• Are You Up to the Writing Challenge?

    It’s November again, and for many of you that means NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month. All the skinny can be found at

    More than 200,000 writers have already signed up to accept the challenge.

    If you’re serious about actually writing a novel in a month, Jennifer and I recommend you buy a copy of our workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book in 7 Weeks, and use it as a guide or a literary compass, if you will. Simply condense our 7-week process into the 30 days allowed this month for producing that rough draft. If you wish, skip the market research portion of the workbook this time and just write. You’ll be amazed at how many words you can actually produce when you sit down and put your mind to it.

    Free your schedule and start now!

  • How to Impress Editors

    If you want to sell your manuscript, you must correspond with editors like a professional.  Whether you are querying an editor about sending a manuscript or submitting a story with a cover letter, make sure you do it correctly from the get-go. There are excellent guides on how to do this–Every Page Perfect by Mary Lynn, Writer’s Market and our workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book in 7 Weeks.

    What not to do? Don’t write that the children in your family or the neighbor’s kids love your story. Don’t explain Read More

  • How to Break In and Sell a Book–Persist and Persist

    Last week I advised writers to sign up for critique sessions with editors at conferences and related my experience meeting Mallory Loehr of Random House. Here’s an excerpt from our workbook, showing how I broke in.

    “Years ago at a conference, Jennifer heard an editor say Random House wanted manuscripts for their Step into Reading line. The editor also said, “We always need Read More

  • Interview with Kersten Hamilton, Author of THE GOBLIN WARS

    Kersten Hamilton is the author of several picture books and many middle grade novels. TYGER, TYGER, book one of THE GOBLIN WARS series, was her first novel for young adults and was followed by IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT, BOOK TWO. We admire Kersten’s craft and were happy she agreed to be interviewed. Here’s what she had to say.

    JM: The third book in your exciting YA series THE GOBLIN WARS was just released last month. WHEN THE STARS THREW DOWN THEIR SPEARS continues the fast paced fantasy series. Here are two reviews:

    “This spectacular conclusion will satisfy fans and lead new readers into a complex world with fascinating magic and appealing characters.” —Kirkus, starred review

    “Brimming with heroism, Read More

  • Research the Market and Sell Your Book

    How do you write a book that will sell?

    Knowing the market is a key factor in producing a marketable manuscript. And part of being market savvy is knowing what category your idea falls into. There are various categories of children’s books, such as concept book, picture book, storybook, chapter book, reader and novel. On pages 15-16 of our workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book in 7 Weeks, we explain the categories and the ages they target.

    A writer should research the market to discover Read More

  • Jennifer McKerley to Speak: Literary Locals: A Celebration of Los Alamos Authors

    Please join us on September 22 at Mesa Public Library, where Jennifer be speaking with other local writers. She will offer tips on how to break into children’s publishing and provide a handout, “10 Things Every Children’s Book Writer Should Know.” She will also discuss the workbook she co-wrote with Shirley Raye Redmond: Write a Marketable Children’s Book in 7 Weeks.

    Mesa Public Library Presents

    Literary Locals: A Celebration of Los Alamos Authors

     Sunday, September 22, 2013 2:00-4:30 PM, Upstairs Rotunda Read More

  • We Agree with E.B. White

    An aspiring writer named Mike once wrote E.B. White and asked what he needed to do to get his book published. The famous author took some time before he wrote back, but when he did, this was his advice:

    “The principal thing (an author) has to do is to write a good book. Then he has to send the manuscript to one publisher after another until he finds one who wants to publish it. I’m glad you liked ‘Stuart Little’ and ‘Charlotte’s Web’ and thanks for writing.”

    It may seem as if E.B. White were lazy and didn’t offer Mike much help. But his letter actually reveals exactly what a writer must do to get published. Read More

  • Write a Great Picture Book

    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 that stay in our hearts.

    A good picture book: Read More