Thursday, 22 December 2011
Ask Keren...(part one)
Hello! Yes, I remember Jason and Mason well, especially when Mason bit...but never mind. Glad to try and help. Here are my orders....I mean, advice...
1) Check out this website. It is by Nicola Morgan,a children's writer who has been writing for much longer than I have and knows infinitely more about the subject. In fact why don't you...never mind...She has loads and loads of excellent advice about all aspects of writing for publication. There is also a book Write to be Published which is a fascinating and very useful read - basically the same stuff that's on the blog, but easier to navigate. Nicola knows it all. Another excellent website to read is Notes from the Slushpile. (Did I read these blogs before writing to agents, one day after finishing my first draft and without a title for the book? No, I was too impatient to do any research.)
2) Join the Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators Attend its annual conference which is in Winchester, mid November. There you will meet agents and editors, writers and artists and you can attend masterclasses and workshops on all aspects of writing for children. Even if you can't go to conference SCWBI holds regular events, masterclasses and the like, an agents' party in September and, every year publishes the Undiscovered Voices, an anthology which is compiled from a competition among un-agented writers. Being long or short-listed for UV is generally a fast track to being agented and published, and in several cases UV writers have gone on to win awards. (Did I join SCWBI and enter UV before looking for an agent? No, I thought I'd wait until I had a publishing deal because then the membership would be cheaper).
3) Start researching agents. Which children's authors do you like, and who represents them? Which writers have a similar style to you, and who represents them? Do you want an agent who will be very business-oriented, or one who is keen to be involved in giving you edtorial feedback? It's worth thinking about all of this before you approach people.