“30 Nuggets of Knowledge from the Tucson Festival of Books, Part 1”

Tucson Festival of Books Main Drag
Lynn on the Tucson Festival of Books Main Drag

Sometimes it takes me a couple of months to digest savory notes on writing. Such is the case with the incredible 2015 Tucson Festival of Books. There I found information and experience concerning all genres about children’s books, especially writing them. I uncovered at least 30 nuggets of knowledge. I didn’t have to dig deep to find that practical information and inspiration on writing and publishing books for children. Below is a list (in no particular order) of the first 10 morsels of writing wisdom I unearthed from the numerous talented children book authors who held presentations at the two-day festival:

  1. Write with hope.
  2. Children’s books need a message, but don’t be didactic.
  3. Put away your manuscript for three to six months to see if you perceive it differently when you pick it back up.
  4. When your manuscript “feels” right, then it’s done! Also when your critique group can’t find anything.
  5. You need to be tough. It takes many rejections, submissions and never quitting to become published.
  6.  If you don’t submit you won’t be rejected…or published!
  7. Take the time to get into your “creative head space.” Interruptions take time away from creativity.

    Doreen Cronin, author of the very well-received picture book,
    Doreen Cronin, author of the very well-received picture book, “Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type,” talks about creating memorable characters using her book, “Diary Of A Worm.”
  8. Find “writing windows” in your regular schedule.
  9. Know yourself and your limitations. Sometimes time, life, and health will interfere.
  10. Reward yourself with chocolate and pizza. (I’m onboard with that!)

Next time we’ll look at the following 10 nuggets of knowledge in Part 2. I find that 1, 5, 6, and 10, are personal gold for me because they hit at the heart of my writing life, especially as an aspiring children’s author. Your Input: Among these first 10 pearls of writing wisdom, which speak to you the most and why?


  1. Thank you for your nuggets. I like 8 and 9. Taking time off to be with out of country family and then traveling was great. Now I am ready to settle down and write. I have lots more ideas too.


  2. 4. I think that most stories will not ever feel done to the author. Constant tweaking can become problematic. 10. I think so often we forget to reward ourselves for our hard work when we tend to focus on the downside of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I must agree with you on #4, Savannah. It is possible to over revise, something I can be guilty of at times. And #10 is often overlooked. I find having chocolate while writing is quite conducive to creativity. Pizza is a plus afterwards. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 3. Even letting it sit overnight works. There’s nothing so disconcerting as reading something the next day and saying, “Huh? What were you thinking?”


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