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Why You Should Be Entering Writing Contests

I won my first writing contest when I was in high school. I had been writing for many years, but with the busyness and activity of high school, time with friends and family, I put away my writing. And then the `contest’ was announced. My biggest fan, my mother, encouraged


Video Quickie: How to Find the Time to Write


Ever wonder how some people seem impossibly busy — but also impossibly productive?  Or how some writers can maintain families, full-time jobs and prolific literary careers?

From decades of hanging out with these kinds of folks, I've figured out a few of their secrets.  And, in this Video Quickie, I


Video Quickie: How to Get Feedback & Handle Criticism

Getting honest feedback for your writing is absolutely vital — but necessarily a whole lot of fun if you don't have a thick skin. Jon's here with some thoughts on how to get unbiased input, and how to deal with criticism in a positive way




Video: When Should I Give Up On a Story?


How a Bestselling Children’s Book Series Was Created

Natasha Wings's Night Before…. series regularly tops the Picture Book charts. In this exclusive video, Natasha shares how she came up with the idea!






Natasha Wing has been writing children's books for 20 years and has published 22 books with more on the way. She

VIDEO – 95% of This Game is Half Mental!

As Yogi Berra said "95% of this game is half mental". So true, Yogi. So true. And it's the same with building a writing career: how you think will determine how far you'll go. Starting today, I'll drop in periodic videos to discuss the winning writer's mindset. If your attitudes,


The Give and Take of Mentoring

by Jane McBride Choate


The World Book Dictionary defines a mentor as “a wise and trusted adviser.”

So what does mentoring have to do with writing? Serving as a mentor can enrich an experienced writer’s life by allowing the exploration of the craft of writing from a teaching perspective.


Take the Pain Out of Being Critiqued


Being a writer is hard on your ego. First, you put your best efforts (and often your most vulnerable experiences) down on paper for the world to see. Then you had it over to another person to be scrutinized. It’s this person’s job to praise the good aspects of


How to Find People to Critique Your Work


Form a writers’ group. Find other writers who are also working on children’s books and critique each other’s work. You can network at local conferences or classes (go to for your region’s Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators), post an announcement at your library or local book


The 5 Minute Writer


Writers have other lives. We must schlep our children to orthodontist appointments, attend Little League games, and make sure the laundry is done. This is often in addition to holding down a full time job that pays the bills. So where does writing fit in?


100 Words a Day for 100 Days

by Jane McBride Choate



Like most writers, I need the association of other writers and belong to several writers’ chapters.  One group issued a challenge of writing a hundred words each day for one hundred days.


When I accepted the challenge, I was dubious.  What could such


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