The Craft of Writing for Children


Kidlit Social #68: Writing Graphic Novels for Beginning Readers

 
 
 
On this episode of The Kidlit Social, meet authors Lola M. Schaeffer and Jill Esbaum.
 
 
Lola and Jill are both…

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The CBI Interview: Caribbean Author Shakirah Bourne on Her Journey to Publication

Reprinted from the November, 2021 edition of Children’s Book Insider, the Children’s Writing Monthly
 
Interview by PJ…

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Kidlit Social #67: Henry Herz on Writing Stories That Surprise Readers – and Editors

 
 
 
On this episode of The Kidlit Social, meet author and editor Henry Herz.
 
 

 
 
Henry’s ten…

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Kidlit Social #65: Melissa Stewart on Creating Nonfiction for the Classroom

 
 
 
On this episode of The Kidlit Social, meet Melissa Stewart, author of “5 Kinds of Nonfiction: Enriching Reading and Writing…

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Kidlit Social #64: Picture Book Author Nadia Salomon on Getting Published & Promoting Your Work

 
 
 
On this episode of The Kidlit Social, meet Nadia Salomon, author of the wonderful, recently released Goodnight…

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Kidlit Social #63: Writing Books w/ STEM Tie-Ins & Crafting Realistic Animals

 
On this episode of The Kidlit Social, meet illustrator, explorer and children’s book author Katy Tanis. Katy’s work bursts with color,…

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Writing Nonfiction for Children – Where the Opportunities Are Right Now

 
 
Here’s a meaty excerpt from The Children’s Nonfiction Market: How To Break In & How to Succeed, a Writing Blueprints workshop…

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Kidlit Social #62: Our First Live Editing Session!

 
On this episode of The Kidlit Social, we have a special treat for you: our first ever live editing session! We chose seven works in progress…

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Kidlit Social #61 Replay: Tracy Sue Walker on Folklore, Myths & the Stories We Tell

 
On this episode of The Kidlit Social, meet writer and storyteller Tracy Sue Walker. Tracy Sue is the author of the Kids for Truth about…

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Kidlit Social #60 Replay: Nathan Bransford on Finding Your Story’s Hook

 
On this episode of The Kidlit Social, meet Nathan Bransford, author of the Jacob Wonderbar middle grade series, the writing guides How to…

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Kidlit Social #59 Replay: Beth Anderson on the Changing Face of Picture Book Biographies

Picture book biographer Beth Anderson (“Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses, Lizzie Demands a Seat, Tad Lincoln’s Restless Wriggle) describes…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #58 Replay: An Evening with Chapter Book Legend Debbie Dadey

 
What do you call someone who has authored or co-authored over 180 books that have sold more than 40 million copies?
 
Legend seems…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #53 Replay: Violet Lemay on Helping Young Children Find Joy in an Unpredictable World

 
 
In this episode, meet author/illustrator Violet Lemay. Working primarily in the board book category (for ages 0-4), Violet has…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #52 Replay: Sneed B. Collard III on Nonfiction & Writing Mysteries for Middle Graders

 
 
In this episode, meet Sneed B. Collard III, award-winning author of more than 80 books. He’s best known for his science-based…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #51 Replay: Author/Illustrator Julie Rowan-Zoch on the Dance Between Words & Images in Picture Books

 
 
In this episode, we welcome Julie Rowan-Zoch (author/illustrator of I’m a Hare, So There! and illustrator of Louis, written by Tom…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #50 Replay: Michelle Schaub on Concept Books, Picture Books & Poetry

 
 
In this episode, we chatted with award-winning children’s author & veteran teacher Michelle Schaub about two fascinating topics:…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #48 Replay: Crafting Speculative Fiction & Graphic Novels w/Jennifer Brody (a.k.a. Vera Strange)

 
 
In this episode, we welcome Jennifer Brody (a.k.a. Vera Strange) the award-winning author of ten books, including The 13th Continuum…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #44 Replay: Picture Book Author Tameka Fryer Brown on Rhythm, Rhyme & Celebrating Community

 
 
In this episode, meet picture book writer Tameka Fryer Brown, author of Brown Baby Lullaby (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), named by…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #40 Replay: Jennifer Swanson, Melissa Stewart & Cynthia Levinson on Why Kids Love Nonfiction a *Lot* More Than You Probably Think

 
 
This week’s Kidlit Distancing Social is, as they say on TV, “ripped from the headlines!” 🙂
 
In January, when we saw…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #39 – Overcoming Self-Doubt & Finding the Courage to Put Your Work Out Into the World

 
 
This week on the Social, meet Jennifer Vassel, an inspiring self-publishing success story. Jennifer is the author and founder of “I…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #38 Replay – Chris Tebbetts on Middle Grade That Gets Kids Reading… and Laughing

 
 
This week on the Social, meet Chris Tebbetts, a successful middle grade/YA author who has mastered a compelling, humorous approach…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #34 Replay – How Two Unagented First Time Authors Got Published

 
 
In this episode of the Social, meet two debut authors who got their publishing contracts without an agent. If you think you can’t…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #33 Replay – Newbery Honoree Steve Sheinkin on Making History Exciting

 
 
In this episode of the Social, we welcome Steve Sheinkin, author of Newbery Honoree and National Book Award finalist Bomb: The Race…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #32 Replay – An Evening with Author/Illustrator Lea Lyon

 
 
In this episode of the Social, we welcome author/illustrator Lea Lyon.
 
Lea is the co-author of Ready To Fly: How Sylvia…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #31 Replay – Ask Laura & Jon Anything!

 
 
In this episode of the Social, Jon and Laura from Children’s Book Insider answer a slew of viewer questions about writing, publishing…

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

 
 
 
This week, you’ll meet a writer who is making her mark across multiple genres and categories – and learn how you can do…

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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…

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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…

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

 
This week, we welcome Brian Weisfeld, author of The Startup Squad series (Macmillan), is devoted to empowering girls with an entrepreneurial…

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

 
This week, we welcome Brooke McIntyre, the founder of InkedVoices, a platform for writing groups and an online space for writers. In our virtual…

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

This week, we welcome Tracey West. Tracey is the author of more than 300 books for children and young adults, including the Pokémon chapter books,…

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

 
 
This week, we welcome the amazing Candice Ransom. Candice has written more than 150 books, including 18 books for The Boxcar…

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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…

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

 
 
This week, we welcome Tod Olson, a writer with a knack for making nonfiction topics come alive with excitement and vibrancy. Tod is…

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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…

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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…

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

 
 
This week, we welcome Nick Bruel, author and illustrator of New York Times bestseller Boing! and the Bad Kitty books.
 
Nick has created…

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

 
On this week’s Kidlit Distancing Social, we welcome Eileen Robinson, publisher at Move Books, a small press that focuses on middle grade…

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

 
On this week’s Kidlit Distancing Social, author Josh Funk – who has created one successful children’s book series after another – shares…

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Kidlit Distancing Social #12 – Laura Backes on What Picture Book Writers Need to Know About Illustrations

 
On this week’s Kidlit Distancing Social, CBI Publisher Laura Backes discusses the interplay between words and illustrations in picture books,…

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children's book genres

Understanding Children’s Book Genres

Published children’s books fall into distinct book genres, each with its own format and targeted age range. These formats evolved for several…

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how to deal with critical feedback

How to Deal with Critical Feedback on Your Work

by Suzanna Henshon

 

Have you ever received criticism? Yikes, it usually feels quite painful, particularly when it pertains to a story or…

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Story Ideas from your own life

Mining Your Life for Story Ideas

 

by Jane Choate

 

Occasionally, the well for new story ideas runs dry and we must mine for fresh ones. We all know…

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How Middle Grade Author Ellie Sipila Turned a School Assignment into a Series

To say that Elizabeth “Ellie” Sipila is just a “writer” would be like labeling Emeril Lagasse as merely a “cook”. Like a master chef,…

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Crafting Scenes with Emotional Intensity

by Suzanna Henshon, Ph.D
 
 
Have you ever fallen deeply into a story and emerged changed forever? There are probably moments in the…

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Kill Your Darlings – Editing Your Manuscript to Remove Overused Words & Phrases

by Jane Choate
 
We all have them. What are they? Our darlings, those words, phrases, or even chunks of description that we use over and over,…

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Building a Fiction Series

Many authors, whether they’re published or not, would be thrilled to find out their latest manuscript is headed for a contract. If the publishing…

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Critique Fear: How to Handle Negative Feedback

Have you ever received a critique on your work that pointed out substantial issues?
 
Yikes, it usually feels quite painful, particularly…

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Persistence Pays Off for Middle Grade Author Erin Teagan

by PJ McIlvaine

 

This is excerpted from an interview that appeared in the June 2018 issue of Children’s Book Insider. Click here to…

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Author Brings Neurodiverse Characters to Middle Grade Fiction

This is an excerpt from an interview that appeared in the March 2018 issue of Children’s Book Insider.
 

by PJ McIlvaine

 

The…

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