Writing for Children Blog

A weekly look at the craft of writing from full time freelance writer and former ICL Instructor Jan Fields. To have in-depth craft articles, contest opportunities, hot markets accepting submissions, and cool writer resources delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter.

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NaNoWriMo Success  Part 4: Throw in a Dragon?
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, novels, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
Finding Markets in Difficult Times It's not you. It's them. by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, Submissions, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
You Only Need One How to find a publisher or agent by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, nonfiction, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
NaNoWriMo Success  Part 2: Digging In
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From Writing to Selling Finding a market for your work. by Jan Fields
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NaNoWriMo Success  Part 1: Prepare
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, novels, time management, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
Where Do You Get Your Ideas? It's a mystery. by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, mystery, writing for children and teens
Tips for Your Mystery Opening Chapters How to Engage Your Reader
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Mystery Sidekicks Many a mystery was hugely improved by a good sidekick. by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, mystery, novels, writing for children and teens
Planting Clues How to Outfox Your Reader
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, mystery, writing for children and teens
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, picture books, writing for children and teens
Mystery Detectives Choose your detective wisely. by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, mystery, novels, writing for children and teens
Interview with Kate Milford Tips from an Award-Winning Mystery Writer
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, mystery, writing for children and teens
Follow That Clue! The Clue-Theory-Test Method of Plotting Mysteries by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, mystery, novels, writing for children and teens
Planning Your Novel The process of novel writing
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, novels, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
Mystery For Young Children Being interactive is the key. by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, novels, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
For the Love of Genre There is definitely a class system in writing.
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, novels, romance, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
Spicy or Sweet? Love Scenes in YA by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, novels, romance, writing for children and teens
Real Speech for Real People How to write good dialogue
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Conflict is So Romantic Making the journey interesting by Jan Fields
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, novels, romance, writing for children and teens
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, contests, picture books, writing for children and teens
Guest Expert Jamie K. Schmidt An Interview with the Bestselling Romance Author
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, novels, romance, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
Characters Make the Romance ALL the characters need to be believable by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, novels, romance, writing for children and teens
8 Steps to Perfect Dialogue Format A Checklist for Writers
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How Structured is Your Picture Book? A Primer on Picture Book Structure
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, picture books, writing for children and teens
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, novels, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Walking Through A Developing Story Structure It all begins in your head by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, novels, writing for children and teens
Become Your Own Editor Avoid Common Errors
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Structure in Narrative Nonfiction Articles How to tell the true story by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Comma Long with Me A Primer on Punctuation
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, contests, novels, writing for children and teens
Traditional Plot Structure for Very Short Stories The good ones make it look easy by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, picture books, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Interview with Paula Morrow Insight from a former magazine editor
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Filed under: Podcast, contests, craft, nonfiction, research tips, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, contests, writing for children and teens
Beginning, Middle, and End What Do We Need from Each? by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Basic Story Elements Character, Setting, and Theme
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Does Popularity Matter? Advice on writing to trends by Jan Fields
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Interjecting Humor into Your Work Develop your own style of humor.
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Feeling Spoofy? Poking fun at a specific form or genre by Jan Fields
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How to Write Funny aka How to Be Funny in Your Writing
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Five Steps to Finding Your Funny Humor is a personal thing. by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
Playing Fair with Plot Playing Fair with Readers
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Humor for Older Readers Using a slightly different approach by Jan Fields
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
Interview with Nancy Coffelt Talking Humor with an Author-Illustrator and ICL Instructor
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
You Write Funny Humor is buried in the notion of the unexpected.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
Pacing 101 Pace is essential to your plot
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, novels, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing for children and teens
The Value of Short The Pros and Cons of Short Stories
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Voice How to find your voice in your work
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, nonfiction, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Do I Have I Have a Plot? Finding the Perfect Place to Start
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
Getting Down and Dirty with Plot Tips for plotting your story
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
From Zero to Sixty Finding the Perfect Place to Start
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, novels, writing for children and teens
The Dance of Plot and Theme Working in tandem to create a story.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
Interview with Emma D. Dryden An editor's view of worldbuilding
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, middle grade, picture books, writing for children and teens
Worldbuilding When You Can't Go Out in the World Research is key.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, novels, research tips, writing for children and teens
Setting as a Character The impact of setting on your story.
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, novels, writing for children and teens
Writing in Difficult Times When real life intrudes on your writing life
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
200th Episode Celebration Revision Power Giveaway
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, novels, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
Worldbuilding: Dressing the Set It's not just for fantasy writers.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, novels, writing for children and teens
Interview with Charlie N. Holmberg Tips from an Expert Worldbuilder
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
Introduction to Worldbuilding It's not just for fantasy writers.
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, novels, writing for children and teens
Elements of Setting Building a whole new world
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens
Words as Art The art of story vs. the art of poetry
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, poetry, writing for children and teens
Poetry for the Very Young Rebroadcast of a popular episode
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Filed under: Podcast, poetry, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Poetry Publication Options For poets seeking to get published
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, poetry, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Poetry-Based Revision for Picture Books What a difference a word can make
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, picture books, poetry, revision, writing for children and teens
Why Poetry? Exploring this means of expression
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, poetry, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
How to Write a Rhyming Picture Book —That Won't Get Rejected
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Filed under: Podcast, picture books, poetry, writing for children and teens
5 Poetry Practice Playtime Activities Practice make perfect—in all your writing
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, poetry, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Guest Expert Patrice Vecchione Celebrating National Poetry Month
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, poetry, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Children's Poetry for Magazines Six Hot Tips
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Interview with Susan Campbell Bartoletti Nonfiction Superstar Author Talks Research
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, nonfiction, research tips, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Top Three Narrative Nonfiction Missteps Watch out for these common mistakes
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, nonfiction, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone Try Nonfiction
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Filed under: Podcast, nonfiction, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Picture Book Biographies Bringing historical figures to life for young readers
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, nonfiction, picture books, writing for children and teens
Truth, Opinion, and 4 Ways to Learn to Love Nonfiction
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Filed under: Podcast, nonfiction, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Narrative Nonfiction and Magazines Breakthrough on a smaller scale
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, nonfiction, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Interview with Elena Favilli Co-Author of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
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Filed under: Podcast, nonfiction, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Narrative Nonfiction   What is it and what does it look like?
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, research tips, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Interview with Talia Benamy Submission insight from an Associate Editor at Philomel
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Filed under: Podcast, Submissions, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
The Perils of Picture Books  It's not as easy as it looks.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, picture books, writing for children and teens
Misunderstood Verbs Understanding the powerhouse of your sentence
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, revision, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
How Do I Tell Where I Fail? Objectivity can make you a better writer.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, revision, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
10 Things That Make Editors Cringe Tips to avoid common mistakes
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Filed under: Podcast, revision, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Picking the Right Word Make your manuscript shine
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, revision, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Andrea J. Loney Celebrating her book's Caldecott Honor award
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, picture books, time management, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Perfectionism Alert How polished does it need to be?
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, revision, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Newbery Medalist Jerry Craft Celebrating the first graphic novel to win the Newbery!
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, novels, writing for children and teens
Dialogue and Plot Let's move along now
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, novels, writing for children and teens
Finding Your Character's Childlike Voice Kids know a fake kid when they hear one.
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens
Dialogue: Don't Forget the World! The importance of setting in dialogue
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, middle grade, novels, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Four Tips for Snappy Dialogue Make your reader care about what happens next by Jamie K. Schmidt
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Filed under: Writing for Adults Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
The Big Effect of Dialogue Attribution Combating the Boring Speech Tag
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Dialogue Bits and Bobs The nuts and bolts of putting it together
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, middle grade, novels, picture books, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Interview with Kate DiCamillo Dialogue and characterization
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens
Dialogue and Humor The perfect opportunity to reveal your characters' funny side
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
Revision: Don't Go It Alone Rebroadcast of revision tips
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Filed under: Podcast, revision, writing for children and teens
Writing Contemporary Realistic Fiction What's considered realistic?
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, middle grade, novels, writing for children and teens
Renée LaTulippe Rebroadcast of our guest interview
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Filed under: Podcast, revision, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Checking for Ruts Is it time to change things up?
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Failure is Proof of Effort What have you learned?
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Filed under: Podcast, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
The End A bittersweet time
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Revision Power Tips 5 Tips to Rev Up Your Opening
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Filed under: Podcast, novels, revision, writing for adults, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Looking Back on Your Year How did you grow in 2019?
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Your Year in Review Time to tidy up the loose ends.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, Submissions, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Browbeaten into Submission Don't listen to the voices around you.
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Filed under: Podcast, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Okay, I Sent My Submission. Now what?
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Break into Publishing Steps for getting published in today's markets
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Filed under: Podcast, Submissions, writing for children and teens
Have You Considered Essays? Expanding your markets can expand your success.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for adults, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, middle grade, novels, writing for children and teens
Crossing Over Into Writing for Adults Can kidlit writers write for an older crowd?
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, Submissions, writing for adults, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Submissions: Preparing to Send Tips for avoiding rejections
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Interview with Emma Walton Hamilton Submission tips from a pro
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Filed under: Podcast, Submissions, writing for children and teens
Researching Agents What do you want in an agent?
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens
Borrowing the Knowledge You Need Using Primary Sources
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Filed under: Podcast, research tips, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Research Never Stops Always be reading.
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Pitfalls of Research Evaluating your sources
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Danger Ahead 4 Research Perils and Prevention
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Finding Markets for Your Writing Researching the perfect fit.
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Filed under: Podcast, marketing, Submissions, writing for adults, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Four Unexpected Benefits of Research Improve your writing. Improve your life.
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Interview with Susan Campbell Bartoletti It's all about the details.
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for adults, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Asking Questions Never stop.
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Reshaping Your Story Part 2 Managing the Middle and Tidying up the End
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Filed under: Podcast, middle grade, novels, revision, writing for children and teens
Needful Things Revision begins on page one.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, revision, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Reshaping Your Story Part 1 Start at the Beginning
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, revision, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Guilty Secret Revision is not my favorite thing.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, revision, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Revision: Don't Go It Alone Get a fresh pair of eyes on your work.
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, revision, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Misunderstood Verbs Understanding the powerhouse of your sentence
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, revision, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Interview with Renee LaTulippe Talking Revision with a Wordsmith
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, revision, writing for children and teens
Three Steps to Writing Better Dialogue Let the character speak for themselves.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, revision, writing for children and teens
How to Get Published in a Magazine Tips for increasing your chances for a successful submission
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
What to Expect When You're Expecting to Go to a Writing Conference Part 2 More tips for your next conference
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Top Ten Questions to Ask Before Submitting What you need to know before you hit the send button
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, Submissions, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
What to Expect When You're Expecting to Go to a Writing Conference Part 1 Getting ready for your next writing conference
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Protecting Your Reputation on Social Media Social Media is Here to Stay.
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Filed under: Podcast, marketing, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Write Your Fiction Tight but Right Two pitfalls of writing short and how to fix them.
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Interview with David Katz Tips for getting the most out of a writers conference
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, novels, writing for children and teens
Increasing Your Successes in Writing for Magazines Three tips to increase your publication chances.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Overcoming Fear Combating fear in your writing career.
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34 Things Your Website Needs Part 1
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Listening to More Voices Advice published writers want you to know.
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Create Your Author Platform What a platform is and why you need one.
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Filed under: Podcast, marketing, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Listening to the Voices Advice published writers would tell their unpublished selves.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Interview with Josh Funk Tips for building your author platform (whether you're published or not).
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Author Platform It's About Name Recognition.
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Be Your Own Muse Everything you've experienced is unique.
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Being Inspired by Everyday Objects Story starters are all around.
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Self-Care Matters Smart writers remember they need care too.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, time management, writing for adults, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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From Real Life to Written Page Specific Requirements of a Publishable Real-Life Account
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An Interview with Jerry Craft From real life to written page
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From Real Life to Written Page How to Use What You Remember
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Sophisticated Show & Tell Part 2
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Setting the Stage for Nonfiction Success Find the spark.
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Sophisticated Show & Tell Part 1
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Setting the Stage: More on Props What does your character value?
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Set Up Your Plot Give Your Characters Something To Do
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Setting the Stage: Choosing a Point of View Let's Look at the Classics
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What Goes Into Effective Description How to evoke detail in your writing
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Elements of Setting Don't miss this essential tool.
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An Interview with Emma D. Dryden Advice on world building and avoiding cliched characters
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Setting the Stage: Scenes All the world is a stage, and so is your story
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
9 Tips to Keep You Unstuck Procrastination is a self-fulfilling prophesy.
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Top 3 Sources of Writer's Block (And how to jump over them now) by Kristin J. Dawson
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Filed under: Writing for Adults Blog, craft, novels, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
Try Something Scary Writing Off the Beaten Path
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Let's Talk About Plot Getting from beginning to end
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The Value of a Critique Getting Your Manuscript Submission Ready
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for adults, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Check Your Clutter Is it stealing your time?
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An Interview with Andrea J. Loney Tips for getting unstuck in your writing and your career
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Yeah, It's Work Here's how to make it work for you.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, book marketing, craft, revision, Submissions, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Pre-Made Inspirations for Your Characters Writing Who You Know
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Harnessing the Power of No No is a complete sentence.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Ingredients for the Perfect Character Whipping up your story's cast
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Falling in Love How to get the creativity flowing
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Letter from the Editor An open letter from Eileen Robinson
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Dialogue Attribution Small thing, big effect
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Creating Characters Inspired by Real Kids Great characters are all around.
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All Done, or Not? Deciding when your story is ready to submit.
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An Interview with Leslie Connor Digging into Character Development with the award-winning author
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The Value of Road Maps Will an outline really help?
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How to Write About a Complex Subject in a Simple Way Keeping it simple for a young audience
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A Tale of Two Payments How writers get paid
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Preparing to Write a First Draft Getting Organized for the Long Haul
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When I Really Want to Get Better, I Teach Help others, help yourself
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Building Your Story A Writing Exercise
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Adding Humor for Increased Sales Kids love humor ... and so do publishers
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, middle grade, picture books, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
An Interview with Carolyn Crimi A Funny Conversation on Story Development
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, Writing for Children Blog, contests, writing for children and teens

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