Clues I’m Writing for Kids

One of the biggest changes in my writing life for 2010 was feeling God nudge me back to the audience I originally began writing fiction for – middle grade girls (sorry, guys — I’m not trying to exclude you, but that’s just the way it is right now). Why? I have no idea! But it feels like I’ve come full circle with a lot more knowledge and experience to apply to my stories. Not that I know everything – I’ll never reach that point! – but I know a lot more than I did a few years ago.

For people who might not have known who I write for, here are a few clues in my cluttered office (assuming you can find them in the middle of everything else):

  • Two of the top three books in my writing craft stack are aimed at the children’s market – How to Write a Children’s Book and Get It Published by Barbara Seuling and Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career by Nancy I. Sanders. In case you’re wondering, the third is Christian Market Writer’s Guide – a must for any of us writing for Christian publishers.
  • My stack of kids books is growing, while my stack of adult novels is shrinking. Yes, I spent all my Amazon and B&N Christmas gift cards on kids’ books and can hardly wait for the first box to arrive next week!
  • No, those aren’t just miscellaneous papers scattered beside my desk chair. They’re printouts of Children’s Book Insider newsletter and info on a children’s writers conference that will be in Atlanta in February. Always looking at conferences, always dreaming …
  • My copy of Children’s Writers Word Book lives on the floor near my chair more often these days than on the shelf where it’s been tucked away for ages.
  • The “history” tab on my Internet browser shows lots of visits to www.kidlit.com. I took a webinar from the KidLit blogger, literary agent Mary Kole, a few months ago and really enjoyed what she taught. Now I’m a pretty regular visitor to her site, where she blogs about all sorts of things related to reading or writing for kids. Hence, the ever-growing list of kid books I need to read. I learned about most of the ones I just ordered from Mary’s blog!

So what does all of this mean? For my family, it means I’ll be reading a lot of stuff our daughter might enjoy now or in the next couple of years. Please don’t laugh too much. 🙂 For my daughter, it means we’ll have lots of good books to read through and talk about together. For myself, it means that there’s a whole big world of characters, stories, authors, agents, and publishing houses to keep exploring. Here’s to keeping it fun in 2011!

Categories: Wednesday Writings, Writing life | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Clues I’m Writing for Kids

  1. Hi Leigh, it’s great to meet a fellow writer of kids’ books. My first two books were a series, The Bitsy Burroughs Mysteries; then I wrote a women’s non-fiction, Seeing Through the Lies; and the last one was the third in the Bitsy mysteries. All I can say is even though writing well is always hard, the kids’ books were fun to write. The women’s non-fiction was like pulling teeth! I’m glad I did it and I believe it’s a worthwhile book that can help women deal with the lies of the culture. But the kids’ books? They were and still are, a fun journey!
    Best wishes on all your projects!

    • Hi, Vonda, and thanks for stopping by! I’m enjoying writing for the middle grades market and have some ideas that might work for some younger readers, so we’ll see how things go. In the meantime, I’m waiting for those boxes of new books to arrive — and one of them is Bitsy and the Mystery at Amelia Island. 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading it and sharing it with my daughter!

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