Posted in Craft, The Nitty Gritty of Children's Writing

Truths, Principles, and Wisdom

help-2478193_1280.jpgSome favorite articles/blog posts/essays about writing I’ve read recently along with appropriate quotes for each section.
WRITING IN GENERAL
“Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.” – Melinda Haynes
“25 Truths About the Work of Writing” by Greer Macallister

25 Truths About the Work of Writing


“3 Principles for Finding Time to Write” by Jane Friedman

3 Principles for Finding Time to Write


SOCIAL MEDIA
“Use your social media to create long-term connections with readers and authors alike. Engage with followers in an organic way without constantly peddling your wares.” – Saritza Hernandez
“Is Tweeting a Must for Authors?” by Dear Editor aka Deborah Halverson http://deareditor.com/2018/10/re-is-tweeting-a-must-for-authors/
Children’s Book Authors Are Selling More Than Books. They’re Taking a Stand.
by Maria Russo

PICTURE BOOKS
“A picture book must have lots of potential for illustration. If nothing much changes visually in the story, then it may not be a good fit for a picture book.” – Kim Norman
Darcy Pattison and Leslie Helakoski-“How Do You Know If You’ve Written a Picture Book?”

Darcy Pattison & Leslie Helakoski: How Do You Know If You’ve Written a Picture Book?


Word Banks for Picture Books – “At a Loss for Words? Try Making a Word Bank by: Barb Rosenstock for Sherri Jones Rivers” https://groggorg.blogspot.com/2018/10/at-loss-for-words-try-making-word-bank.html
NOVELS
“Make your novel readable. Make it pleasant to read. This doesn’t mean flowery passages; it means strong, simple, natural sentences.” – Laurence D’Orsay
“The Process of Novel Writing: Transitions” by Jan Fields at the Institute for Writers – a newsletter you may want to subscribe to
https://www.instituteforwriters.com/the-process-of-novel-writing-transitions.aspx
“Use Theme to Determine Subplots, Supporting Characters, and Tension” by Becca Puglisi

Use Theme to Determine Subplots, Supporting Characters, and Tension


Do you have some favorite articles to share? Please put them in the comments.

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Posted in Business Side of Writing, Guest Post, Market Prep, The Nitty Gritty of Children's Writing

How to Start Querying an Agent

letterbox.jpgguest post by author Jan Fields
First, of course, you need to find an agent you feel good about and learn what the agent wants. My favorite place for this is www.literaryrambles.com by Casey McCormick. If you look on the left-side column on Casey’s site, you’ll see agents grouped by what they represent. She’s spotlighted many agents and looked at what each agent represents and how the agent wants to be contacted. It’s really a treasure trove of help.
Now, after you’ve picked an agent. Try a Google search with just that agent’s name. Sometimes you can pull up even more information to help you really know what the agent wants to see from you (and sometimes the agent even has a blog where she/he puts queries that really snagged his/her attention. These are really priceless examples because they show how to effectively pitch to that agent. If the specific agent you’ve chosen doesn’t have that…poke around in Casey’s list to find some who do. It’s invaluable to check out examples.
Now, in the query/pitch itself, you can find wonderful, wonderful help on Nathan Bransford‘s site. Nathan isn’t agenting anymore but he has spent a massive amount of time helping writers to do this stuff right.
Here’s his query formula.
His good examples.
Even help with formating an email query.
Really, you’ll find a ton of help on Nathan’s site.
Former agent who has given tons and tons of help is Mary Kole who has a site called Kidlit.com. There she has: help with queries and more.
Agent Jennifer Laughran has a great bit about your author bio that goes in your query.
So, that’s a good bit of reading but it should really get you going on your agent hunt. Good luck!


Jan’s Brief Bio

“Since my first magazine publication in the 1980s, I have been steadily writing for money in some form. Today I have over twenty books in print and still more in the pipeline – books for children and adults. I’ve also written for magazines, educational publishers and even a toy company! Writing is the only thing I’ve ever done really well that didn’t eventually become more like work than fun.”
To read more go to Jan’s site.
Jan is also the editor of the Children’s Writers eNews. If you aren’t getting it, you’re missing out!

Thanks to Clarita on morguefile.com for the above image.

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