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Utility Words—Useful but Vague

In WRITE A MARKETABLE CHILDREN’S BOOK IN 7 WEEKS, we advise writers to replace utility words with more concrete language that appeals to one of the five senses. What is a utility word? These are words we use a lot—wonderful, beautiful, good, bad, great, fine, and things. Unfortunately, they don’t enhance one’s prose. They tell […]

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Are You Real?

         As the author of more than twenty children’s books and three 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?”         What does that mean?  I’ve wondered.          And it’s not just children […]

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Beware These Grammar Boo Boos

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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Writing Great Picture Books

I enjoy reading picture books for the fun of it, the art, and to analyze what makes a good story. I would love to master the craft of writing wonderful picture books that become beloved favorites of children. From researching and reading the masters, I’ve learned that most of the factors below are in stories […]

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7 Habits of Dismally Failing Writers

Many of you may be familiar with Stephen Covey’s bestseller, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He recommends that if you want to be a winner—in anything you pursue—you need to: (1)   be proactive (2)   begin with the end in mind (3)   put first things first (4)   always think win/win (5)   first understand then strive […]

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