Thursday, May 10, 2012

With Margot Finke

7x  Passionate Authors
Guardian Angel Publishing

( affectionately known as GAP )

Blogging 'till their Fingers Drop Off


Children's Book Week

May 7th - 13th, 2012

(See list of other GAP bloggers below)

GAP Authors also




A cool tote bag of books by GAP authors



a FREE Picture Book Critique - by me!

Don't forget to sign up to WIN!
( entry form at the end of this post ) 



So. . .  let's get to it, mates.

 My Topic for
 Friday, May 1tth

 Who Mentors Today’s Writers?
When Editors Mentored:
Once upon a time, many editors took promising new writers under their wing. Trained professionals, these editors spotted emerging talent, nurturing it until the writer was ready for publication. This was known as mentoring. These days, due to computers access, sky-high slush piles, and changing publisher economics, fewer editors have time to spend mentoring prospective authors. Editors who mentor may not be as extinct as the dodo, the typewriter, or the five-cent ice cream cone, but they are certainly hard to find. Nowadays, budding writers surf the Internet for guidance, join critique groups, and receive enough rejection slips to paper a small room.

Find Helpful Online Writing Lists: 

Writers today must discover new ways of learning the secrets of writing for children. Your Internet connection can hook you up to a host of helpful writing lists. These message boards encourage writers, from beginners to the highly experienced. Members post questions and offer their own valuable experiences. Answers flow, and often lead to informative debates on many aspects of writing for children. Not mentoring one-on-one, I agree, but a great way to tap into a valuable resource. Look for online lists that specialize in writing for children. Surf around until you identify message boards that have published and advanced writers – people that know the children's writing game. After you sign up, and become a valid member, lurk awhile. Absorb the helpful writing and publishing information flying back and forth on a daily basis. When you feel comfortable and at home, ask your writing questions. Below are helpful online writing sites etc:

Critique Groups Inherit the Mentoring Crown (Sort of)


The best online writing boards usually have a badly kept secret: private critique groups that flourish among their members. Ask these lists if there are vacancies, and mention the type of books you write. No, critique groups do not mentor in the traditional way. There is no one-on-one – more like a rotation of five or six "critters" helping one. A critique group offers a chance to work with, and seek guidance and information from, writers who are more experienced. Each member receives helpful feedback on their plot and characters, voice, and much more. Encouragement and support is the backbone of these groups. Today, picky editors demand an almost perfect manuscript. Working with a trusted group of peers encourages you to look deeper, weed out what is weak, or rework that troublesome chapter one more time.

Mentoring – 21st Century Style – The Self-Help Approach
This is the age of the search engine and self-help! If genuine mentors are hard to come by, be independent. Think out of the box! Most published writers, and many who are not yet published, have websites. Think octopus! The many-tentacled links snaking from these websites can divert a flow of "how-to" information onto your computer screen. The wisdom of experienced writers is only a mouse click away. With help from Google, or other search engines, you can explore sites that offer current information about publishers, agents, or any aspect of writing for children. A few clicks will put you in the magical world of writing for children.

Listed Below Are Some of the Best Children's Websites Owned by Writers:

Due to the influence of modern technology, mentoring today has changed. It did not expire with the dodo bird, or when many editors threw up their hands and cried, "No more time!"  Mentoring dove into the 21st century, and evolved via the Internet. Mix a little do-it-yourself research on writer's websites, with membership in a message board or two, plus some experienced critique group input. Hey-presto, your manuscript is ready for a publisher.

And do please add YOUR  comments below
Enter our FREE giveaway 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  
Entry during the Children's Book Week celebration by Guardian Angel Publishing does not guarantee winning the FREE tote bag of Guardian Angel Publishing books, or the FREE picture book manuscript critique by Margot Finke. Winner of the FREE picture book manuscript critique by Margot Finke shall not hold Ms. Finke liable in publication success of submitted picture book manuscript.



Surf on over to some of the other
Guardian Angel Bloggers

and enjoy their Children's Book Week posts.

Margo Dill -
Margot Finke -
Donna McDine -
Nancy Stewart -
Kai Strand -
Nicole Weaver -


to read more.

The Magic Boab Tree that began it all. . .

to Download
Taconi and Claude's 21st Century Adventure

a FREE, fun, kid's (pdf) book


*Books for Kids – Manuscript Critiques
*Virtual School Visits – SKYPE makes it happen


  1. Wow, this post is chock full of resources! I'm sending the url to a new children's writer I know. Why recreate the wheel when you've so expertly crafted it already, right?

    Thanks, Margot!

  2. Thanks Kai. So glad my post hit the mark with you.

    BOOKS for KIDS - Manuscript Critiques

  3. Margot, thank you for taking the time to list out all these resources. I think mentoring has to be multifaceted as you suggest. I am also thrilled to have been selected for this years Nevada SCBWWI mentor program and know I shall get a lot out of this. I have also used a freelance editor who has mentored me in many ways. Super post worth bookmarking.

    1. So happy you enjoyed this post. Mentoring is so important if you want to really learn the writing ropes.

      BOOKS for KIDS - Manuscript Critiques

  4. Margot this is just what a "new" writer like me needs...real resources! Thanks for the goodies and all the great recommendations for mentoring ideas.

    1. My pleasure, Sharon. I really appreciate all your great comments this week.

      BOOKS for KIDS - Manuscript Critiques

  5. Just like the comment above I'm sending this post to my own children's picture book critique group. Thanks so much for all your wonderful links and this week of helpful posts. They have been a boon for many struggling writers. :)

    1. So glad you found my posts helpful. Your comments are much appreciated, mate.

      BOOKS for KIDS - Manuscript Critiques

  6. Hi Margot,

    I have been a 'lurker' following your blog for a while. Thanks for all your tips and advice so far. Like others, I will be forwarding on these links to other writer friends, including your site too!!


  7. Kim, I am so pleased you found my blog helpful. You passing on these links has made my day. Thanks a whole bunch, mate.

    BOOKS for KIDS - Manuscript Critiques