Anastasia Suen

Developmental Editor

Write a Children’s Book


Q. I want to write my own children’s book. Where do I start?
Start by reading, reading, reading! The children’s books on the shelves will help you write your book, revise your book, and sell your book!

Q. How can reading children’s books help me write my own book?
Reading recently published books like the ones that you want to write can help you see how other authors handled your topic or theme. These books can help you learn your craft.

Reading new books will also help you see what editors are buying. Editors look at other books on your topic or theme to help them decide if they will buy your book or not. If that’s what the agents and editors do, then you need to do it too!

This is why I post a new booktalk Monday through Saturday!

Q. How long should my children’s book manuscript be?
The length of the book depends on the age of the child who will be reading it. The older the child is, the longer the book will be. Check the word count guides at:

Q. Do I need an agent to sell my book? Or do I send it to editors?
If you send your book to editors first (and don’t sell it) most agents will NOT want to handle that book later because the book has already been shopped. If you think you might want to work with an agent, start that search first.

Q. What do agents charge?
A. Reputable agents do NOT charge a fee
to read your work or to send it out. The agent is paid on commission, so no money changes hands until the book sells–and it is the publisher who pays the agent, not the writer. Most agents take a 15% commission, so they earn 15% of all funds paid for the sales they make.

Q. Why should I pay an agent 15%?
An agent can send your book to publishers that are “closed” to submissions.

FYI: When you send your book to an editor that you have never met at a “closed” publishing house, your work will not be read. Some send it back to you while others toss it in the trash. Delete!

Q. How can I find an agent?
Follow the directions on my How to Find a Literary Agent page.

Of course, none of this will happen if you don’t write the book first! So begin at the beginning. Start reading, reading, reading–and then start writing!

Are you ready to work with a writing mentor?

The author of 275 books for children, teens, and adults, I have been working as a developmental editor with writers from all levels of the continuum (beginner to already published) since 1999. Some of my writers sold the books they wrote or revised in the critiques while others continued to master their craft and sold their first book later.

  1. If you want guidance as you write your first draft, sign up for the Intensive Picture Book Workshop or the Children’s Novel Workshop.
  2. If you want guidance to take your completed children’s book manuscript to the next level, sign up for a Picture Book WIP Critique or a Children’s Novel WIP Critique via email or phone.

Let’s start working together!

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

You Can Be a Paleontologist!

You Can Be a Paleontologist!: Discovering Dinosaurs with Dr. Scott
by Scott D. Sampson (Author)

Booktalk: Ever wondered how to find a dinosaur? How do paleontologists find dinosaur bones? How do they know what dinosaurs ate or looked like? And what is paleontology, anyway? Paleontologist Dr. Scott Sampson answers these questions and more . . .


It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

The Shapeshifter’s Guide to Running Away

The Shapeshifter’s Guide to Running Away
by Lari Don (Author)

Booktalk: The curse-breaking workshop hasn’t exactly turned out how Molly and her friends had hoped. And now something is going wrong with the way curses work. The team need to find the Promise Keeper who controls all curses, but the Keeper is guarded by Atacama the sphinx and his riddle. The five friends set off on a quest that takes them past the misty giant grey men of the mountains, to spar with an ancient snake and battling terrifying Nuckelavee. Can they discover what’s wrong with the Promise Keeper and stop the world of curses from spinning out of control?

Snippet: Molly expected to become human as she leapt through the air.

She expected to beat Innes to the finish line as a hare, change shape as she crossed the stone wall into Aunt Doreen’s garden, and crash-land on the ground as a girl.

That’s what always happened.

She always beat her friend Innes when he challenged her to a race. She always controlled her curse by crossing a boundary and becoming human again, just in time to accept his grudging congratulations.

But this time, when she landed on the ground, she didn’t fall and bash her knees. This time she stayed on all four feet. All four paws.

She was over the wall, over the boundary, and she was still a hare. Still small, vulnerable, defenceless. Still unable to speak.

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

How Nivi Got Her Names

How Nivi Got Her Names
by Laura Deal (Author) and Charlene Chua (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Nivi has always known that her names were special, but she does not know where they came from. One sunny afternoon, Nivi decides to ask her mom. The stories of the people Nivi is named after lead her to an understanding of traditional Inuit naming practices and knowledge of what those practices mean to Inuit people.


Nivi’s mom paused. She looked right at Nivi and said, “We all love you, dear Nivi, for all that you are. For the names that you have, for the character and traits we see in you, and the people we are reminded of when we are with you.”

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

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