About Writing - JenniferMcKerley.com
15653
page-template-default,page,page-id-15653,bridge-core-2.5.9,qode-page-transition-enabled,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-theme-ver-24.4,qode-theme-bridge,disabled_footer_top,qode_header_in_grid,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.4.2,vc_responsive

About Writing

  • CALENDARS ARE A VALUABLE TOOL
    We hope you had a great Thanksgiving! And if you grabbed a book to read to a child, we’re sure you had no trouble finding…
  • TIDBITS OF WISDOM
    From our files we found these tidbits of wisdom for beginning editors, but the thoughts are helpful for writers also. Barbara Marcus, Random House, said…
  • WRITE EVERY DAY (LEARN TO WRITE FAST)
    Want to write fast and get your idea for a children’s book on paper at last? Many writers set a quota of words per day….
  • INFLUENTIAL AUTHORS
    Do you know who is the popular children’s book writer who never once received a rejection slip? Here are three clues: She became an American…
  • BENEFIT FROM A STORY BLURB SHEET
    Writers know the benefits of signing up for meetings with editors and agents at conferences, and the wise prepare themselves to make the best use…
  • IMPORTANCE OF CHECKING FOR ERRORS
    In Shirley Raye & Jennifer’s workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book, we mention the importance of checking your manuscript for spelling and grammar errors. As…
  • Best Opening Lines of Kids Books
    “Marley was dead, to begin with.” This short, punchy line opens Charles Dickens’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL. But Lewis Carroll took his time with the beginning…
  • Tips for Researching like a Professional Writer
    Do you like to research? Some writers love research and do too much of it. Others hate it and do too little. We’ll post tips…
  • Happy New Year, Aspiring Authors!
    Make 2021 the year you pursue your passion and make it the year you write regularly. If you’ve had trouble sticking to past writing resolutions,…
  • Common Myths About Writing for Children
    There are common myths and misconceptions about writing for children and about children’s books. We address some in our workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book….
  • SELLING WHAT YOU WRITE: IT’S WHAT YOU KNOW AND WHO YOU KNOW
    You’ve heard the saying about success, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” To succeed in selling what you write, “It’s what you…
  • BEST SELLING PICTURE BOOKS
      Lists of best-selling children’s books are great tools for writers.   They show us what publishers and consumers are buying,  and we learn about…
  • WRITE A MARKETABLE CHILDREN’S BOOK IS NOW AN E-BOOK
    Shirley Raye and I are excited to announce that our workbook is now available in all e-book formats.  The workbook has a fun, new cover…
  • WEAVING IN HISTORICAL OR FACTUAL DATA
    Last week I wrote about the writing sin of “info dumping.” An editor told me that writers commit it when they force historical or factual…
  • HOW TO WRITE A SYNOPSIS
    Worried about trying to write a synopsis of your middle grade or young adult novel? The most important thing to remember about a synopsis is—…
  • HOW TO IMPRESS EDITORS
    If you want to sell your manuscript, you must correspond with editors like a professional.   Whether you are querying an editor about sending a…
  • HOW TO BREAK IN AND SELL A BOOK-PERSIST AND PERSIST
    Last week I advised writers to sign up for critique sessions with editors at conferences and related my experience meeting Mallory Loehr of Random House….
  • SAME OLD STUFF? GET INSPIRED!
      I’ve discovered some fun websites and even gleaned an idea from one to use in a book.   Maybe they’ll inspire you with ideas…
  • BESTSELLERS-CHILDREN’S FRONTLIST FICTION
      We know as writers that we need to read, read, read—especially books like the ones we want to write.   So this week we’ve…
  • WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT BOOKS?
    I can’t imagine life without reading and hope I never have to! Great books open our hearts and minds and show us how to be…
  • Stretch Yourself – Literally
    When you spend as much time writing as Jennifer and I do, the task can become a pain in the neck—literally. Have you ever had…
  • ADVICE FROM EDITORS
      I recently read an article in which seasoned editors gave advice to newbies. It was in Publishers Weekly, February 21, 2014, and was titled,…
  • Avoid Small-Minded People
    As the author of two dozen children’s books and four romance novels, I am often asked to speak in classrooms, libraries, and at writing conferences….
  • Make Your Manuscript Grammar Perfect
    As competitive as the writing world is, one can’t afford to be careless with one’s writing, particularly when submitting a manuscript to an editor. I’ve…
  • How to be an Effective Writer (and 7 bad Habits to avoid)
    Many of you may be familiar with Stephen Covey’s bestseller, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He recommends that if you want to be a winner—in…
  • That Dreadful, Dreaded Blank Page
    Have you ever faced a blank page and wondered what to do? This unnerving experience can happen at the start of a new project or in…
  • Pick Your Words Carefully and Make Them Count
    In WRITE A MARKETABLE CHILDREN’S BOOK, we advise writers to replace utility words with more concrete language that appeals to one of the five senses….
  • Now Read This–Aloud
    One of the things children’s book authors get asked to do quite frequently is to come to story hour at the library or to visit…
  • DON’T BE GUILTY OF “INFORMATION DUMPING”
    It’s often important to do research on certain places or time periods when we write fiction. But we need to use the information we gain…
  • Can’t Get ‘Em Out of My MInd
    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was one of the first novels that made a lasting impression on me. I read it when I was…
  • Are You Up to the Writing Challenge?
    It’s November again, and for many of you that means NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month. All the skinny can be found at http://nanowrimo.org/ More than 200,000…
  • How to Break In and Sell a Book-Persist and Persist
    Last week I advised writers to sign up for critique sessions with editors at conferences and related my experience meeting Mallory Loehr of Random House….
  • MEET EDITORS, THEN LISTEN AND FOLLOW UP
    If you want to break into writing for children, sign up for writing conferences and sign up for private sessions with editors who will be…
  • Make Everyday a Reading Celebration With Your Kids
    According to one recent survey, approximately 80% of U.S. families did not buy a book last year. That’s a dismal statistic—and for those of us…
  • INTERVIEW WITH KERSTEN HAMILTON, AUTHOR OF ‘THE GOBLIN WARS’
    Kersten Hamilton is the author of several picture books and many middle grade novels.   TYGER, TYGER, book one of THE GOBLIN WARS series, was…
  • RESEARCH THE MARKET AND SELL YOUR BOOK
      How do you write a book that will sell?   Knowing the market is a key factor in producing a marketable manuscript. And part…
  • WE AGREE WITH E.B. WHITE
      An aspiring writer named Mike once wrote E.B. White and asked what he needed to do to get his book published.   The famous…
  • WRITE A GREAT PICTURE BOOK
      I enjoy reading picture books for the fun of it, the art, and to analyze what makes a good story.   I would love…
  • Scared of That Blank Page?
    At one time or another, most writers find themselves facing a blank page or screen, wondering what to write next. Sometimes this unnerving experience happens…
  • Making Time to Write: Face the Challenge!
      Jane Yolen is an award-winning children’s book author with more than 300 titles to her credit. In her collection of writing essays, Take Joy,…
  • JUST CAN’T WRITE, BUT YOU WANT TO?
      So deep down inside, you really want to write?   But you don’t know how or where to begin. Or you just have the…
  • MORE ABOUT GREAT FIRST LINES
      I’m intrigued with the first lines of books.   Some draw us in by merely stating the basic facts of a story   “It…
  • Words from Yoda, the Jedi Master
    This summer, I’ve been reading someone else’s nonfiction workbook, Talent is Never Enough by John Maxwell. It’s excellent, and I heartily recommend it. While the…
  • Commas Save Lives!
    I saw the funniest tee shirt the other day. It read: Let’s Eat Grandma. Let’s Eat, Grandma. Commas Save Lives. I couldn’t help chuckling. What an…