show episodes
 
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 res ...
 
Author Katie Davis hosts Brain Burps About Books as a "fly on the wall" show. It's all about the craft and business of publishing, now including all genres––not just children's books. Interviews with experts cover publishing, creating, promoting, and writing them. Are you an aspiring writer who'd like to know the inside scoop on how others got their books published? Kid's books? Indie books? Non-fiction? Or are you already published and want to hear how to make your book trailer? Maybe you'r ...
 
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show series
 
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 a…
 
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 stea…
 
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…
 
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 expos…
 
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 coll…
 
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.…
 
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 sta…
 
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 occasi…
 
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 …
 
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 write…
 
INTERVIEW WITH MAGGIE TOKUDA-HALL & JAMIE TAN Katie interviews award-winning author Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Candlewick Senior Publicist Jamie Tan about Maggie's latest book THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA. We talk about: Gender fluidity in characters Shondaland interest Maggie’s lyrical writing How Jamie did the publicity for this particular boo…
 
ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VOICE Voice can be a tough thing to define and a tougher thing to master, but when I ran across this article about active voice and passive voice from my old friend Mary Rosenblum I knew I had to share it with my listeners. See how you can improve your active voice with these tips and take your work to the next level and beyond. …
 
INTERVIEW WITH TALIA BENAMY Talia Benamy is an associate editor at Philomel Books (an imprint of Penguin Young Readers), where she focuses on everything from picture books to middle grade and young adult novels. She has worked on books by Chelsea Clinton, Sonia Sotomayor, Temple Grandin, Jane Yolen, Abigail Harrison, Lisa Graff, Ruta Sepetys, Dev P…
 
THINGS THAT MAKE EDITORS CRINGE Nobody wants to make an editor (or anyone) cringe when they read your manuscript. Inspired by a post from Jamie K. Schmidt, we’re covering 10 things that make editors cringe with tips to avoid them. Be sure to head to writingforchildren.com/231 to download the show notes because many of these tips will be easier to s…
 
INTERVIEW WITH AGENT ADRIA GOETZ Adria Goetz is a Literary Manager with Seattle-based Martin Literary & Media Management. She primarily represents picture books, middle grade, young adult, Lifestyle books, quirky gift books, as well as everything under the Christian umbrella. WE TALK ABOUT: What’s the secret to getting an agent? What is a nightmare…
 
SUBMISSIONS It’s the beginning of a new year. A time that we as writers like to set goals for our writing success and dream about what our writing career will look like next year at this time. Maybe one of your goals this year is to submit your work to agents or editors. It can seem like a Herculean task, but like the old joke goes, how do you eat …
 
YOU'RE THIS CLOSE We're wrapping up our five part series on National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) with special guest Jamie K. Schmidt. Even if you're not writing a novel this month, we think you'll learn some tips and techniques to help you finish your novel on your timeline. We're so close to the finish line. Let's make these final days a succe…
 
NANOWRIMO SUCCESS PART 4 - THROW IN A DRAGON? We are continuing our November National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) celebration with tips for writing 50,000 words in one month, which is 1,667 words per day. This is Part 4 in our 5-part series to help our listeners get through NaNoWriMo with support, encouragement, and some great ideas from Jamie …
 
NANOWRIMO SUCCESS PART 3 - GET PAST THE SLUMP We are continuing our November National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) celebration with tips for writing 50,000 words in one month, which is 1,667 words per day. This is Part 3 in our 5-part series to help our listeners get through NaNoWriMo with support, encouragement, and some great ideas from Jamie …
 
NANOWRIMO SUCCESS PART 2 - DIGGING IN Welcome to Part 2 in our 5-part series to help our listeners get through NaNoWriMo with support, encouragement, and some great tips and ideas from Jamie K. Schmidt. Jamie is a bestselling author and a NaNoWriMo enthusiast. We talk about: How to stay on task Series bibles How to watch out for black hole time suc…
 
NANOWRIMO SUCCESS PART 1 - PREPARE National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is about to start. Every November, writers from around the world set out with the goal of writing a novel, about 50,000 words, in one month. We thought, how cool it would be to help our listeners get through NaNoWriMo with support, encouragement, and some great tips and ide…
 
TIPS FOR YOUR MYSTERY OPENING CHAPTERS The first page of your mystery needs to intrigue your reader. It has to pull them in and make them wonder what’s going on or who did it. Today we bring you tips for your first pages from author Chaunie Bruise. Check out our amazing self-led course, Revision Power at writingforchildren.com/revisionpower…
 
PLANTING CLUES You’re in a race with your readers. The readers are trying to guess what will happen. You’re trying to spring that ‘whodunnit’ on the readers before they guess. Who will win? Those readers really don’t want to guess…they want to be surprised. But they want that sporting chance to beat you and get there ahead of you. Ideally, you have…
 
INTERVIEW WITH KATE MILFORD Kate Milford is the New York Times bestselling author of The Thief Knot, as well as Greenglass House (winner of the Edgar award for juvenile literature, long-listed for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, and a nominee for the Andre Norton Award and the Agatha Award for Children’s/YA). We talk about: •…
 
PLANNING YOUR NOVEL At any time you speak to a writer, they may easily be either planning a novel, writing a novel, or revising a novel. Always. And sometimes a writer could be doing more than one of those at a time. As a result, a fairly streamlined process for novel creation can develop––for that writer, anyway––and Jan Fields’ process is a good …
 
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