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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: October, 2017
Oct 27, 2017

WHO'S ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS?

There's is a lot of research that goes into figuring out which publishers and agents to submit to when your manuscript is ready. In this episode, Katie interviews Marni McNiff, the editor of the ICL Market Guides.

The Book Market Guide for Children's Writers and the Magazine Market Guide for Children's Writers comes out each year with updated information and new listings for publishers and agents. Marni and her team have done the legwork to help you find the perfect home for your stories.

Marni gives tips and tricks for using the Market Guides as well as a behind-the-scenes peek at how the guides are put together. If you're going to be ready to go out on submission in the coming year, don't miss this episode.

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.

NEW Expanded Critique Service
We've just expanded the IFW Critique Service! You can now get a full critique of your manuscript whether it's a picture book, middle grade chapter book, YA, Memoir, Fantasy, or Adult Fiction. It's time 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/

Oct 20, 2017

CREATING QUALITY VOICES

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 character come to life. Dialogue puts us into a specific moment within a story and that's a powerful thing for readers. But many writers struggle with dialogue and with making it feel lively, purposeful, and real. So what should you do first in the pursuit of good dialogue?

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.

NEW Expanded Critique Service
We've just expanded the IFW Critique Service! You can now get a full critique of your manuscript whether it's a picture book, middle grade chapter book, YA, Memior, Fantasy, or Adult Fiction. It's time 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/

Oct 13, 2017

CLEANING OUT THE JUNK DRAWER

Personally, I love revising. I love the process of carving really good prose out of potentially questionable prose. For some, revision is more of a necessary evil, and one you must constantly, consciously focus on or else the old "let's make up a new story instead" nature can take over, and you may end up sending things out that really aren't ready. I've critiqued a lot of pieces of students and clients, often after it’s been rejected, and I'd say the number one reason a good piece doesn't get accepted is that it's good, but it's not ready. It could have been great, but the writer stopped at good enough.

Perhaps sometimes "good enough" will get you the contract and get you published. But, if you’re self publishing it'll also tend to get reviews about "uneven pacing" or "rushed endings" or even just reviews with the word "rough" thrown in. Revision is about smooth. It smooths the raw edges where the writer's intent bashes against the writer's speed. Revision fixes continuity errors. It searches for the theme and makes it clearer and cleaner. Revision gets rid of most (though probably not all) typos and grammar errors. Revision makes sure the work is orderly.

In some ways, revision is a bit like cleaning out your junk drawer. To find out how, listen to the full episode.

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/

Oct 6, 2017

FIVE THINGS WORTH SWEATING OVER
There are some mistakes editors see so often that they've become sore spots, things they simply think writers ought to take the time to overcome. Every single one of them is something I've done at one time or another, so I'm not saying these mistakes are deal breakers or will keep you from ever being published, but they are so common that they're worth making their correction part of every single revision. So here are five small things that can make a big impression of the wrong kind if you do them regularly.

1. WHAT’S YOUR NAME?
Make note of your characters' names and how to spell them. It seems an unlikely mistake but I honestly cannot count the number of times I've seen writers forget how they were spelling a character's name (and I've done it myself). A character named Rachel will suddenly become Rachael. A character called Bill through half the story will suddenly be called Will or Billy. A similar mistake to forgetting the character's name, is when we change the character's name but miss a few instances of the old name. So a character will be named Xavier, except when he's being call Phillip (this often happens when the character was originally named Philip and then the writer decided on the more exotic "Xavier" so a quick search and replace changed all the Philip references to Xavier, but unfortunately it left behind all the times the writer accidentally spelled the name with an extra i.)

To learn four other details you should pay attention to in the revision process, listen to the full episode.

 

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/

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