Posts Tagged: Classes on writing for children

Writing Workshops for Children’s Writers

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

chalk drawing of children

The Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference has opportunities for all writers, and this year we have the most offerings for children’s writers we’ve ever had! Mentoring clinics are available at the Pre-conference Next Level Clinic (April 5-7). During the main conference (April 7-11), we have a Major Morning Track and Afternoon Workshops geared especially for authors who write for children. Check out these exciting options:

Pre-conference Next Level Clinics
The Pre-conference Next Level Clinic is an opportunity for writers to go to the next level in their writing journey. Crystal Bowman will be leading the clinic on “Take Your Children’s Writing to the Next Level.” She offers personalized mentoring for writers of board books, picture books, and readers ages birth to 10. (Additional fee. Application deadline has been extended to March 27.)

Major Morning Track
Mona Hodgson will be teaching a continuing session on “The Art and Exercise of Writing for Children.” This interactive course provides an overview of writing for children from birth to age 12. Come learn about age group divisions, fiction and nonfiction formats for books and magazines, the skill of writing for children, and much more. Receive marketing information too.

Afternoon Workshops

Christine Tangvald
Writing and Formatting Picture Books
Age Groups. Word Counts. Formats. Picture books. Board Books. Die Cuts. Novelty Books. Secrets. Come join our picture Book Adventure as we hop, skip, and jump through dozens of facts you must know to write in this delightful but difficult genre.  I’ll share a few secrets I’ve picked up to hopefully help you jump up into the top 20% of consideration.  I’ll also bring a ton of handouts.  And maybe we can actually brainstorm a picture book in class … together.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  See you there!

Catherine DeVries
The Top 5 Categories for Christian Children’s Books
Go beyond your great book idea to a deeper understanding of the Christian children’s publishing industry. How do book sales break out by category? What are the most popular books? What are the least popular? Discover where the growth opportunities are, as well as watch outs and risks. And learn about another opportunity to get published without landing a book contract.

Tim Shoemaker 
Reaching Boys through Fiction
This is about writing for a tough market … but one of the most rewarding. Learn why it’s smart to target boys with your writing—and the secrets to doing it well. We’ll show you the ten “gotta haves” when writing for boys and the ten “kisses of death.”

Sarah Rubio 
Secrets to Writing a Great Book Proposal
How many times have you had your proposal completely ignored or sent back to you with a polite “no thank you” letter? Publishers are looking for proposals that are well crafted, engaging, and make a promise that a reader can’t resist. Come learn how to create the kind of proposal that will invite publishers to ask for more.

Crystal Bowman
Writing for Beginning Readers
Writing for beginning readers is challenging! A writer needs to know the guidelines and formulas before tackling this genre. In this session, we will discuss the specific structure and techniques used to write an engaging story with limited vocabulary, short sentences, and dialogue.

In addition to these great learning opportunities, the 2017 Mount Hermon writers conference will have agents and publishers who work with children’s authors:

  • MacKenzie Howard, editorial director of the gift and children’s areas of Thomas Nelson, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing
  • Catherine DeVries, publisher of children’s resources at David C. Cook
  • Courtney Lasater, editor at Keys for Kids Ministries (formerly Children’s Bible Hour)
  • Sarah Rubio, editor of children’s books at Tyndale House Publishers

Check the website for more information.


There’s Never Been A Better Time to Write for Kids!

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.


Children’s Author

Serving on the Critique Team, March 2016; Teaching an Afternoon Workshop


There’s Never Been a Better Time to Write for Kids!

I stared out at the crowd of a hundred or so kids at VBS.

Should I ask the question or not?

I was afraid, a little, because I’m a writer. But I was curious, a lot, because I’m a writer.

“How many of you like to read?”

To my surprise, three-quarters of the hands shot up. Half of them belonged to the boys.


My fingers fumbled with the zipper on my purse as the young couple in front of me talked about the joys and struggles of raising three girls.

Be bold. Ask them.

“What’s the age of your oldest?”

“She’s ten.”

“Does she like to read?”

Their eyes widened. “She loves it.”

“Then I’d like to give her a gift, if you don’t mind.” I pulled a book out of my purse, signed it, and handed it to them.

“You’re a writer?” They both teared up a little. “Thank you so much. We just visited our daughter at summer camp, and she’s struggling to fit in with girls her age. We know this will encourage her.”


I noticed an alert from a parent on my author Facebook page.

Go ahead. Click on it.

“My OH so picky reader LOVES your books! Thanks for following Jesus.”


There’s never been a better time to write for kids.


“I’ve thought about writing for kids,” you might say. “But… (Fill in your best ‘but’ here.)”

Hmmm. Sounds like you need encouragement. I have some for you.

The Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference in 2016 is shaping up to be one of the best years yet for training, inspiring, and discovering children’s writers!

Check out who’s on this year’s faculty:

Children’s Authors:

  • Mona Hodgson (She’s the conference director but has written many books for kids—one that is currently my granddaughter’s favorite)
  • Christine Tangvald (A picture book genius and the inventor of enthusiasm)
  • Tim Shoemaker (I love his intense Code of Silence series.)
  • Nancy Rue (I’ll finally get her to sign all my Faithgirlz books!)
  • Crystal Bowman (She’s an expert at loving the littlest readers with her many picture books and Bible stories)
  • Me (I’ll be teaching a workshop and hanging out at the critique table. Please come and get a “Hey, you’re a children’s writer!” knuckle bump and some M&Ms.)

Children’s Editors:

This list is amazing! And it doesn’t even include all the super-talented writers for kids who plan to attend the conference.

I hope you will be one of them.

Why? Because kids really do like to read these days—even the boys. They’re also struggling to grow up godly in a culture that is fighting against them at every turn. Parents are hoping and praying and searching for quality materials for their children to read. And you, my friend, are a writer.

Sounds like the best time ever to write for kids.

See you at Mt. Hermon!