The Nitty Gritty of Children's Writing

Missing Students

sw_Editing_N10_20130809_230442.jpgphoto courtesy of Stuart Whitmore

Not as in "no one knows where there are," but as in "my student load is greatly reduced and I'm missing seeing people learn and grow in the area of writing for children." (I teach for the Institute of Children's Literature.) I love it when someone "gets it"--whatever it might be for them: showing versus telling, passive writing, organizing an article, keeping the child main character in control, adding sensory details, overcoming danglers or run-ons. The list of possibilities is lengthy.

Here's a sampling of quotes from students:

"Thanks for your encouragement with my stories and the constructive criticism." Janice, March 2012

"Hey, thanks for the helpful insights on my first paper." Chris, May 2012

"I sure have enjoyed the course and have already seen a big improvement on my writing skills. Hope you have seen a difference, too. Thanks for being a wonderful instructor (and I really do mean that)." - Carrie, October 2012

"What a great experience I have had-with an excellent teacher. I have learned more about my writing style with you, than in many English classes throughout my adult life. You are succinct, kind, and inventive with your feedback." - Sally, September 2013

"Thank you so much for your time and guidance throughout this experience. I took your words and criticism to heart and learned so much. I appreciate you spending the past year with me and for all your guidance and encouragement!" - Shannon, October 2013

"You have been a wonderful instructor over the past year. I have appreciate your candid feedback and the encouragement you have given me along the way." - Lori, November 2013

"Thank you for all of your suggestions, critiques, and help!! I have learned a lot!! I realize now that writing for publication requires a lot more than jotting a story down!! I appreciate your patience when I took such a long time in turning in some of my assignments!!" - Peggy, June 2014

With fewer students, I don't see these kinds of comments as often anymore. What's a teacher to do? Think outside the proverbial box.

After spending an hour with one children's writer who asked me to mentor her for pay, and finding that was helpful for her, I realized I could offer paid mentoring to others.

This is what you'll get for an initial hour of mentoring from me at the cost of $40:

Manuscript critique

  • Up to five pages in standard manuscript format

  • Overall comments--both what's working well and what isn't

  • Line-by-line editing, if needed

Submission help

  • Query or cover letter critique

  • Or help in writing one

  • How to submit electronically, if needed

Answers to questions

  • Craft related

  • Genre specific

  • Publishing info

  • I may not know the answer, but often know where to find the answer

  • No question is "too stupid"



How Paid Mentoring works:

  • Customization to meet your writing needs

  • Meeting in person with print outs of manuscript and/or letter(s)--coffee shops or bookstores are good venues

  • Email critique(s) and Q&A - an hour's worth of my time

  • Afterwards you'll receive an invoice or statement you can use for your taxes



Interested? Feel free to email me to discuss at sue@susanuhlig.com. If you'd prefer to discuss over the phone, email me your phone number (and time zone) and I'll return your call.