Writing Tips


Never memorize something that you can look up. 
— Albert Einstein

The ABCs of Fairy Tales

Books on Writing

Thoughts on Writing
— Ink Quotes
— More Quotes
— Revise and revise some more. Think about craft.
— Use lots of Sensory words, they zing.
— Five Elements of Storytelling
— Reveal it in details rather than summarizing it, read this by Chuck Palahniuk!!
— Find mentor texts
— Understanding kids genre categories (Laura Backes) and word counts (Writers Digest) and the Great Jennifer Laughran’s take on word count
— Fellowships for Writers and Poets
— Applying for NEA grants
— SCBWI Work in Progress Grants
— What’s in a rhyming Picture Book?
— Why is it hard to sell a rhyming PB MS?
— Paid article on Art for The Artist’s Magazine?
— Many authors have pages like this one, i.e. Karla Valenti.
— Publish under a male or female name?

Blogging Tips
— How do I find art if I’m not a photographer?
— What if I have great photos? Sell on Society 6?
Keep it Short

I have a finished MS, what do I do now?
— If relevant, create a Picture Book Dummy or use my template
— FAQ by Meg Cabot
— If you write for kids, join the SCBWI near you
— Format according to industry standards, like SCBWI’s recommended format
— Submit to Rate Your Story for feedback from published writers
— Join or start a critique group and polish/edit/try to remain sane
— Consider having a cultural expert read it.
— Look at Query Shark (including all archives) for how to write a query
— Find comparables for it, these are recently published books that have similar topics or themes (preferably successful ones) (also called “comps” for short)
— Search for an agent or editor by writing a pitch and posting during a twitter pitch party like #PitMad or #PBPitch, just follow the rules, stick to 140 characters and use the correct hashtag. Editors and agents may respond (it’s happened to me!). Follow @WriteEvent on twitter and/or find them compiled by Mica Scotti Kole. HootSuite allows you to schedule tweets.
— Top 25 Publishers for New Writers
— 5 Short Story Publishers that pay up to $250 per story
— New short story lit mag starting, The Dreamer, is looking for 5,000 word stories
— Take your ms to a conference for a professional critique, also available on-line
— How do publishers work?

Self Publishing
— Everything you want to know but are afraid to ask:  Carol P. Roman
— Kirkus Reviews listings for getting reviews and editors
— Book Hub, Inc. Submissions
— Kindle Singles Submissions
— Lenzi‘s Experiences
— What is an ISBN?
— Bowker for ISBNs
KDP vs. CreateSpace for paperbacks as of 4/17

— Do I need an agent? Five Reasons I don’t need one?
— Check out possibles on Predators & Editors
— Lots of books list them, like Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market
— Writer’s Digest interviews agents, and you can search for “New Literary Agent” and find agents growing their client list
— List of Kid’s Literature Agents accepting Picture Book mss and some up to YA also
— Check out what the agents wish for on MSWL.com. It’s important to know what they like so you don’t waste their time sending them what they don’t want.
— Following up, have spine (this reminder is for me). Really, don’t assume!
— What if an agent calls (!!!)? Take two weeks to close other submissions. Ask questions. Research and ask for client referrals.

Book Publishers
— Alphabetical List
Chart of Big Five’s Imprints (2016)
— SCBWI’s Formatting and Submitting a MS
— Look up Publishers on Publisher’s Marketplace
— Top 25 Publishers for New Writers

Poetry Publishing
— Read the journals you want to be in
— Alphabetical List of Poetry Publishers Accepting Electronic Submissions
— Hook up to Poetry Friday (for kids poets)
— Borrow or buy Poet’s Market by Writer’s Digest
— Try Submitting to the Top Places
— Join Yahoo submission call list
— Join Facebook submission call list
Submission Tips and submitting reprints by Trish Hopkinson (the Selfish Poet)
— Publishing Chapbooks by Trish Hopkinson (the Selfish Poet)
Click here for answers on Writing Collections of Kids’ Poetry
— Check Writing Career submission call list.
— Check a literary magazine’s location on Garstang’s Puschcart Prize rankings (2016)
— What is a forced rhyme?
— Why rhyme at all?
— Speculative Poetry (SF, Fantasy or Horror) Journals and Contests (Two for kids: Spaceports and Spidersilk and Frostfire Worlds)
— Another kids poetry journal, Balloons.
— Kid’s Magazines: Golden Fleece.
Poetry Breakfast (nominates a few for Pushcart Prize)

Anything which grows
is always more beautiful to look at
an anything which is built.
–Lin Yu Tang

Notes: I’ll be adding to these as I have time. These references are not intended to be exhaustively complete or to substitute for your own research. They’re a beginning point. Other better resources may exist, and I’d be delighted if you add tips to the comments, as I’m on the same journey as you.