On writing books for children

Writing for adults means … well, writing for adults. But writing for children covers a whole gamut of story types.

You can specialise in any or all:

  • Picture books for both littlies and biggies
  • Chapter books for developing readers
  • Junior fiction for mid-grade or upper primary readers
  • Adolescent or Young Adult readers (Off topic question… why is YA given capitals but junior fiction isn’t?)
  • Graphic novels

I love writing for young readersย – not just because (imo) it’s the most vibrant area of writing in this country, (I think it’s safe to say I won’t be shot down for voicing my opinion), but because it’s a fascinating world of publishing to be involved in. Australia has a great community of children’s and YA writers, illustrators, publishers, agents and readers – all are deeply committed to producing the very best books possible.

There are also those who love the industry by producing blog sites that highlight, promote and supporte Australian children’s books and their authors, people like:

  • Dee White, (author, blog writer extraordinaire, and friend) with her site offering writing help and her Kids’ Book Capers on the Boomerang Books’ blog
  • Susan Stephenson’s fabulous site, The Book Chook – blogging about kids’ literature and literacy.

There are heaps more.

I’m a guest blogger on the Kids’ Book Review site today with a guest blog talking about how to write Chapter Books (also known as Readers) for kids. It’s a most rewarding genre to write in – “On Writing the Perfectly Balanced Reader” Clink on the link to read it.


Also celebrating the release of my new chapter book, Charlie and the Red Hot Chilli Pepper.


14 thoughts on “On writing books for children

  1. Congratulations Sheryl.
    Two books out within a month of each other. What a feat.!
    I wish you every success for both of your new books. Will you be having a launch for Charlie and the Red Hot chillie Pepper?… Karen :))


  2. Vicki, that’s a good point. And there certainly are enough children’s books in various genres to warrant their own genre titles.


  3. We all belong to a wonderful and supportive community – the kidlit people! Any time I feel like giving up, I know there are so many other writers out there who have been there, and who will coach me through, with caring words and humour. Children’s writers are extra special, to me, because they encourage kids to keep dreaming – and the world needs dreams!


  4. Sheryl – we LOVE having you on Kids Book Review and we hope you come back again and post some more!

    The children’s and YA writing and publishing community is very dear to both Megan and I, and part of the joy in supporting literary talent (other than our deep love of books!) is in the wonderful people we consistently meet and share our passion with. It’s a real joy. x


  5. So true, Vicki. Writing for young people encompasses every genre of writing – from horror, paranormal, humour, thriller, fantasy, realism, romance, coming-of-age, short stories, poetry and the list goes on. Then you have to add all their age levels, maturity and interests as well. Makes me breathless thinking about the opportunites out there for writers. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. It’s always seemed odd to me that children’s fiction is considered a genre but adult fiction is not. On top of the different formats that Sheryl lists there are also all the different styles of stories written fro children. Mysteries written for adults area genre but in kids books all the genres are lumped together under the umbrella of children’s. Why is this?


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