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What does a Children's Writer do?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Images By: Woodleywonderworks, Julaszka, Matka_Wariatka, Monkey Business, Diego Cervo
  • Last Modified Date: 25 May 2018
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A children’s writer may do many things, depending especially on factors like level of professional success. If largely unknown, the work of the writer may be self-marketing, finding representation, and continuing to produce material that is potentially saleable in some market. If the writer is well-known, he or she usually has an agent and will clearly continue to write, but might participate in promotional work such as taking interviews or making appearances at bookstores to help increase sales.

There are lots of ways a person can be a children’s writer. Some people are strictly freelance and don’t even aim at book publication. Instead they may principally write and submit materials to magazines or possibly online sites designed for kids. Some children’s writers also work on contributing articles or materials to textbooks.

In these less formal settings, writers depend on acceptance of their work, and this can mean level of success may fluctuate significantly. Sometimes people find ready acceptance of their materials, which they can then use to get better known, and other times work is rejected repeatedly. It bears repetition that the work of the children’s writer at this point is principally to create materials suited for children of different ages and to submit these to as many paying sources as possible.

Sometimes the children’s writer prefers instead to take written materials and have them published. A few writers self-publish, but most would rather have publishing companies buy their work, publish it and sell it. Writers at this stage may look for agents who can take finished work and present it to publishing companies, or they’re occasionally successful in submitting work to publishers on their own and getting a book accepted. As with magazine publishing, people can expect a high level of rejection. Even J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter work was initially rejected for publication.

If a children’s writer does get published and becomes known, which can even more difficult, he or she will naturally continue to produce additional material. On top of this, the writer might need to go on a book tour, meet fans, or give interviews. Book tours are some of the most common, where writers visit local bookstores, read from their books and sign autographs. These tours could be minor or extensive, depending on degree to which the children’s writer is or would like to become known.

At any stage or level of competency, the children’s writer continues to write. It’s hard to maintain a career without more contributions. Writers may also spend a lot of time reading, as this is instructive, inspirational and helps to avoid repeating common themes of other works. Some children’s writers may do even more than this, and many form collaborative relationships with illustrators, or they illustrate their own material. Other writers find they prefer the work of editing or publishing other authors, and they could turn to jobs in these fields, instead.

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