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5 Myths About Writing for Children and Teens

November 17th, 2008 (05:18 pm)

current mood: tired

Yesterday I spoke to a group of writers at a bookstore in Arlington. In addition to general questions and answers about writing, I gave a presentation, "Five Myths About Writing For Children and Teens." It was fun talking with the writers who came, and I think it was well received.

Here are the myths:

Myth #1: It pays a lot of money.

Myth #2: You don't have to do much research, because young readers don't know enough to know if you've got things wrong.

Myth #3: You have to dumb down the language.

Myth #4: Sex, swear words, and controversial topics are strictly forbidden.

Myth #5: You can't get published unless you know someone.


Posted by: dragonet2 (dragonet2)
Posted at: November 18th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
That brings back a blast from the past

While I was working the ad agency, we got a new young woman for the office assistant pool, she was opposite of my cubicle at the wall end of a row.

When we got acquainted, she solemnly told me that she was working on her master's degree in creative writing. The "I'll be able to quit working and be a famous published author,"

She had no idea why I fell off my chair laughing. When I finally caught my breath, I told her I wished her luck. I'd already been published and made a whole $$$ salary from the short story I'd sold.

"But I'm going to write books!" she protested. I responded that I was a member of SFWA, and that the average writer (pretty much across the board because the stats came from the Writer's Guild or some such) was $3,000 annually.

She never spoke to me about writing after that. But I also figured, 'good luck with that degree' because her spelling and grammar skills were nil.

Posted by: petrini1 (petrini1)
Posted at: November 18th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
Re: That brings back a blast from the past

Ha! It always amazes and amuses me that so many people think writing pays enormous amounts of money -- especially writing for children, which pays even less. I told the group this weekend that one way to make a lot of money writing is to change your name to J.K. Rowling. I haven't tried that one yet.

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