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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: September, 2017
Sep 29, 2017

THE PATH TO SOLUTION IS RARELY KIND
Ultimately, the nature of plot is problem. The main character faces something that must be overcome or completed or defeated or endured, and the efforts that main character makes to do just that causes ripples that change the circumstances … and not always for the better. We take our beloved characters and we throw them into deep water, then when they try to get out of it, we drop a rock on them.

In other words, that path to solution is rarely kind.

But eventually, we do need solution. If you don't have solution in a story, the story will feel incomplete. If it just ends just because the time period you set for it is over, then what you have written won't feel complete. If it ends because the story was really just a trip from point A to point B with nothing to overcome, then what you have written won't feel complete. Completion comes with solution.

But if we do throw our character into deep water and then drop a rock on them, how can we possibly get them out of it to bring about the satisfying solution?

What's your question?

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.

Every writer needs a fresh set of eyes.
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/

Sep 22, 2017

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

At this point in my writing career, I have never won any of the biggest 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 course. If your idea of success involves the words "J.K. Rowling," I probably can't give you many tips. That level of success comes from a creative mind, a strong work ethic, and a good solid scoop of luck. But if you're defining success by being published regularly, and getting steady income from your work, I can give you five tips that I have used in my life.

Listen to the full episode for all five tips!

What's your question?

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.

Every writer needs a fresh set of eyes.
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/

Sep 15, 2017

HOW TO WRITE CRAFT ARTICLES MAGAZINES WILL BUY

Crafts are one of those things I don't write about, but I have a friend who does, and when she does, she almost always makes a sale. The magazines that use them need a steady stream. The reason crafts are a staple of many children's magazines is because they help to make content interactive. They don't just offer a story or article, but let the child move beyond the magazine to create something new. Interactivity is a goal of many magazines, work that engages the reader and also leads to the reader doing something. A craft can fit this bill.

They're not difficult to write, either. In fact, writing a craft article has a lot in common with writing a recipe.

For step-by-step instructions, 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.

Is your manuscript submission-ready?
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/

Sep 8, 2017

NUMBER ONE, ENGAGE!

When editors ask for characters that grow and change, they aren’t asking for a story about life’s lessons. They don’t mean they want a lecture on manners disguised as a story. What they want is for the situation in the story to have an impact on the main character that causes growth and change. And they want it to happen during a story that engages and entertains.

When you are totally engaged, you can’t help but learn from the experience.

So how do we engage the youngest reader so that they both enjoy and learn from what we write?

Listen to the full episode to find out!

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.

Is your manuscript submission-ready?
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/

Sep 2, 2017

LEARNING HOW THINGS WORK

One of the things that my father-in-law loved about me when we first met was that I had my own power tools. But since my husband is so good at fixing stuff, I've slacked off. As a result, I’ve gotten really rusty and hesitant about using some of the really dangerous things and our garage is a scary reminder every time I’m in there. I’ve actually gotten scared of using some of them! But lately, since we have to build a fence for our puppy, Ollie, I’ve been slowly rediscovering that there are some power tools I can use to make my life easier. It's been scary, but fun.

In a lot of ways, writing is like my garage. There are writing tools that can simply make a mess of your poetry or prose if you don't use them purposefully or correctly. As a result, many new writers simply live in terror of them and will spout truisms like, "Never use being verbs!" Or "Flashbacks are evil!" Or "Cut out all adverbs!" The truth is that every tool in the writing toolkit has value including backstory, adverbs, passive voice, viewpoint switching, or any of a truckload of things you've been told to avoid. The key isn't to keep your hands off; the key is to learn how to use the tool properly.

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.

Is your manuscript submission-ready?
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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