On Writing

Are your picture books missing that
something extra that takes them from
the ordinary to the extraordinary? Do
your character- driven stories leave
you struggling to create action or end
up plotless? Or perhaps your sci-fi
adventure protagonist is about as
complex as an amoeba but you're not
the touchy feely type. Before you
submit your work, make sure you've
elevated it above the thousands of
others submitted.

If you wish to inquire about a
manuscript review,
click here!
You're breathless, your heart races. You will quit your day job immediately.
Building bridges or selling pharmaceuticals will simply leave you no time for the
work you were born to do--writing enchanting stories for children or angst-filled
dramas for teens. Maybe you'll write a rhyming picture book! (After all, your
mother always said you were the next Dr. Seuss). Perhaps you'll write that
science fiction yarn. Better yet, you'll buy a book on drawing and illustrate your
own graphic novel. Visions of carrying your laptop to Starbucks or the local
bookstore make you hyper-ventilate with anticipation.  

Months pass, maybe even years of working day and night on your first
manuscript. You've even chosen Friday as the day you market your work to
editors, sending out dozens of query letters.

Before you know it rejection letters are spilling off the pile on your desk. And
that's when you realize the greatest secret about your new craft:
Writing for
children is perhaps the most challenging activity in which you've ever
engaged. And Illustrations should probably be left to professional

Read on, dear writer. If plotting frustrates you more than geometry, if you want to
learn what makes a story resonate with your reader, if you're ready to dig deeper
and build your knowledge of craft,
come climb with me. I invite you to read some
of what I learned at
Vermont College of Fine Arts as I pursed an MFA in Writing
for Children & YA.

Of course, you have to like climbing trees!
Manuscript Reviews or