CAREER STARTER : A Beginning Course in Children's Writing
By Laura Backes and Jon Bard, Children's book Insider
e-book, 2002, http://www.write4kids.com , 113 pp Very Highly Recommended.
Laura Backes and Jon Bard from Children's Book Insider, have written this book to help readers and all prospective children's
writers start a career in the children's writing field.
CAREER STARTER is a self-study mini course , offering all the grounding in the real nuts and bolts of what a prospective
writer needs to know in order to get started.
This course was created in response to requests from many of our readers who wanted a comprehensive course for beginners-
one that would stand as an alternative to high priced study-by-mail courses, the writers state at the introduction of the
This e-book will take you step by step on your road to success, covering all areas of children's book publishing , and
including a series of writing exercises to help new writers start their first book or article.
The first chapter, Understanding the Publishing Field, is covering all the basic aspects of the children's books field.
There are chapters on How Books Get Published, and How Magazine Articles Get Published , as well as answers to the usual question:
Do I Need an Agent? The writers advise:
Before we begin, one important point: if your work is not salable, no agent-even the worlds best agent- can sell it.
Next chapter, Dollars and Sense, explains everything about Fees and Royalties, while, Beyond the Basics shows the writers
how to become creative . Moreover, there is information on How to Start a Writers Group and useful Advice from the Pros, such
as Judy Blume, Jane Yolen and other well known writers.
Then follows a list of children's books genre and their analysis. There are Concept Books, Picture Books, Story Books,
Easy Readers, Chapter Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult books, and Nonfiction Books:
Picture Books: Unlike Concept books , picture books contain a plot revolving around a main character. The stories are simple,
often based upon everyday situations.
Nonfiction: After you have chosen your topic, the first thing you need to do is define the age category of your book. Its
important that you approach your subject from an angle that will interest your readers.
The following chapters deal with the typical questions such as: Where Should I send my Work?, What Should I include etc,
offering answers and useful tips to readers:
Submissions to Magazines: Fiction(includes poems, crafts and puzzles)
Copy of entire manuscript
SASE (with enough postage to return story)
Dealing with Editors comes next, and the Rejection issue. Great Writing Exercises follow offering thorough practice in
childrens writing , and the last chapter is about The Finishing Touches. Here the reader will find common questions answered,
copyright and other legal issues explained, an address list for Top Children's Books Publishers and Magazines , and Writers
Organizations such as The International Womens Writing Guild .
There is also a section on Further Reading and a Publishing Glossary. The last pages explain all about CBI, followed by
a subscription form on the last page of the book.
CAREER STARTER is a highly informative e-book, clearly laid- out, and enjoyable to read. It caters to new writers who wish
to start a career in the children's book writing field , and it is packed with abundant information, advice and practical
exercises to help them achieve their goal.
It is by all means an excellent e-book that it is worth reading.
For more information about CBI, visit the site: http://www.write4kids.co.
How to write for children and get published
By Louise Jordan, Piatkus.