Online Resources for Children's Writers

I welcome suggestions for additions to this list, updates, comments.

General Help

http://resourcesforchildrenswriters.blogspot.com
Rachelle Burk offers an astonishingly huge listing of resources on everything you ever wanted to know.
Evelyn Christensen offers a plethora of resources on educational writing and markets, teachers' resources, children's editors, and much more

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com
Kathy Temean’s Writing and Illustrating blog (“Sharing Information About Writing and Illustrating for Children”) lists helpful sites, a blogroll, and author sites.
Mary Andrews’s website lists a plethora of resources for writers.
Martina Boone, Lisa Gail Green, and Jan Lewis offer helpful articles on various topics.

http://marielamba.wordpress.com
Literary agent Maria Lamba offers practical advice for writers.
Literary agent Nathan Bransford writes a series of articles on practical topics and lists resources.
Literary agent Mary Kole offers a treasure trove of useful websites for writers. She is the author of Writing Irresistible Kidlit (“The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction”).
 
Jacketflap offers a huge list of publishers and a database of authors and other people in the book publishing industry, also an opportunity to showcase your work as an author..

http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat

Media Bistro offers reviews, writer resources, publishing industry news.
Publishers Weekly provides children’s book industry news.

http://scbwi.blogspot.com

This is Lee Wind’s official blog of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

http://kimnormanbooks.com/www.kimnormanbooks.com/Kim_Norman_childrens_author_school_visits.html

Kim Norman’s School Visit & Author Blog offers great advice for authors visiting schools.

www.the-digital-reader.com

Nate Hoffelder's great blog site is about the e-book industry with tips, gadget reviews, and other resources.

Literary Scams
Writer Beware
http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware
Preditors & Editors
http://pred-ed.com/


Reading Level Tests
Renaissance Learning (www.renlearn.com
Accelerated Reader BookFinder at http://www.renlearn.com/products.
Fleisch-Kincaidhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flesch%E2%80%93Kincaid_Readability_Test:

24 comments:

  1. Hi Maggie.

    Would you be interested in adding a resource to your list? We have a free downloadable “cheat sheet” to help authors describe characters for children’s books:
    http://www.seo-writer.com/books/characterchildren.html .

    I hope this is of interest? :-)

    David.
    info @ seo-writer . com

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  2. Dear Maggie,

    Our class is just now starting a blogging unit. We are a group of 5th students at the American International School in Vienna. Your site really is impressive with all of its categories and linked blogs. Any advice for a novice blogger just getting started?

    Sincerely,

    5M AISV

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  3. Glad you find my site helpful. Whatever your blog niche, you should aim at posting a new blog on a regular basis and make sure your readers know when those posts are scheduled to appear. My posts come out on Wednesdays, most Wednesdays, though the last one has been out almost two weeks now. I'll have a new post this Wednesday. My goal is to have readers participate in recommending resources for children's book readers and writers, especially middle-grade books. That way we can build the site together as a resource site offering all kinds of help for book readers and buyers and writers who seek help with writing and marketing their books. What kind of things do you want to blog about?

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  4. Dear Maggie,
    I think your blog Is really aoswem

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  5. Dear Maggie,
    Your blog is really fun to look at I was looking at the book recommended page and I am very interested in reading one of the books.
    My class is starting to write blogs.
    Sincerely,
    Charlotte

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    Replies
    1. Charlotte, which book are you interested in on the recommended book lists? What kind of blog are your wriing?

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  6. Dear Maggie,
    I always have trouble writing. I can NEVER decide what i want to write. 1 minute its fiction and the next nonfiction and next historical fiction. can you please give me tips.
    Sincerely
    Jakob 5th grade AISV

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  7. Hi Jakob, I think it's marvelous that you have too many ideas for books! Many writers would love to have that problem! Here are three suggestions for you:
    1) Go for a walk and clear your head completely of all ideas. That's a lot harder than you might think. Then, when you come back from your walk, go with the first idea for a book that comes into your head.
    2) For each of your book ideas, think of the beginning and end of the story and ONE sentence describing what the story is about. Describing your book in one sentence, by the way, is very difficult to do..
    3) Since you are thinking of writing nonfiction, try this: the subject is exploration of space. Your book begins with the Russian sputnik and America's response and it ends with the last Apollo mission to the moon. Your book is about the creation of NASA and going to the moon. So write your first sentence, your last sentence, and your descriptive sentence (what the book's subject is) about all that. Doing these sorts of exercises can help you get going. I really wish you the best of luck with your writing. Let me know how you get on.

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  8. Dear Maggie,
    I really want to be an author when I get older. I know what I want to write, but I never know where to get started. Also, I never have enough time to write and I can't seem to get in a good place to do my writing. Would you mind giving me some advice?

    Sincerely,
    Hope, from the American International School Vienna

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  9. Hi Hope, you can start by reading books by great authors. The more you read, the better your own writing will get. And write a bit every day, if you can. It doesn't matter what you write. Just write whatever pops into your head, even if you can only write for three or four minutes at a time. If you have your own bedroom, and it's quiet there, you can write there, on your computer or with a pen and paper, whatever is best for you. You could try to write for, say, four minutes at a certain time of the day. Maybe right after dinner, or right after you do your homework, if you have homework. It's all about practice. When I was growing up, I learned to play the piano, which means practice, practice, practice. But I loved music so much I didn't mind practicing every day. When I was a teenager, I practiced four hours a day - in the morning before I went to school and after school before doing my homework. I don't know how I found the time to do it, but somehow I did because I loved playing the piano so much. The important thing is to do a bit of writing every day if you can and set a regular time to do it. You could start by writing a diary. What about telling me what life is like at the American International School in Vienna? I have no idea what it's like there and I'd love to know more about it. Try that. Let me know what you think.

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  10. Dear Maggie,
    Going to an international school in Vienna is very interesting. At my school most kids don't have to worry about sticking out, being different, being teased or being alone. Most kids are curious about each other's religions and beliefs. Also, there are large groups of children from all over the world so there are usually children just like you at my school. In fact, this is the best school I have ever been to and I usually don't worry about my religion. Many people have never heard of my religion. It is a certain sort of Christianity and it makes me very different from most other kids. In other schools that are not international, I've had trouble fitting in. Now, I really don't worry about anything anymore. Thanks!

    Sincerely,
    Hope Robinson

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoy your school, Hope. Perhaps, now, you'd feel comfortable about writing about your religion. That might be a place to start practicing writing. Or you could continue to write more about your school, the classes, the sports, what the school looks like, where the school is located, what subjects you learn, and so on. Perhaps an idea for a story might pop into your head while you write about the school ...

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  11. Dear Maggie,
    I have always heard other tips of inspiration that never work really well. But it works to take a walk and go take my mind off of the world and just think for a bit. Mr Martinez says we can just look around for ideas so I am asking you for help. I don't want to embarrass my self with a mistake or an accidental bad piece of writing. I'm already very different and I stand out.
    I was thinking about this because every small bit of luck has its toll on me. You might say a bad luck magnet. Do you have any ideas for my writing so this doesn't happen and so my writing is good?
    Sincerely,

    Jakob Gorisek-Gazze aisv

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  12. Jakob, we learn from our mistakes. The more mistakes we make, the more we learn. Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." He made thousands of mistakes before he invented the light bulb. I made lots of mistakes with bad writing before I wrote a book I was satisfied with and even now I can see in my published children's books passages I'd like to improve. And I made those mistakes with a group of writers (a critique group) who reviewed my work - and I reviewed theirs - so we could learn from each other's mistakes. Why don't you write a short piece about life at your international school and send it to me to review. I can be your editor - but your article, or story, must be fairly short, say, no longer than 1000 words, because I don't have time to edit a long piece right now. Another tip on writing well is to read, read, read - read books by great authors. The more good books you read, the better your writing will be..

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  13. Dear Maggie,
    Thank you for your commenting on my last post. In school we are writing a story of any genre we want for writing. I want to write a fantasy story. I am beginning to develop a story, but if it's OK with you, can you write me back?
    Sincerely,
    Hope Robinson

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  14. Hello Hope, if you write a few paragraphs, say, 500 to 1000 words, I'll take a look at it and give you some feedback. If you like fantasies, you may wish to read my fantasy adventure story about a Welsh dragon, Dewi and the Seeds of Doom. You can learn more about on this blog (My Children's Books) and it's on sale at Amazon.

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  15. Dear Maggie,
    Thank you so much. I really appreciate this. Oh, and by the way, I can write short paragraphs to you but I don't have much time to write you long stories. Thanks again!
    Sincerely,
    Hope Robinson

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  16. Short paragraphs are just fine, Hope.

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  17. Dear Maggie,
    Here is the first small part of a story I am creating. I hope you like it.
    Prologue
    The fields were green and lush, with foxglove and Queen Anne’s lace blooming everywhere in the tall grasses. Cool crisp forests sheltered the loggers as they whistled in a merry bird song. The town would bustle and gossiping women chatted while merchants called out their wares. Children laughed as they ran after their ball in a in a joyous game of catch. The sky was as blue as blue topaz, glossy and free and exciting. The land would stay that way, until Tilkin came.
    Chapter 1
    “Why?”
    It was morning in somewhere between Dublin and Limerick. Tilkin hated mornings like this. He was disgusted at the fact of waking up at 3 in the morning and eating stale bread and drinking one cup of water for breakfast. He’d gone through a stressful morning, and up until this point he had been very quiet. It wasn’t unusual for him not to talk, but it was unusual for him to talk. Now he was being told what to do, one of his least favorite things.
    “Why what, boy?” said Boris, a large, big and burly man with brown hair and stormy grey eyes. No one really liked Boris, but unless you wanted a wedgie, there wasn’t much you could do.
    “Why should we do all this work? Why should we clean the horses’ stalls when they’ll get dirty the next day? Why should we milk the cows and pump water from the well when we know we’ll have to do it the next day anyways?” Tilkin had never thought of it before, but now it seemed silly to do all that work when you’d have to do it the next day anyways.
    “You want to know why, boy?” Boris responded gruffly. In truth, (though he would never admit it) he actually was jealous of Tilkin thinking up such a marvelous question. He had often wondered the same thing and knew there was no point in asking. “So you can do the work, that’s why!” He turned away from Tilkin and flicked the reins on the horse’s back. The horse, Mabel, set into a steady trot to the city.
    Tilkin resumed his silence. He hated working on Brandworth farm. There were only two good things about it. One was the occasional trip to Dublin or Limerick, the other one exploring the huge farm. It had lofts and underground barns and stables and pens and wagons and fields and forests and anything you could ever dream of being on a farm. He glanced up at the rare sunlight flickering through the trees of the tall forest. That’s strange, he thought. I’ve never seen weather like this in Ireland, it’s almost magical. The sides of the wagon were rough and the road was bumpy. Tilkin clutched at his stomach, feeling much like a potato jostling around in a cart.
    There were four other boys in the cart, each a bit younger then Tilkin. Tilkin spoke up again, this time with a dreamy look in his eyes. “One day,” he said. “One day, I’ll create a magical power that will make me king and do all the work for me. One day, no one will have to worry about a thing and I’ll be leader of all.”

    Sincerely,
    Hope

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    Replies
    1. Hope, so we don't take up too much space on this page, I've put my critique of, and suggested revisions to, your story under the tab "Critiques" at the top of the Home page.

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  18. Dear Maggie,
    In my class we are now are starting persuasive essays in class. The topic I am thinking of is Whether or not to have chocolate milk in schools. I saw a post about chocolate milk that said it was good for you. The address is:
    rubbertoast.blogspot.co.at/2013/02/chocolate-milk-is-good-for-you.html
    Can you tell me what you think to?
    Sincerely
    Jakob

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    Replies
    1. Jakob, milk these days is not good for you because it has been pasteurized, which means all the good enzymes have been boiled out of it and the vitamins are also damaged. And in the USA, at least, it may also contain genetically modified hormones (rBHT or rBST milk) and other chemicals that are very harmful to you. Chocolate is not good for you because it contains sugar, or worse still, high fructose corn syrup or some other artificial sweetener, all of which can cause quite a bit of damage to your body, including nasty diseases like diabetes, and even cancer. Even a tiny bit of high fructose corn syrup is bad because it's a genetically modified (or genetically engineered) processed food, which is extremely harmful. I don't want to scare you, but chocolate milk really isn't good for you. If you want to learn about why chocolate and milk are not healthy, you can go to Dr. Joseph Mercola's website at http://www.mercola.com/ and type "milk" and "chocolate" in the Search window. You'll see lots of articles come up.

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  19. Nothing for you to critique, but I'd be honoured if you'd add my site to the list. ;-)
    Thanks!
    Jennifer at WriteKidsBooks.org

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