tips for writers


Since my first book was published in 1993, I’ve learned a lot about developing a children’s book. Working as a freelance editor – also for children’s books – has helped me see that there a few common mistakes first time writers make.  If you’re interested in traditional publishing, these simple tips should help you avoid the pitfalls of first-time submissions and help you get out of the slush pile and onto the publishing schedule. 

First thing to realize: writing for children is not as easy as you think. You actually have to be a better writer because you are conveying complex issues in simple language. 

Four things to do to be a better children’s book writer:

1.  READ: 

  • Become familiar with what’s out there – what are kids reading (or listening to)? 
  • Know what kind of a market you’re getting into. 
  • Be award of current trends and new concepts.


  • Listen to children’s conversations. 
  • Listen to children’s books being read aloud. (Develop an ear for good books)
  • Listen to feedback and criticism. Read some more.


  • Write every chance you get, and try different genres and formats. 
  • The more you write, the better you get. Read some more.


  • Join the Society of Childrens Writers and Illustrators, or another writing group
  • Get to know other writers and illustrators. 
  • Look for opportunities to participate in workshops and/or critique groups.

For more tips, click on the titles below:

      Some Basic Advice

      It’s All in the Writing

      Five Common Errors

      Tips for Traditional Publishing



            © Marion Coste 2016