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 these articles, hot markets accepting submissions, and cool writer resources delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter HERE.

The Courage to Go Your Own Way Following your own road map
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Taking Stock Failure is proof of effort.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Pacing Write a Gripping Novel
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, novels, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Picture Books: 3 Sides to Great Characters Are your characters larger than life?
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, picture books, writing for children and teens
Basic Story Elements A Rebroadcast on Character, Setting, and Theme
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Picture Books: Sound Off Writing stories that are meant to be read aloud
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Magnetize Your Books Bringing Readers Back For More
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens
Picture Books: First Lines Are you making a good first impression?
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Lists for Writers Handy lists writers should keep
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Picture Book Autopsy What makes a good picture book tick?
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
An Interview with Hannah Holt On industry research and being a debut picture book author
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
The Unique Challenge of Picture Books Tips on shared storytelling
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Get Tense: The Plot Thickens Using tension and pace to craft your story
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens
The Process of Novel Writing: Transitions The road signs for clarity in your novel
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
Writing as You 2.0 Reconnecting with a work in progress
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens
The Process of Novel Writing: Jumping In Few things are scarier than a blank page
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
Novel Writing FAQs Answering a few unusual but frequent questions
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens
The Process of Novel Writing: Planning What you need to do before you start writing
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
Novel Writing FAQ Let's answer a few unusual questions
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
8 Tips for Your Writer Website Must-haves for your author platform
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Filed under: Podcast, book marketing, marketing, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
Break Free from Pretending It's Time to Be Yourself
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
5 Tips for Your Amazon Author Page Making a Great First Impression
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Filed under: Podcast, marketing, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
A Writer's Book of Lists Keeping Track of What's Important
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
How to Write Dialogue Tips for Creating Quality Dialogue
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Off the Beaten Path A World of Opportunity Awaits
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Dave Chesson - The Kindlepreneur An Interview with a Self-Publishing Expert
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Filed under: Podcast, Writing for Adults Blog, book marketing, marketing, writing for adults, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Reconnecting with a Work in Progress Time to Revisit Old Friends
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Leaving the Nest Spread your wings with a new kind of writing
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Don't Crash on the Rock of Talent Is your ego getting in the way?
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Where Should Your Money Go? Part 2
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Filed under: Podcast, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Show Up to Learn Getting the most from your conference experience
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Where Should Your Money Go? Part 1
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Reading: Osmosis Education One of the best writing teachers is at your fingertips.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Revision: Your First Step to Fantastic Writing Nope, you're not done yet.
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, revision, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Behind the Curtain Discovering the tricks of the writing trade
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Distance: The Key to Revision How to get distance from your own manuscript
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens
Leaving the Nest Are you ready to fly?
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Revise Your View of Revision Creating a Revision Plan
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, revision, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Revision: Revising by the Bones A New Way to Use an Old Tool
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, revision, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Writer Reason vs. Story Reason Which one will win?
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, revision, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
How Good is Your Title? Revising Until It's GREAT!
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Revising Your Picture Book for Clear Structure What's holding your story together?
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, revision, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Interview with Deborah Heiligman Talking Revision with the Bestselling Author
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, revision, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Distance: The Key to Revision Time is your friend.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
How to Write an Interview Turning Your Interview into a Article
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Nonfiction: Let's Talk More About Sources Evaluation is the key
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
4 Ways a Fiction Writer Can Learn to Love Nonfiction All You Have to Do is Fall in Love
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Nonfiction Articles You Can Write Part 2 More of What Magazines are Looking For
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Active Nonfiction It's Time to Do Something
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
The Importance of Nonfiction Shaping the Future
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Nonfiction Guest Expert Christine Taylor-Butler An Interview with the Prolific Author
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Character Development The Road to Greatness
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Listener Q & A Your questions answered!
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Developing Characters What are their extremes?
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
A Rose By Any Other Name Four Tips for Naming Your Characters
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Character Development with Eileen Robinson An Interview with an Editor and Publisher
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens
Proceed with Caution Tough Characters to Sell
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
How to Win a Contest 4 Tips to Take You to the Winners' Circle
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Filed under: Podcast, contests, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Character Development Every Character is a Casserole.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
How to Build a Good Mystery Part 2 Decide the Turning Point
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Contests: Little Things Mean a Lot
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, contests, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
How to Build a Good Mystery Part 1 Ask the Right Question
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Why a Contest? Here are 7 lucky reasons.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
Ready for a Contest Win? Tighten up the weakest link.
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Basic Story Elements Character, Setting, and Theme
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
It's hard to develop a story when you can't get started. Though there are many ways into story creation, one that isn't considered as often is the title. Titles are often tacked on at the end of the...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, book marketing, craft, marketing, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
What is Story Form? Understanding the Basics of Story Structure
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
For many writers, especially newer writers, revision is mainly a step for fixing typing errors, spelling errors and grammar mistakes. Some may have a checklist of things to look for such as overuse...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Get Children to Read Your Book Engage your reader beyond the first paragraph
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
One of the most important questions to consider when developing a story is "what is going to be at stake for my main character?" By this, we mean, “What is the cost of quitting?”  A worthwhile...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
What are the Rules? Make the rules, but then stick to them
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Good stories have lots of moving parts, and it can be challenging to get all the parts to come together in a way that works. Many writers understand that a good plot requires giving your main...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Talking Story Development with Chris Tebbetts An Interview with the NYT Bestselling Author
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens
Many times, the compelling urge to write, to create, to make something that reflects our skills and creativity, brings us to the blank page (or blank computer screen) with the intention of writing a...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Hello, Editor? Here's a Submission. How to Submit to an Editor
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Filed under: Podcast, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
When it comes to writing and submissions, there is such a thing as too soon. In fact, the number one mistake writers make in the area of submitting their work is moving too fast and sending too...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
How to Choose Your Educational Writing Sample The Secrets to Samples
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Query letters, cover letters, pitches, and proposals all have one very important thing in common. They all require an author be able to describe the story in few words. This is sometimes called a...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Making Your Submissions Plan Start Before You Finish Writing
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Filed under: Podcast, Submissions, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Your first contact with a publisher or agent does a lot of things. It presents the project you've created (or wish to create) in a clear, concise, lively manner. That's hard enough, right? But it...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, Submissions, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Top 3 Submission Tips An Interview with Julie Hedlund
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
If you ask almost any writer what parts of the process they like least, submissions will pop up somewhere in the list. We worry about whether we're doing it right. We struggle to find all the...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
When You Have No Ideas What to do when the ideas won't come
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
For most people considering children's writing for a career (or even for a hobby), the type of writing that comes to mind is fiction. For many of us, the picture books we loved most were fiction. The...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Idea Theft Will Someone Steal Your Idea?
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
"How is a raven like a writing desk?" When Lewis Carroll first wrote the riddle about the raven and the writing desk, he didn't have an answer. It was simply a riddle to stump a little girl, ...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Idea Mining Where do ideas come from?
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Over the holidays, as I was putting out the holiday decorations, my daughter and I took time to talk about some the ornaments and other well-loved decorations. Some decorations brought back memories...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
700,000 Copies and Six Figures Later An Interview with Maria Dismondy
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, time management, writing for children and teens
One of the most crippling things a writer can do in the early stage of any book is worry about whether your story (or something like it) has been done before. First, pretty much all stories have been...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
For many people new to writing for children, all children's books are picture books. If you ask them what they are working on, they'll say, "a children's book" as if that is all the explanation...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
The new year will be upon us soon, and it's a good time to make plans to increase our chances of publication success in 2018. Now, it helps to know what you would consider success. So think about...
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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
How to Have a Happy New Year aka Happy New Year ... Now What?
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, time management, writing for children and teens
Coming up with a title for your work in progress can be easy or really hard. Sometimes the title comes to you early, and you just always know what you want to call that story or book. Sometimes...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Be Kind When You Rewind A Kind Assessment of Your Year
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
If you read a lot of information about writing: essays like this one, discussions like the ones on the Institute's Facebook pages and in either of our groups, writing books, writer's magazines, ...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens
Writer's Hibernation Are You Feeling a Writer's Hibernation?
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Writing exercises can be fun. They can also help you exercise your writing muscles and break through a block you might be having. So it's always good to know where to find them for those times you're...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
How to Know Where You Can Get Published, Part 2 An Interview with Market Guide Editor-in-Chief Marni McNiff
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Filed under: Podcast, book marketing, marketing, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Copyright, because it is an area of law, can be scary for writers, and many new writers worry about their work being stolen; they want to know what to do to protect their work. So questions about...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Thankful Things to be Grateful for as a Writer
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens
Most people who get involved in writing have some level of hope that it will produce money. As an instructor with the Institute, I had many students who told me they hoped to reach a writing level...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, marketing, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
You Have No Option What to Do When You're Too Busy to Write
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Filed under: Podcast, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
The Competition Some book publishers are now specifically asking writers to look at competing books when sending in manuscript submissions, partial submissions, queries, or book proposals. And...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, book marketing, craft, marketing, writing for children and teens
Treat Yourself Rewards and Challenges
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
One of the questions writers tend to be asked a lot is "where do you get your ideas?" Of course, two other questions are "can you read something for me?" and "can you pass this on to your...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
How to Know Where You Can Get Published, Part 1 An Interview with Market Guide Editor-in-Chief Marni McNiff
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Filed under: Podcast, book marketing, marketing, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Writing samples are those bits of writing that we send to educational publishers (and a few trade publishers) who are looking to staff specific projects with good writers. In these situations, the...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Authentic Kid Voice Creating Quality Dialogue
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
For many of us, this is an incredibly busy time. The holidays are beginning to peek over the horizon and nibble at our time (and if you want more info on how to deal with that in terms of your...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Look in Your Junk Drawer Rethink, Restore, Revise
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Some writers write only one sort of book: picture books, mysteries, science fiction, humor, racy romance, etc. But many writers jump around in their careers and tackle whatever project bubbles up in...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, book marketing, craft, writing for children and teens
Five Things to Worry About Details You Should Sweat About
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Let's Solve That Crafting a Satisfying Solution
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
The Secrets to Samples Many of us who write for educational publishers are very familiar with samples. These are the bits of writing publishers use to judge whether you're a writer who can do the...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Five Tips for Success Tips for earning a steady income from a working writer
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Filed under: Podcast, marketing, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Talking about how to end a book or story is a bit harder than talking about how to begin one. The first paragraph of a book doesn't really count as a spoiler for the book, but the last paragraph...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
How to Write Craft Articles (That Magazines Will Buy!)
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Momentum is a delicate thing in writing. Sometimes you start out revving along in a novel, falling in love with your main character, fascinated by the situation you're creating and cranking out...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
Get Engaged (No Ring Required!)
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Writing can be a lonely art form. Unlike performance artists, you don't have audience reaction to rev you up. And sometimes family and friends aren't incredibly supportive, especially during the...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Dangerous Writing Tools Knowing What to Use and When
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Every story has a beginning. The best beginnings grab our attention and make us eager to read on. The best beginnings give a sense of sort of story we're going to get so we can settle in and take the...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
What To Do with the Hard Times The Key to Pushing Through
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens
Genre, according to Google's dictionary function, is "a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter." When you're...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
The Nature of Plot Following the Flight of the Arrow
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For me, being a writer is more than something I do. It’s something I am. A writer is always a writer, whether sitting before a computer or picking up a pen and a notebook, or merely walking...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Pop culture - Why it's so important in fiction today and how to weave it into your writing (without dating your work) by Jeff Vasishta As a journalist I’m sent a lot of novels and choosing...
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Filed under: writing craft, craft, writing for adults, writing for children and teens
Almost any strong plot is basically a story of someone's struggle against something. That something is the villain of your story. Now sometimes you have a real human villain. If your story is middle...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
Picturing Picture Book Summit FREE Mini Summit
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
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...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Finding Your Way to The End - Part 2 Famous Last Words
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
As writers we can easily get caught up in the mode of looking for anyone who will accept us. This is especially true early on in our writing careers, but all publishers are not created equal. After...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing for children and teens
Finding Your Way to The End - Part 1 Timing Your Transformations
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens
I was recently at the Highlights Foundation and had the opportunity to read the guest book journal in my cabin. A couple of the guests talked about a large spider they cohabitated with. I never saw...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing for children and teens
Show Some Respect Why Submissions Guidelines Matter
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Filed under: Podcast, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Long ago, when I first realized that my fiction would sell worlds better if I had any idea how to go about telling a good story, I started reading about plot. Plot seemed like a rather mysterious...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing for children and teens
Last Minute Dialogue Checklist The Key to Sparkling Conversation
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
When I began submitting to editors, no one used email. Okay, I'm sort of old and no one actually had email. Submissions were sent through the postal mail, so they were typed. Tip articles talked...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing for children and teens
Catch 'Em with the Query Avoid the #1 Mistake Writers Make
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Recently I was watching a video where an artist was talking about "trade secrets" in art. He was recounting the times when he was just beginning in art and people would refuse to tell him what...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing for children and teens
7 Tips for Creating Compelling Conflict Keep Your Audience Engaged
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens
Some writers love revision. In fact, for many, the rough draft is something to be rushed through to get to the real "fun," the revision. I'm not one of those writers. I do a lot of revising, ...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing for children and teens
As of today, I have created three original series and written for several others where I had a fairly free hand in shaping the series beyond the original concept. I've worked on others where I was...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing for children and teens
7 Steps for Taking Your Work to the Next Level From So-So to So Good!
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
For most writers, there are few things more reviled than writing a synopsis of a book manuscript or short story. What do you put in? What do you leave out? Why is writing a synopsis so...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, book marketing, craft, marketing, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing craft, craft, time management, writing for children and teens
8 Steps to Perfect Dialogue Format Best Practices for Writing Conversations
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
I know folks who lament about not having time to write. They'd do it if they just had time. If they could quit work. If they didn't have so much care-giving they needed to do. If they didn't have...
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Filed under: Lessons, writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, craft, writing for children and teens
8 Tips to Help You Get to Know Your Character Questions Every Writer Should Ask
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Whenever you have a large group of people with a dream and a desperation to fulfill it, you're also going to see people quick to take advantage of that. Helpful writers (many of whom began their...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, book marketing, craft, marketing, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Sounds Good to Me Fun with Sound
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Writers often look at trademarked products or song lyrics or bits of poetry and ask, "Can I put this in my book?" The answer to that question can be complicated and rests in two fairly different...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, craft, writing for children and teens
Get Crafty Time to Try Out Some Crafts
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
As playwrights know, a script is made up of both dialogue and directions for movements on the stage. Good playwrights tend to trust the actors and directors to determine most of the movement beyond...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens
Recently, someone asked about the structure of the action-adventure plot. How quickly should the writer get to the problem? How many pages in each chapter? How should the chapter arc...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, craft, writing for children and teens
Five Common Character Motivations What's driving your character?
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Within Reason People write stories for all kinds of reasons. Some do it to pass on experiences in their own life and family. Some do it to impart life lessons to help a new generation. Some do it...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, craft, writing for children and teens
Sometimes, Ya Gotta Rhyme Three Essentials You Need to Sell a Rhyming Picture Book
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, craft, writing for children and teens
Celebrating the National Ambassadors for Young People's Literature Interviews with Champions of Children's Literature
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens
Along with writing, I also draw a bit and work with polymer clay. On some days, it seems I can draw or sculpt anything. My little clay creatures end up with charming winsome faces and I fall in love...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, craft, writing for children and teens
7 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Short Story Characters, Problems, and Changes, oh my!
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
I don't do much rhyming work. I've written some poetry for magazines and poetry for testing services, but the bulk of what I write is prose. I enjoy adding a little surprise rhyming to prose for...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, craft, writing for children and teens
What to Expect When You're Expecting to Go to a Writing Conference Part 2 What Not to Do and What Not to Wear
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Filed under: Podcast, marketing, writing for children and teens
As a professional writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about sources. Whether I'm writing fiction or nonfiction, sources are important, because nothing feels worse than having a reader point out a...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
What to Expect When You're Expecting to Go to a Writing Conference Part 1 Making the Most of Your Conference Time
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Filed under: Podcast, time management, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
I picked Kelly Milner Halls' quote about her excitement at finding new weird topics to write about, because I think it's key to nonfiction writing. It's key to fiction writing. It’s key to...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing for children and teens
ISBNs Explained What's an ISBN and Why You Need One
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Filed under: Podcast, book marketing, craft, marketing, writing for children and teens
Although writing is an art and a passion for me, I also really have to be paid, because writing is my full-time job. I've done some short bits for friends with little to no pay, but the writing I do...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
Help! I'm Stuck! 5 Tips to Get Out of Your Writing Rut
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Filed under: Podcast, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
There's a famous quote attributed to Blaise Pascal: "I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter." Anyone who has tried to create a...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
Explaining the Advance Debunking Common Myths about Advances from Publishers
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Filed under: Podcast, marketing, writing for children and teens, Writing nonfiction for children
Planning a story or book can seem very counterintuitive to some writers who prefer a very organic process of simply sitting down and facing a blank page (or empty screen). There are very...
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Filed under: Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, craft, writing for children and teens
Tell Adults to Butt Out Grown Ups Should Be Seen and Not Heard
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
At this point in my writing career, I have never won any 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...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
The Hero's Journey for Magazine Writers A Call to Adventure
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Filed under: Podcast, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, writing craft, craft, writing for children and teens
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...
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Filed under: writing craft, Writing for Children Blog, craft, writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, Writing nonfiction for children
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Filed under: Winners' Circle, craft, writing for children and teens

Great Read!

By Mara Kim Amazon review, Verified Purchase

"This is another great read from [ICL]... When I saw this particular one, I grabbed it immediately ... This book is a great addition to a writer's (whether published or not) shelf ... I highly recommend their writing courses. You receive feedback on your work from published authors. You will be encouraged but also pushed to make your story from good to great."