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be good stories, well written stories, and stories with a strong, age-appropriate message, most of these stories will not be published as books.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.
Crystal Bowman is a former preschool teacher, author, and speaker. She graduated from Calvin College with a degree in elementary education and studied early childhood development at the University of Michigan.
Her writing career began in 1990 as a lyricist for children’s piano music. She began writing children’s books in 1993 and has since written more than 80 books for children and 3 for women. She has written books for many popular children’s series, such as Little Blessings, BOZ the Bear, MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), and I Can Read! She has also written two books of humorous poetry for children, three books for women, numerous magazine articles, Bible study materials, and educational resource books. She’s a regular contributor to Clubhouse Magazine by Focus On the Family.
As a speaker, Crystal enjoys sharing her stories and poetry with students in the classroom and also with adults at teachers’ conventions, writers’ conferences, and women’s seminars. "Writing and speaking can be intimidating because in order to connect with your audience you need to be personal and transparent, exposing what’s in your heart and soul. But when readers or conference attendees respond positively to something I’ve said or written, it is humbling and rewarding all at the same time!"
Crystal and her husband, Bob, have enjoyed 40 years of marriage and are the parents of three grown children and five grandchildren. They live in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. To learn more visit crystalbowman.com.
Speaking Topics and Programs:
I love speaking to women, children, parents, writers, and teachers. I’ve been speaking for over twenty years both nationally and locally. I speak at church groups, schools, conventions, writers’ conferences, and have also been a guest on numerous radio and television programs. The following is a list of some of my speaking topics and programs:
- Author’s assemblies–entertaining and informative.
- Poetry Workshops: In the classroom.
- Teachers’ Conferences: How to develop poetry unit.
Women’s retreats, holiday banquets, mother-daughter banquets, parenting programs.
Mothers of Preschoolers:
- Parenting 101: The basics in parenting–what every child needs.
- Moms on the Grow: How moms can continue to grow in their personal lives while raising kids.
- Preserving Memories: Lots of easy ways to preserve memories for your family.Holidays and Traditions: Make holidays special and create fun family traditions that are simple and affordable.
- Adventures in Mothering: A realistic look at the joys and challenges of being a mom.
- Friendships: Making and nurturing female friends.
- Keeping your Family Spiritually Strong: Raising your kids to have a strong spiritual focus.
- Honor and Respect in the Home: Respecting your husband, and teaching your children to respect each other.
- Love Languages: How to show love to the ones you love.
- Generational Blessings: Passing down a legacy of faith.
- Personality Styles: Understanding your spouse, kids, friends, and extended family.
Writing for Children, Writing Picture Books, Writing in Rhythm and Rhyme, The World of Publishing, Promoting Children’s Books, Finding Purpose in Your Writing, The Broad Spectrum of Children’s Literature, Plot and character development in children’s books (more topics upon request).
**Note: Fees for speaking vary depending on location and event.
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.
Writing for young children is much harder than many writers realize—that is until they try it! As a children's author and freelance editor, I reveiw children's stories that writers hope to publish. I often see the same mistakes being made by different writers, so in today's blog, I will address those common mistakes in order to help writers avoid them.
Last time, 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.
Many writers want to write a children’s book because they think it would be fun. Writing for children is fun, but fun does not mean easy! In fact, the more you learn about writing for children, the harder it gets. Most writers think of the standard 32-page picture book when they consider writing a children’s book, but there are other sub-genres within the genre of children’s literature that writers need to be familiar with.