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On the Next Kidlit Distancing Social: Ask Us Anything About Writing, Publishing & Marketing Your Writing

This week on the Social (Tuesday, November 24 at 5 PM Pacific, 8 PM Eastern), we have a Thanksgiving treat for you – it’s a freewheeling “Ask Us Anything” session!  Jon & Laura will answer any question you have about writing, publishing & marketing your writing. 

Kidlit Distancing Social #30 Replay – Kevin Carroll on Communicating Big Ideas to Young Readers

Kevin Carroll has led a remarkable life – and he’s just getting started. Head athletic trainer for the Philadelphia 76ers, Nike’s first-ever “creative change agent”, an in-demand speaker with multiple Ted Talks and now, a successful children’s book author.

In fact, his A Kid’s Book About Belonging was just named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things for 2020!

Kevin has some big things to communicate with kids, and he has a fascinating approach that should make every kidlit author stand up and take notice.

You absolutely don’t want to miss this one!

Kidlit Distancing Social #29 – Lynne Marie on Knowing When You’re Ready to Submit to Publishers

Get some great revision tips from Lynne Marie, who is the author of five picture books including Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten (Scholastic), The Star of the Christmas Play (Beaming Books), and Moldilocks and the 3 Scares (Beaming Books), and the owner of Lynne Marie will help you answer the immortal question “Is my manuscript ready to submit to publishers?”

CBI Editor Spotlight Excerpt: Eileen Robinson of Reycraft Books

Excerpted from the November 2020 edition of Children’s Book Insider, Eileen Robinson, executive editor of Reycraft Books, talks about the new imprint and offers her best book marketing tips.

Kidlit Distancing Social #28 – Nicole C. Kear on Writing Across Age Groups & Genres

Meet a writer who is making her mark across multiple genres and categories – and learn how you can do the same. Nicole C. Kear has published two chapter book series, a middle grade novel, a highly acclaimed memoir and dozens of articles in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post and Good Housekeeping. Nicole is the model of a modern working writer, whose built a fascinating, rewarding career.

Kidlit Distancing Social #27 – Teresa Funke on the Steps You Can Take Now to Become a Successful Author

This week, we welcome back the inspiring Teresa Funke (Dancing in Combat Boots, V for Victory, 10 Things All Successful Authors Do). Teresa will help you get on – and stay on – the path to becoming a successful professional writer. She’ll share the things you can do write now that will pay big dividends down the road. If you need some inspiration and confidence – this is the Social for you!

10 Things That Get Kidlit Manuscripts Rejected – and How to Avoid Them

An all-new workshop led by Deborah Halverson, editor at Harcourt Children’s Books for ten years, and author of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies, Writing New Adult Fiction, the teen novels Honk If You Hate Me and Big Mouth, the picture book Letters to Santa, and three books in the Remix series for struggling readers. Deborah is the founder of the popular writers’ advice website

Kidlit Distancing Social #26 Replay – Lyn Miller-Lachmann on Writing Historical Fiction & Creating Inclusive Characters

This week, we have a really fascinating guest – author, translator and sensitivity reader Lyn Miller-Lachmann (Gringolandia, Surviving Santiago, Rogue). Lyn talks about writing historical fiction, writing books with international settings, and the difference between a sensitivity reader and an expert reader (and when you should use each one).

Kidlit Distancing Social #25 Replay – Brian Weisfeld on Writing Books that Promote a Passion & Deliver a Message

Brian Weisfeld, author of The Startup Squad series (Macmillan), is devoted to empowering girls with an entrepreneurial mindset so they can realize their potential. In this episode, Brian gives his advice for authors seeking to change the world with their writing. If you have a passion or cause you’d like young readers to know about, Brian will help you understand how to create books that teach while entertaining.

Kidlit Distancing Social #24 Replay – Brooke McIntyre on Finding, Joining & Getting the Most of a Critique Group

Brooke McIntyre, the founder of, a platform for writing groups and an online space for writers, joins us to talk about finding your own critique group, getting feedback on your work and providing feedback on other writers’ work. This is a super-timely topic, and you should definitely check it out.

Kidlit Distancing Social #23 Replay – Tracey West on Chapter Books, Movie Novelizations & Books w/Licensed Characters

Tracey West is the author of more than 300 books for children and young adults, including the Pokémon chapter books, the popular Pixie Tricks series, and the brand new Dragon Masters series. She talks about her first love – writing chapter books – and how she’s built a career writing movie novelizations and books with licensed characters. Tracey is a real pro who will open your mind to new ways to make a good living as a full time writer.

Kidlit Distancing Social #22 Replay – Candice Ransom, Author of 150+ Children’s Books

Candice has written more than 150 books, including 18 books for The Boxcar Children series, The Time Spies series and the Sunfire series. She wrote the Dungeons & Dragons novel, Key to the Griffon’s Lair. Her work includes picture books, easy readers, middle grade fiction, biographies, and nonfiction. Laura and Candice discuss her fascinating career, and then open the floor for a freewheeling “Ask Us Anything” session!

Kidlit Distancing Social #21 Replay – An Evening with Legendary Children’s Poet David Harrison

This week, we welcome a children’s book legend – poet David Harrison, who is about to see his 100th book in print. He is Drury University’s poet laureate. David Harrison Elementary School in Springfield, MO is named for him, and he was recently chosen to receive the first Laura Ingalls Wilder Children’s Literature Medal for his body of work.

Kidlit Distancing Social #20 Replay – Tod Olson on Writing Creative, Exciting Nonfiction

Tod Olson is a writer with a knack for making nonfiction topics come alive with excitement and vibrancy. Tod is the critically-acclaimed author of middle grade narrative nonfiction series Lost and How to Get Rich, and Into the Clouds: The Race to Climb the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain (all published by Scholastic). He talks about finding that creative, exciting story within the nonfiction topic, and gives some research tips.

Tuesday August 25: How to Add Emotion, Compassion & Heart to Create a Truly Magical Picture Book Manuscript

There’s a magic ingredient that makes an editor take notice, stops an agent in her tracks and makes a delighted child say “Read it Again!” What if you had this magic ingredient at your fingertips, ready to sprinkle it throughout your next picture book manuscript? How different would your writing career be?

How to Tell if Your Story Idea is Good Enough

Most writers find it very difficult to judge the merits of their own story ideas. In this excerpt from a workshop taught by the prolific and uber-creative author Stephen Swinburne, you’ll learn his quick process to judge new ideas. It’s quite powerful.

Kidlit Distancing Social #19 Replay – Laura Backes on Crafting Great Opening Lines & Scenes

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.

Kidlit Distancing Social #18 Replay – Bad Kitty Author Nick Bruel on Creating Subversive – and Hilarious – Characters

Nick Bruel is the author and illustrator of New York Times bestseller Boing! and the Bad Kitty books.
Nick has created some brilliantly subversive – and hilarious – characters. On the Social, he and Laura had an extensive and fascinating discussion about his process and his tips for writers looking to give their kidlit characters a little extra edge.

Kidlit Distancing Social #17 Replay – P.J. McIlvane on Connecting with Editors & Agents at Twitter Pitch Parties

This week, we welcome P.J. McIlvane, picture book author & co-founder of #PBPitch, an ongoing series of Twitter Pitch Parties connecting kidlit authors with editors and agents.
P.J. explains what Twitter Pitch Parties are, how writers can use them to advance their careers and shares some inside tips on how to stand out and catch the eye of an editor or agent.

Kidlit Distancing Social #16 – Sean McCollum on Following Your Passion & Living an Exciting Writing Life

In this episode, we welcome Sean McCollum, an award-winning author who has built a career based on following his passions around the globe – and then writing books about them. He shares how he did it and talk about how others can follow in his footsteps. If you’re looking to add excitement and passion to your writing life, Sean is the man to meet!

Kidlit Distancing Social #15 – Helen Wu on Writing for the International Market

In this episode, we welcome Helen Wu, associate publisher at Yeehoo Press, a publisher dedicated to publishing fun, enchanting, and socially responsible children’s books for audiences around the world. Helen and Laura have a meaty discussion about emerging worldwide kidlit trends, and opportunities for authors to publish internationally.

Watch all the Kidlit Distancing Social Replays

Find out what your favorite authors, editors, agents & writing educators have to say when they appear on the Kidlit Distancing Social, a free educational hangout for kidlit writers, presented by Children’s Book Insider, the Children’s Writing Monthly.

Kidlit Distancing Social #14 – Eileen Robinson on Middle Grade Fiction for Boys

In this episode, we welcome Eileen Robinson, publisher at Move Books, a small press that focuses on middle grade novels for boys. MG for boys is a hot and growing market, so this is a very timely topic.

Eileen’s had an accomplished and varied publishing career including work in acquisitions and development, pub planning, leveled reading, audio books and more.

Kidlit Distancing Social #13 – Josh Funk on Creating Successful Kidlit Series

In this episode, Josh Funk brings his special brand of fun to the Social. Josh has created one successful children’s book series after another, and he’ll share how he did it, and how other writers can follow the same path. This is really powerful insight for any writer seeking to build a long-term successful writing career.

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