Best howtowriteachildrensbook podcasts we could find (Updated October 2017)
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
Do you want to learn how to write a children's book? Make money writing for children's magazines? Every Friday the Writing for Children podcast publishes from The Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1969, ICL has taught over 470,205 aspiring writers. Listen to the director of both The Institute for Writers and The Institute of Children's Literature and bestselling children's author Katie Davis host the show as she focuses on the craft of writing for children. She talks about how to wri ...
 
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Brain Burps About Books: How to Create Your Author Platform, Adult and Children's Book Publishing, Book Marketing Podcast
 
Author Katie Davis hosts Brain Burps About Books as a "fly on the wall" show. It's all about the craft and business of children's publishing, including both traditional and independent book publishing information. CHECK OUT KATIE'S NEW SHOW, WRITING FOR CHILDREN. Go to writingforchildren.com. Interviews with experts cover publishing, creating, promoting, and writing books. Are you an aspiring writer who'd like to know the inside scoop on how others got their books published? Kid's books? Ind ...
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
CREATING QUALITY VOICES A while ago on the Institute's Facebook page, someone was asking about dialogue, which made me think again about this important writing tool. Readers love dialogue because it makes a scene and a character come to life. Dialogue puts us into a specific moment within a story and that's a powerful thing for readers. But man ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
CLEANING OUT THE JUNK DRAWER Personally, I love revising. I love the process of carving really good prose out of potentially questionable prose. For some, revision is more of a necessary evil, and one you must constantly, consciously focus on or else the old "let's make up a new story instead" nature can take over, and you may end up sending th ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
FIVE THINGS WORTH SWEATING OVER There are some mistakes editors see so often that they've become sore spots, things they simply think writers ought to take the time to overcome. Every single one of them is something I've done at one time or another, so I'm not saying these mistakes are deal breakers or will keep you from ever being published, b ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
THE PATH TO SOLUTION IS RARELY KIND Ultimately, the nature of plot is problem. The main character faces something that must be overcome or completed or defeated or endured, and the efforts that main character makes to do just that causes ripples that change the circumstances … and not always for the better. We take our beloved characters and we ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS? At this point in my writing career, I have never won any of the biggest prestigious awards, but I do make a living from my writing so I feel pretty successful. Success means something different to each of us, of course. If your idea of success involves the words "J.K. Rowling," I probably can't give you many tips. Tha ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
HOW TO WRITE CRAFT ARTICLES MAGAZINES WILL BUY Crafts are one of those things I don't write about, but I have a friend who does, and when she does, she almost always makes a sale. The magazines that use them need a steady stream. The reason crafts are a staple of many children's magazines is because they help to make content interactive. They d ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
NUMBER ONE, ENGAGE! When editors ask for characters that grow and change, they aren’t asking for a story about life’s lessons. They don’t mean they want a lecture on manners disguised as a story. What they want is for the situation in the story to have an impact on the main character that causes growth and change. And they want it to happen dur ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
LEARNING HOW THINGS WORK One of the things that my father-in-law loved about me when we first met was that I had my own power tools. But since my husband is so good at fixing stuff, I've slacked off. As a result, I’ve gotten really rusty and hesitant about using some of the really dangerous things and our garage is a scary reminder every time I ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
HARD TIMES HAPPEN People often tell me how lucky I am to make a profession from something I enjoy deeply. And I am thrilled that this has been possible for me. I love being a writer. Except when I don't. No profession is made up of only happy days. Since I line up deadlines, I then I have to meet them. All of them. Some days, that's hard. Some ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
THE FLIGHT OF THE ARROW Many writing books have tried to explain the nature of plot. Some talk about story arc. Some talk about beginnings, middles, and ends. Some talk about conflicts and character growth. Right now, I’m going to talk about arrows. You shoot them, they travel swiftly to the destination you intend – if you are skilled enough, i ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
Picturing Picture Book Summit My guest today is fellow Picture Book Summit Co-Founder Julie Hedlund. This episode is a rebroadcast from my previous podcast Brain Burps About Books. In this interview, we talk about how Picture Book Summit came to be and what you, as a picture book writer, can learn from an online conference. If you're curious ho ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
WRAPPING UP YOUR STORY Author John Green likes to collect famous last words. The last things we speak can say a lot about us, or they can be vague and anti-climactic. That’s because real life isn’t as tidy as a story. In a story, the last lines usually do say a lot (even if only symbolically) about the story. For the last word on this topic and ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
HOW TO TIME YOUR ENDING In a way, every story is a story of transformation. Circumstances change. Characters experience revelations. Challenges are met and overcome. The longer the work you’re writing, the more transformations are likely to occur. In board books and many picture books, for instance, the transformation is often simply circumstan ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
WHY SUBMISSION GUIDELINES MATTER Many times, editors finally find time to dig into the slush pile or they open their email and check out submissions and get a disappointing surprise. People send poetry for children to publishers who list “no poetry” right in their guidelines. People send fiction for children to publishers who only publish nonfi ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE As you work through your revision and polish up your work, don’t forget dialogue. Few things can do more for your story than good dialogue, so it’s worthwhile to get it right. ___Check that all spoken dialogue is enclosed in quotation marks and that punctuation occurs inside the quotation marks. [Enclosing all pun ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
DON'T KILL THE QUERY Among cover and query letters for children’s fiction, there exists one absolutely killer mistake that is frequently made by new writers. They forget why children read fiction. Most fiction that you write and will sell will not be assigned as homework, so none of the children who read it will be forced to read it. They must ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
CREATING CONFLICT Every story needs conflict. The tension of resolving that conflict is what compels the audience to read all the way to the end of your book. Today we look at 7 tips for creating conflict. 1. Be certain your main character has a worthy, noble goal. No one likes a shallow greedy protagonist. Be sure it’s a realistic goal as well ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
WHAT MAGAZINE EDITORS WANT 1. Magazines are often picky about their nonfiction magazine sources. Although few prohibit using Internet sources, they should never be your only–or even your main sources. And never, ever use Wikipedia as a source. 2. One good thing websites are good for is pointing you toward primary sources that you can contact by ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
LITTLE THINGS CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE Have you hit a roadblock with your writing? You got the story down, but something seems to be missing? Or you just know it can be better, but you don't know where to start? Today we touch on 7 things you can do to bump up your story. 1. Make your story stink! Consider the sensory detail in your work. Stud ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
ARE YOU PROPERLY FORMATTING YOUR DIALOGUE? Formatting dialogue in any manuscript can be perplexing. Follow these 8 guidelines so you don't get tripped up by tricky dialogue. 1. Check that all spoken dialogue is enclosed in quotation marks and that punctuation occurs inside the quotation marks. [Enclosing all punctuation within the quotes is sta ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
DO YOU KNOW YOUR CHARACTER? Consider asking yourself (or your character) these questions. The answers will help you understand your character's motivation and how their mind works. You may not use any of the answers in your actual story, but knowing the answers will help you write a more fully developed character. 1. Interview your character. I ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
FUN WITH SOUND One way to add bounce to your writing is to play with sound. You can choose words that depict sounds like bump, crash, bang, or gong–that’s called onomatopoeia. Which means the word sounds like what it is, or the sound it’s making, like “zip.” Or you can play with sounds within words. That can be more subtle, but still lots of fu ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
GET CRAFTY! Crafts are one of those things that many writers don’t really consider when coming up with a publishable project. But the magazines that use crafts, need a steady stream. The reason crafts are a staple of many children's magazines is because they help to make content interactive. They don’t just offer a story or article, but let the ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
REFUSED TO BE BORED AND BE A BETTER WRITER FOR IT "If something, some topic gives me that excited feeling in my stomach, I start to research it to see if there is enough to make a good book. If there is, I write it. Anything that amazes me could wind up being the subject of a book.” —Kelly Milner Halls Not too long ago Jan Fields wrote about th ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
FIVE COMMON CHARACTER MOTIVATIONs OF VALUE TO WRITERS In any story, a character must do something. A character who just bobs along on the current of everyone else's actions and decisions isn’t worthy of being in your story, and definitely isn’t worthy of leading your story. Even if this character reminds you of someone you know in real life, th ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
SOMETIMES, YOU JUST GOTTA RHYME You constantly hear the advice to write in prose, not rhyme. Why? You see, there's this interesting phenomena that goes on in our brains. It's like this: most of us simply cannot tell when our rhyming work is terrible. You see the skills needed to actually write good rhymes also imparts the ability to judge good ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
Interviews with Champions of Children's Literature Today we celebrate the National Ambassadors for Young People's Literature! Jon Scieszka is the author of many bestselling children's titles, including The Stinky Cheese Man, which won a Caldecott Honor medal, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and the Time Warp Trio chapter book series. J ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
ASK YOURSELF 1. Does your story have a clear main character? Short fiction can’t support a rambling assortment of characters vying for the main character job. Omniscient viewpoint nearly never works in short fiction – readers need a main character to relate to, care about, and focus on. The more you dilute the job of main character, the more yo ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
WHAT NOT TO DO Don’t try to give a manuscript to any editor or agent. If they want it, they’ll ask for it. It’s far more likely they will ask you to mail it to them so they don’t have to pack it. But nothing makes a bad impression on an editor or agent quicker than to have you hand them a manuscript. If the editor or agent shows interest in you ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
WHAT TO EXPECT AT A WRITING CONFERENCE Many people sign up for writing conferences hoping they’ll send a manuscript home with an editor, or even better, be offered a contract right there at the conference. Has that ever happened at a conference? Probably. But you’re much more likely to come home with a cold than a contract. Does this mean writi ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
What's an ISBN? It’s an International Standard Book Number. It’s a unique number code given to books so that anyone who wants to buy or stock a specific book can find that specific book. Bookstores, libraries, readers, publishers, or your fans can search and find your book based on its ISBN. Every ISBN consists of thirteen digits, though it use ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
IT’S NOT JUST YOU All writers, whether brand new or seasoned veterans, get stuck sometimes. Even those of us who outline extensively before we begin sometimes realize the plot is simply not working and a new approach is needed. But getting stuck can be paralyzing, especially for those of us who struggle with our inner critic's assurance that we ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
EXPLAINING THE ADVANCE As with any profession, writing comes with a lot of profession-specific jargon that turns words we’ve always known into strangers. One such term is the advance. This is money an author receives at some point after signing a book contract but before collecting royalties. The advance can be a confusing thing for many writer ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
GROWNUPS SHOULD BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD A surprising number of writers really struggle to separate themselves from the adult characters in children’s stories. This is especially true for newer writers with stories for very young children. Few of us have very clear memories of our preschool years, but we have excellent memories of the preschool ye ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
A CALL TO ADVENTURE Increasingly editors are interested in two things in fiction (1) adventure and (2) something a boy might read. But many writers are stuck when it comes to thinking about adventure. What makes up an adventure and can you do it well in 2,000 words or less (sometimes a lot less). Sure you can. After all, Sendak’s Where the Wild ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
TWO-LAYERED WRITING Sometimes we can borrow something from another art form and smuggle it over to children’s writing to be used in a slightly different way. One example of this is the “log line.” A log line in Hollywood scriptwriting terms is a kind of one-sentence summation of your script, preferably making it sound almost unbearably exciting ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
A PRIMER ON POINT OF VIEW The designations for Point of View are dependent upon how the main character is presented. In first person, the book is told directly by the main character, such as Barbara Park does in the Junie B. Jones books: “My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice, except I don’t like Beatrice. I just like B and that’ ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
8 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF ABOUT YOUR SUBMISSION 1. Does the title grab an editor’s attention? Does it offer a peek at the tone, subject, theme or unique vision of your story? 2. Is the story appropriate for your target market? Don’t send magazine articles to book publishers. Don’t send fiction to a market that buys only nonfiction. The key to ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
STORY AND SETTING One of the most common marks of a beginning writer is the “talking heads” story. What does that mean? Well, you have dialogue (usually between two characters) but no sense of place. The reader can’t picture the characters fully because he doesn’t know where they’re having this conversation––at the kitchen table? Walking togeth ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
THE LEAP OF FICTION Writers are often inspired by events from real life. But to use that inspiration we must view real life as a launch point and then join it to plot. We look at the life event and then we leap far from it, carrying along only those scraps we need for the actual story. Stories aren't recitations of what actually happened––that’ ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
SCAM PROOFING If you think of yourself as tech savvy, you probably have virus protection, spam filters of some sort, and pop up blockers. You can chant, “Don’t open unfamiliar attachments” in your sleep. But there are worse things online than viruses and spam. The Internet is like one of those ancient treasure troves you read about in stories. ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
Today we’re going to talk about submissions. This is a topic that comes up frequently with each new contest. People ask about everything from naming and saving their Word documents to asking if we could rank all the entries. That way people would know where they stood. So, let’s spend a little time talking about the process of submissions. Our ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
WHAT DO KIDS CARE ABOUT? You may have heard me mention that the great nonfiction writer––and editor––Andrea Davis Pinkney said, when shekeynoted at the online conference, Picture Book Summit, that nonfiction sounds like nonfun. But you should know, kids love nonfiction. Sometimes we forget that some readers find nonfiction more exciting––it’s t ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
Do you ever wonder if you have a real plot in your short story––something that an editor will find satisfying and complete? It can be tough, but one way to find out is to imagine your main character in front of you and just ask him or her some questions. What questions? Ah, there’s the key. Kurt Vonnegut said, ”Every character should want somet ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
One of the most common reasons for editors to reject a poem is bad meter. Meter is the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a poem. When the pattern works, the sound of the poem aids the content of the poem instead of distracting from it. Many writers think it’s enough to for a poem to rhyme but don’t understand the nature and constr ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
8 INGREDIENTS OF A GOOD STORY 1. A cup of plot. A plot that proceeds logically from beginning to end, giving the reader a sense that this is exactly how the story must be told. 2. Four tablespoons of conflict. Okay, I’m dropping the recipe joke… let’s just get on with this! Conflict is an essential part of a good story plot. So, who or what is ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
SERVING UP TEMPTING TITLES When it comes to titles, most writers fall into two camps: those who seem to effortless come up with extremely cool titles like “Pistol Packing Paleontologist” (an article by Kelly Milner Halls) and those who struggle and strive to come up with something that doesn’t make an editor nod off in mid read. If you’re in th ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
Robyn asks: Can you explain the importance of stressed and unstressed syllables in prose picture books to help guide the rhythm. Can you explain it? (Better than I just did!) Geraldene asks: Would today’s fourth grade children be interested in what life was like for kids back in the 1920s and 1930s? Wendy asks: How do I handle back matter in a ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
CONFLICT FOR ANY AGE Many times writers have trouble understanding the place of conflict in stories for young children. Either the stories will be devoid of conflict. Or they will be wondrous stories of fighting and near-death experiences. In magazine fiction, the place of conflict tends to land somewhere between these two extremes. In story te ...…
 
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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published
 
HOW TO GET YOUR NONFICTION REJECTED If you’re like most writers, you’ve heard by now that magazines need nonfiction. Actually, magazines are desperate for nonfiction. Magazines never get enough nonfiction. So, many writers smile and settle down to write an article. How tough can it be, after all, these are just kids? Well, tough enough that man ...…
 
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