Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Resources for Writers: Write for Kids and Writing Blueprints

Write for Kids

Please see the 2019 update to this post.

I first learned about Write for Kids at a writing conference in Northern Colorado. The talented agent, editor, and teacher Laura Backes and her partner husband Jon have worked diligently to offer multiple ways for an aspiring writer of children’s books to learn and to succeed.

By visiting the Write for Kids website and becoming part of the Write for Kids and Children’s Book Insider networks, a beginner can find answers to all those questions that often discourage an aspiring author from even starting a project. From the Write for Kids site, you’ll find a link to the free Dream Launcher Pack for Beginners that includes a recent copy of Children’s Book Insider. The website notes this is a limited time offer, so if you’re ready to start writing a book for kids, you might want to check out this free introduction right away.

I’ve been especially interested in this resource because I hope to write children’s or middle-grade stories one of these days. You all know about “one of these days,” but hopefully I’ll stop procrastinating as soon as I finish this adult novel I’m revising now.

Writing Blueprints

Speaking of revisions, I have a special reason for mentioning this next extensive educational offering. Never satisfied to rest on one accomplishment, Backes and her husband have expanded learning opportunities, including help for more experienced writers. I was able to preview part of the Manuscript Magic Power Bundle. With worksheets and detailed explanations, freelance writer and editor Bonnie Johnston teaches us how to take the dreaded first draft (or second or third) and Checkup, Diagnose, and Fix problems to make the manuscript ready for submission to agents or editors.

I followed the tutorial and printed the worksheets to use with my current revision project. Considering I have a mess of chapters out of order and a few contradictions in facts and timeline, I need all the help I can get. Thanks to this blueprint (and my outstanding critique group), I’m making great progress. The bundle contains five other instruction tools with various instructors at a discounted price.

Writer and teacher Teresa Funke is another instructor of blueprints, including Dialogue Made Easy and The Courage to Write Your Own Experience.

Teresa has been a guest on my personal blog with posts about How to Pick the Right Publishing Path for You and How to Write Outside Your Experience.

One of Jon Bard’s courses is one I’m interested in taking soon: Social Media Catchup. The opportunities and pitfalls associated with social media are constantly changing. If we don’t want to be left behind, it’s a good idea to regularly review what’s available and get help evaluating the pros and cons of each site. We can’t do it all, so we need to be wise in selecting those places to build an audience.

Most of the early blueprints available are aimed at the writer (or aspiring writer) of children’s books. Newer blueprints include helpful instruction for more advanced writers struggling with a specific element of the craft. To see everything that’s available so far, visit the Writing Blueprints website. Start here at the About Us page to meet Laura and her family and learn more about the blueprint process.

You can find Children's Book Insider and Writing Blueprints on Facebook.

Pat (Patricia) Stoltey is the author of four novels published by Five Star/Cengage: two amateur sleuth, one thriller that was a finalist for a Colorado Book Award in 2015, and the historical mystery Wishing Caswell Dead (December 20, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Colorado Book Awards.

Pat lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Scottish Terrier Sassy (aka Doggity), and brown tabby Katie (aka Kitty Cat).

You can learn more about Pat at her website/blog, on Facebook, and Twitter. She was recently interviewed for a Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers podcast that you can find at the RMFW website.


  1. This is a wonderful treasure of resources for any who have ever entertained the idea of writing for youngsters. Today's young ones need a lot of good input to deal with our rapidly changing world, and the number of children who commit suicide is an appalling reminder of just how much help they need. One avenue of that help comes in the form of books that address issues they face and positive ways of dealing with them. Thank you for sharing this information, Pat. It's well worth checking out.

    1. I'd like to write a mystery series for middle grade readers...When I'm ready, I plan to dig into the Write for Kids program.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Pat! Laura and I really appreciate it. :)

  3. Informative post, Pat, with good resources. I started a mid-grade but never got far because I got into a writer's slump, which in a way I'm still in. Keeping this if I get back to it. Thanks.


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