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Writing as You 2.0 | Writing for Children 121

RECONNECTING WITH A WORK IN PROGRESS One of the problems with writing is that it's fairly difficult to complete a project in one sitting. It can sometimes be a bit easier with a picture book where the rough draft may come in a rush during one sitting and then you return again and again to revise (and sometimes to rewrite). But for longer works, it's almost mandatory that you be able to stop, go about your non-writing life, and then return to the project. This can be difficult, especially if...


Novel Writing FAQ | Writing for Children 120

ANSWERING A FEW BUT FREQUENT QUESTIONS For many children's writers, the concept of attempting a novel is daunting at best and filled with questions. So for the sake of those looking toward this exciting writing option, let's answer a few unusual but frequently asked questions: - How long should a chapter be? - What is high concept? - What is a mainstream novel? - Can I combine a bunch of stories into one book and call it a novel? First month is FREE for the Writers' Block when you use...


Interview with Anne R. Allen | Writing for Children 119

AN INTERVIEW WITH ANNE R. ALLEN Anne R. Allen writes funny mysteries and how-to-books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. Oh, yes, and she blogs. She's a contributor to Writer's Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market. In this episode, Anne shares how keeping a writer's blog may be easier than you think! First month is FREE for the Writers' Block! Go to writingforchildren.com/writersblock


8 Tips for Your Writer Website | Writing for Children 118

TIPS FOR YOUR WRITER WEBSITE Every author needs a website—yes, even if you're not published yet. In the Internet age, your website acts as your online business card for readers and even prospective agents and editors. Today we discuss tips for keeping your website user friendly and keep them coming back for more. Join the Writers' Block! Go to writingforchildren.com/writersblock


5 Tips for Your Amazon Author Page | Writing for Children 117

5 TIPS FOR YOUR AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE Amazon is the largest bookstore out there. Not only that, but did you realize it’s a search engine, just like Google? Not only that, it’s a search engine that people go to intending to buy things. Buy things like your books. If you publish on Amazon, whether as a Kindle author, Create Space author, or with a traditional publishing house, you’re entitled to an “Author Page.” But so many authors simply don’t take the time to make the most out of their...


How to Write Dialogue | Writing for Children

TIPS FOR CREATING QUALITY DIALOGUE A while ago on the Institute's Facebook page, someone was asking about dialogue, which made me think again about this important writing tool. And if you’re writing to self-publish you really need to know about how to write dialogue. 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...


Dave Chesson - The Kindlepreneur | Writing for Children 115

AN INTERVIEW WITH A SELF-PUBLISHING EXPERT In this episode you’ll meet Dave Chesson, my friend otherwise known as The Kindlepreneur. He’s an expert on anything Amazon/Kindle related. Check out his podcast if you’re thinking about self-publishing. Join the Writers' Block! Go to writingforchildren.com/writersblock


Leaving the Nest | Writing for Children 114

Nesting usually involves the spot where you find immediate (or first) success, but there will always be walls around you if you give in to staying in your first nest. You'll grow until you fill up that specific nesting spot and no more, not unless you're willing to peek out of your particular niche and considering dashing into a spot you know nothing whatsoever about. Growth, change, learning, and challenge makes us better writers. Nesting holds us at whatever spot we've grown...


Where Should Your Money Go? Part 2 | Writing for Children 113

WHERE SHOULD YOU SPEND YOUR DOLLARS? Last week we talked about classes, conferences, and critiques and self-publishing. Let’s get going with Part 2 with…agents and submission services and promotion services. There are a lot of "services" that have grown up around writing. Some, like agents, are vital to working in specific areas of publishing. Some are simply good ways to extract the cash from your wallet. Let's look at agents. Join the Writers' Block! Go to...


Where Should Your Money Go? Part 1 | Writing for Children 112

WHERE SHOULD YOUR MONEY GO? Whenever you have a large group of people with a dream and a desperation to fulfill it, you're also going to see people quick to take advantage of that. Helpful writers (many of whom began their careers a while ago) say helpful things like, "The only place you should sign on a check is on the back" and "money flows toward the writer." And those truisms can be useful as long as you use them to make you pause and consider, rather than letting them slam the brakes...


Revision | Writing for Children 111

YOUR FIRST STEP TO FANTASTIC WRITING "Wait ... what do you mean I'm not done?!" It's a common refrain among new writers as they realize their first draft is only the beginning. In truth, revision is the step that takes your writing from so-so to sold. So, revision is a necessary part of the writing process, but how do you go about doing it? Different techniques work better for different stories and different authors. With the help of IFW contributor Rita Reali, we dig into a few...


Distance: The Key to Revision | Writing for Children 110

THE KEY TO REVISION As most writers know, it's much easier to find the flaws in someone else's work than to find the flaws in your own. Part of the reason for this is distance. When you're reading work by another author, you aren't caught up in all the personal things that went into the creation of the story. You are actually judging the story based on the merits of what you read on the page. So to be able to revise your own work successfully, you need to get the same kind of distance that...


Revise Your View of Revision | Writing for Children 109

CREATING A REVISION PLAN Some writers love revision. In fact, for many, the rough draft is something to be rushed through to get to the real "fun," the revision. Some writers don't like the revision part at all, but they know it's necessary if their book has a chance of getting a contract. Our contributor Jan Fields is one of those writers. Jan admits revision might be something she would skimp on if she didn't enter into revision with a plan. Here's how to create your own plan. START...


How Good is Your Title? | Writing for Children 108

HOW GOOD IS YOUR TITLE? Sometimes I find great fodder to share in the ICL archives. I loved this one, inspired by an article by Veda Boyd Jones. Have you ever played The Landlord’s Game? Come on. I bet you have. You know, the game that was created in the Depression? Oh, wait. That was the original title given to the game…it uses real estate as the theme. Does… Monopoly sound familiar? The Landlord’s Game was renamed Monopoly, and history was made. Often, working titles can generally be...


Interview with Deborah Heiligman | Writing for Children 107

GUEST EXPERT DEBORAH HEILIGMAN Deborah Heiligman is the author of 31 books for children and teens. Her most recent book is Vincent And Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers. It has received six starred reviews and has won the Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Nonfiction as well as the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award and a Printz Honor Award at the 2018 ALA Youth Media Awards. Her other recent books include: The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life Of Paul Erdos and Snow Dog, Go Dog. Charles...


How to Write an Interview | Writing for Children 106

HOW TO WRITE AN INTERVIEW Last week, we talked about how to conduct an interview—what to do beforehand, how to act during the interview, and what to do afterward and how to follow-up with your subject. This week we go one step further —how to write the article. Plus, we touch on how to pick the perfect subject for your article. START WRITING YOUR BOOK. Learn how to write publishable manuscripts with your own one-on-one mentor, an experienced professional author. To see if you qualify, go...


How to Conduct an Interview | Writing for Children 105

HOW TO CONDUCT AN INTERVIEW One way to break into nonfiction is with a profile piece. What better way to learn more about a subject than to interview them directly? In this episode, we cover how to conduct an interview professionally including how to prepare, what to do during the interview, and how to follow-up afterward. START WRITING YOUR BOOK. Learn how to write publishable manuscripts with your own one-on-one mentor, an experienced professional author. To see if you qualify, go to...


Nonfiction Articles You Can Write Part 2 | Writing for Children 104

NONFICTION ARTICLES YOU CAN WRITE, PART 2 Last week, we talked about how many magazines are looking for nonfiction articles. We covered four types of nonfiction articles including the how-to, the fact piece, sports, and the arts. This week we offer up five more nonfiction topics for magazine articles, including biography, profiles, self-help, history, and personal experience. Remember you also want to check a magazine’s website, previous issues, and even a market guide like the one in our...


Nonfiction Articles You Can Write Part 1 | Writing for Children 103

NONFICTION ARTICLES YOU CAN WRITE, PART 1 Magazine articles can be a great way to get your foot in the door in the publishing industry while giving you professional credits for your query letters. And, since most magazines pay, it can be a nice opportunity to supplement your income. Magazines are commonly looking for nonfiction articles. The categories of nonfiction are not hard-and-fast classifications, since a given article may contain elements of several types. Over the next two episodes...


Nonfiction Expert Christine Taylor-Butler | Writing for Children 102

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR CHRISTINE TAYLOR-BUTLER Christine Taylor-Butler is the author of over 75 books for kids. Before writing for kids, Christine earned two degrees from MIT and worked for the likes of Harvard University and Hallmark Cards. She has contributed to numerous nonfiction series for Scholastic writing about planets, states, our founding fathers, how our government works, and more. Her YA series Lost Tribes is now available. WE DISCUSS… • Best practices for research • How to...