Why? Because I'm:
(Notice the magic wand—I'm not afraid to use it.)
Not sure what's holding you back? Maybe you wonder how or where to start, how to get unstuck, what to do next, or why something you want so much isn't happening. I can help you get past that. Your voice deserves to be heard.
If insecurity or the chaos of creativity makes you wonder if you're cut out for this, but you can't shake the desire, then you're a perfect candidate for coaching. How do I know? I've been there. The first time I sent something in, it was rejected, so I didn't submit anything again for about 15 years. I've spent decades learning all I could about the creative process in order to help others find more joy and meaning in their lives.
Children's books inform, inspire, and encourage life-long learning and empathy. They open worlds and save lives. We need many varied voices and perspectives to reach all children. That's why I teach, encourage, and support the creators of children's books. If this has been your dream, let me help you.
Contact me for more information!
I booked a coaching session with Deb Lund, hoping she might be able to help me break through a creative block. Not only did I come away from the session with a plethora of ideas for dealing with the fierce "inner critic" that has plagued me for years, but I now feel empowered to show more compassion for myself in all areas of my life. Thank you, Deb, for gifting me with the attitude adjustment I so desperately needed.
Helen Landalf, author
Ideas are crucial! I find that many writers give up on their manuscripts and claim they can't write, but often the issue is not their writing—it's the idea!
Here’s a short list to help you collect ideas:
Don't Give Up (but don't be fooled, either)!
We were all children. It can’t be too hard to write and publish a picture book, right? Sorry. Editors are swamped with manuscripts. If you’re a one-story person, it may not be worth the time and energy it takes to get published. If you’re persistent and this is your dream, follow it!
No one can walk you through everything you need to know about writing and publishing picture books, but these tips will shorten your learning curve:
1. Write! Many people prefer the idea of writing to the work of writing. I avoided writing for years by reading about it and by saying I didn’t have time. You need to put in your time. Learn your craft. Attend classes and conferences. Read books, magazines, and other publications. Sign up for online newsletters. But make sure you write!
2. Know kids’ books. It's "learning from the masters." Look up current award lists, get recommendations from teachers, librarians, and children's authors. Go to the library and check out a stack of books every week. Observe kids. Hang out with them. Volunteer at schools, libraries, scouting or 4-H groups, etc. Notice them wherever you go!
3. Join SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). They’ll teach you everything you need to know through their website, handouts, newsletters, and conferences. Order “The Book” and get involved with your regional chapter.
4. Join or start an online or in-person critique or writing support group. Find writing buddies. Libraries, colleges, and SCBWI may connect you with other writers.
5. Once you've polished pieces with your writing buddies, sign up for manuscript critiques at conferences, and have a thick skin about it. Listen carefully without judgment.
6. Research agents and editors. Follow all submission guidelines. Take your time on this step. Starting too early or sending out too many may end up sabotaging your chances.
7. For picture books, it can be as difficult to get a good children’s writer’s agent as it is to get a book published. Finding an agent might not be your best first step, but it's still worth a try.
8. Don’t send in a manuscript a friend illustrated for you. Editors or art directors select the illustrator. If you write and illustrate, consider telling the editor the text and artwork may be considered separately to raise your chances of being published.
9. Expect rejection. Most stories are just practice, and everyone gets rejections. Celebrate those rejection letters! Each one means your story is one step closer to finding its home.
10. Listen to your critics, inner and outer, talk back, and keep going! Success comes with persistence. Get support when you need it—you deserve it!—and don't stop!
Fiction Magic Cards will help ensure your picture book, middle grade, YA, or adult fiction has enough tension, conflict, or suspense. The deck and guidebook also help with writing ideas and can also act as a coach when you need encouragement to keep going.
PACT: Purposeful, Accountable, Creative Transformation!
Please get on my email list if you would like to experience the support of a caring group to help keep you focused on your Purpose (or determine your purpose), to hold you Accountable to the goals you make (and get support in making them), to inspire and help you harness your Creativity in making the life you want, and to be there with you celebrating every step of your Transformation.
This is the PACT we'll make. Are you ready?