When Writer's Block Hits
Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Blog
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1w ago
Whether you are a new writer or a seasoned expert, it’s likely that you have experienced or will soon endure the dreaded writer’s block. Writer’s block is, according to Author Anne Lamott, not a block at all. If you are having trouble writing, she believes it’s because you are empty, not blocked.  Maybe it can be both?  The thing is, writing is hard. It’s not math, where 1+1=2 and there aren’t any other answers. Writing can be debated, unlike a simple math problem. And when you write something, someone somewhere is going to love it. And someone, somewhere is going to…not love it.&nbs ..read more
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The Differences Between Middle Grade and Young Adult
Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Blog
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1w ago
  This past weekend I had the opportunity to be in dialog with middle grade author Chris Baron at the San Diego Writers Festival, in a session sponsored by Anatasia Zadeik called "Middle Grade vs. YA, What's the Difference?" Using Chris's most recent middle grade novel The Gray, and my own recently published young adult novel A Different Kind of Brave we covered so many things that come into play, and that are different, between the two age categories, including: Character age Inner journey Outer journey Voice (for your characters, as well as the voice of the novel's narratio ..read more
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5 Things to Do If You're New to KidLit
Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Blog
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2w ago
As a new KidLit writer, do you ever feel like you're alone on an island with your laptop? It doesn't have to be that way! There are so many writers to connect with, critique groups to join, and reputable resources to dig into.  One problem is, the amount of information can feel overwhelming. There are so many things to do and learn, it's hard to know where to begin. Here are five things to try when you're just starting out.  1. Connect on social media. Consider signing up for some social media platforms. There are so many to choose from! BlueSky launched just last year. Aut ..read more
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Check out Authors Against Book Bans (Important for Illustrators and Translators as well!)
Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Blog
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2w ago
Authors Against Book Bans was featured last month in an article by Emma Kantor in Publishers Weekly. Their mission: We are Authors Against Book Bans.  We stand united against the deeply unconstitutional movement to limit the freedom to read. We unequivocally support the availability of diverse voices on our library shelves, in our schools, and in our culture. We pledge to band together against the oppression of literature, to speak when our voices are silenced, to go where our bodies are needed, and to fight as one to ensure this freedom. Together, we shall be fearless. Our concer ..read more
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Are You a Poet? (A suggestion for Poetry Month: say "yes")
Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Blog
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2w ago
Do you use words in creating your content for kids and teens? (Many illustrators do, so this is not just for writers and translators...) Do you select those words carefully? Do you use space, like line breaks and negative space on the page? Are you thoughtful about punctation? Poets do. And are.  April, which here in the US is National Poetry Month, is a celebration of poetry, and I have two suggestions:  1) For the month of April, read a poem a day. They don't have to rhyme. They don't have to be for kids. Just enjoy the power of words. 2) For the month of April, write a poem a d ..read more
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AI and the fourth party cheated... The creative experience you didn't have
Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Blog
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3w ago
I don't intent this to be a screed against technology, but in all the talk about artificial intelligence and these newer re-generative large language models, much of the focus has gone to: First party damage:  This is the impact on creatives (that's us) when these AI models are trained on our work without compensation.  Second party damage: There's also been discussion about the need for transparency with consumers, so, for instance, they're not "fooled" by a digital audiobook narration when they thought they were getting a human performance. Third party damage: Translators and illus ..read more
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Donna Janell Bowman discusses her newest nonfiction biography for children and her writing process
Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Blog
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1M ago
  By Suma Subramaniam I'm thrilled to welcome Donna Janell Bowman to the SCBWI Blog today. We're eager to learn about your new book, Wings Of An Eagle, illustrated by S.D. Nelson (Hachette Book Group, 2024). Could you tell us what it is about? Billy Mills and I can't wait to share this book with the world! His autobiographical story recounts, in free verse, how Billy (Oglala Lakota) faced being orphaned, poverty, health challenges, and systemic racism, by doggedly chasing a dream. In 1964, his dedication and persistence paid off when he became the first (and still only) man from th ..read more
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Audiobook Pre-Production - Have You Prepared Your Manuscript?
Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Blog
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1M ago
Becky Parker Geist talks about the work that has to be done to prepare a manuscript to be recorded as an audiobook. Besides the obvious, like how do you pronounce a character's name, other issues have to be thought about in advance, and you'll need to have a plan: How are you going to handle images (describe them, or include them as a free PDF from your website?), and what about bonus materials? If you're exploring turning your book into an audiobook, it's well-worth a listen! Here's the spotify link, and it's available where you listen to podcasts. Illustrate, Translate, and Write On! Lee ..read more
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Kids Ask KidLit Authors Some Great Questions
Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Blog
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1M ago
This roundup of great (and some hysterical) questions from kids was SO much fun!  Cheers to Diane Roback for pulling it all together over at Publishers Weekly, and gratitude to Meg Medina, Sophie Blackall, Jacqueline Woodson, Jeff Kinney, Katherine Paterson, Christian Robinson, Linda Sue Park, Jason Reynolds, Mary Pope Osborn, Rick Riordan, Gene Luen Yang, Kwame Alexander, Lois Lowry, R.L. Stine, Kate DiCamillo, Renée Watson, and Jon Scieszka for contributing their favorite kid question!   Illustrate, Translate, Write, and occasionally answer some wacky kid questions! Lee ..read more
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Jenn Bailey discusses her books and writing secrets
Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Blog
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1M ago
By Suma Subramaniam I'm thrilled to welcome Jenn Bailey to the SCBWI Blog today. We're eager to learn about your new books, Henry And The Something New (Chronicle Books, 2024), illustrated by Mika Song, Henry, Like Always (Chronicle Books, 2023), illustrated by Mika Song, and The Twelve Hours Of Christmas (Little, Brown For Young Readers, 2023), illustrated by Bea Jackson. Could you tell us what they're about? Well, Henry, Like Always and Henry And The Something New are early reader chapter books that are based on my picture book, A Friend For Henry (Chronicle Books, 2019), illustrat ..read more
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