Once Upon A Time: Writing Children’s Literature


Once Upon A Time: Writing Children’s Literature

Saturday, May 17, 2008

To write for kids, you have to think like a kid. There are nuances and approaches that children’s authors use frequently. It is not just the words, but also the images that the words create, which draw children into reading a story.

Join two award-winning children’s book authors and illustrators Kathryn Hewitt and Deborah Nourse Lattimore as they present practical tips and guidance on how to turn your kernel of a book idea into one ready to sell to a children’s book publisher.

Between them, Hewitt and Nourse Lattimore have written and illustrated nearly 50 children’s books, many of them award-winners and library picks. They will examine the making of books and inspirational writing from words and drawings. For those who don’t draw, don’t worry. Publishers supply illustrators and collaboration between writers and artists is common.

During the seminar, the two authors will focus on story structure, plot, character development, research, and dialogue. They will discuss editing, building drama and tension, “show-don’t-tell,” what to write and what to expect an artist to illustrate. Query letters, marketing and resources for children’s book writers will also be covered. Hewitt and Nourse Lattimore will provide pointers about what authors can do to help a book sell well.

HEWITT”S titles include the award-winning “Lives of …” series (Musicians, Writers, Artists, Athletes, Presidents, and Extraordinary Women), “Sunflower House,” and “Flower Garden.” Hewitt’s musician series has been awarded The American Booksellers Association Pick of the Lists, International Reading Association Teachers’ Choice, New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, and Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People Award.

Her series on writers was awarded School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, International Reading Association Teachers’ Choice, and American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. Hewitt also won the Association of American Publishers award in Excellence in Design for the J. P. Getty Museum publication “Marguerite Makes a Book.”

LATTIMORE enjoys creating picture books that take young people on amazing journeys back through time. Her works re-tell myths and fairytales from ancient civilizations. Her titles include “The Winged Cat: And Other Tales of Ancient Civilizations,” “Arabian Nights: Three Tales,” and “The Sailor Who Captured the Sea: And Other Celtic Tales.” Both presenters will have some of their books available for sale.

If you have a kid lit work-in-progress, bring it to the seminar for an interactive discussion on how to hone it for your target audience. Due to time constraints, not all works-in-progress may be critiqued.