Talk to 'Em: Writers, Find Your Tools and Use Them

Rita Lorraine

After a pretty hectic start to 2017, I’m finally able to sit down and write a few lines for those readers who love writing and want to eventually see their books advertised on The Black History Channel.

Because in case you didn’t know, The Black History Channel loves to discover new talent – especially new writers, so that we can help our readers and everyone else out there find your quality product.

By the way, for information on how to get your book on The Black History Channel, click HERE.

I’m just finishing Week #3 of a 6-week course offered in a private room on Facebook on how to write picture books. The course is fabulous so far: I’m learning about story structure, how to find ideas, how to break down trade-published books in order to understand how they were written, how to craft page turns, and a myriad of other things. But just so you know, this post isn’t merely about taking a picture book class, it’s actually about something even more important: It's about recognizing what you need to get your books out there. It's about finding your "tools," using them, and then doing all you can to stay on top of your game.

In case you know a little about my background, you know that I already have two trade-published picture books in various stages of completion out there. One will be published by Lee and Low in 2018 and the other will be published by Random House in 2020. And so, you may be wondering why someone who has already broken through in that respect is currently taking a class on writing and putting together picture books. Because I CAN, that's why. Because fabulous, high-quality courses are out there for the taking...but it's up to YOU to find them.

Did you know, for instance, that there are great writing rooms on Facebook that are FULL TO BURSTING with people who write, just like you; people who are striving to get their books published, just like you; people who want to learn but may have to do it “on a shoe-string budget,” just like you? These people, like myself, have surfed their way to better writing by finding what’s available online and taking advantage of it. These people recognized that they needed certain tools to get their work out there. Then they found those tools and got to work. And the best thing about the tools they found is that they're ONLINE and they're FREE!

Since I try to be careful about endorsing courses and products (what's great for me may be not so good for you!), I won't offer a rating or ranking on these writing rooms; I'll just provide the links so you can investigate yourself.

Kidlit 411 - a children's literature group with industry news and opportunities to form critique groups.

Kidlit Manuscript Swap - a place to get and give critiques on original work.

Binders Full of Picture Book Writers - everything picture book and everything "women" (sorry, brothers!)

This short list will get you started with finding free courses that will help you hone your skills. Just know that you can find just about anything you're looking for on Facebook (or any other platform; these just happen to be on Facebook). Just place some keywords in the search bar and see what you come up with.

Best wishes for your writing,
Rita Lorraine


    • Thank you, Adrienne! That’s exactly the goal here. There are so many amazing ways to gain experience and success in publishing WITHOUT paying hundreds or thousands to a “vanity publishing site,” but unfortunately, many writers don’t know it until it’s too late. For example, there is a “summer school” class writing that has been in effect for at least three summers where characterization, humor, pacing and other important factors that go into writing are taught and reinforced. The Black History Channel plans to share all of these resources with our readers.

      Thanks again for your comment and for your support.


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