Monday, August 23, 2010

Myths about Writing for Children

Time for another tribute to the PNWA Conference. I attended a workshop hosted by children's writers Deb Caletti, Joni Sensel and Samantha Vamos. Their topic was myths and misconceptions about writing for young readers. I am only going to cover several on their list
; it went to 20.

Myth- Stories with talking animals are loved by children and therefore by editors. I can not tell you how many times I've heard agents and editors say; no more talking animals. I think in the last five years I've only 1heard one editor say she's looking for humanised animals.

Myth- Being a parent is the number one credential for writing children's books. It actually has nothing to do with it. Sure, you get a chance to ease drop on teens and relate funny experiences, but if you list parent as a credential in your query, the editors and agents are not impressed.

Myth- You cannot include sex, drugs or any mature themes in children's literature. Have you checked out the YA market lately? If you have then you already know this is a myth.

Myth- Fantasy is over. Thank goodness this is a lie. I write fantasy and right now I've heard several agents and editors are looking for urban fantasy.

Myth- Writing for kids pays a lot. Wrong, do it because you love it. You only earn the big bucks if if you are on the hot list. Other wise, you're mid list or lower and you need to keep your day job.

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