Behold! The children’s book industry. Here’s how it works

Is there a hierarchy in the children's book industry? Hell yeah! If you're just entering this dog-eat-dog world, think of it like a school. A large, grey bugger with tall fences and lots of asphalt. The picture book creators are kept inside, in a rarefied, humidity-controlled, tastefully decorated sanctuary. Busy finger painting. Will speak to fairies. No one else. The …

Here’s where writers often stuff up. (Part Two of yesterday’s post)

When I worked in publishing, I was surprised by the number of unsolicited manuscripts that had wonky tense. Not the occasional transgression. They crop up in most manuscripts. I'm talking about tense that was a bit like time travel. Totes all over the place, girlfriend. Past, present, here, there, everywhere. Now, when I teach IRL (in real life), …

How Point of View can save your story (Part One of two posts)

If your story isn't taking off, maybe you're telling it from the wrong perspective. The wrong point of view. I've been known to go on about this. But it's important. I've grappled with it so often it's become a fallback for when things are going badly. If my story is dragging its feet, I reassess. I think, okay, can …