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Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published

Do you want to learn how to write a children's book? Make money writing for children's magazines? Every Friday the Writing for Children podcast publishes from The Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1969, ICL has taught over 470,205 aspiring writers. Listen to the director of both The Institute for Writers and The Institute of Children's Literature and bestselling children's author Katie Davis host the show as she focuses on the craft of writing for children. She talks about how to write a children’s book, how to write for children’s magazines, how to get paid for your writing, and how to get published in the world of kidlit. There are listener questions, with answers from the experts at the Institute, plus hard-to-find resources, tips, and links included in every week's show notes.
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Now displaying: June, 2017
Jun 30, 2017

DON'T KILL THE QUERY

Among cover and query letters for children’s fiction, there exists one absolutely killer mistake that is frequently made by new writers. They forget why children read fiction. Most fiction that you write and will sell will not be assigned as homework, so none of the children who read it will be forced to read it. They must want to read it. Editors know this, so the number one thing they want to know about your manuscript is: will children want to read this?

That’s the number one thing you must prove with your query letter.

To learn how to create a query that conveys the fun of your story, listen to the full episode.

 

Do you have questions about how the children's publishing industry works?

Tell us and we'll answer your writing questions on the podcast. Go to this link and leave your question: http://www.writingforchildren.com/speak.

 

Before you hit send...
Submit your manuscript to our critique service and one of our instructors will give you a full critique to make your story the best it can be before you send it to that perfect agent or publisher. Go to https://www.instituteforwriters.com/critique-service/

 

Jun 23, 2017

CREATING CONFLICT

Every story needs conflict. The tension of resolving that conflict is what compels the audience to read all the way to the end of your book. Today we look at 7 tips for creating conflict.

1. Be certain your main character has a worthy, noble goal. No one likes a shallow greedy protagonist. Be sure it’s a realistic goal as well or your young reader won’t relate to it. So the young child who wants to make his mom a specific gift is relatable. The young child who wants to sell all his toys so he can give his big brother the bike he wants is a tad harder to believe.

2. Consider the tension of a ticking clock. Time limits for reaching a goal will create an urgency that readers find compelling.

For all seven tips, listen to the full episode.

 

Do you have questions about how the children's publishing industry works?

Tell us and we'll answer your writing questions on the podcast. Go to this link and leave your question: http://www.writingforchildren.com/speak.

 

Before you hit send...
Submit your manuscript to our critique service and one of our instructors will give you a full critique to make your story the best it can be before you send it to that perfect agent or publisher. Go to https://www.instituteforwriters.com/critique-service/

Jun 16, 2017

WHAT MAGAZINE EDITORS WANT

1. Magazines are often picky about their nonfiction magazine sources. Although few prohibit using Internet sources, they should never be your only–or even your main sources. And never, ever use Wikipedia as a source.

2. One good thing websites are good for is pointing you toward primary sources that you can contact by email for specific information pertaining to your subject. Often you can find the email addresses of professors at major universities, curators at museums, and other experts from the websites to which they contribute.

For all eight must-know facts, listen to the full episode.

 

Do you have questions about how the children's publishing industry works?

Tell us and we'll answer your writing questions on the podcast. Go to this link and leave your question: http://www.writingforchildren.com/speak.

 

Before you hit send...
Submit your manuscript to our critique service and one of our instructors will give you a full critique to make your story the best it can be before you send it to that perfect agent or publisher. Go to https://www.instituteforwriters.com/critique-service/

Jun 9, 2017

LITTLE THINGS CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE

Have you hit a roadblock with your writing? You got the story down, but something seems to be missing? Or you just know it can be better, but you don't know where to start? Today we touch on 7 things you can do to bump up your story.

1. Make your story stink! Consider the sensory detail in your work. Studies have shown that the sense of smell is one our most emotionally evocative senses. As a writer, are you just a sightseer or do your stories stink as well? Stink in an evocative way!

2. Consider your motivations. Don’t overlook the motives of minor characters. You may not ever reveal why your villain acts so villainous, but you should know. The better you have thought out the motivations of each character, the more naturally well rounded they will become.

For all seven tips, listen to the full episode.

 

Do you have questions about how the children's publishing industry works?

Tell us and we'll answer your writing questions on the podcast. Go to this link and leave your question: http://www.writingforchildren.com/speak.

 

Before you hit send...
Submit your manuscript to our critique service and one of our instructors will give you a full critique to make your story the best it can be before you send it to that perfect agent or publisher. Go to https://www.instituteforwriters.com/critique-service/

Jun 2, 2017

ARE YOU PROPERLY FORMATTING YOUR DIALOGUE?

Formatting dialogue in any manuscript can be perplexing. Follow these 8 guidelines so you don't get tripped up by tricky dialogue.

1. Check that all spoken dialogue is enclosed in quotation marks and that punctuation occurs inside the quotation marks. [Enclosing all punctuation within the quotes is standard style of most American publishers.]

2. Only spoken words go in quotes, thoughts do not need to be set off with quotation marks. Some writers use italics to set off thoughts.

3. The best verb for tagging your dialogue is “said.” Use other verbs when they truly add to the moment. And do not use verbs as speech tags unless they actually describe speech: sneered, snorted, or giggled, and the like are not speech tags because they are not specific ways we vocalize words.

For all eight tips, listen to the full episode.

 

Do you have questions about how the children's publishing industry works?

Tell us and we'll answer your writing questions on the podcast. Go to this link and leave your question: http://www.writingforchildren.com/speak.

 

Before you hit send...
Submit your manuscript to our critique service and one of our instructors will give you a full critique to make your story the best it can be before you send it to that perfect agent or publisher. Go to https://www.instituteforwriters.com/critique-service/

 

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