Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Are You Ready to Crack the Picture Book Query?

For writers seeking representation, the query has to do a lot of heavy lifting: It’s your first impression to an agent or editor. It has to make the agent feel like you’ve done your homework. It has to be intriguing enough to get someone to read your manuscript without giving away the whole plot. It has to show […]

Back to School for Writers

Now that the kids have gone back to school, why don’t you? If you find yourself filled with ideas for children’s books and would love to write picture books, middle grade or young adult novels – what’s holding you back? Do you have a manuscript in the works, but you’re not sure if you’re helping […]

School Visit Wizard is here!

Do you know the #1 way to build an audience of loyal readers AND boost your author income exponentially? By doing school visits.   It’s true. School author visits are the single best way to connect with young readers, teachers, librarians and parents…AND they’re a wonderful way to earn additional income. But I’m always amazed by how few of my colleagues, […]

Backstory Basics

Backstory can be essential to understanding a character and his/her journey. It can deepen conflict, reveal motivation and elicit sympathy for a hero or secondary character. But… Nothing can kill pacing faster than an info-dump of backstory, especially in the first half of a novel.  So when and how best to include it? Here are 5 […]

Reader Resonance

The middle grade and YA sections of your local bookstore and/or library these days are teeming with genres, styles and subject matters for teens and ‘tweens to explore.  Some offer up fantastical and imaginative worlds, others deal with gritty topical issues – and there’s a vast range in between. But no matter what genre or […]

To Prologue or Not to Prologue?

Many middle grade and YA authors debate whether or not to include a prologue when beginning their manuscripts. Prologues are sections of story that precede the first chapter, similar to an introduction, but their sequencing in relationship to the following chapter(s) is not necessarily chronological. Often structured as a flash forward or flash back, a […]

Is it a Chapter Book or Middle Grade?

What’s the difference between a middle grade novel and a chapter book? The lines can often seem blurry – but the truth is that each is a unique format in children’s publishing. The table below clarifies the essential but often subtle differences between the two:   MIDDLE GRADE CHAPTER BOOKS AUDIENCE Reader is usually between […]

Is it YA or Adult Fiction?

You’re writing a story with a teenage protagonist but very sophisticated themes and content… is it categorized as adult fiction, or young adult (YA)? You’re writing a sci-fi fantasy with two protagonists – an adult and a child.  Is it YA or adult fiction? You’re writing a graphic novel with a 20-year old hero. Adult […]

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

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? […]

Next Page »