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?
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.