Monday, July 26, 2021


 As important as critiques from other people are, it's even more important to learn how to self-edit your own work first.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Opening Scenes

 Here are three vital elements to include in the opening scene of your book.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Is Your Novel Ready

 How do you tell if your novel is ready to submit to an agent or editor?

Friday, July 23, 2021

Search Engine Trends

 Here are some SEO (search engine optimization) myths you don't have to worry about.

Thursday, July 22, 2021


 Flashbacks can give necessary backstory, but they should be used sparingly.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Publishing Seasons

 What does it mean when you're told your book will come out in the Spring season?

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Instagram for Authors

 How can you best use Instagram to increase your author presence?

Monday, July 19, 2021

After the Offer of Representation

 Congratulations on receiving an offer of representation, now don't make these mistakes.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Characters and Setting

 Ask your characters these questions to help bring your setting to life.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Introvert Authors

 Here are some tips for introverts to overcome the public side of being an author.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Sensory Details

 Without sensory details (and not just visual ones), your story will feel flat.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Story Over Theme

 Yes, your manuscript should have a theme, but don't forget it also needs to be a story.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Simultaneous Submissions

 Submitting to more than one agent or editor at a time is common now, but what is the best way to do this?

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Bringing Characters to Life

 Stories are about characters, so how do you make yours more interesting to your readers?

Monday, July 12, 2021

Being a Podcast Guest

 Podcasts are a great way to share info about you and your books.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Tighten Your Writing

 Here are some tips to cut words and phrases that make your writing drag.

Saturday, July 10, 2021


 The one thing your novel must do is arouse the reader's curiosity.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Series Bible

 It's important you maintain a central list of character names/descriptions/spelling, locations, timeline, etc. for your series (and even your standalone title).

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Publishing Contracts

 Pay extra attention to these key points in your publishing contract.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Improve Your Writing

 Here are some hints on how to make your writing better.

Fractured Fairytales

 Take a fairytale everyone knows and give it a little twist.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Restarting a Manuscript

 How do you get going again on a manuscript where you seemed to have stalled in your writing?

Monday, July 5, 2021

Email List

 How to start, build, and grow your email list.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Unique Story Elements

 How do you introduce unique story elements, like in a fantasy world, without confusing your readers.

Saturday, July 3, 2021


 Agents and editors want books with a good voice, but what do they mean by that?

Friday, July 2, 2021

Images for Research

 You can now use Smithsonian Open Access to search through millions of images in their collection.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Muddy Middle

 How do you get your manuscript unstuck from the muddy middle?

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Funny Stories

 All kids love reading funny stories, and here are some hints how to write them.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Middle Grade Fiction

 Four tips for writing un-put-downable middle grade fiction.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Talking Heads

 Avoid the problem of "talking heads" by providing context.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Supporting Characters

 How to make your supporting characters shine, but not out-shine your protagonist.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Writing Rules vs. Fashion

 Sometimes the so-called rules of writing are merely the current fashion.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Physical Reactions to Emotions

 Here are some new ways to show your character's emotions through physical reactions.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Reactions to Characters

 Listen to your own emotions to give your characters more depth.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Finding Comp Titles

 Here are some hints for finding comp titles to use in your query.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Book Sales

 How are book sales counted and what constitutes a good amount of sales?

Character Names

 Avoid this pitfalls when naming your characters.

Friday, June 18, 2021


 Here are some points to think about when you're revising.

Thursday, June 17, 2021


Here are some way to incorporate backstory without using the dreaded info dump.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Comp Titles

 How do you find compelling comparative titles to use in your query.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Scene Trackers

 What's the best way to keep track of the scenes in your manuscript?

Monday, June 14, 2021

Naming Characters

 Here are some pitfalls to avoid when naming your characters.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Diversity in Aging

 Many books use stereotypes for the older character: don't let yours be one of these.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Middle Grade Novel Pitfalls

 Here are some common mistakes you should look for when writing a middle grade novel.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Dialogue Compression

 Make the dialogue in your book sound more realistic by eliminating words.

Thursday, June 10, 2021


 How do you handle weaving backstory into your book without using the dreaded infodump?

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Hybrid Publishing

 What is hybrid publishing, and is it right for you?

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Pen Names

 What's the problem with using a pen name?

Monday, June 7, 2021

Middle Grade Books

 There are many ways to discover a premise for a middle grade book.

Sunday, June 6, 2021


 There are many universal themes that might run through a children's book.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Children's vs. Adult Books

Books for children are not just books for adults with fewer words and a younger protagonist.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Shy Authors

 If you're shy (or just intimidated), here are some tips to make your book signing go a little easier.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Book Sales and Returns

 When is a sale actually a sale, and you receive a royalty for it?

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Pop Culture in Books

 Should you include pop-culture references in your book or will that date it?

Monday, May 31, 2021

Evergreen Books

 We all want our books to be evergreens--ones that generations of kids will read.

Sunday, May 30, 2021


 Even if you don't write fantasy or science fiction, you still have to build the world your character lives in.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Guest Posting

 Guest posting on other people's blogs is a good way to expand your audience.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Nonfiction Research

 Writing nonfiction requires a lot of researching and re-researching.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Finding an Agent

 Here's a six-step strategy to optimize your search for a literary agent.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Informational Fiction

 Informational fiction is fiction that includes a great deal of nonfiction in it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021


 You might want to check your manuscript for these cliches.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Picture Book Endings

 There are many techniques to give your picture the perfect ending.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Better Dialogue

 Here are 19 tips for writing better dialogue.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Plot Mistakes

 Here are seven don'ts when plotting your manual.

Friday, May 21, 2021

How to Make Your Manuscript Stronger

 One easy tip to make your manuscript (whether pb, mg, or ya) stronger, is to read it out loud.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Secondary Characters

 Your protagonist needs secondary characters to help and hinder reaching a goal.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Email Newsletters

 What every writer needs to know about starting and maintaining an email newsletter.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Adults in Children's Books

 How do you write adult characters in children's books but ensuring the child still solves the problem?

Monday, May 17, 2021

Writing Rules vs. Writing Fashion

 Do you follow the rules for writing or the current fashion?

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Picture Book Structure

 There are so many options in how to structure you picture book.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Multi-Author Events

 Join with other authors to create events that will bring in more readers.

Friday, May 14, 2021

The Perfect Agent

 The perfect agent is one who is perfect for you and your book.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Podcast Interviews

 How can you make your podcast interview both interesting and informative to the listeners?

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Picture Book Themes

 The theme of your picture book is as important as the characters and the plot.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Story Endings

 How do you craft an ending to your story that leaves your readers satisfied?

Monday, May 10, 2021

Connections to Characters

 How do you help your readers make an emotional connection with your characters?

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Form Rejections

 What does it mean when you get a form rejection?

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Physical Descriptions

 Here are some tips on how to give a physical description of your character.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Eight-Point Arc

 The eight-point arc, similar to the three-act structure, is one of many possible ways to plot.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Comparison Books

 If you're looking for comps for your book, here are some things to keep in mind.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Reasons for Rejection

Here are a few reasons your manuscript may be rejected that have nothing to do with the quality of the writing.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Prose Poetry

 Prose poetry combines aspects of both prose and poetry.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Deep POV

 Using deep third-person point of view brings your readers closer to your character.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

eARCs, NetGalley, and Edeweiss

 Here are three ways your publisher gets pre-published manuscripts into the hands of reviewers.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Middle Grade Novels

 Here are some useful tips for writing a middle grade novel.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Increase Website Traffic

 How do you get people to find out about your website and visit it?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


 Your story might contain infodumps, and you don't even realize it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Time Travel

 Here are some questions to ask yourself when writing a time-travel story.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Blogging vs. Newsletters

 Which is a better marketing tool--blogging or emailing a newsletter?

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Action, Then Reaction

 Make sure an action happens before you character reacts to it.

Friday, April 23, 2021


 How do you transform cliched phrases into something fresh?

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Picture Book Series

 How does a stand-alone picture book grow to be the first of a series?

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Criticism vs. Critique

 Remember, all suggestions about your manuscript are someone's opinion.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Picture Book Pagination

 Although your editor and art director will paginate your picture book (unless you're an author/illustrator), it helps to keep those page turns in mind when writing.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Author Platform

 What is an author platform, do you need one, and how do you build it?

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Agents to Avoid

 There are some types of agents you should avoid by doing your research before submitting.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Author Websites

 Everything you need to know about creating your author website.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Song Lyrics

 What are the rules about using song lyrics in your manuscript?

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Backstory and Exposition

 How to use backstory and exposition without infodumping.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Revision Tools

 Here are two tools, shrunken manuscript and spreadsheet plotting, to help you revise your manuscript.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Chapter Endings

 How do you write chapter endings that will make your readers want to turn the page?

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Twitter for Writers

 Learn how to use Twitter and increase engagement with your readers.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Picture Book Biographies

 What are types of picture book biographies are publishers buying and not buying.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Writing Grants

 Discover grants to help fund your writing journey.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Picture Book Revision

 Get your markers ready to revise your picture book.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Characterizing Thoughts

 Here are eight types of character thoughts that help the reader understand the person's character.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Locations as Characters

 The settings in your book have certain traits which can add to your plot or theme.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Romantic Subplots

 For you young adult and adult writers, here are some suggestions on how to include romantic subplots in your book.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Book Review Blogs

 Are you looking for blogs to review your book?

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Writers' Support

 There are three types of ways people can support you as you write--mentorship, critique, and accountability.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Agent Queries

 Here are some hard truths about querying agents.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Personalizing Your Query

 Make sure when you personalize your query, you don't come off as a creepy stalker.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021


 Make sure your book starts in the best place.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Agent Pitches

 How to craft a pitch that will make an agent want to read your book.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Bad Reviews

 Tips on how to cope with negative reviews.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Parts of a Book

 Here's an A to Z guide to the various parts of a physical book.

Saturday, March 27, 2021


 By giving human-like characteristics to non-human things, you can deepen your writing.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Third Person POV

 There are three types of third person point of view--omniscient, limited, and deep.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Narrative Nonfiction

 Here are some tips for writing narrative nonfiction.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Email Thread Etiquette

 Make an agent or editor's life easier by including previous correspondence in your email thread.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Rhyming Picture Books

 Ten things you should know when writing a rhyming picture book.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Online Bios

 You need different online bios for your website and the different platforms.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Editing Tricks

 Sometimes you need to see your manuscript in a different way in order to revise.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Inciting Incidents

 Pull your readers by using these techniques to add excitement to your inciting incidents.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Overused Words

 We all have words and phrases we overuse, so search for them when you're revising.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Young Adult

 What makes a book young adult?

Tuesday, March 16, 2021


 In your desire to be published, watch out for these scammers.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Blogs and Newsletters

 Check out these kidlit blogs and newsletters.

Sunday, March 14, 2021


 How much is too much scene description?

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Great Stories

 What are the characteristics that elevate a story from merely okay to great?

Friday, March 12, 2021

Book Statistics

 How many books are published each year and other interesting statistics about the publishing world.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Picture Books and Older Students

 Educators, here are some hints to the best way to use picture books with your older students.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Query Tracker

 Using query tracker can help you stay organized and avoid oopsies while querying.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Book Events

 Here are some things to think about for your next book event, whether virtual or in real life.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Opening Scenes

 How to write an opening scene that will entice your readers to turn the page.

Sunday, March 7, 2021


 How to write dialogue that will captivate your readers.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Comp Titles

 How do you choose which other books to use as comp(arable) titles in your query.

Friday, March 5, 2021


 Asking these three questions about your protagonist will help unlock your story.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Publishing Paths

 There's more than one way to get your book in the hands of readers.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Conference Networking

 If you're nervous about networking at your next conference, here are some tips to help.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Author Brand

 To start creating your author brand, identify three words that define you as an author. 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Mid-Career Querying

 Maybe you've had a few books published, but not, for whatever reason, you're looking for an agent.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Author Websites

 Make sure to do your due diligence on your website to make sure it's protected.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Niche Marketing

 If you narrow your marketing efforts groups more likely to be interested in the subject, plot, or setting of your book, you may get better results.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Internal Narrative

Your reader can learn more about your character through the use of internal narrative. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Agents or Editors

 How do you decide whether to submit your manuscript to agents or directly to editors.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Constructive Criticism

 It's hard to accept critiques of our manuscripts, but that's one way we make them better.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Author Newsletters

 An author newsletter can be a valuable tool in your marketing toolbox.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Better Dialogue

 The dialogue your character's speaking is not the same as how we speak in real life.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Action, Then Reaction

 Make sure an event happens before you have your character react to it.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Types of editing

 Line editing, copy editing, and proofreading are three necessary parts of editing your manuscript.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Awesome Characters

Create characters your readers will care about.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Close Point of View

 One way to draw your readers into a tighter point of view is to eliminate filter words.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Online Pitch Contests

 Here are some tips for preparing your pitch for online contests.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


 Make sure you tie up all the loose endings by your book's ending.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Picture Book Storyboarding

 Even if you don't have any artistic talent, you should still storyboard your picture book by making a dummy.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Book Awards and Marketing

 Here are some ways you can use the fact that your book won an award in your marketing efforts.

Friday, February 12, 2021


 One way to focus the lens of your biography is to focus on the subject's childhood.

Thursday, February 11, 2021


 Here are the main reasons you might be receiving rejections on your manuscript.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Setting Details

 Picking the right details for your setting is connected to how your reader relates to your characters.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Kidlit Categories

 Here are the different categories, (picture book, middle grade, etc) or children's books.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Overused Words

 Search for these overused and often unnecessary words to tighten your manuscript.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Character Names

 How do you choose memorable names for your characters?

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Conflicting Feedback

 Getting feedback on your writing is always a good thing, but how do you deal with conflicting suggestions?

Friday, February 5, 2021

Re-editing Older Works

 Going back and revising older works that never sold or aren't book length brings the possibility of a new book sale, not to mention showing you how much you've grown as a writer.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Fair Use and Permissions

 If you use quotations from another source in your book, you need to understand fair use and permissions.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Writing for Children

 Here are five simple tips to keep in mind when writing for children.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Critique Partners

 Having a great critique partner is invaluable, but how do you find one?

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Query Format

 Here's a straightforward explanation of what you should include in a query letter.

Saturday, January 30, 2021


 How to write dialogue that sounds natural and will captivate your readers.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Kidlit Publishing Basics

 Roxie Munro shares what you need to know about the children's book industry.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Research Tips

 Here are some suggestions for making your preliminary research process easier.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Mind Mapping

 Organize your writing using one of these mind-mapping techniques.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Older Writers

 You're never too old to start a career in writing.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Sentence Length

 Avoid using long sentences in colloquial writing.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Character Strengths and Weaknesses

 Here's a list of some common character strengths and weaknesses.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Requested Material

 How long can you wait between a request to see more of the manuscript and sending it?

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Nonfiction Platform

 Do you need a platform to sell a nonfiction book?

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Holiday Books

 Are holiday books more or less likely to be acquired?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Writing Biography

 Although this post is not aimed at kidlit writers, the same principles hold true when writing biography.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Reveal Your Character Through Others

 Your protagonist's friends can tell your readers a great deal about your character.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Why Queries Are Rejected

 Here are five mistakes that will earn you query an instant reject.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Friday, January 15, 2021

Tax Resources for Writers

 Here's some basic tax information you need to know as a writer.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Fantasy Maps

 For you fantasy writers, here's a tool to help map out your world.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Nonfiction Picture Books

 Here's extensive and detailed advice about writing nonfiction picture books from Laura Salas.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Monday, January 11, 2021

Freelance Editors

 What should you expect when you hire a freelance editor?

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Book Titles

 Yes, your book title may change along the way, but why not start with one you think is good?

Street Team

 What is a street team, and do you need one to help market you and your books?

Saturday, January 9, 2021


 No matter how you define an author's voice, how do you find yours?

Friday, January 8, 2021

Stories With Heart

 How do you put heart into your words to make a story a child will want to read (or hear) over and over again?

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Picture Book Topics

 There are some picture book topics that are so overused that you might want to avoid them.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

School Visits

 Debbie Ridpath Ohi has accumulated an extensive list of resources for authors doing school visits.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Picture Book Endings

 You've written a great picture book, so make sure your ending is satisfying to the reader.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Characters' Jobs

 Your characters' jobs can give your reader great insight into their personalities.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Query Tips

 Here are some tips on querying agents, including strategies on how many and to whom you should submit in each batch.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Story Tropes

 Should you (can you?) avoid all story tropes?

Friday, January 1, 2021

Picture Book Dos and Don'ts

 Here are 20 picture book dos and 20 don'ts from an expert, Mem Fox.