Extract from Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast episode 009 (Oct 2010) – recommendations


  • Puffin, part of the Penguin Group, is one of the most famous children’s publishers. Others include Bloomsbury (Harry Potter), Faber & Faber, Hodder, Little Tiger Press, Macmillan, Oxford University Press (OUP), Random House, Chicken House, Dorling Kindersley (Kinder meaning children in German presumably not coincidental, otherwise known as DK, who mainly produce educational books).
  • A magazine aimed at 8-12 years olds, ‘tbkmag’ is published quarterly (copies usually viewable at the library) by Winchester-based newbooks. Their adult version is called ‘newbooks’ and their website is www.newbooksmag.com where you can subscribe, browse book reviews and more.
  • ‘Young Writer’ is a quarterly magazine aimed at up to 18 year olds, published by the same company as ‘Writers News’ and ‘The Writing’ magazines. The website is www.young-writer.co.uk and the team welcomes submissions.
  • Writing guide books include the established ‘Teach yourself’ books. Their ‘Writing for children’ includes ‘improve your techniques’, ‘develop your range and ability’ and ‘get your work published’. The sections are clearly labelled on each page and there is a very comprehensive rear index. Other books in their range include ‘Creative writing’, ‘Crime fiction’, ‘English grammar’, ‘English language’, ‘English verbs’, ‘The Internet’, ‘Letter writing skills’, ‘Literature 101 key ideas’, ‘Screenwriting’, ‘Speed reading’, ‘Tracing your family history’, ‘Travel writing’, ‘writing a novel’ and ‘writing poetry’.
  • If you have something to send and don’t know where to send it to, a good place to start is The Writers’ & Artists’ Children’s yearbook. There’s also the ‘The Writers’ Handbook – Guide for writing for children’, Andrew Melrose’s ‘Write for Children’ and Pamela Cleaver’s ‘Writing a children’s book’.
  • The Bookseller magazine also has their own version: the ‘Children’s Bookseller’.
  • And finally, launched in 2006, ‘Quick Reads’ books by NIACE (The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education), although designed for encouraging adult literacy, are great for young adults as they are no longer than 128 pages and don’t contain particularly difficult words being usually limited to a maximum three to four syllables. There’s a really interesting article about Minette Walters which mentions her Quick Read book ‘Chicken Feed’ (www.guardian.co.uk/education/2007/mar/13/furthereducation.uk1).


  • Wordpool’s ‘Writing for Children’ page http://www.wordpool.co.uk/wfc/wfc.htm currently has 22 categories including FAQ (frequently asked questions) for new writers and new illustrators, screenwriting for children, understanding young readers, writing picture books, writing series fiction and links for writers.
  • http://www.ukchildrensbooks.co.uk provides an incredibly comprehensive list (over 200) children’s authors, illustrators, publishers and listed under ‘others’, organisations, series, characters, events, news, reviews and booksellers.
  • www.lovereading4kids.co.uk is a good site. Although a bookstore it also has information, book/author interviews. Again you can sign up for their ‘email news’ as well as ‘1000s of free book extracts’.
  • I’ve mentioned this before but Jacqui Burnett’s website www.jbwb.co.uk is packed with submission information and both the short story and novel markets sections include outlets for children’s fiction.
  • On a general note, The Publishers Association’s website (www.publishers.org.uk) has a great ‘How to get published’ page which in turn recommends the publishing guidelines page of the ‘Spread the Word’ website (www.spreadtheword.org.uk) which although aimed at London-based writers has general links on that page entitled ‘Hints and tips’, ‘Dos and Don’ts’, ‘Case studies’, ‘Who to approach’ (literary agents, publishers, small presses), magazines, e-zines and useful websites. It’s part of their resources section which is heaving with information although the most relevant part for anyone listening to this podcast is probably the ‘For writers’ link which offers you a choice of six sub-links, the fourth of which takes you to the guidelines.

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