Writing for Children

OWFI January Virtual Workshop Transcript
January 31, 2019


Linda Apple [7:00 PM]
Ok! It is time to get this fabulous time started!

Meg has over one hundred articles in print, including interviews with Kirk Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. She has won contests for her short stories and poetry, along with two Mom's Choice Awards and a Bronze Moonbeam Children's Book Award for her best-selling "Cats in the Mirror" alien rescue cat middle grade book series. "Bianca: The Brave Frail and Delicate Princess" was honored as Best Juvenile Book of 2018 by the Oklahoma Writers' Federation.

Meg holds a master's degree in Early Childhood Education and has been a certified teacher in three states. She is now retired from teaching and enjoys creating stories for children and adults. Along with her full-time writing career, Meg is an editor/proofreader with Pen-L Publishing and does editing work for independent and self-publishing authors.

This gal is impressive and I’m happy to call her my friend. Now I’m ready to absorb some of her genius, how about y’all? (Yes, I’m deeply southern…)

Ok Meg! It is all yours!

Meg Dendler [7:01 PM]
Hello, Writing Friends! It’s so wonderful to be here with you tonight. I have some specific things prepared for the first chunk of our time, but I hope the last portion can be mostly Q&A so we are sure to hit on what your specific concerns and interests are. I’ll be throwing a lot at you, but we will catch up and do some question time between sections.

Jan Vanek [7:01 PM]
Checking in!

Meg Dendler [7:01 PM]
So it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, I want to make sure everyone is aware of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. www.scbwi.org. They are the #1 source for information, staying in tune with the market, and fantastic conferences both nationally, regionally, statewide, and locally. Oklahoma has a very active group. SCBWI is the best and biggest and anyone who is anyone in children’s book writing or publishing is involved with them.

Okay. Here we go. “Kidlit” or books written specifically for children encompasses a HUGE range of ages and levels of interest and maturity. Just so we are all on the same page for the next hour, here are the basic levels or groupings of kidlit and what they mean.

Picture Books. Picture books are something we are all familiar with. They are for children from birth to about age five or six and are used for reading aloud to a child. This includes board books like “Pat the Bunny” and magnificently illustrated books like “King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub.” The trends for publishing in this age range vary greatly over the years. Currently, 500-750 words in the max most publishers will look at. No lengthy fairy tales with glorious illustrations. They are totally out of style right now. Short, sweet, cute, to the point is the current trend. That doesn’t parents won’t buy other styles, that is just what publishers are looking for today.

You do not have to do your own illustrations to publish a picture book, and frankly, unless you are highly talented, I wouldn’t recommend it. If a publisher likes your story idea, they will match you with one of their illustrators. This is considered one of the most difficult areas to be traditionally published because everyone and their brother has a picture book to pitch. I have three I’m currently sending out queries for. It’s a rough market and highly saturated.

It’s also tricky to self-publish a picture book because of the technical aspects of getting it right. I know some of you on here tonight can attest to this. Not impossible, just tricky.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on picture books tonight because it is really a whole species unto itself. Groups like SCBWI offer whole weekend conferences just on picture book writing. If you want to delve into this age group, Highlights Foundation does lots of workshops to support picture book writers and are considered to be excellent. https://www.highlightsfoundation.org/

Workshops for Children's Authors & Illustrators | Highlights Foundation

Intimate & inspiring workshops to help children's authors and illustrators hone their craft

Early Readers. These are books like the “Biscuit” series or what used to be “Dick and Jane” books. The age group of these early readers is five through about seven or kindergarten to second grade. They are short and sweet and filled with sight words that children just learning to read are mastering. Early readers often come in difficulty levels so kids can work their way from Level 1 to Level 5 or whatever. Understandably, these are pretty boring to write. The text is super simple and there is often not much real story. Biscuit gets a bath, or Biscuit rides in the car. It stays simple. Most early reader books are published through companies that create them for the elementary school market. It’s not usually the kind of thing you write and sell to a traditional publisher. Dr. Seuss books would fall into this category as well, though some of his have a definite story. Think more “Hop on Pop.”

Chapter Books. These are full-on chapter books for young, new readers (often limited to age seven or eight/first or second grade only), but the text is still fairly simple, chapters short, lots of pictures, and often a repeating theme. A perfect example of this is the “Magic Tree House” series. Mary Pope Osborne has mastered the craft of early chapter books. A quick Amazon search shows that she is up to #53 in her series, not including all the non-fiction companion books and other support books with the series.

These books have full and complete stories, but they usually don’t run more than 5,000-10,000 words. Kids in this age group can be easily overwhelmed or discouraged, so the goal is to give them real chapter books they can read and feel successful about. In some sense, this is a very limiting category because these readers move on quickly to harder books as they become better readers, but if you get them at this stage, like with the “Magic Tree House” books, they may stay with you even once they can read harder books. There is not a huge market for new books in this area because of the limited readers it covers, and it can be tricky to break into.

Middle Grade. Now we get into what is a bit more fun as a writer. Middle grade mostly involves ages eight through about thirteen, but I love to read MG books. The stories are usually creative and delightful, and they move along and get to the point without bogging down in purple prose and nonsense. My Cats in the Mirror series and “Bianca” are all middle grade books, so this group is sort of my specialty. It is also the age of kids I worked with as a teacher, which is certainly not a coincidence.

Generally speaking, middle grade books run from 20,000-40,000 words, though sometimes they are longer. Again, you want it to look manageable in size and not be super long. Vocabulary can be more developed here, but you have to watch carefully for too many unknown or unfamiliar words. Children are often taught the five finger rule. If they read a page and don’t know five words on the page they should put the book down. We never want them to put our book down!

Books in this group are full and complete novels, with all the expectations of adult fiction—you just have to get there quicker and more directly. Think “Charlotte’s Web” or “Shiloh” or “James and the Giant Peach.” One of my recent favorites is “A Snicker of Magic.” Natalie Lloyd is a genius at bringing the delight of how a young mind thinks into her books.

Middle grade books tend to be fanciful and magical and silly, but all genres are represented. Obviously there would be not sex or swearing, unless you get creative and go with phrases or words that are not really “bad words” but are used that way. Assume your reader is younger than 13 and write accordingly.

Young Adult. This last group starts around twelve or thirteen and technically ends at eighteen, but many, many, many adults read YA books. Word counts here can vary greatly, but 40,000 is probably a good minimum length.

Subject matter tends to take a dramatic shift here, though there are as many genre of YA books as there are of adult books. Some are quirky and delightful and silly, while others are quite dark and handle very mature subject matter. “Twilight” is considered a YA book, as is the “Hunger Games” series. I recently finished “Children of Blood and Bone,” and it was quite dark.

There is a subcategory here of MG/YA or “Young YA,” where topics stay lighter and more innocent, and separate it from more serious, violent, sex-filled, or darker YA. Children from thirteen to eighteen involves a ridiculous amount of variety in maturity and experience, and there is a wide range of writing to cover it all.

The YA market is HUGE, probably because the readership extends into adult readers as well. Currently, dystopia and fantasy lead the pack, though there is always romance in there as well. “Turtles All The Way Down” by John Green (the consistent best seller of this category) is one of my recent favorites.

So those are our basic age groupings were are looking at for kitlit. Whew! Take a second to catch your breath. Does anyone have a question specifically about this part? Just the groupings and age ranges.

Linda Apple [7:06 PM]
questions anyone?
guess not. Go ahead Meg

Meg Dendler [7:07 PM]
I can give them a second or two more, just in case.

Clearly, I'm not typing live, though I already caught a typo. :joy:

Linda Apple [7:07 PM]
Ha! Makes me feel better!

Meg Dendler [7:08 PM]
We can always come back to this later on.

Alright. Moving on. So, quite obviously, good writing is good writing. All the same rules apply to writing for a young audience as apply to writing for adults. One of the complicated aspects is that you have to accomplish basically a full novel in half the word count, or less. My MG books run between 24,000-35,000 words. That’s what you get to introduce your characters, set the stage, have drama, get your character up a tree, throw rocks at them, have a fabulous solution, and wrap it up with a bow. You know, tell the whole story.

As with any good writing, there are some rules. Writers like to joke about what those rules are and how to break them effectively. However, when writing specifically for kids there are a few hard and fast rules that should only be broken at your peril. In no particular order:

Rule 1: The main character in your story is going to be roughly the age of the children you have written it for. Even with something like the early reader “Biscuit” books, the puppy is roughly the age of the kids learning to read the books. A middle grade main character will be between eight and twelve. YA characters are teenagers. Etc. Sort through picture books at the store. Most of the characters are little children or animals. In my Cats in the Mirror MG series, the cats are all basically children (especially since in their alien world they live to be hundreds of years old) so the rule still holds. I did push this with “Bianca” being thirteen, so that book goes into the more MG/YA group, but I had to have her wandering in the forest without it being too weird that she was super young. In a sense, this makes it easier to be sure you are dealing with a topic someone in your age group would care about. The characters are the age of the reader, so they are experiencing things like someone that age would.

Rule 2: Adults are secondary characters. Some kidlit goes so far as to barely include them or not include them at all. Think Charlie Brown’s teacher. Wah wah wah wah wah. Now, it isn’t 100% necessary to totally exclude them. The kids can love their parents, and the parents can be great, but they are not the lead or the focus. Kids having to save parents or protect parents is often a theme.  Think “A Wrinkle in Time.” https://www.amazon.com/Wrinkle-Time-Quintet-Book-ebook/dp/B004OA64H0/

The parents don’t have to be idiots, despite what watching a few hours of Nick Jr. might show. They are just outside of things. Or sometimes they are the problem themselves. But they are more off to the side, never the focus.

Rule 3: Along the same lines as Rule 2, the main character must solve whatever the main problem of the story is BY THEMSELVES. Adults should not help at all. Usually, they get in the way, if anything. If an adult shares an idea that helps solve the problem, it should be unintentional. Avoid dripping words of wisdom that lead the child to make a good decision at all costs. The lesson or the resolution is the main character’s to gain on their own. Often the adults in the story know nothing about what the main character is going through. Totally oblivious, or as Will Smith told us, “Parents just don’t understand!” That’s why they are often killed off or missing. Easy ways to remove them. Kids rule in kidlit, and they must be the conquering hero on their own, or with another child or animal to help.

Rule 4: Especially if you are writing something scary or sad, there must be resolution by the end of the story. It should leave the reader feeling safe and like life can be handled and survived. Monsters should be vanquished or made friends with. Bad guys should 100% get what they have coming to them—“on screen” not off on the sidelines somewhere. Spell it out and let the child feel that victory. Don’t leave them depressed or scared. Children’s books can be heart-wrenching and quite scary sometimes. Just be sure the ending is happy. One exception to this maybe is YA, where the reader is older and better able to handle ambiguity. But still, don’t we all like to see the story resolved?

See “Walk Two Moons” by Sharon Creech (or most anything by her IMHO) https://www.amazon.com/Walk-Two-Moons-Sharon-Creech/dp/0064405176/ and “Bridge to Terabithia” for examples. https://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Terabithia-Katherine-Paterson/dp/0064401847/

Rule 5: Never preach. Never, never, never. If your goal is to get some moral or religious meaning across, you are really going to have to find a sideways, circuitous way to do it. Kids see that coming from a mile away and will shut you down (and shut your book). If there’s a lesson you want to impart, have it be what the main character learns through their own experience. And for heavens sake, don’t have an adult explain it to them. No! Parents might like to buy a book called “Lying is Bad,” but kids won’t much want to read it. Let your story have a moral, but don’t bang them over the head with it.

Rule 6: Purple prose has no place in kidlit. Kids might care in general about what the setting is or what the character looks like, but don’t waste a lot of words on it. Don’t bog down on what someone is wearing or how their hair flows in the breeze. Think about how a kid would see that moment, what they would care about, and then plop that down quickly and succinctly. Then move on. Think what that can do to the word count right off the bat!

Rule 7: Watch your vocabulary. You will often have to use five words instead of one perfect and fantastic word. The opposite of what you may have been taught. You can’t say that someone was “articulate” unless maybe you are writing YA. You may have to say, “He spoke so clearly even my dog could understand him.” Watch your vocabulary and idioms carefully. Would a kid the age of your reader know what it means? Be able to read it? If not, or if you aren’t sure, pick a new word or words.

Rule 8: Silliness often wins the reader. While there are many deep and philosophical kidlit books (the ones that win big awards), what I have seen kids themselves move toward most of the time are the silly and happy books. Or the weird and magical. Life is rough and busy and filled with ridiculous amounts of homework (yes, in elementary school), so they want to laugh and get a break from all of that. If you are not familiar with Pete the Cat or Captain Underpants, you should remedy this quickly.

There is nothing wrong with writing a story that is fun and silly and would make a child happy.

Rule 9: Write what you know. Or know what you write. If you are going to write about nine year olds, be darn sure you know what a nine-year-old kid has going on these days. Volunteer at a school if you can and spend time with kids. What are they worrying about? What are they interested in? If you have been around the sun a few thousand times like I have, things are significantly different for kids now than they were for you. Seriously and significantly different. Not like in another planet, like in another universe completely from what we grew up with. There’s a reason so many TV shows are set in the past. No cell phones or helicopter parents. It’s hard to get kids into a pickle when a parent is always hovering nearby. Get in touch with what kid life is like now.

Finally (at least for us tonight)

Rule 10: Continuing the “know what you write” (and making it an even 10 rules for use OCD types like me), read and read and read some more. Read books in the category that interests you so you can get a feel for what they are like, the rhythm and flow and style and lingo. Reading other authors is one of the best ways of studying the craft in action. Reading award winners is a good goal, as with adult books, but they aren’t always the ones that kids loved or enjoyed the most (as with adult award winners). Some of them, however, are just part of the conversation and you really, really should know about them. “The One and Only Ivan” is definitely a book like that. Read it. It will only take you an hour or so. Have tissues ready. Sniff. https://www.amazon.com/One-Only-Ivan-Katherine-Applegate-ebook/dp/B005DIB6GG/

Another of my recent favorites is “The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl” by Stacy McAnulty. https://www.amazon.com/Miscalculations-Lightning-Girl-Stacy-McAnulty-ebook/dp/B077M23JYR/

You can search and find tons of lists of “best of” books. Those are a good place to start getting your TBR pile going. Here’s one. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/best-childrens-books-of-2018/2018/11/14/

Okay. That’s the end of my spiel, at least for the moment. Questions time again. Let’s have that lead us into what we talk about next.

Linda Apple [7:16 PM]
My grands LOVE Captain Underpants.
Thoughts, comments, questions anyone?
Love the rules Meg

Meg Dendler [7:18 PM]
We are a very small group tonight, so maybe you'd like a share a book that was important to you as a child and why. I'll start. "A Wrinkle in Time" was my first WOW moment. I changed my name.

Linda Apple [7:18 PM]
Especially #7

Jan Vanek [7:18 PM]
Good rules and thanks for the links. I have some exploring to do!

Linda Apple [7:18 PM]
You changed your name?

Jan Vanek [7:19 PM]
You didn't recognize me?

Linda Apple [7:19 PM]
No, ha! Meg said she changed her name

Brent Beasley [7:20 PM]
what about families. I've got a story going that the kids are the main focus, but mom and dad are involved in the adventure

Linda Apple [7:20 PM]
Hi Brent! I'm glad you made it!

Meg Dendler [7:20 PM]
I'm Margaret but was called Mollie. Once I read the amazingness that is Meg in "Wrinkle" I announced I was changing it and it stuck. Brent, that can be tricky. How involved?

Brent Beasley [7:21 PM]
its a YA and there are a couple chapters that heavily involve the parents, with the two main characters who are middle school interact with them secondarily.

Meg Dendler [7:24 PM]
I guess use Disney movies as a guide, Brent. Think of the main character and where the parents are during most of the movie. If they aren't dead. I would even say especially for YA. The last thing teens want is their parents too involved. As long as the teen is leading the story, it could work, but the adults really have to stay out of the way or get in trouble and need saving. Think about the "Divergent" stories and books like that.

Brent Beasley [7:24 PM]

Linda Apple [7:24 PM]
good advice. Ok Meg, what's next?

Meg Dendler [7:26 PM]
Well, I was ready to be bombarded with questions! Is anyone besides Brent working on a story for young readers? Just give a quick yes/no.

Jan Vanek [7:26 PM]

Cary Herwig [7:26 PM]

Linda Apple [7:26 PM]

Staci Mauney [7:26 PM]

Shelley Pagach [7:26 PM]
Not at this time

Aleasha Shelnutt [7:27 PM]
Not actively, but I have some neglected ones

Cary Herwig [7:27 PM]

Linda Apple [7:27 PM]

Cary Herwig [7:28 PM]
I'm working on a YA horror.  Any special rules I might need to follow?

Meg Dendler [7:30 PM]
I've gotta say, you can pretty much go wild. Think of the movies that teenagers watch now. Yikes! You can be scary and nasty and even downright demented. I think they expect it. Blood. Guts. Just make sure evil gets it and gets it good in the end. I'm trying to think of current examples for you, but that's not what I like to read. Hit the library and ask the librarian what's out there so you can compare.

YA kids read Stephen King.

Cary Herwig [7:31 PM]
I've read several.  Thanks.

Linda Apple [7:32 PM]
Michael Dahl had good advice, but I packed my notes when we moved. :slightly_smiling_face: But I remember him saying to think about what really frightens kids, being abandoned or lost. And he said as Meg pointed out what he pointed out, make sure the bad guy gets it in the end.

Meg Dendler [7:35 PM]
Yes! He was a fantastic speaker. I think he was focusing more on the MG audience and being a bit more tender about scaring them, but the same end of story rules hold true. We want vengeance!! When my husband and I are watching a movie, we often say that we hope the bad guy dies horribly and are disappointed if he doesn't. The worse the villain, the worse the punishment. And this is another time to be sure the parents are not involved. Don't have the adults catch the bad guy and deal with him. It need to be the kids. Hopefully even those he has hurt or wronged.

Is anyone working on a picture book? I'm not saying we have to avoid them, since it seems like we have time we can expand some.

Linda Apple [7:36 PM]
I am!

My second. In this one I want to focus on problem solving.

Jan Vanek [7:37 PM]
I am, too. I'm even doing my own illustrations.

Linda Apple [7:37 PM]
Meeee toooo, ugh

Jan Vanek [7:37 PM]
Although now I'm not so sure I can call it a picture book.

Linda Apple [7:38 PM]
But working with an illustrator wasn't my best experience

Meg Dendler [7:38 PM]
Linda, the way you did it with self-publishing and hiring the illustrator on your own can get really complicated. I've attempted it and it's hard to be sure you will get what you want. And the cost can be extreme!

Linda Apple [7:39 PM]
I think what surprised me is that the pictures I paid for are still hers.

I can't make and sell anything using her pics except for my books.

Cary Herwig [7:40 PM]

Linda Apple [7:40 PM]

Meg Dendler [7:40 PM]
What I can assure you is that there is a large and eager market for picture books. When we do events, we often have people stop at my table because they see covers that are clearly for children. Then they make it clear that they want books for younger readers. My husband is nagging me to figure out the publishing of the picture books I have in the works so we meet that need next time. It's so complicated.

Cary Herwig [7:40 PM]
Her work wasn't "work for hire?"

Linda Apple [7:41 PM]
Yes! But she wanted me to sign a contract that the pics were solely for the book.

Cary Herwig [7:41 PM]
Have to keep that in mind.

Jan Vanek [7:42 PM]
Meg, I have a few links I've found that have helped with publishing picture books. I can send to you later.

Linda Apple [7:42 PM]
I usually learn the hard way., But I did learn about illustrating by seeing hers. I am artistic, but was too literal for a children's book. I think I can do it now.

Cary Herwig [7:42 PM]
Good for you.

Meg Dendler [7:42 PM]
Jan, you could share them here too if you think folks will find them helpful.

Jan Vanek [7:42 PM]
Sure. Let me get them.

Meg Dendler [7:43 PM]
Here's a couple I have too. On Facebook, check out KidLit411. It is run by a group of authors, editor, and publishers who know their stuff. It’s a great place to ask questions and follow conversations. https://www.facebook.com/groups/KIDLIT411/

A Facebook group of children's writers and illustrators run by the founders of the website www.Kidlit411.com. Our website has resources from writing tips to submissions advice to marketing and more....

A very active helper in the kidlit community is Harold Underdown at The Purple Crayon. http://www.underdown.org/

There you can find his book “The Complete Idiots Guide to Publishing Children’s Books” which I have not read but hear is great.


A children's book editor's site:  writing, illustrating, publishing children's books

A children's book editor's site, with articles about writing, illustrating, and publishing children's books, as well as sample materials from The C.I. Guide to Publishing Children's Books.

Jan Vanek [7:43 PM]
This blog has a lot of helpful information, but here's a specific link that helped me with layout. https://taralazar.com/tag/picture-book-construction/

Linda Apple [7:43 PM]
Yay! Great info girls!

Jan Vanek [7:44 PM]

Basic Book Construction

How would I go about finding a children’s book editor for a 15 page book? The first thing you need to know is how this question sounds to an...

Meg Dendler [7:45 PM]
SCBWI Arkansas has a picture book intensive weekend in October, I believe it is. The whole weekend with a couple of agents/editors to work on a picture book WIP you bring with you.

Linda Apple [7:45 PM]
As long as it isn't the second weekend in October! :wink:

Meg, I have one children's writer who insists that the era of talking animals is past and that publishers do not want them. Is that want you are seeing? I know your cat books are super popular.

Jan Vanek [7:46 PM]

Scott Soeder • Louisville, KY Illustrator specializing in books, games, apps, puzzles for kids

Making a Picture Book Dummy with Adobe InDesign

If you are an author/illustrator of picture books, at some point in your process you are going to need to make a dummy. Everyone has their own methods, but here’s the method that works for me. Having a background in graphic design, my comfort zone for laying out pages is in Adobe InDesign. InDesign

Linda Apple [7:46 PM]
Jan you do a SUPER job!

Jan Vanek [7:47 PM]
Thanks, Linda. I'm learning a lot doing my own art work. :slightly_smiling_face:

Linda Apple [7:47 PM]
Talking animals Meg?

Meg Dendler [7:47 PM]
The issue of dealing with an illustrator is hugely complicated, as Linda pointed out. There is a book called "Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines" that can be helpful if you have to go that route, even for some MG books or cover design. "Work for hire" is always the best bet and should mean the work done is 100% yours to do with as you please.

I have whole books full of talking animals! LOL

But they don't talk to people.

Linda Apple [7:48 PM]
I know! And they are great! I want to write Winston books and he will definitely talk, like he does on his FB page.

Oooooh, no talking to people. That makes the difference. Good to know!

Staci, what kind of children's book are you writing?

Meg Dendler [7:50 PM]
What agents and editors are willing to take a chance on a pick up can be different than what will sell and be quite successful. Winston absolutely must talk! In my books, when humans catch the cats talking, they just think it is the same noises we hear our cats make. They don't understand. Some of my favorite books growing up involved animals, but it is true they didn't always talk.

Staci Mauney [7:50 PM]
Right now, it's a middle grade short story that I would like to expand into a novel.

Meg Dendler [7:51 PM]
My whole cat book series started as a short story. Give yourself a big chunk of time to just "what-if" the heck out of it.

Linda Apple [7:51 PM]
Connie, what are you writing?

Meg, we have a few minutes left, want to expand on the "What if?"

Meg Dendler [7:54 PM]
I can use that specific example. I had an agent at an SCBWI conference suggest expanding the Kimba story. So I sat at Dave and Busters while my kids played and just made lots of notes. What-if I included more characters? What-if they actually went up to the spaceships? What adventures could they have? Who would the bad guys be? By the end of that hour, I had the outline and titles for the next three books in the series. Just brainstorm it and write is all down and don't rule anything out. Let it run wild and see where it takes you.

If you should happen to be interested, my MG SFF “Why Kimba Saved The World” is currently free on ebook at many sites (Kobo, Smashwords, B&N) and only 99 cents on Kindle at Amazon because of a promotion I was part of. That should last for about another week or whenever I get around to fixing it.

Linda Apple [7:56 PM]
I bought that book for my granddaughter, Holly, probably a year ago. She called me last week and said she just started reading it and it is THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ! Holly is 11

Meg Dendler [7:56 PM]

Linda Apple [7:56 PM]
I know!

Well, gang, time is about up. Any questions?

Cary Herwig [7:57 PM]

Linda Apple [7:57 PM]


Cary Herwig [7:57 PM]
Just one.  Since I already write and publish adult fiction, should I choose a name to write YA?

Meg Dendler [7:59 PM]
Not necessarily. It's hard enough to get our names out there! The only time it seems important to go with a different name is if you write kidlit and suddenly decide to do some erotica or something. Or if you are a teacher and write questionable books you don't want associated with you. But ultimately it is your call. If you want to brand it totally differently, that is one way to go about it.

Cary Herwig [7:59 PM]
Thank you so much.

Linda Apple [8:00 PM]
Staci, we will have a transcript of this session right? There is A LOT of information here

Jan Vanek [8:00 PM]
Great information, Meg. Thank you!

Meg Dendler [8:00 PM]
Thank you all for joining me!! And thank you, Linda, for keeping things running smoothly!

Staci Mauney [8:00 PM]
Yes, the transcript will be available to everyone who paid for tonight's workshop.
This was great information, Meg! Thank you so much!

Linda Apple [8:00 PM]
That's all for now! Thank you Big Time Meg. You were FANTASTIC!

Jan Vanek [8:01 PM]
Bye, all!

Cary Herwig [8:01 PM]
Thanks, Meg and Linda.  Nite.

Jan Vanek [8:01 PM]
left vw_megwelchdendler.

Linda Apple [8:01 PM]
Thanks for joining us Cary!

Meg Dendler [8:02 PM]
For folks who read this later, you are welcome to email me if you have questions. Happy to chat! The world needs more kidlit!!

Linda Apple [8:03 PM]
True story. Bye everyone!