Kid Lit: More than the ABCs of Writing for Children

Kid Lit: More than the ABCs of Writing for Children

Monday, May 19, 2008

Journey through the exciting world of writing children’s literature and getting it published with a distinguished group of seven children’s book authors. Panelists will discuss developing characters, back stories, weaving compelling plots and story lines, use of age-specific language, and other tools Kid Lit writers need and what publishers are looking for.

The Panelists:

SONYA SONES’s first book “Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy” won a Christopher Award, the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Sones’s third book “One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies” (Simon and Schuster, 2004) was chosen a Best Book and a Quick Pick. It was voted Best Book of the Year by teens from Rhode Island, Tennessee, Iowa and New Hampshire. It received a Cuffie Award from Publisher’s Weekly for the Best Book Title of 2004. The American Library Association voted it a Popular Paperback.

Her latest book “What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know” was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Romance of 2007. Her website is

LISA DUNN-DERN is a children’s lifestyle expert, writer, author, and television and radio personality. Her two books are “Dr. Duncan Dog on Duty!” and “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.” For Ethiopian Television (ETV), she produces and hosts “The Lisa and Winston Show,” a series of educational spots where she and her bird-puppet sidekick, Winston teach Ethiopian children about letters, numbers, and the planets in the solar system. In addition, she and her teenage daughter co-host an Internet radio show. The show is in its second season. Her website is

MICHELLE MARKEL has penned “Gracias, Rosa” (nonfiction); “Cornhusk, Silk and Wishbones: A book of Dolls from Around the World” (nonfiction); “Dream Town” (creative non-fiction); and “Dreamer from the Village: The Story of Marc Chagall” (biography). Her book on Chagall was a 2005 New York Public Library Best Title for Reading and Sharing and was recognized as a 2006 Notable Children’s Book of Jewish Content from the Association of Jewish Librarians. Her website is

ANN WHITFORD PAUL has written nearly a score of books including “Little Monkey Says Good Night” and “All by Herself: 14 Girls Who Made a Difference.” It took Paul five years of submitting 18 different stories a total of 180 times before she made her first sale.

Her second book “Eight Hands Round: A Patchwork Alphabet” was distinguished as one of the outstanding social studies books of 1991 and was selected as a New York Times Notable Children’s Book.. Several of Paul’s books have won awards including “Shadows Are About” (Outstanding Science Trade Book Citation) and “The Seasons Sewn” (Carl Sandburg Award for Children’s Literature, and The New York Times Best Illustrated Books selection). Her website is

APRIL HALPRIN WAYLAND has written several award-winning books including “Girls Coming in for a Landing: A Novel in Poems.” It won the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry, the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California Award, and was named a Lee Bennett Hopkins Honor Book for Children’s Poetry. The book is also a Junior Library Guild Selection, made the American Library Association’s Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers list and was nominated as ALA’s Best Book of the Year for Young Adults.
Her website is

GRETCHEN WOELFLE’s books include “Katje the Windmill Cat” (picture book), “The Wind at Work: An Activity Guide to Windmills” (nonfiction book, which won the Children’s Literature Top Choice List of 1998), “Jeanette Rankin: Political Pioneer”(biography); “Stories from Where We Live” (literary anthology series), and “Animal Families, Animal Friends.” Her website is

BARNEY SALTZBERG is an award-winning writer and songwriter whose books for very young children include “Crazy Hair Day,” “The Soccer Mom From Outer Space” (Parents Choice Award), and “Mrs. Morgan’s Lawn.” He is a composer and performer of music for children whose compositions have been featured on several children TV programs, including “Arthur.” His website is

ANNE MOSBERGEN writes promotional materials and manages presentations for businesses. Previously, she was a manager of employee communications at Ticor, a real estate and financial services corporation, and a sales communication manager at Nestle. She is an IWOSC Board member, part of its Professional Development Committee and organized the May slate of programs. She also serves as the IWOSC Jobline Coordinator.