When my husband and I furnished our first home, all we could afford was ready-to-assemble furniture. I can remember unpacking the pieces of a bookcase and comparing the inventory to the parts list in the instructions. Two side pieces? Check. Top and bottom. Yup. Shelves and backing? Check. Screws and Allen wrench? Uh-oh. The screws were there, but the screwdriver was missing.
Rather than go back to the store, we searched our tool box for an appropriate substitute. A slotted screwdriver wouldn’t work. Neither would a Phillips head screwdriver. We needed an Allen wrench to fit the hexagonal tops of the screws. Without the right tool, we couldn’t complete our task.When it comes to writing, tools are just as important. Just because we’re writing for children doesn’t mean we can compromise our use of the correct tools.
Here’s a sample list of resources for children’s authors:
Print Resources: (Note: some of these resources can also be found online.)
Chicago Manual of Style – an essential reference for writing chapter books
2013 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market – includes 650 listings for children’s book markets
Children’s Writer’s Word Book – helps you choose the right synonym for various reading levels
2013 Christian Writer’s Market Guide – provides a comprehensive list of book publishers, periodicals, and agents
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary – because everyone needs a good dictionary!
Readability Index Calculator – provides a Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score and a Grade Level score
RhymeZone – find rhymes, synonyms, definitions, and more!
The Purple Crayon – created by a children’s book editor
Write2Ignite – of course!
Written Sound – onomatopoeia lists
With the correct screwdriver, my husband and I assembled our bookcase and it lasted for years. With the correct writing tools, you and I can create books and articles that will influence our readers long after they’ve outgrown their childhood.
These lists are just a start. Now it’s your turn. Let’s create a combined resource list. What’s your favorite writing tool?