Writing for Children podcast

Writing for Children

Institute for Writers

Do you want to learn how to write for children? The Institute of Children's Literature has taught hundreds of thousands of aspiring writers, and the director of ICL is the host of Writing for Children. Bestselling children's author Katie Davis focuses on the craft of writing for children: how to write a children’s book, how to write for children’s magazines, how to get paid, and get published. There are listener questions, with answers from the experts at the Institute, plus hard-to-find resources and links included in every week's show notes. If you want to learn about how to get into children's publishing, Listen!

100 Episodes

  • Writing for Children podcast

    Hannah Holt | Writng for Children 244


    AN INTERVIEW WITH HANNAH HOLT In this rebroadcast, we talk with Hannah Holt, a children’s author with an engineering degree. Her books, The Diamond & The Boy (Balzer+Bray) and A Father’s Love (Philomel) weave together her love of language and science. When not reading or writing, you can find Hannah running marathons and hiking mountains. We talk about Biggest misconception writers have about getting an agent and/or a book deal Advice for prepublished writers Hannah’s surveys: what she learned, how she used the input. How she created and researched a picture book about her grandfather Questions about “bare bones” publishing, indie, and traditional publishing.
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    Four Ways to Learn to Love Nonfiction | Writing for Children 243


    FOUR WAYS TO LEARN TO LOVE NONFICTION Many writers view nonfiction as less: less creative than fiction, less fun than fiction, less interesting to kids than fiction, and definitely something they want to do less often. Some will accept the possibility of writing a little nonfiction to break into publishing, but do not like the idea of doing it steadily. For many, they want to do the important work of fiction.   But nonfiction is important. Especially now. Kids love nonfiction, and it's an important teaching tool in support of school curriculum. And nonfiction can offer children something that can help them long after the book is closed: an appreciation of the value of well-researched, accurate facts. That's why we're bringing this rebroadcast to you today.  
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    Launching a Story from a Title | Writing for Children 242


    LAUNCHING A STORY FROM A TITLE Chances are you fall into one of two camps when it comes to titles: You either love creating them or you dread trying to think up something clever that will catch a reader’s eye. Thanks to Jan Fields, today we’re going to have some fun creating titles. So much fun your new titles just might launch a new story. This is Katie's last episode of the podcast, but not the last episode of the podcast. We're working to bring you new episodes in the coming months with the same high standards of teaching we strive for with our courses.
  • Writing for Children podcast

    Top 3 Narrative Nonfiction Missteps | Writing for Children 241


    TOP THREE NARRATIVE NONFICTION MISSTEPS Nonfiction is basically broken into two broad types. Expository nonfiction describes, explains, and informs. Narrative nonfiction uses story elements to convey a factual experience. Narrative nonfiction tells a story through carefully researched, factual recounting. Not all nonfiction books are strictly expository or strictly narrative. Some in fact contain both, but for now, Jan Fields has given us a lead on common missteps when writing narrative nonfiction.
  • Writing for Children podcast

    Why Entering Contests Helps YOU | Writing for Children 240


    INTERVIEW WITH A CONTEST JUDGE In this rebroadcast, we interview frequent ICL contest judge and longtime instructor Nancy Coffelt. As well as being a multi-published picture book author and illustrator, Nancy is a fine artist and has been showing in galleries across the country since 1984. Her work is included in personal, public and corporate collections around the world.  Nancy also writes and illustrates books for children. Her books include Catch That Baby, Fred Stays with Me, and The Big Eclipse. 
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    8 Tips for Your Writer Website | Writing for Children 239


    TIPS FOR YOUR WRITER WEBSITE Every author needs a website—yes, even if you're not published yet. In the Internet age, your website acts as your online business card for readers and even prospective agents and editors. In this rebroadcast, we discuss tips for keeping your website user friendly and keeping them coming back for more.  
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    5 Questions About Author Platform | Writing for Children 238


    5 QUESTIONS ABOUT AUTHOR PLATFORM A while back I sent out a one-question survey. Writers could submit any one question about author platform and marketing. I learned a ton from reading all the questions that were submitted, but there were definitely some common themes. Today, we’re diving into the five most common questions writers have as they start building their platform.
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    Interview with Victoria Bond | Writing for Children 237


    INTERVIEW WITH VICTORIA BOND Victoria Bond is a writer and professor. Her novel, Zora and Me, co-written with T.R. Simon, won the John Steptoe/Coretta Scott King Award for New Talent and was nominated for an Edgar Award in the category of Juvenile Fiction, as well as being a Junior Library Guild Selection. Victoria holds a MFA in poetry. The occasional essayist on issues both personal and political, she teaches first year writing at John Jay College, The City University of New York. WE TALK ABOUT How Victoria and her co-writer start working together How they created the series together What’s based on reality and what did the authors invent How much reality should one use when writing historical fiction How far can you go when creating new information based on someone’s actual life
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    Finding Your Childlike Voice | Writing for Children 236


    FINDING YOUR CHILDLIKE VOICE Voice is the number one thing that can make or break your children’s story. So, let’s see how to find a childlike voice that appeals to your audience. Readers love dialogue. It lightens the page, making the whole story feel easier to read. It allows us to hear the characters directly, helping us to know them. And it is often the best place to sprinkle in some tasty humor. Unfortunately, it's also one of the quickest ways to lose the reader. In this rebroadcast, we're discussing three ways to find your character's childlike voice.
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    Authentic Kid Voices | Writing for Children 235


    AUTHENTIC KID VOICES A while ago on the Institute's Facebook page, someone was asking about dialogue, which made me think again about this important writing tool. Readers love dialogue because it makes a scene and a character come to life. Dialogue puts us into a specific moment within a story and that's a powerful thing for readers. But many writers struggle with dialogue and with making it feel lively, purposeful, and real. So what should you do first in the pursuit of good dialogue? Would you like to have your own instructor teaching you on a one-on-one basis? Click here to let us help you write your book.

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