I meet a lot of writers who want to write for children. They come to writers' conferences with high hopes of making a connection with an editor from a publishing house who is looking for children's material. Many of the writers I meet have written good stories. Some are short stories written in rhyme, others are slightly longer stories written in prose. But even though they may be good stories, well written stories, and stories with a strong, age-appropriate message, most of these stories will not be published as books. The hardcover premium picture book is getting harder and harder to publish, and very few houses are actively seeking them. The cost of publishing premium pictures books is high, which makes the selling point high, which makes parents think twice before buying. So what are these writers supposed to do with the gems they have written? Read on.
When writing devotions for children, the challenge is to keep them kid-friendly while addressing a variety of spiritual topics. A picture book can zero in on one theme or concept and use 24 + pages to develop the lesson. In devotional books, however, the writer has only one or two pages to develop a complete message.
A warm greeting from sunny Florida, where fall means
cooler days, shorter nights, and (as my teenage daughters say), choosing the
flip-flops with the wider straps. Today, I have the privilege of sharing an
interview with fellow Florida author Crystal Bowman. I first met Crystal when
we taught together at the Florida Christian Writers Conference, and I’m
delighted to share her words of wisdom today.
How did you get into writing, Crystal?
I started writing when I was 10
years old. I loved writing poems—some funny and some serious.
My first professional writing
opportunity (decades later) was an offer to write lyrics for children’s piano
music. That was in 1990. and I am still writing for the same composers.
How many books do you have published?
Around 75—mostly kids’ books,
but also three nonfiction books for women.
On November 30, 2012, I posted a blog on Writing for Children (Part 1), and addressed the challenge of writing boardbooks. The next sub-genre in the genre of children's literature is what I call the preschool picture book. This is not the 32-page picture book with a full plot and story (i.e. beginning, middle, and happy ending). The books in this category are books that consist mainly of word play. What do I mean by "word play"? Glad you asked.