What You Need to Know About Query Letters

If you’ve finished a project and you are about to query an agent or editor, here’s a great article linked from Harold Underdown’s blog. If you don’t know about him and you write for children, keep his site handy. It’s a terrific resource.

Before you send, a checklist:

  • Did you research your recipient?
  • Did you spell their name right?
  • Are you sending a manuscript they said they didn’t want?
  • Did you include your social media information? (If you have it.)
  • Did you include your contact information?
  • Is your letter brief and to the point?
  • Does the tone of your letter catch the spirit of your story?
  • Did you include the character and the stakes? (If you don’t know what stakes are, look it up.)
  • Did you include only relevant biographical information?
  • Is your letter less than a page long?

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Inspiration for Writers

I just finished an amazing course in picture book writing from the Picture Book Academy. It was both informative and inspirational.

Every artist and writer needs an inspiration boost sometimes. Here’s a list of resources to keep handy. I’ve used most of them at one time or another and am looking forward to checking out others I haven’t tried.

If your favorite book, podcast, or video isn’t listed, please share it in the comments!

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The Best Books to Help You Find an Agent

From Harold Underdown, a bibliography of print resources to help you find an agent.

Resources Listing Literary Agents and Artist’s Representatives.

Find Out About Chapter Books and Early Readers

Here’s a great resource for writers of fiction for children.

Click on the link.

Kidlit · The Early Reader and Chapter Book Market.

You Know You’re a Children’s Writer When…

Here’s a giggle from Writing for Children’s Magazines. (This is, by the way, a very useful resource to bookmark.)

Writing for Children’s Magazines – An Ezine.

Collective Nouns

Picture book authors, teachers, and poets, don’t miss this fabulous collection of collective nouns. Never heard of them? Take a look. You will be enchanted.

Collective Nouns.

Check Out This Goldmine for Story Patterns and Ideas

If you write fantasy or books for children, here’s a treasure trove of information. It lists the categories of folktales. You can plug the descriptions into Google and find examples in a wink.

Aarne–Thompson classification system – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Margot Finke’s Secrets of Writing For Children

I think the very best part of participating in these November challenges has been climbing out of my hole a bit and meeting other writers. On Shar Mohr’s blog “My Picture Book Writing Journey,” I found many resources, including this one. If you write for kids, take a look. You may want to add it to your favorites. (By the way, Shar’s hen also authors an adorable blog.)

Margot Finke’s Secrets of Writing For Children.

Free Novel Writing Goodies in Honor of NaNoWriMo | WritersDigest.com

There’s a treasure trove of terrific free downloads for novelists on this blog. You can reap the benefits even if you dropped out of NaNoWriMo or never signed up! Zip over there and collect.

NaNoWriMo Tips | WritersDigest.com.

Picture Book Idea Month Resources and Inspiration

If you didn’t register for Picture Book Idea Month, or you have not been following the great discussions on the group’s Facebook page, you can still benefit from the great advice and inspiration connected with the event. Go to Tara’s blog and look for the list of guest bloggers. Each is a link, and each post is a treasure for picture book writers.

The link below will take you to the blog.

PiBoIdMo « Writing for Kids (While Raising Them).