Category Writing for Children


Dianne Ochiltree Children's Author


Launched in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. April 30-May 6, 1018 marked the 99th annual celebration of Children’s Book Week.  This year’s CBW theme was ‘one world, many stories’ and everyone found a world of ways to express their love of books and reading. This year, over 800 participating libraries, schools, and bookstores in all 50 states celebrated childhood literacy…many holding two to five events throughout the week, from story times to activity hours. Since 2014, the Children’s Book Council has designated one event per state as a ‘spotlight event’, and I was thrilled beyond belief for my event at Copperfish Books to have been chosen for the state of Florida: https://...

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It’s been an exciting summer!

The Last Blast of Summer

Although we haven’t reached Labor Day weekend, summer time is winding down.  My summer was busy, including:

Author events in paradise. I had the privilege of speaking about the research done for my historical nonfiction title, MOLLY, BY GOLLY!, at  the Marion County Public Library, in Ocala, Florida, in July.  The kids, parents and staff were great.  While in the area, I made stops at the Ocala Barnes and Noble bookstore as well as the B&N in the Villages for story hour appearances. I also did a story hour and signing at my hometown indie, Bookstore1Sarasota, in August.  Thank you, all, for hosting me!

My picture books read aloud on a terrific YouTube channel...

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Pre-Submission Manuscript Checklist for Picture Books


If you can check off the following, you’ve got a winner that’s ready for submission:

  • The title is catchy. It tells just enough about the story between the book covers without ‘tipping your hand’ by revealing any surprise plot twists or the ending itself.
  • The story ‘hits the ground running’. It has a beginning that makes the reader care about the characters and want to read on. It sets up the story’s central premise so the plot can flow naturally from it.
  • The plot makes sense. There are no character inconsistencies or internal logic lapses.
  • There are no mistakes in the punctuation, grammar, or spelling. When a new person talks, it starts on a new line.
  • The five senses are somewhere in the manuscript at least once: sight,...
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