Writing for Children

Ever been caught by a child who knows you just skipped over a line while reading them their favorite story? Then you already understand the power of a well-written children's book, and why it's important to get the words just right. You also already know the books children really treasure are tailored just for them, with age-appropriate language, believable story lines, and characters a lot like them who get in (and out of) all sorts of interesting trouble, just like they do. Since a children’s book contains fewer words than a novel, every word counts that much more.

What can a children's book editor do to help you get the words just right? A children's book editor never forgets that the best children's fiction always has a message, but to capture a child's interest and imagination, that message must come through a fun, creatively crafted, age-appropriate read. To achieve this, children's book editors are familiar with the way young people speak and learn. They can critique and examine illustrations with the fresh eye of a young reader. They also understand the specific trends and nuances of children's writing. To ensure that your work will appeal to your target audience, they can help you modify your manuscript to suit the reading abilities of children within your target age group. Editors skilled in this unique genre also understand the basic elements of good fiction—character, conflict, plot, theme, setting, and dialogue. A children’s book editor can make sure that you have strong verbs, vivid adjectives, and language that lends itself to reading aloud. So, whether you've written a picture book, a chapter book, or a young adult/middle grade novel, they can help you polish all these elements while ensuring a fun, engaging read.



Children's Book Editors, Illustrators, Cover and Interior Designers


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Need help with your submission? Call (585) 568-7736 (voice, 10am - 7pm Eastern)
or 469-789-3030 (message).

childrens book editingMARLO GARNER has been editing books and teaching writing since the late 1990s. She teaches Writing for Children's Books (picture books), Writing Chapter Books for Children, and various other writing and revision workshops. She also works in an editorial advisory capacity, and a copyeditor and illustrator for a number of independent or educational publishers. Her Ginny Giles chapter book series—which contains numerous poems and rhyming verse—was released in 2010, and she is the author and/or illustrator of a number of other published books for children, including a picture book for Internet security giant AVG. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) and received first place in the 'published' division of the New England SCBWI 2013 illustration awards. Marlo is currently writing and illustrating a middle grade dystopian graphic novel as well as a picture book, and she blogs about writing, editing, and grammar.

Marlo's editing services include:

  • Copyediting and proofreading
  • Developmental/substantive editing
  • Cover letters, query letters (free with contracted service)
  • Correct formatting and understanding the submission process
  • Critiques, writing instruction and mentorship
  • Children's books: picture books, poetry, magazine submissions, chapter books, young adult, children's non-fiction.
  • Literary fiction, crime, fantasy
  • Illustration, illustration critiques and advice for aspiring illustrators.
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christian childrens book editorJOAN GIARDINO is an editor, proofreader, and translator with more than 25 years’ experience in the book publishing industry. Her clients include major book publishers, authors, illustrators, theater directors, and personal historians.

She has edited or proofread hundreds of award-winning published books—children, middle-grade, and young adult fiction, nonfiction, adult fiction and nonfiction, biographies, and personal memoirs. Since access to the Internet has given the reader the ability to “see” and/or “experience” situations and places far away in time and place, Joan makes certain that the text rings true when editing nonfiction, historical fiction, or fiction that includes real places and events.

As an editorial consultant, Joan can:
  • Ensure that the author’s voice is engaging, clear and authentic
  • Make difficult information accessible and easy to understand
  • Copyedits manuscripts, paying particular attention not only to grammar and punctuation, but to plot, characters, details, and stylistic consistency
  • Oversee the book production process from raw manuscript to finished books
  • Work with authors and illustrators to make sure commissioned artwork reflects the text
  • Conduct research to find artwork and historical documents to enhance the text.
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professional editor of young adult childrens booksANA HOWARD is the author of seven well-reviewed and award-winning children’s novels and has helped many others with their manuscripts, including picture books, chapter books, middle grade and young adult novels. After working in public schools for many years, she has now been a part of the publishing industry for fifteen years and provides a creative and supportive environment. She is passionate about children’s literature and offers the following services:

  • Mentoring
  • Developmental, substantive and content editing
  • Formatting and guidance on the submission process
  • Query letters and synopses
  • Advice for self-publishing authors

PUBLISHING CREDITS INCLUDE:

  • Water at the Blue Earth, young adult historical fiction (Roberts Rinehart)
  • A Ceiling of Stars, middle grade contemporary fiction (American Girl)
  • Nowhere, Now Here, middle grade contemporary fiction (American Girl)
  • The Magic of Ordinary Days, adult historical fiction (Viking Penguin)
  • Under a Stand Still Moon, young adult historical fiction (Brown Barn Books)
  • Call Me the Canyon, young adult historical fiction (Brown Barn Books)
  • Nicki, contemporary middle grade fiction (American Girl)
  • Thanks to Nicki, contemporary middle grade fiction (American Girl)

She has seen one of her novels made into film (for Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions on CBS) and has won numerous literary awards. She believes that even in today’s tough publishing climate, it is still possible for new writers to enter the business and succeed. Second to writing her own novels, she loves to mentor others to help them achieve their goals. She knows firsthand how writers benefit from the help and support of other writers and/or editors.

Author Feedback

"My novel had lingered in the offices of editors at the Big Six for years. Ana’s editing was timely and skillful and showed an understanding of my work. I used 95% of her suggestions and cut 200 pages from a 600 page manuscript. End result is a book with a clean, compelling narrative that has been called 'a gripping read'. Reader reviews of my book at Amazon and Goodreads have been very gratifying and allowed me to enter the top 100 for science-fiction/fantasy. Kirkus Reviews selected Prophets of the Ghost Ants as one of their Best of 2011. I would recommend Ana Howard's services to any author whose work needs an edit. Cost of the service was more than fair and the end result was priceless." —Clark T. Carlton

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