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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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.

2013 Contest Opportunities for Children’s Writers

The deadline for this year’s Highlights fiction contest has passed, but you can still submit stories to the magazine. Just check the guidelines on their site. It is also useful to go to the library and read all the copies from the last year cover to cover before submitting.

If you are interested in other competitions, here’s a great resource. Click on the link below.

writermorphosis: 2013 Children’s Writer’s Calendar: Contest Opportunities.

Redefining Characters from Fairy Tales for Today’s Children

Find out about the place of archetypal  characters in contemporary stories for children in this brief, but informative post.

Simon Rose – Author Writer Presenter www.simon-rose.com: Magic in Stories for Children: Part Two – Characters from Fairy Tales.

Follow the SCBWI 2013 Winter Conference, Here, Now!

If you write books for children, join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Their huge Winter Conference is going on right now in New York City. Click on the link below and follow the conference through the eyes of a crack team of official bloggers. You will find out what to expect when you attend your first international conference. The next one is in Los Angeles in August, but the organization sponsors more intimate regional events as well.

The Official SCBWI Conference Blog.

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.

The Write Routine: WriWOPi: Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

The link below leads to a very useful blog for writers of picture books. The post this week explores the relationship between words and pictures. It also clarifies the role of the author and the illustrator.

The Write Routine: WriWOPi: Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen.

What’s the fuss about Frankfurt? | Writing for Children

If you have ever wondered what really goes on in an international publishing book fair, here’s your chance to find out. You also might want to follow this great new blog by an agent in the UK.

What’s the fuss about Frankfurt? | Writing for Children.

Rocky Mountain SCBWI Fall Conference

If you are interested in writing children’s books and you live on Colorado’s Front Range, consider attending the fall conference of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. More information about the conference (this Saturday and Sunday) and the organization can be found by clicking on the “Home” link below.