HarperCollins India, Avid Learning, and Mumbai children’s book promoter Lubaina Tyebji Bandukwala put together an informative workshop on writing children’s literature this weekend.
As I begin the search for a home to publish my own middle grade novels, I thought I’d confirm my take on the genre with people who actually know what they’re talking about.
A few top take-aways for me about what children are looking for when they pick up a book:
Simplicity. Spontaneity. …and sophistication.
Relatability. “Children are looking for themselves in the story. Not just in setting or incident, but in finding people just like them.”
Laughter and nonsense.
Nothing didactic: “The era of the moral is over.“
None of these findings came as a surprise; rather they reinforced the past decade of reading to my sons and the books we go back to time and again, from Kate DiCamilo to Roald Dahl.
Two areas I found to work on: Title Matters! (…they said to the guy who’s first novels are titled Two Pumps for the Body Man and Patchworks). And “Never miss a chance to pitch to an editor.”
They mean in person, of course. And that day is coming. But as a writer, I’d still rather communicate the contents of my work in writing.
The workshop was led by the curator of the Peek-A-Book Children’s Festival, Lubaina Tyebji Bandukwala, and two outstanding Indian children’s authors Natasha Sharma (Squiqqle Takes a Walk and 17 other titles) and Vaishali Shroff (The Adventures of Padma and a Blue Dinosaur and more) .Harper Collins India publisher Tina Narang shed light on the publishing, marketing, and promotional aspects of the field.
One thought on “Writing for Children”
Glad there is an opportunity to hear experts