Friday, September 30, 2016

#BlogTour: Writing for Children and Young Adults by Marion Crook with excerpt and review @SelfCounsel @author_mcrook

We have a blog tour today which is close to my own heart. As a writer I jumped on the opportunity to participate in this tour. My apologies for the delay. I had some technological problems this morning. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Writing for Children and Young Adults by Marion Crook
Self-Counsel Press Reference series
Paperback, 184 pages
Release Date: September 20, 2016 (ebook)
October 2016 (paperback) by Self-Counsel Press
(first published November 30th 2007)

About the Book:

In addition to the expert advice author Marion Crook shared in earlier editions of Writing for Children and Young Adults, in this vibrant new edition, Crook explains some of the nuances and choices about the writing world online.

As well, she revisits the fundamentals of writing: establishing character, creating lively dialogue and developing plot with updated worksheets and examples. This edition shows the writer how to begin a story, plan plot, develop and hone the work for an agent or publisher, and how to make the crucial submission for a book that agents want to represent and publishers want to buy!

Writing for Children and Young Adults helps you create the manuscript that sells!

Book Links:

Buy Links:


Telling stories is an ancient skill practiced in public at community festivals,around the campfire, in religious rites, and in private at the cradles of the young. It involves an innate ability to pick dramatic words in a way that paints a mental picture and gives the tale a sense of pace and tension. The story becomes important, even if only for a short time, to the one who hears it or reads it. It is a way of communicating excitement and the optimistic belief that the world is a remarkable and knowable place. Many writers have an enthusiastic following of readers who want to share in their adventures.

Telling stories is also an age-old method of communicating morality lessons to ensure that a point of view spreads in a palatable manner.Writing can be a way of instructing, advising, and guiding others. Most children don’t want to read stories that are written with such motivation, but many writers believe that teaching justifies their stories. A “moral” story isn’t necessarily a good story. The danger in writing morality tales is that the writer may ignore the needs of children and write from behind a screen of righteousness that thinly hides a lecture. As you may remember from your school years, most of us hate lectures.

Stories also offer an illusion of control as if the world can be controlled by the way we interpret it. Most writers offer stories that have beginnings, middles, and ends describing life as neatly compacted and logical. Perhaps this illusion of controlled life gives readers a sense of order.

You want to write a book that will delight many years later. You want your book to be the best you can produce, written in a style that is uniquely yours, perhaps using ideas that have never been written about or in a format that has never been tried. Writing is about creating.

About the author
Marion Crook has written many books for young adult and middle-grade readers. Here, she offers advice on writing, publishing, and marketing. Crook’s background in child development education as a nurse and her Ph.D. in education give her solid knowledge, but she maintains that a keen observation of people, places, and events can be the author’s most useful tool. An experienced teacher and writer, she gives her readers clear and practical tips, with humor and obvious understanding of what it’s like to write and publish.

Being an author in today's rapidly changing world not only encompasses the creation of words and characters appearing on the page. Being an author is also a job which entails the wearing of many hats from creator to promoter, savvy tech person to being informed on certain legal aspects and rights of the business side of publishing. Writing for Children and Young Adults by Marion Crook is a guide which will certainly help any writer aspiring to create stories or non-fiction for children of all ages. 

In the first part of her book, Crook touches upon the important aspects of writing, explaining the important basic elements like character, setting and point-of-view. Along with helpful examples, she shares her own experiences along the way. The author covers all of the necessary bases from the various genres, the differences between the many types and styles of children's books--including a breakdown and explanation of the various age groups, along with a discussion of content and language. Everything is presented to the reader in a crisp, brief, easy to understand manner. 

There is a very helpful section on writing non-fiction which I appreciated since writers never know if they want to explore other genres besides what they started out in. From coming up with an idea to creating an outline, keeping in mind curriculum, specialization, and the importance of getting the appropriate age-related reviewers, this section touched upon all of the necessary components. There is also a section on the types of publishing available today (traditional and self-publishing), how to prepare your manuscript, writing a synopsis and query, the author's platform, agents, copyright, royalties and more. Again, Crook is thorough and keeps the pacing steady while always informative.

Today's author is not only a wordsmith but also a business person and promoter. This book addresses these changes. Besides creating, writers have to know how to go about getting the word out and 'selling' their work. There's an entire section on "Marketing Your Book Online," which touches upon all of the necessary parts of the 'business' part of writing from websites to tours and formatting e-books, followed by another section on "Book Promotion." There is certainly a lot of information to be gleamed from this book! At the end of the book there is also access to a download kit which includes samples, resource guides and more. 

As an author of YA and NA stories and novellas (and an aspiring picture book writer), I recommend Writing for Children and Young Adults by Marion Crook. The concise writing, coupled with the right amount of space given to address the assortment of subjects covered and information conveyed from someone who has been in the publishing world for years, will be a helpful guide for writers curious about or just starting out in writing for kids and teens. 


  1. What a great review, Laurie. I am really pleased that you found my book helpful, particularly because you are an experienced writer and know what to look for. I hope the book and your review encourage new writers to start writing. Children and YA is a lively genre.