Wednesday, April 1, 2009

So You Want to be A Full Time Children's Writer.

That is great news. You have loved writing your entire life from elementary school to college and beyond. However, you never thought of it as a career until now. You could be a full time mom raising children with great insights on children's behavior. What if you are that grandma who is full of information from the experience of successfully raising a family? Or, you are a teacher thinking of retirement or in retirement and with a wealth of inside information on what children really like to read.

Understanding what kids want in regards to stories and books is a large part of the process of searching for subject matter. Here are some questions you may ask yourself:

1. Who do you write for?
2. What genre do you love the most?
3. Do you have a penchant for pre-teen kids or do you imagine connecting with a four year old and cuddling up with a fabulous picture book?

When I began analyzing and dissecting pros and cons of writing for children, I found the research pool ripe with subjects begging to be written about.

I confess my reason for choosing to write for children began with selfish motivation. I fantasized being resident author of my grand children's school. I was convinced the road to success could be achieved in three simple steps: 1) Take a course; 2) write a story; 3) become published and the whole world will applaud you. Then my bubble burst. Work? Writing is Work?

Obviously, I was operating under delusions of grandeur. However, it has not taken me long to understand the importance of patience and practice. An important discovery was made as I began to hone my craft; children's writers write for adults because adults decide what their children will read and what they will read to their children. If you can get your story past the adults, your chances of becoming published increase.

A children's writer can be instrumental in influencing children's education, self esteem and imagination. Most children's writers will choose a specific genre that fits their tastes and desires but some writers like variety and are flexible to write in a number of different genres. For instance, picture books, fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, mystery, historical, the list is long. Children's writers have to be flexible and think ahead for future trends by studying the children’s writer’s market. What is hot now will not be hot five years from now. Writing for children takes planning.

You might ask yourself “Where do I start?” The first step I recommend for all beginning children’s writers is to join the Children’s Writer’s Coaching Club led by author Suzanne Lieurance. Click on the link above and you will be taken to a page explaining what the Children’s Writer’s Coaching Club does each month.

Write it down,


  1. great article. You tell the truth-writing is work but very rewarding!

  2. Thank you Kathy,
    It is true the reward outweighs the work. I believe it is the creative process that is so enjoyable.


  3. Writing is work, and it is rewarding too. I think when published, I will find it even more rewarding. The writing I do now is starting to bring in some money, but most goes without a byline. I look forward to getting the first children's story or book published and then I will feel truly rewarded. But in the mean time, I am having fun with the writing process.

    Good post.