I am often asked for
advice on how I managed to break into the difficult world of
children’s publishing. First of all my
story is not typical. I was fortunate to get my first book accepted
very quickly. I have found children’s authors and illustrators
to be the most sharing, generous group of people I have ever met.
Do you know why? They do what they do for love!
Here are my pieces of advice for budding
- Read. Read. Read. Know your genre. Know your audience!
- Join SCBWI – The Society of Children’s Author’s
and Illustrators (www.SCBWI.org).
Their conferences and local chapter meeting provide a wealth
of information and encouragement for both published and unpublished
- Befriend your local children’s librarian. These are
the people who will be buying and reading your book. Their knowledge
of the world of children’s literature is invaluable.
- Think like a kid. If you’re
writing for a three year old try to remember what it felt
like to be three.
- Write the book you wish you had but
could never find. That’s
what I always do.
- Join a critique group - preferably in your genre.
- For inspiration read books on writing.
Click here for my list of favorites – many oldies but
- Join a listserv of writers. The various
regions of SCBWI have listservs of children’s authors
that provide valuable discussions and information.
- Get a cheerleading squad – friends who will support
you through thick and thin – people who will be cheering
you on until that first book arrives at your doorstep!
- Stop reading this and START WRITING!
The inspiration for B is for Bulldozers
MY FAVORITE BOOKS ON WRITING
On Writing – Stephen King
On Writing Well – William
Take Joy – By Jane Yolen
Bird By Bird – Anne Le
If You Want to Write – Brenda Ueland
Writing Down the
Bones – Natalie
It’s a Bunny Eat Bunny World – Olga
Art & Fear – David Bayles & Ted
The Right to Write – Julia Cameron
Poem-Making – Myra
Ways of Telling – Leonard S. Marcus
Reading Magic – Mem
Telling Time – Nancy Willard
All images Copyright © June
Sobel, 2012, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.