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  • Writer's pictureKari Lavelle

So You Want To Write for Children...

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

About once a month, a friend (or friend of a friend!) shares with me that they want to write a book for kids. I absolutely delight in knowing that another person is finding their own creative expression in writing!

And so, I created this blog post to share things I've learned along the way:


Dear friend,

I want to support you in this endeavor, but first I must share the hard truth. The last thing I’d like to do is mislead you to think that this path is easy! I started working on my first manuscript for kids in 2010. My first book deal wasn't until 2018! My story is not an outlier - there are so many writers, incredible writers with brilliant ideas, that haven’t found their first “yes” yet, after years and years of trying.


Still interested? Great!



Here’s what worked for me:


  • READ! It is important to read what is currently selling, trends, etc.

  • I joined SCBWI and 12X12. I’ve learned so much about writing and this industry through these organizations.

  • I attended in-person/online classes at The Writing Barn. Bethany and the Writing Barn community are awesome!

  • Schedule a time of the day/week/month and sit down and write. I like to set timers.

  • Find a critique partner/group: find someone that believes in your work and “gets it.” You need support in this business. I owe so much of my growth and success to my writing partners.

  • Read books about writing/craft. A few of my favorites:

BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert

PIXAR STORYTELLING by Dean Movshovitz

WRITING PICTURE BOOKS by Ann Whitfield Paul

NONFICTION WRITERS DIG DEEP by Melissa Stewart

STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST by Austin Kleon

  • Embrace rejection. This industry is so competitive!


Here’s another great article for beginning writers. Cynsations is a wonderful resource.




Some of you have asked about how I go about illustrations. I am traditionally published and so the publishing team pairs me with an illustrator after a manuscript has been acquired. (Interested in self-publishing? I have no idea how that works!)


At some point, shortly before I found my agent, I decided that if publishing never happened for me, I would still write. I write because it fulfills me creatively.


I sincerely hope this information is helpful! Ask me any questions below. The best of luck to you, my friend!


Writer friends: What advice would you give to yourself as a beginning writer? What are your favorite resources?


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