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Jennifer McKerley

Best-Selling Picture Books

Lists of best-selling children’s books are great tools for writers. They show us what publishers and consumers are buying, and we learn about our craft from reading other authors. Last week we listed the current frontlist fiction for children in middle grades and up. This week we reveal the 30 best-selling picture books in the […]

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Advice From Editors

I recently read an article in which seasoned editors gave advice to newbies. It was in  Publishers Weekly, February 21, 2014, and was titled, “Voices of Experience: Advice from Publishing Veterans.” Although the tidbits of wisdom are meant for beginning editors, the ideas are helpful for writers also. Barbara Marcus, Random House, said to read as […]

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Same Old Stuff? Get Inspired!

I’ve discovered some fun websites and even gleaned an idea from one to use in a book. Maybe they’ll inspire you with ideas for characters and plots or provide fun tidbits to include in your stories. They are also just interesting  to explore. http://listverse.com This site offers a wide range of lists with a short […]

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What’s So Great About Books?

I can’t imagine life without reading and hope I never have to. Great books open our hearts and minds and show us how to be better, whether we’re kids or adults. Consider these ideas on books: TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six. Open your child’s imagination. […]

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How to Write a Synopsis

Worried about trying to write a synopsis of your middle grade or young adult novel? The most important thing to remember about a synopsis is— It should not be a summary of the whole novel. A synopsis should be a summary of your main character’s story and how he or she changes. The paramount thing […]

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How to Write Fast Right

Since November means NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month, we thought we’d offer some tips on how to write fast productively. 1. Start with a basic outline. Outlining in longhand is faster and makes it less tempting to keep revsing your outline. Or make a plot grid, one square per chapter. Our workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book in […]

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