Saturday, April 8, 2017

Resources for Children’s Book Writers

This is the handout for my workshop at the UNM writing conference.

Books: The Idiot’s Guide to Children’s Book Publishing, by Harold Underdown, explains everything from the genres to how to find a publisher. Underdown also has FAQs about the children’s book industry, and publisher updates, on his website. The Way to Write for Children, by Joan Aiken, is also recommended.  The Writer’s Bookstore and Writer’s Digest offer books on writing for children and basic writing craft, plus market guides.

You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers, by Chris Eboch, offers an overview on writing for young people. Learn how to find ideas and develop those ideas into stories, articles, and books. Understand the basics of character development, plot, setting, and theme – and some advanced elements, along with how to use point of view, dialogue, and thoughts. Finally, learn about editing your work and getting critiques.

You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers is available for the Kindle, in paperback, or in Large Print paperback.

Chris Eboch’s Advanced Plotting is designed for the intermediate and advanced writer: you’ve finished a few manuscripts, read books and articles on writing, taken some classes, attended conferences. But you still struggle with plot, or suspect that your plotting needs work.

This really is helping me a lot. It's written beautifully and to-the-point. The essays really help you zero in on your own problems in your manuscript. The Plot Outline Exercise is a great tool!

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators  (first year $95, then $80 yearly) provides informational publications on the art and business of writing and illustrating. SCBWI also publishes a bimonthly newsletter and offers awards and grants for published works and works in progress. SCBWI members can join discussion boards. The SCBWI has an annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and events around the US and the world. Learn more, or find out what’s happening in your region, via the organization’s main website.

SCBWI-New Mexico, our regional branch, sends out weekly e-lerts (email notices) about our programs, other local events, and industry information. Contact elerts to get on the mailing list. We also put out a quarterly newsletter on the web site. Visit the region’s page at the organization’s main website for activities and our latest newsletter.

We have monthly Shop Talks in Albuquerque, the second Tuesday of each month, from 7-8:30 at North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center. These feature short workshops or discussions, followed by social time. Topics and location are announced through the e-lerts.

A peer critique group meets on the third Saturday of the month, from 1:30 to 3:30 at the Erna Ferguson Library community room.

Helpful blogs:
  • Agent Mary Kole runs this blog for readers and writers of children’s literature.

Critiques by Chris: $2 per page for novels; $40 for works up to 1000 words (picture books, stories, or articles). This provides a critique letter of editorial comments on plot, characterization, flow, language, etc. (1-2 pages for short work, 4-6 pages for novels), plus notes written on the manuscript. Learn more at her website “for writers” page.

Chris Eboch is the author of over 40 books for children, including nonfiction and fiction, early reader through teen. Her novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery in ancient Egypt; The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure; The Genie’s Gift, a middle eastern fantasy; and the Haunted series, about kids who travel with a ghost hunter TV show, which starts with The Ghost on the Stairs. Her writing craft books include You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers, and Advanced Plotting.

Learn more at or her Amazon page, or check out her writing tips at her Write Like a Pro! blog.

1 comment:

  1. Another great resource: Nancy Sanders has a variety of worksheets, including some to help analyze or plan a manuscript.