Tag Archives: chapter books

Just Write For Middle Grade Course

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I’ve just joined Emma Walton Hamilton’s Just Write for Middle Grade Course and I’m so excited for what I will learn during the course. It’s the first time I’ve undertaken a writing study course, but I know from past experiences that Emma is super helpful.

I chose Middle Grade for a couple of reasons, firstly because I’m currently writing a chapter book for the Chapter Book Challenge this month (it runs for the month of March) and I would love to write the best book possible. I also don’t yet feel as confident in the Middle Grade genre as feel writing picture books or young adult (which I have MOUNTAINS of knowledge about).

This is the letter I wrote to Emma Walton Hamilton when I heard about the course that really explains my thought process for signing up:

I currently have a complete chapter book that I feel is a great idea, but I just can’t get it to sing, and another idea for a chapter book that has been in my head for years and I have started writing several times, but it’s just not coming onto paper in an effective/engaging way. I feel like this course is exactly what I need to help me turn these ideas into stories that are engaging and publishable and give me invaluable skills in writing for the chapter book/middle grade genre… I’ve appreciated greatly the advice you’ve given in the past through Write on Con every year (including advice you’ve given me personally) and through 12 x 12. I just know this course would be an invaluable experience.

At the end of the course I will be blogging about my experience with the course and what I got out of it, so stay tuned!

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Helpful Writing Sites and Blog Posts January 2011

Time for the first ‘Helpful Writing Sites and Blog Posts’ post of the the year. I’ve collected a lot of great picture book links through the 12 x 12 challenge Facebook group, but I also have a few links in other areas of writing, too.

Writing (General)

Some Advice to New or Aspiring Authors

Some great advice and tips for writers new to the writing/publishing journey.

How to Make a Boring Character Interesting

This post outlines the various reasons your character could be coming across as boring or flat and offers some solutions to make your character more interesting.

Five Tips for Revising Your Novel

Literary Agent Courtney Miller-Callihan gives five tips that look at your novel as a whole when doing revisions, including a tip on character names and another on dialogue tags.

What Will Make an Agent ‘Gong’ Your Query

Thirteen reasons why an agent will stop reading your query–things to avoid when writing query letters.

Grandma Mary Can’t Market Your Book

Whether you intend to self publish or go the traditional publishing route, authors need to consider marketing. This post gives 7 steps to building a marketing plan and reaching out to your readership. It even includes a nifty chart you can use.

When to Quit Querying and Self-Publish

This post does a great job of presenting the various aspects you need to consider if you’re thinking about self-publishing after having little success with querying. It takes a very honest look at the possible reasons your work may be getting rejected and whether self-publishing is a viable alternative and also gives the honest facts about what it takes to self-publish. I love how honest, balanced and unbiased this post is in regards to self-publishing vs. traditional publishing.

Writing for Children

9 Factors That Make a Picture Book Successful

If you are a picture book writer this is a post well worth reading. These are nine important elements to writing an effective picture book.

The 6 Most Common Mistakes Made by Aspiring Children’s Book Authors

6 common mistakes this editor sees made by picture book authors and some advice on how to avoid them.

For All Picture Book Writers, Read This

Links to a four-part interview with Vice President and Editorial Director of HarperCollins Children’s Books and a three-part interview with Golden Books/Random House Editorial Director. Lots of great little nuggets of advice for picture book writers in both interviews.

Picture Book Tips from Successful Agents

Children’s book author and editor Tamson Weston consulted with agents on what makes a picture book successful and shared the top five tips for making your submission stand out.

Writing Easy Readers – Or How To Get 2nd Graders to Love You

5 quick tips for appealing to early readers as shared by an author of children’s chapter books.