Tools for the Taking

Ah, Those Secondary Characters

Your story sings when your secondary character (SC) is on the scene. Your plot comes alive when your SC is around.Your readers beg to see more of your SC. Uh oh! SCs create conflict, throw out obstacles and cause trouble. Or they may offer loving support, friendship and wisdom. They poke at our main characters… Read more »

Writing as a Career: Jennifer Nielsen on the Realities and Economics of Publishing

As the new year begins, whether you’re dabbling in writing, considering a career as a writer, selling your first book or just curious about the nuances and economics of traditional publishing, you might wonder if  children’s authors can make a living. The truth – some do and many don’t. In today’s guest post, award-winning, best-selling… Read more »

5 Unusual Places to Find Picture Book Inspiration

Picture book ideas can hit at the most unlikely times. In honor of picture book month, I’m reprinting my post from last year’s PiBoIdMo about my most unusual sources of inspiration. 1. YouTubeKids say and do the darndest things, right? And so often, they provide tender or hilarious or wonder-filled inspiration for picture books. But… Read more »

Teachers – My Way of Saying Thank You!

Dear Teachers  – Welcome to Summer Vacation! As a way of saying thanks for another great school year, I’d like to introduce you to the FREE resources available to teachers, readers and writers on my website at  Just follow the Teachers/Writers Menu link to find: Downloadable Curriculum Guides linked to learning standards for all… Read more »