How could I reach children all over the world?
Easy! I would write books.
My mind churned. Stories tumbled over and around each other in an
effort to be the first to reach the page. Stories of humour and adventure,
courage and sadness. I wrote, printed and stacked my work neatly in a
As the drawer grew full, I decided that it was time to share my works of
genius with the children of the world. I fired off a story to a publisher and
waited for a response. I'd heard about rejection slips, but that wouldn't
happen to me. My work was inspired.
After racing to mailbox each day for two weeks with no response, I sent
another story out to another publisher. Another fortnight went by, then
another. I sent more and more of my work away until …
my drawer was empty.
Still I waited.
And then they came.
Thank you for considering us for your work. Unfortunately it does not
meet our current needs.
I placed my rejections in my drawer. With each negative response, my
daily race to the mailbox grew slower. By the time my last rejection was
due, I was crawling.
My drawer was, once again, full.
After a respectable episode of self-pity and deprecation, I decided that my
aim was still the same. It was just going to take a bit more work than I
had first thought.
I enrolled in a writing course, completed it and took another and then a
third. I pored over Internet sites and enrolled in on-line critique groups
I wrote, I practiced, I read.
There is a major fallacy associated with writing for kids:
Writing for children is easier than writing for adults.
It's not. Trust me.
There are two main reasons that this is untrue:
1. When writing for children, you must learn to convey the same emotion,
setting and action as you would when writing for an adult. The difference
is that your vocabulary is limited as well as your word count. You must
find exactly the right words to express your meaning.
2. The second reason makes writing for kids even tougher. Before you can
reach the children, you have to get through the adults. They're the people
who will buy your books and encourage their children/students to read
them. You are basically writing with two audiences in mind. This means
that you need to write on two levels.
The desire to write for children poses a rewarding challenge. Once you
decide to accept it, you will have taken the first step in a journey of
learning, imagination and fulfilment.
I hope these articles can help you. I have written them with the aspiring
children's writer in mind and have included everything I wish I had
known in the infancy of my career.
I hope you find some of this information helpful. You can read them in
sequence and build your knowledge as you go, or choose whichever topic