Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 5, 2010

Children’s Book Writing – Getting Your Feet Wet

Welcome Alvina Lopez, my guest blogger for today.  She is a recent college graduate starting out her freelance writing career.  She wrote this article for my blog to help writers just starting out and who are thinking about writing for children.

Getting Your Feet Wet in Children’s Writing

Children’s books are easily the most timeless and cherished of all literature published today. Think about it –the latest New York Times bestseller may have tongues wagging for a few months, but children’s books have the ability to remain in demand for years. After all, while several thousand people may have picked up a copy of the latest John Grisham novel, several million have picked up copies of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar for their children and grandchildren. But if you are interested in breaking into the children’s writing scene and possibly penning the next bedtime classic, do not be deceived into thinking that writing a children’s book is any less difficult than authoring a 500-page tome.

One of the first things that any prospective children’s book author should do is to read plenty of children’s books. While you should not aim to imitate any existing author, you will be able to gain inspiration and insight into what makes a children’s book work by analyzing what is out on bookshelves. Be sure to look over new bestsellers, established classics, as well as lesser known titles to get a good dose of the different ways children’s books can be written.

Next, consider the audience for which you will be writing. Are you aiming your story towards pre-school aged children or more advanced readers? What type of story would appeal to this audience? What type of writing best suits this audience? These are all things you should consider because a good children’s book should not only be imaginative and fun, but it should also be easily accessible by your intended readers. To really understand your audience, consider reading up on child psychology texts to get a better idea of what appeals to children of different age groups.

Remember that before you begin targeting publishers with your stories, you may find better luck targeting children’s magazines. Highlights are a great magazine to pitch your stories to, and getting published in a children’s magazine is infinitely easier than getting a publisher to pick up your work. In addition, you can put down the fact that you were previously published in a magazine to push publishers into considering your work. You also won’t need an agent when pitching stories to magazines.

When you are finally ready to send your manuscripts to publishers, consider hiring a literary agent to help you. Agents will help you find the best publishers for your story, which will increase your chances of getting your tale picked up as well as cut down on wasted time and effort. Make sure that your manuscript is properly formatted and devoid of silly mistakes like spelling errors. Also do not forget to include a well-written cover letter. This is often what editors will skim over first, so if it is concise and informative, the editor is more likely to seriously consider your manuscript.

Writing a children’s book requires hard work and careful consideration. However, if you are passionate about penning a great story, there are great opportunities in the field for new writers to get their feet wet.

This guest post is contributed by Alvina Lopez.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez@gmail.com.

Hope you enjoyed alvina’s article and your long weekend.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Kathy, I nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger Award. Go to my website for the rules and to get your award. Congratulations!

    Like

    • Rebecca,

      Thanks for nominating my blog. How have things been going with you? Have you found time to write? Is it hot where you are? We’ve been breraking record here.

      Kathy

      Like

  2. Great post thanks. An interesting point about targeting children’s magazines first – I hadn’t thought of that!

    Thanks, Jane.

    Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Categories

%d bloggers like this: