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1. The Business of Writing for Children:
2. Utopian and Dystopian Writing
3. Writing for Children and Teenagers
4. Writing for Children and Teens:
5. The Art of Writing for Children:
6. The ABCs of Writing for Children:
7. Writing Children's Books for Dummies
8. Dreams And Wishes: Essays on Writing
9. Guide to Writing for Children
10. Writing Books for Children
11. ORIGINS OF STORY: On Writing for
12. Writing for children and teen-agers,
13. Worlds of Childhood: The Art and
14. Writing Fiction for Children:
15. Teach Yourself Writing for Children
16. The Invisible Child: On Reading
17. On Writing for Children &
18. The ABCs of Writing for Children
19. Enchanted Journeys: Fifty Years
20. Writing Books For Children &

1. The Business of Writing for Children: An Award-Winning Author's Tips on Writing Children's Books and Publishing Them, or How to Write, Publish, and Promote a Book for Kids
by Aaron Shepard
Paperback: 115 Pages (2000-03-01)
list price: US$10.00 -- used & new: US$9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0938497111
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Writing books for children is both art and business. If you dream of becoming a children's author -- or even if you're well on your way -- this handbook can help you in writing sellable stories, getting them published, and promoting your books. 
Topics include common myths about children's writing, children's book categories, elements of successful stories, manuscript format, submission strategies, contract negotiation, the publishing process, career building, and children's writer resources. Also included are specialized subjects such as querying for multiple manuscripts and promoting a first book. 
Read "The Business of Writing for Children" to learn the secrets you might spend years discovering for yourself.
Aaron Shepard is the author of "One-Eye! Two-Eyes! Three-Eyes!", "The Sea King's Daughter," "The Baker's Dozen," and fourteen other picture books, along with several fantasy novellas for middle grades, numerous resources for storytelling and reader's theater, and a graphic novel. His publishers have included Atheneum, Scribners, Clarion, Lothrop, Dial, and HarperCollins, as well as Cricket and Australia's School Magazine. 
Aaron's work has been honored by the American Library Association, the National Council for the Social Studies,  the American Folklore Society, The New York Public Library, and the Bank Street College of Education, and he has been a judge for the Golden Kite Awards of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Dangerous Myths and Terrible Truths
Writing Your Story
(WriterSpeak #1: Book Categories)
Submitting Your Manuscript
(WriterSpeak #2: Book Publishers)
Negotiating Your Contract
The Publishing Process
(WriterSpeak #3: Booksellers)
Building Your Career
Script Your Story!
Words That Make Pictures
Rhythm and the Readaloud
Researching the Folktale
In Praise of Post-its
The Picture Book Query
10 Ways to Promote a First Book
Promo Pieces for the Children's Author
Info For Author Days
Books and Periodicals
Online Resources
... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars New in the business
I'm a beginner children's writer, seeking helpful advice on how to get started, and greatly appreciated Aaron Shepards book 'The Business of Writing for Children'.It's a cogent effort, packed with uselful information for both beginners and non-beginners alike.For a non-fiction book, I found it to be quite the page turner.

5-0 out of 5 stars Add this book to your library before you submit your manuscript!
I found the writing tips Aaron lays out in this book, regarding how the beats of a sentence should be, in a children's book, to be very helpful. I also appreciated his description of what to submit to publishers, and how to go about marketing your book. Thanks for demystifying the process. Now it now sounds more fun than scary. ~Teresa, Aspiring Children's Author

4-0 out of 5 stars A great beginning
The author of over fifteen picture books based on legends and folktales and a children's playwright as well, Aaron Shepard knows the business side of writing for children and he's shared some of his "tips of the trade" in this concise, useful guidebook (ISBN 0-938497-11-1).

Shepard provides some unique advice about submitting manuscripts. Once again, the advice is simple and concise but offers the type of "out of the box" suggestions that only an experienced published author can present. He gives a quick run-down on the types of publishers to approach and guidance for how to negotiate your own contract. A clear explanation of the types of distribution channels for books is presented as well (one of the most confusing areas of the business for beginning writers). Another valuable tip appears later in the book as Shepard provides his template for how to submit what he calls the "picture book query." If you've decided to submit your first manuscripts without an agent, this book will get you started.

But it's not all business. Shepard's love for his craft shows in the second section of the book as he describes how to script your story and the rhythm and rhyme that make for a strong picture book. He also discusses his specialty area of folktales, so if you want to write in this area this book will be particularly valuable to you.

He wraps up the book with a section on ways for authors to promote their books and themselves. Shepard provides some great resources at the end of the book--a bibliography, list of online resources including his own website [...], and a list of organizations for children's writers.

I thought this guidebook was a valuable introduction into the business side of children's writing for the newbie and I'd love for Shepard to add more to his next edition with articles from other children's writers about their experiences entering the world of children's publishing.--Annamaria Farbizio, Writing for Children, BellaOnline.com

5-0 out of 5 stars Positive Advice!
Aaron Shepard gives positive, uplifting and practical advice on what works. Many similarly targeted books tell you what not to do. His focus on the positive was very refreshing after reading all of the negative aspects of the industry from other resources. If nothing else, his can-do attitude will lift your spirits and encourage you to keep at it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Straight to the point of writing. . .
I found this book to be helpful and informative.I think no matter where you are in the writing process, you will benefit from this book.Thanks Aaron! ... Read more

2. Utopian and Dystopian Writing for Children and Young Adults (Chilfren's Literature and Culture)
Paperback: 252 Pages (2009-06-16)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$35.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415803640
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This volume examines a variety of utopian writing for children from the 18th century to the present day, defining and exploring this new genre in the field of children's literature. The original essays discuss thematic conventions and present detailed case studies of individual works. All address the pedagogical implications of work that challenges children to grapple with questions of perfect or wildly imperfect social organizations and their own autonomy. The book includes interviews with creative writers and the first bibliography of utopian fiction for children. ... Read more

3. Writing for Children and Teenagers
by Lee Wyndham, Arnold Madison
Paperback: 265 Pages (1989-04)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$2.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0898793475
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Helps aspiring authors of books for children and teenagers achieve publication, discussing characterization, plot, dialogue, and endings as well as marketing, research, and editing. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Used in the maximum sense
As this is a reference book, I understand used and cheap, but more than twenty pages were creased or bent back at corners, plus lots of notes in both pen and pencil and some colored highlighting. Several of the page corners also had teethmarks on them. I am keeping since I can clean up somewhat and get some use.


5-0 out of 5 stars A Complete Classic and Relevant Book for Children's Writers
If you dream of writing children's books, add this book to your collection of how-to books--but don't just buy it. Read every page and apply the wise instruction to your writing. Lee Wyndham gives writers the step-by-step tools to get into this market.

For many years, this book was the keystone textbook for the introductory course for the Institute of Children's Literature, the oldest home correspondence course in the U.S. for children's writers. The teaching is classic--yet relevant to today's writer.

4-0 out of 5 stars This book is a classic
This book is a classic and there is a reason for that - it is good. Wyndham writes about subjects other "How to write for children" authors may miss. For instance, You and Your Work Habits, How to Organize a Book, Rejection Lows - Acceptace Highs, and on and on.

This is one book I refer to often for a children's writers group I fascilitate.

5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful to all beginning writers!
This is definitely a book that has helped me struggle through my teen years when I was learning how to write, and it still does help me as a college student in my creative writing courses. It is a book all aspiring young writers (and old, too) should read. It's both inspiring and helpful, offering advice on character creation to plot-building. There's even a cool chapter on writing mysteries, for all of you Arthur Conan Doyle hopefuls. So check it out. I can't say enough how much it's helped me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I have taken three fiction writing classes from a major writing school. I have scanned a large number of writing books. I write middle grade/young adult novels.
I just have to write this here. This is the best book I've seen in its subject. It has been so helpful to me especially the "how to organize a book" and "plotting" sections. I would reccomend this book to anyone who is starting to write books for children and teenagers. ... Read more

4. Writing for Children and Teens: A Crash Course (How to Write, Revise, and Publish a Kid's or Teen Book with Children's Book Publishers)
by Cynthea Liu
Paperback: 125 Pages (2008-01-01)
list price: US$12.50 -- used & new: US$11.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1605301140
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Nowhere will you find a more comprehensive, current, and detailed writing course designed specifically for writing children's and teen books, written by an author who is in the field today. WRITING FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS: A CRASH COURSE is a ten-step course that relays all the nitty-gritty details of the business, beginning with how to evaluate your book idea all the way to pitching your book to editors and agents.

Within each step, you'll find clear and specific information covering topics such as the children's book market, manuscript format, revision tips, finding the right agent or publisher, submission etiquette, and common faux pas to avoid. This book will even tell you what kind of paper you should use and exactly how you should write your letters to editors and agents.

Bonus materials include templates for all of your submission needs as well as examples of real-life editorial letters sent to authors from editors today. You will get a complete inside peek to the children's fiction writing market for those who want to write picture books, easy readers, chapter books, and middle grade or teen novels. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
If you're looking for a long wordy book about finding inspiration and lots of anecdotal stories about plot development etc... then this book is not for you.

If you want a concise reference book you can use to find the rules of writing and detailed guidelines on publishers, how to interact with them, what sort of lingo they use, etc... Then this book is for you!

I bought several books on children's book writing before finding this one. The information is simple. Some of it I already knew. But this is the only book I could find that was willing to fill me on on the secret lingo of publishers and how to talk to them. Every occupation from movie director to literature professor comes riddled with special lingo and insider terms. This book helped me get inside the head of a publisher more than any other.

Some of the info is so simplistic you'll find it annoying, but if you find info here you didn't already know, it's gold.

2-0 out of 5 stars Unimportant
This is the by far the worst book I've purchased on writing for young adults. All the information in this book can be found in any other writing book not geared towards YA. I didn't find anything useful I didn't already know by reading other books on craft or writing. It was simply a waste of time, storage and energy. I bought this book some time ago and I've never picked it up again after reading it the first time. In an industry where you like to hone your craft, writers tend to review their books over and over again for tidbits, inspiration or how-to's, this is a book that just takes up space.

If you desire a book on writing for young adults, I suggest "Writing and Selling The Young Adult Novel" by K.L. Going, it's much more detailed and gives you a perspective on writing for YA from a young adult view. It has excerpts from young adults on what they like and why they like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Writing for Children & Teens
Cynthea Liu book is more like a private conversation between two friends than a text book "how to". I especially value the chapter on self-editing. Cynthea gives you all you need to know to get your book on the market.
Kathlyn Fauchon

5-0 out of 5 stars Disturbingly Inspirational
Unlike most readers of this book, I have no desire to write books for children or teens because I much prefer to READ books written for children and teens and occasionally to wax analytically (and at horrendous length) about same on Amazon.Thus, I was far more interested in Ms. Liu's other two books: The Great Call of China (S.A.S.S.) and Paris Pan Takes the Dare, but I needed to buy something else in order to get free shipping on my order, and I WAS a bit curious.Normally an author waits to, you know, actually PUBLISH a book or two before she presumes to tell you how to do the same, but Ms. Liu published this book on writing for children and teens over a year before she published her first book for children or teens.

What could such a newbie have to teach?

Quite a lot it turns out.

I was simply stunned by how logical, how useful, how educational, and how well written this book was!I found myself either nodding in agreement with her or thinking how much sense she was making!I know I have a much better understanding of how books get written and published than before, and I thought I was pretty well informed before.

And along the way something else was happening...

I started thinking, "I could do this."

Now, I can assure you that I have no intention of following up on this thought!I'm a firm believer in the old adage:

"Those who can, write; those who cannot, review,"

and I am quite content with the delusions of adequacy that allow me to write reviews; I don't need the delusions of grandeur that would lead me to writebooks, thank you very much!Besides, I lack the critical first step Ms. Liu identifies to writing and publishing a book for children or teens:

an idea.

But ideas or at least pieces of possible ideas have been popping into my head with increasing frequency since I started reading this book.

Now, confidentially, I don't intend to act upon anything I've learned from this amazing book, but if Ms. Liu can almost inspire ME into writing for children and teens,...

what might she do for YOU?

On another point I think this raises the bar on Ms. Liu's other two books.If she can write this well ABOUT writing for children and teens, then she ought to write pretty darn well FOR children and teens.

We shall see.(Insert evil laugh here.)

5-0 out of 5 stars This Is What You Need To Write Well And Get Published
The number of books lining the shelves on writing for children is mind boggling.This is THE ONE you should pick up.Cynthea teaches the ins and outs of writing strong books for children with humor and excellent examples.Though this kind of expression may usually be reserved for novels, it is appropriate to say that this book is a page turner.Once you start you can't stop reading it.And when you've finished it's a great reference.As an added bonus: it didn't break the bank to buy it. I highly recommend Cynthea Liu's book. If you're reading this you're already serious about wanting to write for children -- so what are you waiting for?Go order it! ... Read more

5. The Art of Writing for Children: Skills and Techniques of the Craft
by Connie C. Epstein
 Paperback: 123 Pages (1991-12)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$11.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 020802297X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good to a degree
This is a broad-based book with advice for writers who have narrowed their interest to, as the title suggests: writing for children.While a good introductory to this medium, it is not detailed in one way or another; so,if you find you have a particular genre or type of childrens book you wouldlike to develop--or have already started--consider this book an accessory,not an integral addition to your library.It will only gloss over thedifferent topics with one or two examples...and I didn't aggree withseveral of the author's opinions. It's too expensive for the half-hourread that it is, anyway. ... Read more

6. The ABCs of Writing for Children: 114 Children's Authors and Illustrators Talk About the Art, the Business, the Craft & the Life of Writing Children's Literature
by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff
Paperback: 352 Pages (2002-07-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1884956289
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Have you ever dreamed of writing a best-selling children's book? Ever fantasize about what it's like to live the life of a published children's author? Although writing and illustrating books for children is not as easy as it looks, new authors and illustrators are being discovered--and published--all the time.Even if you're not planning a career in this field, learning how authors and illustrators work can lend new insights and appreciation to their art. The same ideas and inspirations that help authors and illustrators of children's books may encourage students, teachers, librarians and other creative artists in their literary efforts.In The ABCs of Writing for Children you'll learn many ‘do's and don'ts' for creating children's books. You'll see that what works for one author may not work for the next. No matter what your aspirations are, whether you want to enrich your reading, teach others to read and write more deeply, or nurture your own creative process, learning what works for others may work for you.Including:• Chris Crutcher• Karen Cushman• Sid Fleischman• Richard Peck• R.L. Stine• Rosemary Wells•Jane Yolen ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful inside look at the life and work of children's authors
If you've ever wanted to learn from the experiences of successful children's authors, here's your chance. Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff has interviewed 114 authors about everything from coping with writer's block and rejection to author-editor relationships to funny and touching experiences in interaction with children and teachers. The interviews are grouped by subject, so that you can read everything this diverse group said about ways to start a story (for example) in one place. There are several great resource lists. There's also lots of encouragement for finding ways to write that are right for each individual. As I read The ABCs of Writing for Children, I felt as if I were right there with these friendly, genuine, enthusiastic people. This book is a wonderful inside look at the life and work of children's authors, packed full of information, support, and inspiration.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspires and Educates
Anyone who is thinking about writing for children can glean enough encouragement, inspiration and advice from Koehler-Pentacoff's compilation of author insights and anecdotes to get that writing engine started. As a wannabe children's author, I found direction within the pages that helped me to be both more realistic and hopeful about taking on the challenge. Helpful hints intermingle with humorous vignettes in an easily palatable format that can be digested nugget by nugget at numerous sittings or all at once. Reading about the experiences of published authors gives the novice writer a view into the process and offers other published authors pieces of wisdom and support.

As for the editing (slammed by another reviewer), I found it neither as neglected as suggested, nor as well done as one might desire; however, I feel only an editing elitist would allow this to interfere with the positives that can be gained from absorbing the content. Read this and reap...motivation and enlightenment.

3-0 out of 5 stars Content vs. Style
All the things the previous reviewer said are true.The resources in this book are wonderful and the advice from children's authors is absolutely engaging--and useful.However, the copy-editing for this book is non-existent.It is replete with grammatical errors as well as spelling errors and inconsistencies (different spellings of the same word and name throughout).I'm not one of the "grammar police."I can put up with a few errant typos.However, the number of errors present in this book is disturbing.I would have rated it higher for content, but, whether intentional or not, such glaring lack of editing can signal a disregard for the readership and so three stars is as high as I'll go. I hope these problems have been fixed in the paperback edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like a Attending a Writing Seminar with the Best of the Best
Any author, children's or adult, would want to have this book on their shelves. It's got the best writing advice I've ever seen.After all, who knows better than children's authors how to write clear, concise, and vibrantly?In addition, it's delightfully funny.Don't miss the chapters on school visits and letters from kids.Lee Wardlaw's list of things children's authors hate to hear is worth the price of the book by itself.

5-0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive reference focusing on diverse aspects writing books and stories for children of various ages
Expertly compiled and painstakingly organized by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff , The ABCs Of Writing For Children: 114 Children's Authors And Illustrators Talk About The Art, The Business, The Craft And The Life Of Writing Children's Literature is a comprehensive reference focusing on diverse aspects writing books and stories for children of various ages, including the business aspects of being published in various forums and formats. Providing especially informative interviews and commentaries from such expert and seasoned published authors of children's literature as Ted Arnold, R.L. Stine, David Greenberg, Alexis O'Neill, Richard Peck, and so many others, The ABCs Of Writing For Children offers a complete grasp and all-inclusive analysis of the literary art and practical business of writing for a juvenile readership ranging from preschool to young adult. Included are lists of recommended books and periodicals, a glossary, resources, and an extensive index. A core addition to personal, professional, and scholastic "Writing & Publishing" reference collections and supple-mental reading lists, The ABCs Of Writing For Children is very strongly recommended for all aspiring children's authors whether they are writing poetry, short stories, novels, or other forms of creative literature for young readers.
... Read more

7. Writing Children's Books for Dummies
by Lisa Rojany Buccieri, Peter Economy
Paperback: 384 Pages (2005-04-29)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$9.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764537288
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The fun and easy way to write a childrens book that will impress any publishing house

The childrens book market can be difficult to crack for first-time authors. This friendly guide shows would-be J. K. Rowlings how to maximize their chances of success, offering practical, proven tips on developing book ideas, attending publishing conferences, writing a winning proposal, finding an agent, submitting to the right publisher, working with an editor, and more. It describes the differences between various types of childrens books and explains exactly what it takes to make the grade with each, including savvy advice on honing voice, descriptions, characters, plot, and pacing. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good read, great help!
This book covers it all if you are a first time children's book writer. I thought I was going along pretty good on my own, but this book pointed out my errors and things that I looked over entirely. Now I'm more confident in my work and I can see and read the difference from my original draft to the draft I've rewritten with the aid of this book. Excellent reference tool. The authors covered it all. I'll recommend to anyone brave enough to take a stab at writing children's books.

4-0 out of 5 stars So you want to write a childrens book
There are a few things that really helped me, and they were in areas I did not expect. I particular was the section on what you do after you actually finish the draft of your book. They did a pretty good job about how to promote the book and get it published.

5-0 out of 5 stars A solid grounding in the subject
I've had this book now only for a couple of weeks, and it's already looking a little tattered from the amount I've thumbed through it. It gives a solid and accessible grounding in the subject of writing for children, and despite the title, it doesn't dumb down its advice.As you'd expect, it covers character, plot, pacing, voice, and so on, but also gives you ideas for how to plan your writing time and avoid distractions, how to test your work with the relevant age group, and a list of places to get plot ideas (in case you're asking yourself that perennial reader's question, "But where do authors get their ideas from?") There's also a handy reference card in the front giving a summary.I'd recommend this for the shelves of any aspiring children's writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Warning: Do not attempt to write a children's book without reading Writing Children's Books For Dummies!

This book contains an abundance of information for both aspiring and seasoned writers on the craft of writing children's books.Award winning and best selling authors, Lisa Rojany Buccieri and Peter Economy, reveal key components imperative for creating a story that will surely appeal to kids and turn publishers' heads. There are great tips for firming up your plot, voice, dialogue, and style as well as the do's and don'ts of writing for children.Writers will benefit from a myriad of interviews with leading industry insiders. You will gain valuable insights on what editors, publishers, and buyers look for in a book.There is an illuminating section on acquiring agents and ultimately being published as well as great marketing tips.All this valuable information is delivered in an attractive layout that is both comprehensive as well as motivational.Writing Children's Book for Dummies is undoubtedly the best book I've read on the subject.

-Lorraine Florido
Author of Dezzer the Gasser and Hugo the Punk

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Easy-to-Use Reference Tool
This book has a great writing style that makes it both informative and enjoyable to read. The lists and sidebars summing up do's and don'ts make it easy to digest the information, as well as to flip through to find the issue you need help with. All aspiring children's book writers should keep this book by their keyboard! ... Read more

8. Dreams And Wishes: Essays on Writing for Children
by Susan Cooper
Hardcover: 208 Pages (1996-05-01)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$11.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689807368
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
An informative book for young writers interested in the pursuit of writing and the writing process presents a collection of Susan Cooper's inspirational speeches, spanning from 1976 to the present, on the theme of creative writing for children. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The musings ofa highly intelligent mind
Susan Cooper is probably best known for writing the superb Dark Is Rising sequence of five children's novels, one of which garnered the Newbery Medaland another a Newbery Honor. This book, however, is not fiction but aboutfiction, at least primarily. The essays and speeches contained here discussexperiences from Cooper's own childhood (in World War II England), thepiercing nostalgia brought on by finding a new copy of a long-belovedthough mostly-forgotten storybook, the author's experiences with thetheater (and friendship with Jessica Tandy), and many other topics. Thetone is often introspective, but never arrogant, and the book can be readin segments or in a single sitting. Definitely worthwhile for anyone withthe slightest interest in children's literature . . . there is far morehere than one might expect. ... Read more

9. Guide to Writing for Children
by Jane Yolen
 Paperback: 186 Pages (1989-05)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$175.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0871161559
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent guidance, master storyteller
This is a fantastic book, by one of the world's best fantasy and fable tellers -- hard to believe it's out of print.One great thing it offers is continual reading suggestions, to get a feel for what's out there in children's literature.Easy to get through, too.

3-0 out of 5 stars Educational
A highly eduactional read I enjoyed it simply because it gave me load of info on how to improve my writing ... Read more

10. Writing Books for Children
by Jane Yolen
Paperback: 152 Pages (1983-01)
list price: US$9.95
Isbn: 0871161338
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11. ORIGINS OF STORY: On Writing for Children
by Barbara Harrison, Gregory Maguire
 Hardcover: 224 Pages (1999-10-01)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$73.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689826044
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

In Origins of Story, notable writers for children consider how literature, memory, and moral passion serve the writers. Among the seventeen authors represented here are Tom Feelings, Ursula K. Le Guin, Maurice Sendak, Susan Cooper, Sarah Ellis, Katherine Paterson, Jill Paton Walsh, and Virginia Hamilton. These contributing authors reach beyond themselves and their work to discuss vitally important subjects such as home and homelessness, violence and nonviolence, and the nature of heroism. Implicit in their essays is the realization that we have much to learn from literature that mirrors the lives of children.

Story is as new for children as experience itself. And when children's writers are wise, they anticipate the freshness of their audience and reserve for children the choicest of material -- what Walter de la Mare called "the rarest kind of best."

Under the sponsorship of Children's Literature New England (CLNE), a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1987, individuals have met annually on university campuses on both sides of the Atlantic to discuss books and their insight into children's lives. The essays in Origins of Story represent some of the themes of the annual programs. This collection is a treasure trove, an affirmation of the vital connection between children's books and the imagination.Amazon.com Review
Writing for children is serious work. Thankfully, there arewriters up to the task. In these essays, which originated asChildren's Literature New England talks, "notable writers for childrenconsider how literature, memory, and moral passion serve the writer." Gillian Cross (TheGreat American Elephant Chase) uses the story of Jack and theBeanstalk to explore the import--for author, reader, and sometimesprotagonist--of entering a fictional world.Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild ThingsAre) illuminates a current running through his books having todo with survival. "How do children survive under the best conditionswith loving parents," he wonders, "or worse, with unlovingparents--how do kids make out?" Susan Cooper (The Grey King)explores our motives for reading, as children and as adults. "Moreoften than not," she determines, "[the child] is on a voyage ofdiscovery, seeking out new worlds. Not us; we tend to look for thefamiliar." And Pat O'Shea (The Hounds of theMorrigan) tells us what children get from books. "As childrenread," she says, "they learn about the dangers of the world, butultimately in a safe and strengthening way, a way that tells them thatweak and vulnerable as they may be... they and their own lives are ofvalue, have importance, that they make a difference to the world andto the life around them." Other contributors include Ursula K. LeGuin, Gregory Maguire, Sarah Ellis, and Madeleine L'Engle. --JaneSteinberg ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars So many authors in one place!
If you are interested in reading many successful authors' thoughts on the power of story and reading, this book is a must.The essays in this collection are inspiring, diverse, and unified in their passion for writing and storytelling.I found myself returning to passages over and over, savoring the passions for children's literature that are similar to my own.A stellar collection of authors are presented including Susan Cooper, Madeleine L'Engle, Maurice Sendak and many more that appear on most required reading lists.(They are listed entirely in the professional reviews above.)This is a great book for librarians, teachers, students, and anyone who loves one or all of the many authors represented. ... Read more

12. Writing for children and teen-agers,
by Lee Wyndham
 Hardcover: 253 Pages (1972-01-01)
-- used & new: US$9.98
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Asin: 0911654232
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13. Worlds of Childhood: The Art and Craft of Writing for Children
Paperback: 224 Pages (1998-07-23)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$4.99
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Asin: 0395901510
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Six prominent children's authors, including Maurice Sendak, Rosemary Wells, and Jack Prelutsky, agree that to enter the worlds that children inhabit, you must possess the magic word - honesty.Amazon.com Review
"No kind of writing lodges itself so deeply in our memory,"writes William Zinsser in his introduction to Worlds ofChildhood, "as the books that we met in our childhood." Reproducedhere are essays by six celebrated children's book authors that cameinto being as a series of talks at the New York Public Library in1989. Children's book writing is often deceptively simple, and perhapsthe one overriding theme here is the seriousness with which thesewriters approach their work. "Writing for very young children is themost difficult discipline I know," says RosemaryWells, whose Max and Ruby books were the first board books. (DoesWells find it so difficult in part because, as she says, "all reallygood picture books are written to be read five hundred times"?) PoetJackPrelutsky, inventor of the "gloopy gloppers" and the "addle-patedpaddlepuss," says he never condescends when he write for children. AndMauriceSendak, best known for his fantastically fuzzy wild things, sayshe's "never spent less than two years on the text of one of my picturebooks, even though each of them is approximately 380 words long. Onlywhen the text is finished ... do I begin the pictures." --JaneSteinberg ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Happy
I was happy the book got to me on time and in great condition! Many thanks!

5-0 out of 5 stars An inspiration
The first reviewer may be referring to a different book, as I don't remember the name Connie Epstein being on there.

This book is not a lesson on the craft of writing for children, despite what the title might tell you. There are no diagrams for an arc of conflict or character questionnaires. Instead, it contains the essays of six famous children's book authors on the sources of their inspiration. It's very funny and at times, personal--a great read for both aspiring writers and people who just enjoy children's books.

I recommend this book as a chaser to a more technical nuts-and-bolts of writing book. It will remind you of the spiritual and personal side of writing, rather than simply plot, conflict, and characters.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Art and Craft of Children's Writing by Connie Epstein
This book is an indepth look at writing from an editor's point of view. I found it very helpful. ... Read more

14. Writing Fiction for Children: STORIES ONLY YOU CAN TELL
by Judy K. Morris
Hardcover: 184 Pages (2001-08-03)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$3.71
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Asin: 0252026861
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Whether you're nurturing your first idea for a children's book or have a published book or two under your belt, Judy K. Morris will delight you, guide and inspire you, challenge and encourage you, and improve your chances of reaching the ultimate goal of every children's book author: your reader inside your story and your story inside your reader.

A published author of both fiction and nonfiction for children, Morris draws on extensive experience teaching children how to write and teaching adults how to write for children. Here she combines concrete methods and step-by-step techniques with succinct rules of thumb: work at making your novel whole from the start; never underestimate the power of the plain truth; personality quirks are no substitute for character; doing a good job of writing usually means doing a good job of rewriting.

Using judiciously chosen examples from successful children's literature, Writing Fiction for Children covers the building blocks of plot, characters, and setting and addresses common problems such as awkward plotting, oversimplifying, and taking a preachy or self-conscious tone. Pragmatic exercises stimulate writers to scour their experiences, sharpen their powers of observation, and capture the details, voice, and narrative energy that can bring stories vividly to life and keep readers submerged in make-believe. Loaded with practical advice and helpful exercises, Writing Fiction for Children is especially useful for anyone who aspires to write for children in the "middle ages" of eight to twelve.

Children's books should be hopeful, thrilling, funny, interesting, touching, and a pleasure to read, Morris says. Above all, they must have something at stake that matters. While conceding that only the author can provide the spark of a story to tell, Morris offers invaluable guidance on the daily work of crafting, shaping, refining, revising, and publishing a children's novel.Amazon.com Review
"Writing for children," says Judy K. Morris in Writing Fiction for Children, "means, above all, having a lively story to tell and an active central character to help tell it." Preachy tales are deadly, Morris says. That's why "some of the best-told stories grow out of parents' entertainment for their own children." Though Morris's book is geared toward the writing of fiction for 8- to 12-year-olds, her sensible, intelligent advice applies to the writing of books for younger and older readers as well. As children's lives become more circumscribed, Morris considers it increasingly important for children's authors "to help children imagine moving out of their constricted lives to make real choices and take effective actions." Morris helps by offering longer discussions about good children's fiction, shorter tidbits ("in writing, as in life, it's often necessary to shore up one's sagging middle"), and stimulating exercises. And if you get bogged down along the way, remember your goal: "A child, comfy in a chair, curled around your book and sinking into your story." --Jane Steinberg ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars a very helpful book
This guide to writing fiction for children is readable and practical, and contains a number of excellent exercises for generating ideas, clarifying characterization, working out plot details, and handling point-of-view problems. The book's advice is clearer and more specific than that in many other "how to write" books. This would make interesting reading for those fascinated by children's books as well as those who want to write them. ... Read more

15. Teach Yourself Writing for Children (Teach Yourself Creative Writing)
by Allen Frewin Jones, Lesley Pollinger
Paperback: 240 Pages (2006-08-25)
-- used & new: US$39.99
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Asin: 0340926600
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Editorial Review

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Designed for writers of any childrens' literature, be it fiction, non-fiction or faction, this popular and successful title has been fully updated and expanded to include the latest developments in the field of children's publishing. In addition to the already substantial coverage of everything from what to write to how to submit, it features new material on the'crossover' genre introduced by Harry Potter, on the implications of television and film projects, on new ways of producing your work, the latest technologies and even how - if you so wish - to self publish. Further additional material includes a number of exercises to develop your skills, in addition to the usual indispensable teach yourself resources and supporting materials. ... Read more

16. The Invisible Child: On Reading and Writing Books for Children
by Katherine Paterson
Hardcover: 266 Pages (2001-12-31)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$13.59
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Asin: 0525464824
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Here are the remarkable critical speeches and essays of world-renowned author Katherine Paterson. Featuring selected essays originally published in Gates of Excellence and The Spying Heart, this collection also includes the complete acceptance speeches for her two National Book Awards and two Newbery Medals, plus a new introduction and eight speeches never before published in book form.

With the same perception, wit, and generosity that characterize her fiction, this much-honored writer shares her ideas about writing for children, as well as her passion for reading, her spiritual faith, and her conviction that the imagination must be nourished. Her words will touch all those who care about literature and the lives of children.Amazon.com Review
Katherine Paterson often has been accused of creating unlikable characters. Parent groups have protested her novels' supposed anti-Christian bias, their profanity, and their references to magic. And, yet, Paterson has won both the National Book Award and the Newbery Medal--twice each. More importantly, her books, with their outcast protagonists, have reached even the most unreachable children, the "invisible" children. The Invisible Child collects 25 years of Paterson's speeches and essays about writing, reading, and life. These pieces are wise, reflective, and lovely. They disparage the preponderance of "empty-caloried" books for kids; more so, they celebrate the many enduring books that change children's lives. Paterson writes about the need for wonder in children's books: "the wonder of nature and human nature ... the wonder in the telling ... the wonder behind and beyond the story." She writes not about "creating a character," but about "getting to know a person." And where other writers blame the demands of children, spouses, and other commitments for their inability to produce, Paterson celebrates external limitations. "The very persons who took away my time and space," she says, "are the ones who have given me something to say." --Jane Steinberg ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal
Katherine Paterson is without peer in the field of writing for adolescents.No other contemporary author is more excellent in this genre.This book is full of everything that is good about books -- both the reading of them and the writing of them-- for children.She clearly demonstrates the power of literature to positively impact our society.This is a must have for any teacher or librarian.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sharing her thoughts, sharing her heart
Katherine Paterson writes for children. She writes, not from a religious place, but from a place of deep-seeded faith, respect, and love for people, especially children - especially children that no one sees. She tells magical real life stories from her own life weaving together the books, events, situations and people who inspired her.Whether you write for children or just love children her words and stories are inspiring. Writing these essays and speeches she graciously allows the reader/the listener just a glimpse of what goes on in her writer' mind and her writer's heart. ... Read more

17. On Writing for Children & Other People
by Julius Lester
Hardcover: 159 Pages (2004-10-12)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$6.80
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Asin: B000F6Z7P2
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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"For the past forty-seven years I have devoted most of my time andenergy to writing. It has been a vocation in the original sense of the word, that is a religious calling, one I was helpless to deny. For mewriting has never been about self-expression. Writing has been about tending the spirit and making real the soul."

So says Julius Lester in the introduction to this extraordinary book that combines memoir and social criticism. In strikingly honest, thought-provoking prose, he discusses the aspects of his life that have influenced his writing, including his relationships, political views, and religious beliefs; offers revealing anecdotes of the editorial process; and expresses the absolute importance of story. He also shares photographs he has taken through the years-photos that offer their own moving commentary on his text.

This bold, insightful book could only have been written by Julius Lester, a revered author known for his strong voice and clear eye. He won a Newbery Honor for his groundbreaking To Be a Slave, has been a National Book Award finalist and the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Honor and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, among many other honors, and is a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

If he hadn't chosen Judaism, Julius Lester might have made a good Quaker, the 'silent meeting' variety. He says his writing was a religious calling, one he was helpless to deny. Recently, though, . . . "the strength of that call has begun to wane."

He was surprised years ago when his editor suggested that he write for children. He learned that finding the initial subject 'opens the gate'. He seemed to have little understanding of the significance when his first book "TO BE A SLAVE" was named a Newbery Honor book in 1969.

At fourteen the family moved to Nashville TN (his father was a minister); here he was faced with "the white heat of hatred" and negroes in whom "hope unborn had died."( Jas. W. Johnson)He made friends with books & discovered the courage to dream. About that time he learned that his great grandfather was a Jew from Germany. Read Lester's thoughts about the personal "I" relating to the story of his ancestors. He went on to share with his students (U Mass/Amherst) what he had learned about himself, and the conviction that it is not enough to be opposed to racism; each person's story must be lived with integrity. Take "the risk to live your inner truth, regardless of the consequences," he said.

Cemeteries have been important to the author, and trying to imagine the stories of the dead. "In the storytelling experience we bind ourselves to others," writes Lester, and become less lonely. Art & music were important from childhood - Lester types with musical accompaniment. He is interested in photography & shared mostly 'people pictures' in this book.

Some of this book is slow-going. Will 'young adults' check it out? Julius Lester gives many definitions of "story" . . . My preferencemay not be yours, so READ THIS BOOK and savor his words. Also, read the fine review by Alison Follos, above. Julius Lester's several pages (138-147) describing the collaboration between himself and Jerry Pinkney were of particular interest to me. Their books together are successes to enjoy: the Uncle Remus books; John Henry, and Sam & the Tigers.

Julius Lester wrote: "Today my identity is molded by the inescapable fact that the sum of my past is greater than the sum of my future. THERE IS ONLY TIME REMAINING TO DO THAT WHICH IS MOST VITAL FOR MY SOUL'S ODYSSEY."I hope the words are not a valedictory. They hit home with REVIEWER mcHAIKU who hopes to have many days ahead in which to "read in order to be moved, & even changed." This is a helpful, inspiring book; Julius Lester has shared generously. Seek it out!

... Read more

18. The ABCs of Writing for Children
Unknown Binding: 342 Pages (2003)
-- used & new: US$1.22
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Asin: 1567315828
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19. Enchanted Journeys: Fifty Years of Irish Writing for Children
by Robert Dunbar
Hardcover: 255 Pages (1997-04-18)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$15.94
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Asin: 0862785189
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Editorial Review

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The very best of the past fifty years of Irish writing for children, selected by an expert in children's literature. Includes Walter Macken, Eilís Dillon, Meta Mayne Reid, Patricia Lynch, Marita Conlon-McKenna, Tom McCaughren ... ... Read more

20. Writing Books For Children & Young Adults
by Marion Crook
Paperback: 208 Pages (2007-11-30)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1551808137
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Whether picture book or novel, fiction or nonfiction, writing for a young audience is about establishing a connection with the young people who read your work. To create that connection with your young readers, you need an understanding of the fundamental elements of a children's story and the craft of writing. This book will show you how to create stories that will inspire and educate young readers, and meet the needs of your publishers. From learning to find their own voice to finding markets within the many genres of youth writing, this book is invaluable. Loaded with illustrative samples and helpful worksheets, this book will show you how to transform ideas into stories that will delight, intrigue, and satisfy readers - and ultimately result in a manuscript that sells. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear, Concise and Well Organized
I found this book on writing for kids and teens to be very helpful.It was easy to follow although I wish there had been more information on writing the non-fiction children's book. I especially liked the way the author organized her material and presented it in an easy to read manner. ... Read more

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