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Writing children's books.

Discussion in 'Book club' started by MrsKK, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. MrsKK

    MrsKK New commenter

    Has anyone on here ever tried to write a children's book? ...Or to find an agent, or get published? It's something I've been considering for a while, but I keep thinking how unlikely it is that anything like that could happen for me. Apparently, agents get thousands of submissions every week and very rarely see anything they like. Does anyone have any experiences to share regarding this?

  2. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    Yes, I have a cupboard full of rejected manuscripts for children's books (well, four). Got close on a couple of occasions, rejected by the casting vote of an editor once. Ho hum.
    For me the key is to write 'cos I enjoy doing it. If I get published, a big bonus. If not, well, as I said above, 'Ho hum.'
    A lot of publishing houses (and agents!) won't take unsolicited manuscripts anymore. Get an up-to-date copy of the 'Writer's Handbook' as it says which do and which don't. There's an issue out every year so get the latest one.
    I sort of lost a bit of enthusiasm for the genre when I moved to Spain a
    few years ago, decided to try the 'year-in-the-life-of-an-expat-teacher'
    instead. I teach in an 'immersion' school (Spanish children, we teach in English. I've got six and seven year-olds, so you might get an idea of the 'issues' I confront). Really enjoying it 'cos there's so much raw-material, it's a completely different style of writing, not having to 'make it up'. Quite liberating, actually.
    The manuscript is with an editor at the moment for possible publication as an ebook, with paper-publication to follow if sales are good, so, watch this space...
    I also blog on life as an expat teacher in Spain, although that's a bit different from the 'book', the blog showcases some of my photos and gives some more factual bits of info depending on what happens here. The book is a full, chronological 'year-in-the-life' tale, starting from the day I arrived. It's also (meant to be) mildly 'funny', whereas the blog is a bit 'straighter' and more eclectic. Blogging's a good way to hone stuff and build a body of work, although I wrote the book before I started blogging. The blog address is in my profile if you're interested.
    So, go for it! If you enjoy writing, what's there to lose?
    Good luck!
  3. MrsKK

    MrsKK New commenter

    Thank you for replying Jeremy. I've managed to find the websites of some agents who are accepting submissions, so I will give it a go. I do enjoy writing and I suppose if I never get anywhere with it, it's still a great form of escapism. Good luck with your venture!
  4. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    Same to you. I like the analogy with people who paint as a hobby. (I think I read it in a David Lodge book but can't be sure.) They don't have to have a picture hanging in a gallery, or even to have sold one, for it to be a 'legitimate' hobby. If you say you paint, people will probably ask to see some of your pictures. But it seems to be slightly different for people who write. If you say you write, people will probably ask if you've had something published.
    So, I write because I enjoy it. I do send stuff to publishers because it would be nice to get paid, but I won't stop because I don't get anything published. I'll stop when I'm not enjoying it anymore.
    So what will I do if I get something published then find that I don't enjoy writing anymore? Life's rarely simple.
    Write on!
  5. The manuscript is with an editor at the moment for possible publication as an ebook, with paper-publication to follow if sales are good, so, watch this space...
  6. MrsKK

    MrsKK New commenter

    [​IMG]Well done you! Glad to hear it's working for some people. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Keep us posted...
  7. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    Hi again,
    thought I'd update you with the news that Zen Kyu Maestro: An English Teacher's Spanish Adventure has finally been published by Monday Books as an eBook.
    Any progress with your writing?
    Good luck.
    Jeremy Dean

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