Thursday, December 18th, 2014


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Holiday Gift Ideas for Children’s Book Authors

Holiday Gift Ideas for Children’s Book Authors

Shopping for a children’s book author, or author-to be, this holiday season? Here are some ideas to make the gift-giving a bit easier… One of the best and most lasting gifts, of course, is the gift of education. I offer gift certificates for my Just Write for Kids home study course in writing picture books, […]

Manuscript Mentoring: The Children’s Lit Fellows Program

Manuscript Mentoring: The Children’s Lit Fellows Program

“What I need is someone who will make me do what I can.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Would you like to finish a middle grade or YA novel, or complete four picture books by the end of next year, and start submitting to agents and editors?  What if you could be mentored by award-winning children’s […]

Crowdfunding a Picture Book 101

Crowdfunding a Picture Book 101

My friend, fellow writer and editing client, Julie Foster Hedlund, is conducting a unique experiment in hybrid publishing – a process that may well become a model to help small publishers increase their lists and authors and illustrators find opportunities beyond self-publishing.  She’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to pre-fund the production, publication and printing of one […]

How Clean is Your Manuscript?

How Clean is Your Manuscript?

Before you think I’ve gone all Pollyanna, let me say that I’m not talking about “content” here… I’m talking about presentation. In today’s publishing world, editors and agents are looking for manuscripts that are essentially publication-ready.  Gone are the days of “developmental” editors, and even simple typos or grammatical errors can make them toss a […]

Happy Picture Book Month!

Happy Picture Book Month!

I am proud to be a 2013 Picture Book Month Champion!   My guest post for the month-long celebration will be featured on November 7th at www.picturebookmonth.com, and I’m truly honored to be participating in this important initiative alongside so many of my picture book heroes. Schools, libraries, booksellers, and book lovers around the world […]

Is it YA or Middle Grade?

Is it YA or Middle Grade?

Many aspiring children’s book authors are confused about the difference between young adult (YA) and middle grade novels.  Aren’t all teens and pre-teens young adults?  But within the industry, middle grade and YA are two totally separate genres, and it’s important to be able to differentiate between the two, to know where your manuscript fits […]

Secondary Characters

Secondary Characters

Whether your manuscript is a picture book or novel, it can be tempting to create a wide variety of supporting characters to help tell your story.  But too many characters can be hard for young readers to keep track of, and can dilute the focus.  So how do you decide which secondary characters to keep? […]

The ONLY Guide to Self-Publishing You’ll Ever Need

The ONLY Guide to Self-Publishing You’ll Ever Need

When I decided to independently publish my book Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment in 2008, I read everything I could get my hands on about self-publishing. I ordered Peter Bowerman’s The Well-Fed Self-Publisher mostly because I loved the title – but it turned out to be the only resource I truly […]

What Goes in a Media Kit?

What Goes in a Media Kit?

An editing client of mine recently asked for guidance on building a media kit, otherwise known as a press kit. This is something every author should have on their website – it gives potential reviewers, interviewers and event coordinators easy access to whatever support materials they might need to support a review, feature, interview or […]

Editing with a Jewelers Loupe

Editing with a Jewelers Loupe

I had the privilege and pleasure of interviewing middle grade and YA author Maryrose Wood last night for our Wednesday night Writers Speak series at Stony Brook Southampton. Maryrose is everything you might wish the author of a delightfully satirical and superbly written series called The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place to be… smart, witty, […]

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