When it comes to seeking out writing advice, there are plenty of places to look. There’s lots of excellent advice for writing kidlit on blogging sites like KidLit411 or (ahem) Writers’ Rumpus, where published and pre-published authors alike are willing to share their experience in the trenches as well as their expertise.
There are also dozens of writer magazines that can provide good advice for writers at all stages of their careers—these are great resources because they can also keep you informed about things like awards, conferences, and writing retreats that may be of interest to you. Writer’s Digest in particular is great because, in addition to publishing a monthly magazine, they also offer a ton of helpful trade publications, such as their annual guides to literary agents, publishers, and niche markets (including the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market).
But many of today’s career authors maintain websites, blogs, YouTube channels and other online resources where they share their hard-earned writing wisdom, that is, the advice that got them from pre-published writers to the successful authors they are today. So today I’m going to share a few of my favorite author-resources that I look to for inspiration when I’m feeling stuck or just in need of a little motivation:
Susan Dennard is a YA fantasy author known for her epic series like The Witchlands and Something Strange and Deadly. She’s also a powerhouse of writing advice, and over the years she’s gathered up all her thoughts and generously shared them on her website under Writing Resources. While she no longer actively updates the resources, there are 5+ years’ worth of writing wisdom ready to be harvested—and Dennard does still dole out fresh advice via her email newsletter (it’s free to subscribe, and if you sign up today, you’ll even get a free Guide to Writing Query Letters, though I’m not sure how long the promotion lasts).
Holly Black writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fantasy books and is probably one of the best-loved names in children’s literature after penning many modern classics like Doll Bones, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and The Modern Faerie Tales (including her NTY-bestselling The Folk of Air!) among others. After numerous interviews in which Black was asked about her writing practices, she compiled a Writing Advice page as well as a Research Resources page for writers on her website.
Another unassailable name in kidlit, Jane Yolen is the author of over 400 books for kids, adults, and everyone in between. I first fell in love with Jane Yolen over her fairy tale books, however I’ve come to appreciate almost everything she does—including her website, which offers lots of advice For Writers, Writer’s FAQs, and this Guide to Writing for Children. She’s also written a wonderful (and short!) blog on How to Prime the Pump, where she discusses how she’s become such a prolific powerhouse (seriously—400 books!).
Victoria (V.E.) Schwab
Victoria Schwab is another mighty name in fantasy publishing—she’s written books for children, young adults, and adults and has topped the NYT list numerous times in her relatively short career. Schwab came up as a writing professional in the age of writer blogs, and keeps an archived copy of her original blog about Writing Craft on her author website. She also currently maintains a YouTube channel that not only offers her thoughts on writing and the publishing industry in general, but also interviews with other big names in fantasy and YA literature. What I love about these resources, and what makes them a little different from the others, is that Schwab talks openly and honestly about the mental process of writing and operating in the publishing industry, giving an insider’s perspective that is not always rosy but somehow still optimistic. We could all learn a lot from Schwab.
Alexa Donne writes Young Adult Science Fiction and Thriller novels, and like Schwab, she maintains both a Writer Resources page on her website and a YouTube Channel that is filled to the brim with advice for aspiring authors. As a bonus, Donne’s YouTube channel is pretty well produced, and she has an amazing screen presence!
So these are MY current favorite internet writing crannies to turn to for writerly advice and motivation. If you have any favorite authors with awesome online writing resources, PLEASE SHARE them in the comments section and together we can grow our list!