WMBTSD Giveaway Day 24: September 24, 2007

Today’s giveaway is…

2008 Children Writer’s and Illustrator’s MarketSeptember 24th: Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2008 by Alice Pope (Writer’s Digest Books 2007).

The 2008 edition of CWIM offers readers more than 750 listings for book publishers, magazines, agents, art reps and more. It’s completely updated annually and is the most trusted source for children’s publishing information. CWIM also contains exclusive interviews with and articles by well-respected and award-winning authors, illustrators, and publishing professionals as well as nuts-and-bolts how-to information. Readers will learn what to do, how to do it, and get loads of information and inspiration.

I’m guessin’ I don’t have to convince too many participants to try and win this one. 😉

So on to the question…

It’s the end of your life and you are looking back over your writing career. Did you write any children’s books? Why or why not, and what did you write? Of course, we know it was a bestseller. 🙂

50-300 words only, please.


38 Responses to “WMBTSD Giveaway Day 24: September 24, 2007”

  1. 1 Andrea McMann September 24, 2007 at 4:23 am

    When I look back on my life someday, I sincerely hope that it includes numerous children’s books. Being a stay-at-home mother, my children are a huge part of my life. I often write short stories for my 5-year-old son, and the best part for me is seeing that little twinkle in his eyes when part of my story thrills him. In my opinion, children would be the best target audience to write for. Their awe and appreciation for a good book shines on their faces, and that’s a reward in and of itself. I tend to write unusual, adventurous tales where something really special happens to the child. For me, the only drawback to writing children’s books is that I have absolutely no knack for illustration. I guess if I want to publish a children’s book someday, I’ll have to find an illustrator.

  2. 2 Meryl K. Evans September 24, 2007 at 5:28 am

    Though Meryl was not a novelist, she wrote several children’s books because of her love of such stories. She enjoyed them as a child, as an adult before motherhood, and as a mother and grandmother reading them to her children and grandchildren. She longed to write a children’s book ever since taking Children’s Literature in college, her favorite higher ed class ever.

  3. 3 Mary Jo C September 24, 2007 at 6:38 am

    Yes! Lots of short stories for young adults and preteens about finding courage, following your heart, speaking your mind, breaking the phoniness and defending your friends from a bully’s teasing. Writing for children brings it’s own set of rules and a Fisher Price truck load of patience. But to be able to touch a child through a story or book, well! I can still remember the books that started my love affair with reading…
    I took the mail correspondence course with the Institute for Children’s Literature many years ago. I must say, it was the most challenging writing course. Though I learned tons about story structure, dialogue for children and researching markets for publication, I’ve fallen away from this genre. I’d love to have a Writers Market to begin my search again and find homes for all these little orphans!

  4. 4 Cyndi Pratt September 24, 2007 at 6:46 am

    Looking back on my life as if I were at the end of it, I would say, Yes, I did write a children’s book. And I say that because I am trying all types of genres, romance, historical, mystery, short story, short-short story, poetry, and essays. I’m looking for my niche. If I am trying all those other genres, I am sure I will try a children’s book as well. Whether it will be a best seller remains to be seen. What’s it about? Horses, of course. They have been my favorite animal since I was a child myself and I am a grandma now. In fact, I even started a book when I was a teenager about some kids and a wild horse. Maybe I need to dig that out of my personal archives to see what I wrote then and make an attempt to finish it.

  5. 5 Heather Haapoja September 24, 2007 at 7:13 am

    Absolutely! Writing for children is my ultimate dream job. I found such joy in reading as a child and then got to relive it all over again with my children. I love, love, love children’s books! Reading is so vital for kids, opening their minds to new people, places and ideas, sparking imaginations, teaching in a fun way. I would love to inspire children that way.

    Though I adore picture books, I think the books that I read in my middle grade years had the most impact on me, so I hope to publish a middle grade novel (at least one!). I actually have a manuscript completed, but haven’t found the courage to submit it — yet. I’d also love to develop a talent for writing really engrossing hi/lo books to encourage slower readers who might otherwise miss out on the joy of reading.

    But this is the future, right?

    Long, long ago, way back in 2008, I published a wildly popular middle grade novel, then went on to write an entire best-selling series — and that was just for starters. ;o)

  6. 6 Cheryl Rainfield September 24, 2007 at 7:37 am

    I write children’s fiction and teen fiction now, so that answer would have to be a resounding “Yes!” I write children’s and teen fiction because I love to read those genres, because they speak to me the most, and because I think children’s/teen fiction are some of the most well-written, inspiring, full of hope and realness, books.

  7. 7 Jolynn September 24, 2007 at 7:38 am

    I’ve written 6 children’s books, and have sent them all to publishers. I hope and dream someday I will get something published.
    I’ve read other author,s web-sites,their advice. They say it takes luck and persistence. I know with books like the writer’s market, and researching the publisher’s, that someday I will get something published.

  8. 8 Kelli September 24, 2007 at 8:11 am

    I did (I have). I just need to find a publisher!

    Reading to my daughter at night, I sometimes edit the books I am reading to her. Sometimes the grammar is incorrect, sometimes the characters say things like, “You did good!” and I change it to, “You did well.” They are small things in the big scheme of life, but it always returns to my belief that words matter and if you can say something correctly, why not.

    So, yes, I wrote children’s books and hopefully they were not the books other parents had to edit while reading to *their* children.

    I’ve got my fingers crossed for this one.

  9. 9 Heather M. September 24, 2007 at 9:20 am

    I have written a children’s book and am looking for a wonderful illustrator who can see my vision and turn the book into a beautiful work of art. I also have ideas for a series of books for the ECE crowd. I am looking forward to getting those books put together.

  10. 10 Shonna September 24, 2007 at 9:50 am

    Looking back on my writing career I will see many children’s books. It’s what I’ve wanted to write since I was a child and am now getting the opportunity to do so. I would be pleased to have a successful series of books as well as at least one great, endearing character that generations of children can relate to and fall in love with. What a privilege to be an author who sparks a love of reading and learning in a child.

  11. 11 Kristi Valiant September 24, 2007 at 9:53 am

    I’ve illustrated 20-some published easy reader books. I’m currently working on writing and illustrating a couple trade picture book dummies to submit to trade publishers. (By the way, if you are a writer and not an illustrator, you should not try to find an illustrator for your manuscript before you submit it unless you’re self-publishing. The publisher chooses the illustrator.)

    I write and illustrate picture books because I enjoy it. My other illustration and graphic design freelance work pays the bills. Hopefully at the end of my life, I’ll be able to look at a whole shelf of trade picture books that I wrote and illustrated. It’s a blessing to enjoy your work.

  12. 12 Terra Hangen September 24, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Looking back and imagining:
    Yes, I did write a children’s book, a nonfiction book involving soldiers and bicycles, and African Americans.
    This topic is dear to my heart, and I think will appeal to boys. Boys, ages 8 to 13, are a group that will read compelling subjects; some authors specialize in writing for them and turn boys on to the joys of reading.
    My gardening book for all ages will be published too, and both will be spirit lifters for readers.

  13. 13 Mar Junge September 24, 2007 at 10:20 am

    I have been working on my YA novel for the past year and attended the annual Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop last month. One of the key offerings of this small (35 authors) conference was the opportunity to have my manuscript publicly critiqued by an author, editor and agent. I learned that my story line is captivating, my characters memorable, and that my work is on par with other attendees, many of whom were published authors of children’s books. This has motivated me to work harder to find time to complete my YA novel … hopefully in this lifetime!

  14. 14 Stefanie F September 24, 2007 at 10:48 am

    Looking back, I wrote several children’s books based on silliness my son and I came up with. And Dad! Of course they were published successfully and still in print. I’ve never tried a children’s book, or even a children’s story to date, other than the goofy stuff we tell our son. But, I just know, by the time he starts talking, the stories will be growing. I know our son will be quotable too, just like his father.

  15. 15 Shawn September 24, 2007 at 10:51 am

    I cannot see my little girls growing up without something that I’ve written specifically for them … so, yes, I did write children’s books. I’ve already started a board book, which is appropriate for their age now. And, I plan to write something for their tween years because they are so in to reading! : )

    My love of words and stories goes back to when my grandmother would record me talking on your tape recorder. I wish more stories had been passed along that way.

  16. 16 Renee Roberson September 24, 2007 at 10:53 am

    What kind of writer mama would I be if I hadn’t written a few children’s book by the end of my life/career? Having children has definitely inspired me to write children’s literature. I love seeing what kinds of stories and illustrations my children are attracted to. I’d love to leave the legacy of one, two or twenty popular children’s books behind that my children’s children could one day enjoy.

    I am lucky enough to know a wonderful illustrator who would probably love to illustrate a story if I ever came up with one. I know, I know. What am I waiting for?

  17. 17 Stephanie September 24, 2007 at 11:02 am

    As I look back over my writing career, I am glad to see that there are quite a few books geared to children and young adults on my bookshelf.

    I have rhyming books for the little ones (birth to age four) with beautiful illustrations and important messages.

    I also have a series of non-fiction books for tween and preteen girls about everything from beauty to friendship to study skills.

    The rest of my books are written to adults and are mostly in the “self-improvement” genre – I have books and magazine articles about motherhood, marriage, family life, work-life balance, careers, and communication.

  18. 18 Rose September 24, 2007 at 11:21 am

    I was a volunteer at the Milwaukee Art Museum awhile back. One of the first exhibits I saw there was about author and illustrator Lois Ehlert. It was like walking into a very creative person’s brain. Peering in on the process of her work. I was inspired. But not to write children’s picture books – although I do LOVE them. I was inspired to help children experience the enjoyment and excitement of the creative process.

    When I look back over my life. I hope I will have encouraged children to express their creativity and appreciate the creativity of others. Whether that means writing a series of art museum guides for children. Writing biographies of artists or profiles of creative thinkers for children. Or whether it means teaching art or creative writing in an after school program or youth detention center.

    (here is a link to a directory of authors & illustrators’ websites, etc.) http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/HarperChildrens/Kids/AuthorsAndIllustrators/Websites.aspx

  19. 19 Cath September 24, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Writing children’s books is not at all difficult for me to see happening in my life (Oh, look! There’s one now! And there’s one I wrote twenty-two years ago!)

    PUBLISHING a children’s book…that’s a little murky. Hmmm, if only I knew some super fantastic markets? If only there were some book, ONE fabulous book that gathered all this information about markets and book publishers and such and put it in an easy-to-read format. If only this super fabulous book could be made available to poor, starving writers, perhaps in a super-creative give-away!

    If only that were possible, huh?

  20. 20 Skila September 24, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Oh yes. In this fantasy of the end of my life, there will be many many children’s books listed. Poems, chapter books, picture books, easy readers. All over the board. About everything from global warming to shyness to just plain silly.

    And also, of course, I will have raised some happy, well-adjusted, kind children who go on to make the world a better place. And never argue. Ever. (This is my fantasy, right?? I can write it however I want??)

  21. 21 Tammy E September 24, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Yes, yes, yes! I can’t imagine coming to the end of my life without writing children’s books. Of course, I hope they also were PUBLISHED children’s books.

    I have several concepts in the brainstorming stage of development – one an idea for an elementary level mystery series and another a subject matter series with a character I’ve developed. Also, there would be a few books dedicated specifically to my son – as he has helped co-develop a number of ideas and we work on these together even though he’s only six. He considers himself a professional writer already! Lastly, in the tradition of a great many writers before me, there would be some children’s poetry books.

    I am salivating at the prospect of winning this book. Please, please oh please pick me this time oh “Great Random Number Generator”:)

  22. 22 tastycake September 24, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    I want this book so much! So much! SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My writing career will be ALL children’s books. I have wanted to be a children’s book author ever since I was six and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. I already have three (unpublished…. SO FAR!) middle-grade novels written and I am intensely working on a YA right now, and I also have drafts of a YA short story and a middle-grade short story.

    I cannot even describe how much I love children’s books. They are my essence. They are what I love most in life and writing them is the thing that brings me the truest happiness. I can’t even imagine how sappy that sounds, but it’s true. I am here just to write children’s books.

  23. 23 Mrs. Jones September 24, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    My dream is to write for Children and Teens. I have never actually thought about the end of my life in regards to the words I have left behind, but the fear that I have left nothing, so this question poses a real challenge, at least for my therapist.

    I suppose if I was to step into a time shift and all of the sudden landed in my future, it my go something like…

    I’m sitting in a cozy chair, on the large porch of a whimsical cottage in the middle of my Eden. I’m opening up a letter from a reader who has just discovered my stories, introduced to her by a caring teacher who also fell in love with reading when she first opened one of my books as a young lady. This letter sounds very much like several others that I have been receiving by post. (In my interviews, fans have read that I feel the art of letter writing should not die but flourish no matter how technically advanced our society has become.) They thank me for the inspiration my characters give them. I tear up a bit at the thought that I am still reaching young minds through the passion that I decided to pursue so long ago. My mind drifts back through the wonderful memories accumulated over the last forty years and I am thankful.

    As I look up, I see a woman walking through the white picket fence and up the gravel path. She looks vaguely familiar. She seems confused and anxious… yet alive. I remember her face. I wore it a lifetime before. She comes and sits next to me. I pour us both a cup of tea as we chat about hope.

  24. 24 Darren Lipman September 24, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Looking back over my life of writing, I do see a few children’s books scattered about my library of bestselling novels. Though some of my early writing was simple, most of these children’s books are not near the beginning of my writing career. Instead, they come some years into it after I’ve rediscovered the greatness of children’s literature and longed to create my own for the children in my life. Whether for my own, my nieces and nephews, or the kids I helped teach at Sunday school, they will be there, among all the stories I’ve still yet to tell.

  25. 25 Laura September 24, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Since I first fell in love with reading, in 3rd grade, I have been interested in children’s literature. In fact, I confess to still rereading many of my favorites.

    So, as I sit, considering if I can blow out the 98 candles on my cake before the smoke alarm goes off, my mind wanders back (as it is wont to do), to a recent booksigning. Held at my local & favorite bookstore, it was well attended. Small children, clutching their favorite books, accompanied by adults, who grew up reading my stories.

    During a break in the signing, I had chatted with a young employee, who tells me she has read every book I have written, everything from The Tail of Ghost Cat, to My Daughter Wants to Join a Freak Show.

    Suddenly, the buzz of the smoke alarm awakens me from my reverie. Laughing, I quickly blow out the candles, and whilst my daughter serves the cake, I grab my always handy notebook. This whole event has given me anothe book idea.

  26. 26 Audra September 24, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Yes, I wrote a couple of children’s books involving large families or homeschooled kids. I wrote for the wee little ones on up to the teens. I’m a mom of six and I’ve often thought I should write for my kids. And yes, it was a bestseller, of course. 😉

    Now to make this a reality. And maybe my oldest daughter can illustrate them. One can hope. 🙂

  27. 27 Deb Cushman September 24, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    I hope that when I’m looking back on my life I will be surrounded by piles of children’s books I’ve written and actually had published! But, even more than the books, I hope I am surrounded by sacks and sacks of letters from kids telling me that my books made a difference in their lives, that they found a bit of enjoyment and comfort in my stories, and that they have saved copies to read to their own children. Now that would put a smile on my face as I’m saying good-bye to this world.

  28. 28 Zen Writer September 24, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    When I look back…

    I wrote a number of children’s books in collaboration with my illustrator husband.

    However, I am best known for my grief series for helping children understand grief. My best seller is called “Ella’s Garden” about a little girl named Sarah who learns that she was the second baby born to her parents, after her big sister, Ella, passed late in the pregnancy. It will talk about a garden that her parents kept in memorial of her big sister – a place where the family can go to remember baby Ella.

  29. 29 Jenny Royer September 24, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    I hope that someday I will be able to write fiction for young adults. When I look back on my teen years I always think of the books I read and how much they meant to me. Some of my favorites were Julie of the Wolves, Sign of the Beaver and Island of the Blue Dolphin. These taught me about independence and self-reliance. I also liked The Witch of Blackbird Pond and the One-eyed Cat. Judy Blume’s books made me feel like I was not alone, and Madeleine L’Engle excited my imagination.

  30. 30 A-M September 24, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Yes, I wrote that children’s book! My kids love a story whether it be a picture book, chapter book or book on tape…it is a sure fire way to get them to settle down. They are enthralled with the story, the characters, what will happen next…they can’t wait to hear more. Always a willing audience, they love nothing more than Mom, Dad or grandparent to make-up an adventure story and they will listen intently for a very long time. I would love to put one of my stories in print and while I love to draw, I am not very good…maybe one of my kids will illustrate it for me! It would only have to be a best seller in my own family for me to be happy.

  31. 31 Besu September 24, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Yes, I would have written some children’s books. Even though my primary interest is in becoming a published literary fiction author, I have several ideas for children’s books. I already have a autobiographically-based story written about a disastrous family trip when I was 10; I originally “published” it when I was in 5th grade, where my classmates regarded it with annoyance because it ended up some 22 chapters long. I rewrote the story for my first NaNoWriMo in 2002.

    I would love to make picture books as well. My mom has talked for years about us designing a book based on my late grandfather’s garden battles against a jack rabbit. My husband was in the Navy until recently, and I know there is a need for books that support and explain deployment for children.

  32. 32 Karrie September 24, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    I wrote that book long before the end of my life. And I didn’t just write one book — I wrote many. I’d love to write a series like Frank L Baum’s. I was just reading him today with his description of how grey Auntie Em was. What a marvel he was.

    I’d also like to write at least one best seller where the step parent is a hero and saves the day. I think the step parents of the world get such a raw deal (no, I’m not one but I know many wonderful step people).

  33. 33 Susan Flemming September 24, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    The first story I had published was a children’s story and so yes, years from now when I look back on my life, I will see that I’ve published children’s books; picture books and early readers for sure, but I’d also like to see that I’ve written at least one middle grade book and a YA book.

    I have shopped a couple of picture books and received very nice hand written suggestions for improvement from editors so that gives me hope that the this end of life dream will come true.

  34. 34 writer_tab September 24, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    I can’t imagine writing anything but children’s books! They’re my passion and my purpose. Picture books and easy readers and chapter books and middle grade novels full of quirky, sassy contemporary characters facing conflict after heart-wrenching conflict (with lots of laughs thrown in for good measure). Pick me, random name generator!

  35. 35 Megan September 24, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    Wow, now I must have been living in a bubble to think most writers want to write for adults, and I was the only one who has dreamed of being the next Judy Blume! I must admit to feeling somewhat overwhelmed at seeing all of these writers who share the same dream, but then I remind myself there is enough for all of us. That it is wonderful how many of us want to share our stories with children.

    I’ve been writing and illustrating books for kids since I was one, but have never really tried to publish one. I’ve always felt I’ll know when it’s the right one or the right time. So far this has worked with my other writings, and I’ve pursued each avenue as it came clear to me.

    Currently my children’s “quick books,” as I call them, are just for my toddler daughter, to help her through new experiences. I write and illustrate a book about a new bedtime routine while she’s napping, or a book about sleep after she’s gone to bed. They really are quick, but she loves them, and for now, that is enough. Time will tell whether I feel the call to share them beyond our family.

    Getting to be a freelance story editor for one of the authors of the forthcoming Daring Book for Girls was a great reminder of how much I love that young audience, though — and we’ll see where it leads! (knock wood!)

  36. 36 Mary Jo September 24, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    If dreams really do come true, then, yes, by the end of my life, I’ll have written a children’s book–in fact, I’ll have written oodles of them! (I’ve got three penned already!!!)

    There will be lots of picture books: some silly, some sweet, some with moral lessons, some that just make little people smile. (And many of those picture books will be illustrated by my eldest son, the talented cartoonist!) There will be early readers about real historical events and people who did important things. There will be a series that’s both historical and fictional, that will inspire a whole new generation to be creative in a traditional way.

    And, not only will I get all of these books WRITTEN by the end of my sojourn here, but I will also get them all PUBLISHED! (I certainly can dream, can’t I??? 🙂 )

  37. 37 LauraE September 24, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    Yes. I wrote children’s books because there isn’t anything more amazing than the beginning of life and the magic found there. I wrote fantasy books because I was fascinated with the imaginary and where I hoped it might take my readers and I. But beyond that, every time I put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, the voice that spoke clearest in my own mind was that of a twelve year old girl trying to find her way.

  38. 38 Jolynn September 25, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Who Won on Sept. 24th?

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