Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dan Gutman's Tips on becoming a successful children's writer

Welcome to Inside the Publishing World Wednesday. Today I am taking a look at a keynote address that author Dan Gutman gave at the summer 2012 SCBWI conference. He has some great pointers for writers, including a few funny bits.

The topic- How to have a successful career in children’s books.
 In descending order:

13. Ignore all advice! (even his J)
12. Join the SCBWI.
11. Be a boxer- be tough, let them reject you, and then prove them wrong.
10. Try everything.
9. Don’t get stuck in a rut- shake things up.
8. Become famous.
7. Find something really popular and then write something better.
6. Never write on an empty stomach.
5. Break the rules, but do it creatively.
4. Promote Yourself.
3. Take the bull by the horns! Do what you need to do. Self-pub? Online sales?
2. Use your strengths.
1. There’s no secret! Bust your butt for 10-15 years, get rejected, and never give up!

And Dan means it. On his website he has copies of some of his rejection letters. Don't give up! Keep going! Truth is, it does take years. 


  1. I met Dan at the SCBWI conference. We both attended Dan Yacharino's school visit intensive. Dan is about the nicest guy I've ever met. At 105 published books under his belt he is really a living legend and a great role model for both the kids that read his books, and the adults who want to write books, too. Thanks, Dan, for being such a great inspiration to so many!

    1. I know, can you believe how many books he has written? Wow.