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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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What C.S. Lewis’s Secretary Learned

It’s important that beginning writers conquer isolationism. If you don’t, it will lead to feelings of restlessness, futility and self-defeat. Find a writing buddy. Join a critique group or take a weekly writing course—anything that will keep you in social circulation. You’ll find a new sense of purpose, revitalized vigor and new sources of inspiration […]

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Stretch Yourself – Literally

When you spend as much time writing as Jennifer and I do, the task can become a pain in the neck—literally. Have you ever had writer’s cramp? Do you have trouble sleeping because of the tingling numbness in your hands and fingers? Having difficulty getting a grip on your mouse, your pen or stapler? Are […]

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Avoid Small-Minded People

As the author of two dozen children’s books and four romance novels, I am often asked to speak in classrooms, libraries, and at writing conferences. I am still slightly disconcerted whenever I overhear a child whisper, “She doesn’t look like a writer, does she?” And it’s not just children who have these odd, preconceived notions […]

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Make Your Manuscript Grammar Perfect

On page 75 of our workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book in 7 Weeks, we mention the importance of checking one’s manuscript for spelling and grammar errors. As competitive as the writing world is, one can’t afford to be careless with one’s writing, particularly when submitting a manuscript to an editor. I’ve heard editors state that […]

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