by Angela Ackerman
Seeing as this blog is exclusively for YA & Kid Lit Writers, here’s some of the goodies I’ve found that might be useful to writers for this age group! Ready? Set? GO!
Tough Issues For Teens: This is a great collection of specific ‘tough issue’ themes. It lists books that fall under a specific category (Parental Neglect, Abuse, School Violence, Eating Disorders, etc). The list itself is older (2006) however, the categories are hugely valuable to anyone wanting to write an issue book for this audience and needs a starting point on what else is out there.
Dear Abby...For Kids: Want to know the real day-to-day problems kids face? This blog invites kids to write in and ask advice from Alyssa, a 3rd grade girl. (Note: the blog has not been updated since 2011, but still is a great source of ideas!)
Literature Map: I found this on a teaching site. Teachers use this tool to find books similar to ones their students enjoyed. You type in the name of an author and it creates a tree cloud of other authors who write similar books. The closer the author’s name to your search, the better chance their style of books will be alike. A good resource if you’re looking for “authors like X.” AND PSST! Teachers use this to recommend books to students, remember? If you are an author, make sure YOUR NAME is searchable on the list!
Word Count Sweet Spots: Is my book too long? Too short? As writers, we obsess over word count. Agent Jennifer Laughran (@literaticat) gives ‘target’ Word Counts for many different kid lit and YA age groups.
Character Scrapbook: Are you a visual sort? This is a neat classroom tool for teaching kids to think more in depth about their characters, but there’s no reason why us Kit Lit folk can’t use it too!
2012 Conferences (Agents & Editors): Looking to stalk, pitch to in a bathroom, trap in an elevator, er, hang out with your favorite editor or agent? Here’s 2012’s list of Editors and Agents, and where they will be throughout the year (header link for agents). The list is not 100% complete, but it’s a great start!
Renaissance Learning Word Count/Reading Level Tool: The perennial favorite of writers. Search for a book like yours and see how long it is, and the reading level. What could be better?
Children’s Magazine Listing: Write content aimed at Children’s Magazines? Here’s an alphabetized list of Magazine Publishers to check out.
YA Query List: Boarding the Query Bus? Here’s 200 Agencies to get you started.
Google+ List of Writing Folks: Looking to network? Here’s a great lists of different writerly & bookish types to get you started. And...we all know how difficult it is to reach our direct market of underage readers. However, there are gatekeepers! You’ll find Teachers and Librarians on the list who you might want to start hanging out with. :)
I hope these links help. Happy exploring!