Kids books come of age: Editor's Note, June 2002
Published: April 18, 2002
|Children's literature has become one of the most popular genres for writers. Founded in 1971, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators now has 17,000 members worldwide, up from 15,000 two years ago, according to Stephen Mooser, editor of the SCBWI Bulletin.|
He expects about 700 writers who want to learn more about the field will attend the organization's national conference, Aug. 2-5 in Los Angeles.
One reason for the growing interest is the expanding market, according to Connie Epstein, who writes a column on publishing for the Bulletin. Once relegated to school and public library sales, children's books are now highly visible in bookstores thanks, in part, to bestsellers such as the Harry Potter series.
"The age ranges for children's books seem to be expanding both up and down," Epstein says. "More books are being published at infant levels, often interacting with toy elements." On the other end of the age spectrum, the demand for young adult literature (for readers age 14 and older), often with controversial themes, is strong.
"There are more children's books being published, but the competition remains stiff, and only the best and freshest well-written and illustrated manu-scripts succeed," says Mooser.
We hope this month's special section, "Writing for youngsters," will give you a leg up in the field. You'll find the articles packed with information, ideas and tips for polishing, finishing and publishing your work.
If you follow Shirley Raye Redmond's six-week plan (page 44), you may not have to wait years to get published. She outlines the step-by-step process she used to finish six manuscripts, all of which were subsequently published.
Novelist Sam McCarver shows children's writers how to use the same techniques their favorite authors of adult fiction and nonfiction use in "Common Ground" (page 38). Veteran children's writer Staton Rabin offers tips on writing about science for children (page 34), and Beverly J. Letchworth reports on some of the best magazine markets for children's stories (page 57).
In addition to our special section, this issue includes more markets and articles to help you improve your prose, use the Internet and enhance your freelance business. For inspiration, read Madeleine L'Engle's and Lois Lowry's insightful advice on writing and the writing life.
We are excited to introduce Moira Allen as our new Net//working columnist and contributing editor. She offers the latest information for writers on how to use and benefit from the Internet. Allen's Dispatches, New Markets and features have appeared frequently in The Writer. She is the founder of the popular Web site Writing World (www.writing-world.com) and author of The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches & Proposals.