Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Weekend Writer: E-mail To A Student Writer

I recently received an inquiry from a Connecticut high school student working on an independent study project "How to write a children's book." She was thinking of writing a picture book and was contacting authors for advice. Advice is advice, right? So here's what I told her:

The one picture book I've written hasn't sold to a publisher. The books I published were all classified as middle grade or early reader. So I don't have any info to share about successfully writing a picture book. And I am not an illustrator, so I don't do that part of picture book work.

However, I would advise you to:
  1. Spend some time in your local library reading picture books and picking out ones you like.
  2. Then look those books' authors up on the Internet. Sometimes authors will have information at their websites on writing. An example is Josh Funk, who is a New England writer who has written and published picture books.  Be sure to read his section "Picture Books Are Short." Many new picture book writers don't understand that
  3. Take advantage of any opportunities to hear picture book authors speak in public. They make appearances at bookstores and sometimes libraries. They often will speak about how they wrote a particular book or the publishing process, and they may take questions from the audience. 
Good luck with your project. 

I should have also told her to hold onto anything she writes, anything at all, in case she can use it again. For, example, a blog post.

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