Twelve Things Children's Book Writers Should Do:

By Kathy Temean & Anita Nolan

1) Read, Read, Read! Read all sorts of books, including award-winners. When you find a good book, read it again, this time as a writer, and consider why it's appealing.
2) Check out the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators website and the website of your state SCBWI chapter. Consider becoming a member. There are two national conferences a year, plus many state conferences and workshops. lists links to state chapters. (the NJ SCBWI conference is in June, the SE PA conference is in September.)
3) Develop a writing routine. Successful writers set aside time to write. The more you write, the better your writing skills will become.
4) Network. Subscribe to on-line list serves and critique groups. Attend conferences. Ask questions and share what you find out.
5) Write your own story—forget industry trends. By the time you have a vampire manuscript written, vampires will be over and werewolves, or faeries, or chicklit, will be the rage. To read the rest of the article Click Here

"THE END" is Only the Beginning:

A Step-by-Step Guide to Refining Your Manuscript

by Anita L. Nolan

Even though you type "THE END" when you finish a first draft, your work is only beginning. Rewriting, revising, editing, and polishing your manuscript are still to come. But with so many things to consider and so many decisions to make during those stages, you might not want to start--or ever think you're finished.

There is a way, however, to methodically revise and improve your manuscript. By beginning with the big picture and methodically working to the smallest details, the process may not be pain-free, but it should be faster and easier.

As you write the first draft, keep a tablet at your side for notes. By the time the first draft is finished you'll already have a long list of ideas to consider, and you can continue to add to it through the refining process. Keep a separate list of character and place names on the tablet you can check for spelling. You can note character traits, (like blue eyes or brown hair) as well.

I've broken the refining process into four steps, starting with the big picture and narrowing the focus with each step. To read the full article Click Here

Writing and Formatting a Synopsis

A synopsis is a short rundown of your story, and gives an agent or editor an idea of what the manuscript is about without reading the entire thing. The synopsis should include the main plot points and the conclusion. Use the same format, font type and size, etc, as the manuscript. You should, however, start at the top of the page. (If you have an agent, their info, in addition to your own, should be on the synopsis.) Click Here

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