Photo Courtesy Creative Commons

I write encouraging words for children. Words of hope, joy, peace, reassurance and truth. For years I’ve been developing my skills in writing picture books. It’s no easy task to tell a complete story with strong characters and a satisfying resolution in 500 words or less.

But I love that challenge.

I also love that picture books create an experience for a child with a loving adult. Together they share and laugh and build intimate connections.

Over the past year I have delivered several “finished” picture book manuscripts to my agent Cyle Young. He’s been shopping them around. Thanks, Cyle!! And I’m still developing more picture book ideas as I wait.

Several long-established authors have all given me some advice to follow while I wait. Now I pass it along to you.

WRITE FOR MAGAZINES!! Do you know that several children’s magazines reach several 100,000 homes with children? And that doesn’t include public libraries.

Let’s say one of my picture books is a smashing success. It sell 10,000 copies. That’s exciting!! But compare that to hundreds of thousands of copies of my little poems or articles. Do the math. That’s a big deal!

A few years ago I set a goal of learning to write Rebus Stories well enough to have one published by Highlights. A Rebus? Why would I work for years trying to master those silly little stories with pictures for words?

Simple—it’s a goal that will move me forward as a children’s writer. And, like picture books Rebus stories must be very tight, have a winsome main character, a story problem, and a satisfying ending PLUS a humorous or unexpected twist at the end. All this in about 100 words.

It takes skill. Skill that I want.

I write other things for children’s magazine:

  • Poems and rhymed verse
  • Puzzles
  • Nonfiction articles
  • Creative nonfiction stories
  • Short fiction

Every acceptance is a small success., and a stepping stone on the path to being a published picture book author.

So, what do you write while you are waiting?



  1. Good post about the importance of all our writing, not just that holy grail of a book! I too write nonfiction articles for children’s magazines, and I also write articles and devotions for adult publications.
    But I pray we both get there someday:)

%d bloggers like this: