I have two questions related to an article I read recently. The article, which can be found at www.write4kids.com/nonceleb.pdf, suggested that new children's book writers spend time getting published in "magazines, e-zines, websites, community parenting publications..." in order to build credits that will "speak to my professionalism". Let me illuminate my background a bit before detailing my questions.1. No. It's better than "my grandchildren love my stories," but not a lot better. A magazine editor has to find material that is not just better than the average free sermon-- she has to find material that people want to PAY for. That's what your credentials are supposed to bring across: a history of creating work that people will pay for, on the deadlines of the people who publish such work.
My writing experience thus far comes from my profession as a full-time Youth Director. I have written an article for our church newsletter every month for the last four and a half years. I also write and deliver sermons four to five times a year. I have consistently received rave reviews over my writing, have often heard that people forward my articles/sermons on to others and have been told countless times that I am able to make complicated theological matters understandable (and enjoyable!) to the very young. I often write in allegories or use everyday objects or situations to explain difficult concepts. It is my community's passionate reaction to my writing style accompanied by my love of learning and children's literature which has prompted me to research the idea of writing books for children.
That background having been established, my two questions are as follows: One, would my writing experience thus far equate to the credit building that the article mentioned above recommends? And two, if it does not, how does one write children's stories for magazines, e-zines, newsletters etc. effectively without even an illustrator?
2. Well, how would you write a children's story for a book without an illustrator? If you do not know the answer to this question, I would strongly suggest that you do not know how to write a picture book yet. Please find your local SCBWI and take some classes.