Here are Jackie Hosking’s recommendations for beginning writers – particularly those interested in writing for children. The list was compiled with the assistance of Pass It On subscribers.
1. The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. Maass gives many examples of each technique he addresses then finishes each chapter with a number of exercises. Not aimed at children’s writers but applicable to chapter books.
2. Mem Fox’s website talks about creating picture books.
3. On Writing Books for Children by Jenny Wagner, published by Allen & Unwin.
4. Professional organizations such as: the Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), Australian Society of Authors (ASA), The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA), Local Writers’ Centres. There’s a list on Jackie’s blog of these types of organisations, under ‘Useful Links’.
5. Richard Harland has put together a website of writing tips – also available as downloadable PDF. (I notice that he’s got some tips specific to writing steampunk fiction.)
6. Lightning Bug website.
7. Hazel Edwards’ website has lots of useful information for new writers.
8. Jill McDougall has a terrific e-book that can be downloaded from her website called Become a Children’s Writer.
9. Andrea Shavick has also written a book called Get your picture book published – there’s a link on Jackie’s blog to it.
10. Nancy I. Sanders’ award-winning book, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, published in 2009 by E & E Publishing.
11. Rachel Burk’s blog has 27 different categories of writing info listed, with new stuff added all the time.
12. Writing for children by Pamela Cleaver.
13. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.
14. How to Become a Children’s Writer by Bren MacDibble, published by Australian Associated Publishing House, ISBN 0-9758004-4-2.
16. As well as being an annual publication, The Australian Writers’ Marketplace is online.
17. Open Office is free and good alternative to Microsoft Office; it has an inbuilt PDF creation feature.
18. Aviary is a desktop publishing program which is now free . It’s a good alternative to InDesign and Quark Xpress if you also illustrate your work.
19. John Marsden’s book, Everything I know about writing
20. Tom Chiarella’s Writing dialogue
21. Tracey Dils’ You can write children’s books
22. Jean Karl’s How to write and sell children’s picture books
23. Joan Aiken’s The way to write for children.
24. Hazel Edwards’ The business of writing for young people.
25. Celia Warren’s How to write stories.