No matter what form of publishing writers strive for (traditional, self-publishing or hybrid) or what genre or age group you write for, you need to learn the craft of writing. This can be achieved through college and graduate level courses on writing and studying children's literature.
But that is not practical advice for many writers. Many writers, I dare say most writers, take online writing workshops, local writing courses at their community college, attend writers' conferences, read writer blogs and/or read books on craft.
I also suggest joining twitter. There is an active writing community and it's a good source for locating writing workshops. Use the hashtags #WritingCommunity, #WritingConferences #WritingWorkshops #WritingClasses
Don't forget your local bookstores. Read their community calendar, not only do they post upcoming book signings, they host writer's groups, book clubs, etc. If you're looking for a critique partner or group, finding one through a bookstore writing group is a possibility. If your local bookstore isn't offering a writer's group, ask about starting one.
Spend time at the library reading, especially if you are interested in writing board books, picture books, easy readers or early chapter books. I still recommend reading craft books on picture books so you know what to pay attention to while studying the younger formats.
By reading books on craft, in addition to learning the different elements of writing (viewpoint, plot, chapter structure, etc.) you’ll be able to study picture books and novels with a critical eye.
My favorite craft books for novel writing are listed below:
SAVE THE CAT! WRITES A NOVEL By Jessica Brody
WRITING IRRESISTIBLE KIDLIT by Mary Kole
STORY GENIUS by Lisa Cron
DIALOGUE by Gloria Kempton
PLOT & STRUCTURE by James Scott Bell
CHARACTERS, EMOTION & VIEWPOINT by Nancy Kress
DESCRIPTION & SETTING by Ron Rozelle
SECOND SIGHT by Cheryl B. Klein
WRITING PICTURE BOOKS by Ann Whitford Paul
SECOND SIGHT by Cheryl B. Klein. (Cheryl uses a clever device to explain and demonstrate how to write a picture book.)
My last reference book is THE FIRST FIVE PAGES by Noah Lukeman. This book lists the pitfalls and common mistakes on your first five pages. It’s important to note that whatever mistakes you made on your first five pages, you probably made throughout your manuscript.
Remember, writing is an apprentice program. You learn by doing. Read and write often.
Remember, writing is an apprentice program. You learn by doing. Read and write often.With patience, dedication, hard work and perseverance, you can become a writer and a published author.