CrystalBowman300Hello from Crystal Bowman!

I have been writing books for children for over 20 years and have learned a few things along the way. Writing for children is much harder than most people realize. The challenge is to write an engaging, creative story using limited vocabulary and word count. Another thing to consider is naming your characters. The characters in a book may be animals or humans, but either way, they need names—and choosing the right name is important! Read More →

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CrystalBowman300Hello from Crystal Bowman! I have been writing for children for over 20 years. Before writing my first book, I spent 5 years as a preschool teacher and 12 years as a full-time mom. From my twenties to my forties, young children were part of my daily life. I am now in another decade with grandchildren, so I still have little ones in my world. When I teach at writers’ conferences, or when someone wants advice on writing for children, I always remind them that they have to know kids in order to write for them. They need to understand the perspective of young children and live in their world. Read More →

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Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman, author/speaker

In my last post titled What Kind of Children’s Book? I explained that it’s important for writers of children’s literature to know what subgenre they want to write for. When presenting a proposal to an agent or editor, writers need to know where their book will fit in the market. I discussed three of the primary subgenres: boardbook, preschool picture book, and the standard 32-page picture book.

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9780310730378When writers tell me they want to write a children’s book I ask them, “What kind of children’s book?” They give me a blank stare and then reply, “What do you mean?”

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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be good stories, well written stories, and stories with a strong, age-appropriate message, most of these stories will not be published as books.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.

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