Subject: [Children's Writing Update] This Can Change Your Life



The Children's Writing Update

edited by Jon Bard




1.      A Gift That Can Change Your Life 

The Greatest Children’s Writing Success Secret

I recently met an amazing woman who shared something so simple -- yet so
life-changing -- that I felt compelled to write an e-book about it.  It's
called The Greatest Children’s Writing Success Secret.  It's a brief, easy
read, but what it contains can truly help you in all aspects of your life.

The ebook was originally intended just for our Fightin' Bookworms, but
the response has been so overwhelming that I've been persuaded to share it
with others. 

There's no catch or no cost of any kind.  It's purely a gift from us to

Here's the link:


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2.  Operation Teen Book Drop is Coming. Here's How You Can Help....


Operation Teen Book Drop


What a really cool idea:

In 2008 and 2009, readergirlz (, Guys Lit Wire (, and YALSA ( orchestrated publishers' donations of nearly 20,000 new young adult books to hospitalized teens across the country. For 2010, If I Can Read I Can Do Anything ( has joined forces with these three organizations to drop over 10,000 new YA books, donated by publishers, into the hands of teens on Native American tribal lands. Nationwide, librarians, over 100 YA authors, and teens will drop YA books in their own communities on April 15th, 2010, to raise awareness for Operation TBD 2010 and Support Teen Literature Day. Everyone will join an online TBD Post-Op party at 6 PM PST / 9 PM EST that evening at the readergirlz blog (

Inciting all to participate in Operation TBD in its drive to spur reading on a national scale, readergirlz invites teens and YA authors to leave a book in a public place on April 15th. Participants can download bookplates to insert into the books they'll leave behind.


Sounds like something we all should support.  To learn more, go to




3. The Five Most Overused Children's Book Plots



I stumbled across this insightful blog post and wanted to share it with you:

A fun read, but an important one.  It's true -- we see the same themes and plotlines again and again.  I can only imagine how often an editor at a publishing house sees them, too.

The lesson:  for goodness sake, be different.  Open your imagination.  Be weird.  Be "out there".  Find a new path.

Come at things from an entirely new perspective and you'll have far less trouble winning over an editor -- or a young reader.






4.   Back for One Final Encore: 10 Years of Children's Book Insider for the Price of One! 

It's CBI's 20th Birthday!


Last month, as part of CBI's 20th Birthday Bash, I made a pretty amazing offer -- and lots of you guys jumped on it.  It was so popular, I've decided to bring it back for one final encore:


Buy a one year subscription to Children's Book Insider, the Newsletter for Children's Writers, and yes, you'll get full access to our amazing CBI Clubhouse Community.  And yes, you'll get full access to the CBI Challenge, our step-by-step children's writing course. 

But, right now, when you buy a one year subscription you'll get full unlimited access to our massive online Back Issue Archive!  Every issue of CBI since January 2001, fully searchable by keyword or phrase and ready for you to download.

That's ten years worth of advice, insider secrets and exclusive interviews covering every imaginable angle of making it big as a children's writer!

Put that together with everything you'll find at the CBI Clubhouse and we're talking about one heck of a children's writing education.

Let's recap:

You'll get:

  • a fresh issue of Children's Book Insider, The Newsletter for Children's Writers every month
  • audio interviews with top authors
  • video tutorials about every aspect of writing and submitting children's books to publishers
  • a slew of exclusive articles
  • free ebooks
  • message boards and chatrooms
  • The CBI Challenge -- our exclusive step-by-step children's writing course!


and, for this week only...

  • Full access to our entire online back issue archive, featuring 108 complete issues of Children's Book Insider, the Newsletter for Children's Writers.



Here's how to get this very special, limited-time deal:


1. Go to and select  the discounted yearly option. (This offer does not appy for month-to-month subscriptions.)

Choose the

2.  After your order is complete, you'll receive an e-mail with instructions about how to access the Back Issue Archives.

Again, the link is:


Don't wait - this encore offer ends soon!



5.  Do You Love Rock & Roll?


Project Save Rock and Roll

It's not exactly children's book-related, but is about kids.  More specifically, how to help preserve rock and roll by getting young listeners into the music.

This is a side project of mine, and a labor of love.  It's called Project Save Rock and Roll and, to bribe entice you to visit, we're giving away a CD's worth of great rock and roll just for stopping by!

Here's the link:


If you know any rockers -- young or old -- please tell 'em about the site!



6. What's in April's Children's Book Insider?


Children's Book Insider

If you're new to the Update, you may not know that we publish a monthly subscription-only newsletter for aspiring and working children's book writers that's jam-packed with market leads, advice, inside info and much more.

It's called Children's Book Insider, and we've been sharing it with subscribers across the globe since May, 1990! (And remember, every subscriber to Children's Book Insider gets total access to the incredible CBI Clubhouse website AND The CBI Challenge step-by-step children's writing course!)


Here's a look at what's in the current issue of Children's Book Insider, the Newsletter for Children's Writers:

Market Tips:

► New Fantasy/Science Fiction Imprint Accepting Submissions
► Toy Company Seeks Puzzle and Activity Books
► Christian Nature Magazine Seeking Submissions
► New YA Imprint Taking Submissions During April Only

In-depth Articles:

► How I Planned, Sold & Wrote 6 Books in 6 Months
► 12 Ways to Bounce Back from the Rejection Slip Blues
► From the Editor: Conflict in Picture Books
► 10 Vital Steps to Take Before Submitting Your Manuscript
► CBI Challenge: How to "Show, Don't Tell"

If you enjoy the information offered in this e-mail update, wait 'til you see what we've got in store for you each month in the pages of CBI! 

A subscription to CBI and full access to the CBI Clubhouse and CBI Challenge costs about the same each month as a latte! 


For more information and to order, go to

"If you are "thinking" about subscribing, DON'T!!! Just do it. I waited for almost 2 years before I did, now I'm wondering why I waited so long"  Frederick Claus 

"I won a subscription to CBI at a conference few years ago. I've been renewing ever since -- 450 magazine and 4 book credits later! Thanks for the best information published. I rely on your newsletter!" Lorri Cardwell-Casey

"I knew if I was going to keep getting published I'd need some help so I did some research and discovered your newsletter. It seemed made to order so I ordered it! Five books and over thirty-five articles later, I'm still subscribing and finding Children's Book Insider as useful and inspiring as ever. " Lynne Stover

If you're not sure whether joining CBI is the right move, consider this: I got a book contract from a lead on the first page of my very first issue of CBI! How's that for results? Marci Mathers

And remember -- order a year's subscription today and get access to nine years worth of CBI Back Issues!



7.     Children's Authors' Bootcamp is Coming to

Colorado, North Carolina and Chicago


Children's Authors' Bootcamp


Spend an exciting early summer weekend in spectacular Golden, Colorado while learning exactly what you need to make it big as a children's writer!

Children's Authors' Bootcamp is a children's writing weekend you'll never forget --  a step-by-step journey to children's writing success that's fun, fast-paced and packed with advice you'll never hear anywhere else!

Join Laura Backes, Publisher of Children's Book Insider, and Linda Arms White, Christopher Award-winning author of Too Many Pumpkins, Comes a Wind and many other great children's books, for the ultimate children's writing workshop:

June 26 and 27 at the Hampton Inn Denver West/Golden

(And there's still limited room for Charlotte, NC, April 24-25
and Chicago, May 1-2)

CAB features two full exciting days of world-class instruction and exercises on writing fiction for children of all ages, with emphasis on character and plot development, dialogue, descriptive writing, point of view, writing strong beginnings, editing your own work and submitting manuscripts to publishers. If your dream of writing children's books needs a shot of adrenaline, this is the place to get it.

Because it's a step-by-step program, CAB is great for beginners! No previous experience is needed to benefit from this workshop, and you'll leave on Sunday with everything you need to know to write your masterpiece!


The Bootcamp changed my life. Linda and Laura are spectacular. They took me from a "wanna be..." to a bona fide children's book illustrator and author, working under major publishers. I still use the literature and information from the Bootcamp on a weekly basis. My writer's bookshelf would not be complete without the notes and books from their program. Laura and Linda continue to be amazingly supportive of my efforts. I count them as two of my most powerful colleagues in the business. It's simple - Bootcamp works. I'm proud to be one of their students, and their friend.

J.H. Everett, co-author and illustrator of the upcoming series "Haunted Histories" from Henry Holt. 

For a complete class outline and registration information (including information on booking hotel rooms), see, or contact Linda White at (303) 747-1014, or

Reserve Your Spot Now!

Visit for all the details.



8 Step-by-Step to Writing a Magazine Article


Laura Backes

by Laura Backes, Publisher of Children's Book Insider

Writing articles for children's magazines can be a challenging and rewarding path to publication. But the steps an author takes in creating and selling an article are different than the process for writing fiction. Here's a checklist to help you out:

►  Start with research. Once you've decided on your topic, do your research. This will show you if you have enough information for an article, and if you're able to uncover any unusual sources. Go beyond general source material and search out experts you might be able to interview, dig up old diaries or newspapers, or read publications by scientists in the field.

Spend a day at the library reading children's magazines. Note which publications appeal to you, and which might be interested in an article on your subject. Study each magazine's writing style, tone, and layout.

Pick a slant to your topic. You can't use everything you know in one article, and simply giving a broad overview of the subject probably won't interest a magazine. So focus on one aspect of your topic. The age group for which you want to write will help determine how you slant the article.

Write your rough draft. This will show you if you've done enough research, and if the topic is actually appropriate for the age group you've chosen. Keep your list of potential markets in mind when organizing your information.

Target magazines and send out query letters. Choose magazines that cater to the same age group as your article and fit your writing style. Get writer's guidelines from the magazines' web sites, or send a self-adressed, stamped envelope requesting guidelines from the publications' editorial departments.

Polish your manuscript. While you're waiting to hear back from editors on your queries, revise and edit your article. Make the tone lively and engaging, and present information in a way that will appeal to your target audience. Tighten until the article falls within the magazines' word limits. If the piece is too long, consider lifting out some facts to be used in a sidebar.

Send out your article to editors who request it. Send it to one magazine at a time. You may have to slightly revise the article each time to fit with each magazine's tone. The more you custom-fit each submission, the better your chance at making a sale.

Want more great information just like this? Check out Children's Book Insider, The Newsletter for Children's Writers. Visit now for more info and a special offer.




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Copyright 2010, Children's Book Insider, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole, or in part, without the express written consent of the author. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This information is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or any other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the service of a competent professional should be sought. Therefore, the Author and Publisher expressly disclaim any liability for the use of any information contained herein, and this publication is provided with this understanding and none other.

Additionally, Children's Book Insider, LLC is not responsible for the availability of external sites, offers or resources mentioned in advertising or in editorial content, and does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for any content, advertising, products, special offers or other materials on or available from such sites or resources. Children's Book Insider, LLC shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any such content, goods or services available on such external sites, offers or resources.

We make every effort to verify the legitimacy of the publishers and magazines we include in our market listings. However, we assume no responsibility for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with readers' associations with such publishers. For information about investigating publishers before conducting business with them, see our special report "How to Tell If A New or Small Press is Legitimate" at

April 8, 2010

Children's Writing

Children's Book Insider, LLC
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Fort Collins, CO 80525

for complete listing of our success tools for children's writers, visit


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We've Got Solutions to Aid Your Resolutions!

Need insider secrets and fresh markets for your manuscript? Check out Children's Book Insider, the Newsletter for Children's Writers + The CBI Clubhouse at

Just getting started and need a friendly, step-by-step guide to becoming a children's author? Check out Career Starter, The Beginner's Guide to Writing for Children at

Want to have an incredible amount of "How To" wisdom right at your fingertips? 
The Children's Writer's Big Book of How To has the solution to more than 100 of the trickiest issues faced by children's authors. From coming up with great ideas right through signing the contract, this amazing volume is packed with insight.

Have you written a story but don't know what to do next? I've Written a Story, What Do I Do Now? tells you what you need to know about submitting your manuscript to publishers efficiently and professionally.

Tired of getting rejection letters? Improving The Odds reveals the manuscript-revision secrets of top authors that help push them over the top.


And there's more. For a full listing, just go to