Monday, January 10, 2011
WRITING TIPS FOR ASPIRING CHILDREN BOOK WRITERS
By author Mayra Calvani
First of all, study the craft. Just being a mom or a grandma doesn’t qualify you to be a children’s writer. There are two books I’d strongly recommend: WRITING PICTURE BOOKS, by Ann Whitford Paul, and PICTURE WRITING, by Anastasia Suen. Keep them on your desk and analyze them regularly.
Another thing you can do, if you’re not familiar with the genre, is take a class or an online workshop. A good one is: http://www.asuen.com/workshops/w.pb.shtml. Or you could enroll at an online school such as the Institute of Children’s Literature.
Then, you have to read and write regularly. Make a plan and stick to it. Writing once in a while won’t do it. You need to keep improving your craft and the only way to do that is with practice.
Join a critique group that specializes in children’s writing. We writers are our own worst critics, so we need that pair of objective eyes.
If you’re serious about becoming a children’s writer, join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators at http://www.scbwi.org. You can also join a yahoo group called Childrens-Writers. You can interact with other children’s writers, share information and resources, and ask questions about the industry and all aspects of writing for children.
RE AGENTS: Children’s authors don’t need an agent to get published. There are plenty of mid-size and small presses that consider unagented authors. However, if you want to be considered by the large New York publishers, you need an agent because most editors from big houses won’t even consider queries unless they come from an agent. So it really depends on what your goals are. If you have big goals, then you should search for an agent first.♥
Visit Mayra’s website at http://www.mayrassecretbookcase.com/.
Visit her blog at http://www.mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com/.
For a full length interview with Mayra, visit The Latina Book Club.