This week, it’s time for a writing craft geek-out session! Join Laura Backes, founder & publisher of Children’s Book Insider, the Children’s Writing Monthly, for an evening devoted to opening lines and strong story beginnings.
If you’ve been struggling to kick off your manuscripts with powerful, reader-grabbing openings, this is the session for you.
Laura also checks in with publishing links, and we celebrate the successes of some Children’s Book Insider subscribers. And our poll question this week: What’s your favorite funny book?

Links from This Week’s Social:
“There’s No Excuse for Not Knowing Where Your Book Fits in the Market”, by Nathan
“How to Do Honest and Legal Giveaways as an Author” by Chrys Fey, on Jane Friedman’s blog:

From ‘Wild Horses’ to ‘Wild Things,” a Window into Maurice Sendak’s Creative Process”:
Children’s Book Insider links:
Writing Blueprints (Use code JOYFUL to save 20% on everything)

Publisher’s Weekly Article about the Kidlit Distancing Social


Children’s Book Insider video tour & $5/month offer:


Click here to browse & watch previous episodes of the Social!




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30 Years of Children’s Writing Wisdom in One Place – and It’s Yours Free!


✏  Word Counts & Age Groups for Every Kidlit Category

✏  FAQs, Glossaries and Reading Lists

✏  Category-specific Tips, from Picture Books Through Young Adult Novels

✏  5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Manuscript

✏  Writing For Magazines …and more!


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This is a gift from the editors of Children’s Book Insider, and there’s no cost or obligation of any kind.

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    1. Avatar
      Beth Schmelzer
      August 15th

      This webinar on Opening Lines is one of the best I have ever viewed. Thank you, Laura and Jon. Laura’s varied examples inspire me and make me think about my own MG mystery writing. Her dissection of these great books is helpful.
      After my last craft class with adult writers and an editor, the feedback had me questioning my own first lines. I was “shot down” when the instructor told me not to begin my story with dialogue and a question. I am sorry she did not value MG novels as we do. I guess she did not know CHARLOTTE’S WEB…
      I like your extra links about “comp titles,” too.

    2. Avatar
      Laura Backes
      August 15th

      Thank you Beth! Every editor has different opinions about great openings, but most children’s book editors agree that dialogue and/or action is a good way to go, especially if you’re throwing the reader right into the middle of a scene. Editors and writers of adult books sometimes have different opinions (all valid), but they are writing for a different audience. Good luck with your rewrites!

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