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Get Ready to Submit!

You’ve written your manuscript, received feedback from knowledgeable  sources, and incorporated any revisions you agreed were necessary. Now you’ll tick off those final items on your to-do list before dropping your manuscript in the mail.


Polish with a Final Edit


Creating Realistic, Well-Rounded Primary Characters

If you’ve studied fiction writing you know that characters rule. Above all, your protagonist must leap off the page as a living, breathing being. Your antagonist (the force working against your main character) must be similarly real. But if you’re writing an adventure story, or a thriller with a breakneck


Our Young Adult Expert Audrey is Back With More Insight

Editor’s note: Audrey is a 13-year-old student from California who is currently working on her own novel between school, sports and choir. She’s also a Contributing Editor to Write4Kids, focusing on middle grade and young adult literature. If you have writing-related questions for Audrey, or want to suggest a topic


Working with Point of View


Choosing a point of view is one of the decisions you’ll need to make before you can tell your story. Most children’s books are written in one of three common viewpoints, defined in the sidebar to the right. The viewpoint is often dictated by your story and your skills as


“Show, Don’t Tell” Exercise # 1

Rewrite the following sentences in ways that show instead of tell. Use action, dialogue and/or the five senses. Try to avoid “to be” verbs such as

is, was, were, are, as well as the word felt which are often telling verbs. Also try not to use adjectives and adverbs.


How to “Show, Don’t Tell”

“Show, Don’t Tell” is shorthand for writing in a way that draws the reader into the story and keeps the author in the background. Here are some pointers for learning this important writing technique.


Let’s being with a definition. “Telling” uses abstract, general terms (The dog was big and scary.

PODCAST: Author Ronica Stromberg on Writing for Tweens, the Inspirational Market, Blogging and More.

Laura chats with Ronica Stromberg, author of the Kirsten Hart series for tweens (from Royal Fireworks Press,,  about  writing for the inspirational market and promoting herself through school visits and her blog.


Learn more about Ronica and her work at


Listen now:


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5 Ways To Instantly Improve Your Manuscript

Revision is an intricate and important part of the writing process, and one which many writers would rather ignore. After the initial excitement of finally finishing your book, the thought of going over the manuscript again and again can seem tedious. But books that have not been carefully revised will


How to Develop a Sub-Plot


If you’re writing a book that’s longer than an easy reader or early chapter book, you’re going to need sub-plots. Sub-plots give heft to longer fiction and allow you to introduce more characters and other aspects of your protagonist’s life. Well-crafted sub-plots are related to the main action plot


VIDEO – Using Animals or Inanimate Objects as Main Characters

How do you develop a main character that isn’t exactly human?  Laura’s got the answer for you!





Video: Laura on The Difference Between Plot & Theme


Video: Does My Story Need a Plot?


Laura Visits Stone Arch Books

Join Laura for a video tour through the site of Stone Arch Books, publisher of graphic novels and chapter books. Learn the ins and outs of submitting to this excellent publisher!


VIDEO – Laura Backes on Developing Stories for Different Age Groups

Laura discusses how to polish your idea to fit specific age groups.





Exercise: Point of View

If you’re writing a picture book, try using the Omniscient Point of View for a draft to see how the book changes.

Is it absolutely necessary to treat all the characters the same, or can you better tell the story by following one character through the plot? Which will make


Find Your Passion

Your first step as a writer, before you ever type those first words of your manuscript, is to discover what you love. Only then can you begin incorporating that passion into a book idea. So how will you find your passion? Read. I know this sounds almost too simple to work, but reading children’s books is one


Open with a Bang! Crafting Great Beginnings

You've Got 10 Seconds to Grab an Editor's Attention.  Here's How…

begin1When an editor opens up the envelope containing your manuscript and begins to read, you have 10 seconds to get her attention. If she’s not captivated by the end of the first page (or maybe the second page if