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A first look – Writers & Artists Guide to Writing for Children and YA

It is always exciting when the parcel arrives with your advance copies of your newly published book.  Opening the parcel, turning the book over in your hands; it – after all the hard work writing and editing, worrying about whether it will turn out the way you hoped, finally leaving it in the hands of the publisher at the last stage -it all contributes to a kind of nervous excitement.


I would like to say a huge thank you to my lovely editor and her team, for all their work and support. Now it is over to you, the reader.  Unlike a work of fiction, a writing guide is something that people will hopefully go back to again and again, dipping into it at different stages.

This is a new and very much updated edition. Some of you may recall the previous one with a white cover and a 70’s style lion on the front!  So much has changed in the 11 years since 2008 when that one appeared on the shelves.  The publishing world has changed a lot and in this new book I have also included some books ( recommended reads)  that you might like to try as a starter for your reading list, to better understand each area of writing for children & YA. Anyone who wants to write or is writing in this field, should be reading the amazing books out there already.  You will find it hones your understanding of where your own writing will fit in each area and these books I have suggested are only a very small sample of some of the amazing books being written at the moment for young people.

One of the biggest differences between writing for adults and writing for children is that children not only enjoy different genres but they also need different kinds of books and their requirements are different depending on their age, reading ability and what they understand about the world.  You would not give a harsh/edgy murder mystery to a five year old!  Publishers will want a writer to understand where their book will fit in their list, and on the shelf in a bookshop, and that the writer understands the appropriate length or style. It is a challenging area to write for but exciting, too.

And…. you have my absolute permission to turn down corners, mark it up with coloured pens or put in sticky coloured tabs or post it notes in it.  I have heard people say that the previous edition was used in all of these ways and that warms my heart!

I hope it helps anyone wanting to start writing for Children or Young Adults, for those already with a work in progress or newly published, but also anyone with an interest in how it is done.

Published 30th November 2019  it is available from all good bookshops ( do support your local independent bookshop!)  and online book stores.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 at 2:56 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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