors

Here are some reasons why it's not a great idea to simultaneously query agents and editors with the same manuscript. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Here are some hints on how to write descriptions without going overboard.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Marketing a Book Award

Now that you've won that book award (congratulations!), how can you best use that in your marketing efforts? 


Monday, September 9, 2019

Novels in Verse

Just like prose novels, those written in verse need to have a structure and a plot. 


Sunday, September 8, 2019


Eight reasons that your manuscript might be receiving rejections. 


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Setting Details

Which details about the setting should you include and which should you leave out. 


Friday, September 6, 2019

Critique Partners and Beta Readers

What's the difference between a critique partner and a beta reader, and why do you need both? 


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Comp Titles

What are comp titles and how do you find them?


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Character Names

How do you choose an unforgettable character name? 


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Children's Book Categories

From board books to young adult, here's a description of the various categories of children's books. 


Monday, September 2, 2019

Holiday Picture Books

Here are some pros and cons of writing a picture book centered around a holiday.


Sunday, September 1, 2019

Characters are People

By writing your characters as if they were real people, you'll make them pop for your readers. 


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Opening Scenes

Here are five tips to strengthen the opening of your novel. 


Friday, August 30, 2019

Re-editing Older Works

Whether you've gotten the rights back for an out-of-print titles or you're looking to put together a collection of your shorter writings, it worthwhile taking a closer look at the manuscript.


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Writing Picture Books

Josh Funk shares everything you need to know to get started in writing picture books. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Foreign Rights

How does your agent or publisher arrange for the rights to sell your books in different areas of the world? 


Monday, August 26, 2019

Fair Use

What constitutes "fair use" when incorporating someone else's words or illustrations in your own work? 


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Vanity Publishers

Beware of these vanity publishers--remember, money should flow to the author. 


Saturday, August 24, 2019

Critique Partners

What should you look for in a critique partner? 


Friday, August 23, 2019

Networking at Conferences

One of the values of attending a writers' conference is the chance to network with your peers and industry professionals. 


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Author Brand

People say that authors need to have a brand, but what does that actually mean? 


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Publishing Terms

Learn the words and acronyms used in the publishing business. 


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Picture Book Nonfiction

Nonfiction picture books share many of the characteristics of fiction ones, including being good read alouds. 


Monday, August 19, 2019

Mind Mapping

Using a visual map can help you organize your writing process. 


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Niche Marketing

Determining a niche (or niches) for your book will help you market to the right readers. 


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Author Websites

Here are ten criteria to make your website stand out. 


Friday, August 16, 2019

Routes to Publication

There are many ways to get your book publication, and this article gives you the details about all of them.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Writing Biography

Here are a few hints to help you structure your biography. 


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Revealing Characters Through the Eyes of Others

Your protagonist's circle of friends can reveal a great deal about their character. 


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Reasons for Rejection

There are many reasons an agent might pass on your query, but here are some that are easy to avoid. 


Monday, August 12, 2019

Writing a Good Climax

The climax is the point of the story your readers have been waiting for, so make it a good one. 


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Show, Don't Tell

We all know we should show and not tell, but how do you actually do that? 


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Setting and Deep Point of View

If you're using deep point of view, remember every setting description should be seen through your character's eyes. 


Friday, August 9, 2019

Rebooting Your Query

If your career has languished, and you want to query a new manuscript, do these suggestions before sending it out. 


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Picture Book Pacing

Here are three tips to fine tune the pacing in your picture book.


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Author Websites

What are the must-have pages for your author website? 


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Writing Mistakes

We all make mistakes in our writing, so here's how to fix some of the common ones. 


Monday, August 5, 2019


The tone of your title needs to match that of your story. 


Sunday, August 4, 2019

Asking for Reviews

What to do and not to do when approaching a blogger to review your book. 


Saturday, August 3, 2019


Make sure the ending of your story satisfies your readers. 


Friday, August 2, 2019

Common Mistakes

Agent Nathan Branford shares some of the common mistakes he sees in submissions. 


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Point of View

Here are the advantages and the pitfalls of the various points of view. 


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Understanding Agent/Editor Responses

Just what do the different responses you get to a submission actually mean? 


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Paying for Author Visits

Help schools and libraries afford your author visit by sharing these resources with them. 


Monday, July 29, 2019

Book Series

Here are some tips if you're considering writing a book series. 


Sunday, July 28, 2019


It takes many rounds of edits of different types to revise your manuscript. 


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Wordpress Author Sites

If you're thinking of building your author website with Wordpress, here's what you need to know. 


Friday, July 26, 2019

Plot Holes

Use these five suggestions to avoid holes in your story's plots. 


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Characters With Personality

How to use the Myers-Briggs personality types to bring your characters to life. 


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Resources for Writers

Here's a list of links of interest to writers of websites, blogs, classes, and much more. 


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Setting as Character

Done right, your setting can become another character in your story. 


Monday, July 22, 2019

Before You Sign With an Agent

Here are some questions to ask when you get a call from an agent. 


Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Power of Silence

By silencing the dialogue and action in a scene, you allow room for the character's thoughts and personality to emerge. 


Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Climax of a Novel

A novel's climax isn't just a single event, but includes the scenes on either side of it. 


Friday, July 19, 2019

Who's Looking At Your Website?

When you're designing and building your website, it's important to keep your audience in mind. 


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Social Media

What do agents and editors want to see when they look at your social media? 


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Selling Books at Conventions

If you're doing a booksigning, what can you do to convince people to buy your book(s)?


Tuesday, July 16, 2019


What should you have in the beginning of your story that will make a reader continue reading?


Monday, July 15, 2019

Great Picture Books

What can you do in writing a picture book to make it successful in the marketplace. 


Sunday, July 14, 2019

After a Writer's Death

You need to plan what you want to be done, after you pass away, with both your published and unpublished works.


Saturday, July 13, 2019


You've reached the end of your novel, and now it's time to make sure you've tied up all the loose strings. 


Friday, July 12, 2019

Word Choice

There are so many things to consider when choosing the perfect word, especially when writing picture books. 


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Story Goals

Yes, your main character needs goals, but don't let them slow down the pace of your story. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Great Dialogue

Here are some tips from The Gilmore Girls for writing memorable dialogue. 


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Types of Structures

There are so many structures to choose from in writing your story--from traditional to circular, cumulative to parallel, and many more. 


Monday, July 8, 2019

Kidlit Writing Mistakes

If you're writing for children, the biggest mistake you can make is not to read current children's books. 


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Interesting Scenes

Here are some tips to make your scenes more interesting to your readers. 


Saturday, July 6, 2019

Manuscript Formatting

Here's how to format your manuscripts using Microsoft Word. 


Friday, July 5, 2019

Compelling Characters

Here are six "F words" (no, not that one) for making your characters stand out for your readers. 


Thursday, July 4, 2019


At some point you'll have to write a synopsis for your novel, so you might as well have some tips on how to do so. 


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Writing Rules

Sometimes you need to set aside the standard wisdom and write.


Tuesday, July 2, 2019


How do you organize the parts of a novel's chapters? 


Monday, July 1, 2019

Character Checklist

Fill out this checklist from Cheryl Klein about your characters to have a better understanding of them.  

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Describing the Scene

Immersing your readers in where your story takes place is an important part of bringing it to life. 


Saturday, June 29, 2019


How do you figure out the theme of your story?


Friday, June 28, 2019

Injecting Humor

Kids love funny, so here are some techniques to inject humor into your writing. 


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Picture Book Page Turns

Here are some techniques that will make your picture book readers want to turn that page. 


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Show, Don't Tell

Show, don't tell, is one of the basic writing rules, but how do you do that? 


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Saggy Middles

Throw in some conflict to add tension and tighten up that saggy middle of your novel.


Monday, June 24, 2019

Pitching at a Conferences

Writing conferences are a great opportunity to meet agents and talk to them about your work. 


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Work for Hire

Here are some of the joys and challanges in writing work for hire. 


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Revision Grid

How can you use a revision grid to break a story down into its elements? 


Friday, June 21, 2019

Book Promotion Trends

Here are seven trends in book promotion garnered from BookExpo 2019.


Thursday, June 20, 2019


Writing an outline for your novel is more than simply listing the scenes. 


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Write What You Know

We've all heard the advice to write what you know, but what are the perks--and perils--of doing so? 


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Author Tours

Here are five tips to having a successful book tour. 


Monday, June 17, 2019

Book Launch Checklist

Preparing for your book launch starts six months before the publication day. 


Sunday, June 16, 2019


What are some of the real reasons your book was rejected? 


Saturday, June 15, 2019


Here are some techniques you can use to bring your character to life. 


Friday, June 14, 2019

Choosing a Publicist

If you've chosen to hire an outside publicist, how do you decide who's right for you and your book? 


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Condensing Characters

Sometimes it helps the flow of your story to combine two characters into one. 


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Manuscript Formatting

You may know how your manuscript should be formatted, but this post shows you how to accomplish that in Microsoft Word. 


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Picture Book Structure

There are many ways to structure your picture book to make it a more satisfying read. 


Monday, June 10, 2019

Creating Emotion

Here are some tips to help your readers be touched and moved by your story.  

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Pacing Tricks

How can you use pacing to keep your reader's attention? 


Saturday, June 8, 2019

Friday, June 7, 2019

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Query Letter Basics

A paragraph by paragraph guide of what to put in your query letter.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Inciting Incident

The inciting incident is the action that sets your plot in motion.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Conference Newbies

It can be scary attending a conference for the first time, but here are some hints to make it easier. 


Monday, June 3, 2019

Rhyming Picture Books

The most important factors in rhyming picture books are, in order: story, rhythm (meter), and lastly, rhyme.


Sunday, June 2, 2019

Twitter Pitch Contests

Here's a primer on how to dip your toe (or pen) into the world of twitter pitch contests. 


Saturday, June 1, 2019

Picture Book Genres

Picture book genres range from concept books to fantasy, realistic to poetry. 


Friday, May 31, 2019

Author Platforms

What exactly is an author platform and how do you create yours? 


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Comp Titles

If an agent or editor asks you for comp titles, or books that are similar to yours, you need to choose only recently published ones. 


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Children's Book Categories

Contrary to popular opinion, a picture book is not a genre (like mystery, science fiction, biography) but rather a category. 


Monday, May 27, 2019

Character Descriptions

Describing your characters is more than just listing their physical attributes. 


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Tighten Your Writing

Cut these 25 words and phrases to make your writing read more smoothly.  

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Things to Love About Author Visits

An educator shares five benefits for her students when authors come to visit.


Friday, May 24, 2019

Middle Grade Fiction - Genres and Topics

What genres and topics appear in middle grade fiction on the best-selling lists?


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Grow Your Backstory

We all know you shouldn't infodump your backstory at the beginning of your manuscript, but how do you organically integrate the needed information? 


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Rockstar-Quality Titles

Although your publisher may end up changing the title you choose, it never hurts to start with a catchy title. 


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Publishing Dictionary

Like any business, publishing has a language all its own. 


Monday, May 20, 2019

Book Events

Here are some hints to make your next book event a success. 


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Third Person Limited

Since the early 1900s, the most common point of view in novels is third person limited. 


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Is it a Picture Book

Just because you're manuscript is only 500 words long, that doesn't necessarily mean you've written a picture book. 


Friday, May 17, 2019

Realistic Dialogue

Dialogue in a book should mimic exactly the way people talk, but it needs to be believable. 


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Injecting Humor Into Your Writer

Even the most serious of books needs to humor to lighten them up. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Social Media Tips

Your readers are on social media, so you need to be there, too. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

One-Sentence Summary

Before you can even consider writing a synopsis, you need to be able to describe your book in one sentence. 


Monday, May 13, 2019

Character Objectives

Knowing your character's objectives, both external and internal, will help you write a strong character.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Author Websites

Do you need an author website and, if so, what are the necessary pages? 


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Close Point of View

Using a close perspective allows your readers to more identify with your character. 


Friday, May 10, 2019

Free Verse Poetry

Whether you're writing a novel or picture book in verse or stand-alone poetry, you might want to give free verse a try. 


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Growing Your Instagram Audience

Instagram is becoming increasing important for authors, but how do you build a following? 


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Showing a Character's Age

It can be awkward showing your character's age in your story, but these three hints might help. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Character Tools

Here are several tools to use that will help bring your character to life. 


Monday, May 6, 2019

Critiquing - Best Practices

When workshopping someone else's manuscript, what's the best way to make your suggestions the most helpful? 


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Poetic Voice

How can you use syntax in your rhyming picture book to make it sing? 


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Setting Tips

Here are several tips to use in describing a setting. 


Friday, May 3, 2019

Choosing Between Book Ideas

As writers, we have so many ideas swirling around in our heads, but how do we choose which ones to pursue? 


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Interactive School Visits

Engage the students during your school visit by making it more interactive. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Photographs in Picture Books

If you need photographs in your picture book, here are some great sources for copyright-free images.


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Character-Driven Picture Books

What qualities does a picture book need to have it be more about the character than the plot? 


Monday, April 29, 2019

Writing Mistakes

Here are some writing mistakes you probably don't even realize you're doing.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

Anatomy of a Synopsis

Just like a story, your synopsis needs a beginning, middle, and end.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Objective Correlative

Here's a new tool for your writer's toolbox--the objetive correlative uses objects, characters, and setting to create an emotional impact on the reader.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Should You Blog

Here are some points to consider if you're wondering whether or not you should have an author blog. 


Thursday, April 25, 2019


You need to choose the right setting not just for your overall book, but also for every scene. 


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Independent Publicists

Here's what you can expect if you decide to hire an independent publicist in addition to the one your publisher provides you. 


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Tighten Your Writing

Improve your writing by cutting these mundane elements from your story. 


Monday, April 22, 2019

Funding an Author Visit

Ways to help schools find the money to bring you in for an author visit. 


Sunday, April 21, 2019

When You Get an Offer

After doing the happy dance, what should you do next after receiving an offer? 


Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Truth About Publishing

From getting published to coping with success, here's an extensive list of things you might not know about publishing. 


Friday, April 19, 2019

Character Name Generator

Here's a fun site to help you create character names depending on archetypes, language, and mythology, to name a few.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Working With Your Publisher to Market Your Book

Yes, your publisher will do a great deal of work to promote your book, but there are ways you can help, too. 


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Using Formatting to Affect Pacing

You can change the pacing of your novel by changing where you put paragraph breaks. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Writing Flashbacks

How do you ensure your flashbacks are necessary for your story and, if they are, how do you write them to cause the least confusion for your readers? 


Monday, April 15, 2019

Place and Story

Where you set your story and how you fully envelope your characters in that place is important to your story.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Realistic Dialogue

We want the dialogue in our books to sound realistic, but without all the boring parts. 


Saturday, April 13, 2019

What to Expect from an Agent

How an agent helps in not just selling your book, but in guiding your career. 


Friday, April 12, 2019

Tightening Your Writing

Reduce the flab in your manuscript with this tips. 


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Show Not Tell

Here are three ways writing tells and doesn't show, and how you can fix them. 


Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Writing a blog post is different than simply writing an article and posting it online.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Pen Names

In this day of social media, does using a pen name make sense? 


Monday, April 8, 2019

Young Adult or Middle Grade?

How can you tell whether your story is for preteens or teenagers, middle grade or young adult?


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Nonfiction Rule of Three

Everyone knows about the rule of three in fiction, but what does that mean for nonfiction? 


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Instagram for Writers

How can you best use the power of Instagram to reach your readers (present and future)? 


Friday, April 5, 2019

Writing Contests

How can you tell the difference between scam writing contests and ones that are worth entering? 


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Plot Killers

Here are six mistakes that can reduce the impact of a great plot. 


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Publisher Catalogs

If you are looking to see what types of books a publisher brings out, you can find online copies of their catalogs here. 


Monday, April 1, 2019

Descriptive Writing

Use all five senses to make your readers feel like they are experiencing the story along with your characters. 


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Is Your Agent Any Good?

How do you tell if your agent is doing a good job for you and your career? 


Saturday, March 30, 2019


Where you set your book and how you describe it will help bring your story to life. 


Friday, March 29, 2019

When To Stop Editing

How do you know when it's time to stop revising and start submitting?


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Character Agency

It's important that your characters have agency, the purpose that drives their actions. 


Wednesday, March 27, 2019


When the guidelines say to only include a partial of your manuscript, should you include the prologue or not? 


Tuesday, March 26, 2019


It's hard to ask people to blurb your book, but these tips will make it easier.


Monday, March 25, 2019

Redundant Writing

Whether it's repeating words or repeating what you're saying but in a different ways, it's time to cut those redundancies out of your writing. 


Sunday, March 24, 2019


This is the best and simplest explanation of voice I've ever seen. 


Saturday, March 23, 2019

Backstory Through Dialogue

No one wants to read an infodump of backstory, but you can share some of those details through dialogue. 


Picture Book Pagination

Make your readers want to turn that page at the end of every spread.


Friday, March 22, 2019

Should You Blog?

Here are some tips to decide whether blogging is for you. 


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Dialects and Accents

A little goes a long way when adding dialects and accents to your dialogue. 


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Nonfiction Back Matter

Back matter gives you the opportunity to share some of your research in more detail. 


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Self-Promotion Tips

You are the most important member of your marketing team, both before and after publication. 


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Make History Real

How do you bring a world to life in your historical fiction?


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Writing Contests

How do you choose which, if any, writing contests to enter?


Friday, March 15, 2019

Manuscript Formatting

There are many sources to tell you correct manuscript formatting, but this post tells you how to do it in Microsoft Word, step-by-step. 


Thursday, March 14, 2019

YA Cliches

Don't fall into these cliche traps in your young adult novel. 


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Authors and Taxes

Here's a checklist of things to do and consider in order to file your taxes as an author. 


Tuesday, March 12, 2019


How to do craft a good ending to leave your reader satisfied? 


Monday, March 11, 2019

Single Point of View

What are the advantages of choosing a single POV to tell you story?


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Showing vs. Telling

All writers know to show not tell, but how do you do that? 


Saturday, March 9, 2019

When to Stop Editing

One of the hardest things about revising is knowing when you're finished, and it's time to stop editing. 


Friday, March 8, 2019

The 10% Rule

One of Stephen King's best piece of writing advice is to delete 10% of your manuscript to make a better read. 


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Social Media for Authors

If you're new to social media or just want to try a new platform, here's the information you need. 


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Storytime Picture Books

What do librarians look for when they choose a picture book for storytime? 


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Picture Book Tips

Here are ten tips to remember when writing a picture book. 


Monday, March 4, 2019

Motivation Reaction Units

Prose can be broken down into cause and effect or motivation reaction units (MRUs). 


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Public Domain

What is public domain and why is it important for authors to understand about it? 


Saturday, March 2, 2019

Author Websites

It's important not just to have an author website, but to have a well-designed one. 


Friday, March 1, 2019

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Plot Structure

There are many ways to structure your plot, but they mostly have the same basic actions.


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Writing Rules

Sometimes you need to break a writing rule to improve your story. 


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Authorial Voice

What's the difference between the author's voice and that of a character written in third person? 


Monday, February 25, 2019

Fantasy Languages

If you want characters in your fantasy novel to speak another language, here are some resources to make their words believable. 


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Crutch Words

Eliminate these unneccesary words and tighten your writing. 


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Kidlit Bloggers

Here's an extensive list of bloggers who cover children's and young adult books. 


Friday, February 22, 2019

Author Platforms

Do you need an author platform and, if so, how do you develop one? 


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Leaving Room for Illustrators

When you write a picture book, you need to leave room for an illustrator, even if it's you, to tell part of the story. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Marketing Costs

Here's the amount, broken down by item, one author spent on promoting her book. 


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Types of editing

What's the difference between developmental editing, proofreading, and copy editing? 


Monday, February 18, 2019

Who's Reading Your Social Media?

From agents to readers, booksellers to reviewers--your social media reaches many people. 


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Children's Book Publishers

You don't need an agent to submit your kidlit manuscript to these publishers. 


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Social Media

The best way for you handle social media depends upon you, your book, and your audience. 


Friday, February 15, 2019

Video Trailers

This video gives you step-by-step instructions on how to make your own iMovie video trailer for your book.


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Chapter Book Blueprints

Here is a chapter by chapter list of what should be happening for different length chapter books. 


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

SCBWI Grants and Awards

SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) offers more than 30 grants and awards for its members. 


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

ARCs and F&Gs

What exact are ARCs and F&Gs, and how are they used? 


Monday, February 11, 2019

Author Websites

Why do you need an author website and what should it include? 


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sentence Structure

Don't bore your readers by using the same sentence structure over and over again. 


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Contests and Awards

You need to do your due diligence before entering your work into a contest or for an award. 


Friday, February 8, 2019

Wordpress Formatting

Since many kidlit websites and blogs are done with Wordpress, here's information about some new formatting options. 


Thursday, February 7, 2019

Dialects and Accents

A little goes a long way when including dialects and accents into your character's speech. 


Wednesday, February 6, 2019


How to foreshadow events to come in your novel without giving away too much. 


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Kidlit Blogs

The top 100 blogs for children's books. 


Monday, February 4, 2019

Twitter Author Platform

Whether you're new to Twitter or an experienced pro, here are some hint to promote you and your books. 


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Nonfiction Proposals

If you're writing a longer nonfiction book, you'll need to put together a proposal. 


Saturday, February 2, 2019

Crafting a Scene

Here are some things to consider when you're writing a scene. 


Friday, February 1, 2019

Agent Etiquette

When you're querying agents, it helps to know the expected way to act in various situations. 


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Picture Book or Chapter Book

What's the best way to tell your story--as a picture book or a chapter book? 


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

When NOT to Submit

Ten reasons you're not read to submit your manuscript to an editor or an agent. 


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Writing Life

Thirty lessons about the writing life, starting with persistence is more important than talent. 


Monday, January 28, 2019

Query Tips

The most important query tip is to write a good book, but here are some others that can help you in your agent search.


Sunday, January 27, 2019

Writing Novels

Consider these ten points as you're planning, writing, and revising your novel.