For Writers

I have a story for young people in me! How do I get started?

National Organizations

SCBWI: The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Join for a nominal fee. An excellent resource for emerging writers. Find community, critique groups, contests, etc.

SCBWI hosts two huge annual conferences, New York City (winter) and Los Angeles (summer). There are regional conferences as well. Conferences provide you with the opportunity to meet industry professionals, learn about craft, and be paired with an agent or editor who will review a sample of your work.

Pitch Wars/#PitMad and #DVPit
You are paired with a writing mentor to ready your submission, and agents tag you on social media if they like your pitch. #DVPit is for self-identifying historically marginalized authors & illustrators.

Publishers Marketplace
When you are ready to find an agent, sign up on Publishers Marketplace to see which agents have made the most sales and what kinds of projects they are drawn to.

The Authors Guild
Have an attorney look at an agency or publishing contract, get web design assistance, find guidance on filing taxes when self-employed, etc.

New England-Based Organizations and Awards

SCBWI: New England Chapter
Attend the annual conference in Western Mass. in April/May.

The Associates of the Boston Public Library Writer-in-Residence
An unpublished children’s book writer receives a $23,000 stipend and a library office!

Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award
Honorees give a reading of their work, and an agent or editor reviews it.

Grub Street
A nonprofit creative writing center in the Boston Seaport. High-quality writing classes offered in all genres. A wonderful resource to find and build community. Grub Street’s inspiring annual conference is the Muse and the Marketplace; it is primarily focused on YA and adult markets.

The Writers Loft
A creative writing center in Hudson, Mass. Find community and critique groups, and attend affordable seminars.

Writing on Writing

The following are books on writing that have helped me on my journey.

  • Burroway, Janet, and Elizabeth Stuckey-French. Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. 9thed., Pearson, 2014.
  • Chavez, Felicia Rose. The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom. Haymarket Press, 2021.
  • Dillard, Annie. The Writing Life. HarperCollins, 1989.
  • Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones. Shambhala, 2005.
  • Keyes, Ralph.The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear. Holt, 2003.
  • King, Stephen.On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Pocket Books, 2001.
  • Klein, Cheryl. Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults. Asterisk Books, 2011.
  • Kress, Nancy. Beginnings, Middles & Ends: Elements of Fiction Writing. Writer’s Digest Books, 2011.
  • Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anchor, 1995.
  • Le Guin, Ursula K. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew. 1st ed., The Eighth Mountain Press, 1998.
  • Lerner, Betsy. The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers. Riverhead Books, 2010.
  • Livesey, Margot. The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing. Tin House Books, 2017.
  • Maass, Donald. The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Write the Story Beneath the Surface. Writers Digest Books, 2016.
  • Myers, Walter Dean. Just Write: Here’s How! HarperFestival, 2012.
  • Nordstrom, Ursula. Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, edited by Leonard S. Marcus.HarperCollins, 2000.
  • Paul, Anne Whitford. Writing Picture Books, Second Edition, Revised.Writer’s Digest Books, 2018.
  • Salesses, Matthew. Craft in the Real World. Catapult, 2021.
  • Snyder, Blake. Save the Cat! Michael Wiese Productions, 2005.
  • Strunk, Jr., William, and E.B. White. The Elements of Style, 4th ed. Longman, 1999.
  • Welty, Eudora. One Writer’s Beginnings. Harvard University Press, 1998.
  • Yolen, Jane. Take Joy: A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft. Writer’s Digest Books, 2006.