Kidlit Age Categories: Who’s Being Served?

You may imagine that the age categories for kidlit are neatly defined. Here at DIY MFA we’ve laid out what the boundaries typically are, to give writers a guideline. But we have to admit: there’s an awful lot of wiggle room. Dividing books by age is an imperfect measurement, because kids vary so widely in… Read more »

Bronwen Fleetwood

Diversity in Kidlit: Better Isn’t Enough

I’ve recently written about disparity in YA publishing and how it reflects broader trends in publishing generally in my column “Is this a YA thing?”: On Pay Rates, Racism, and Toxicity in Publishing. Now I am tackling a problem in kidlit. We need better DEI: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  This problem is not unique to… Read more »

Bronwen Fleetwood

Kidlit’s Coronavirus Response

There’s no denying it: COVID-19 is having a big impact on books, writing, and the world. It would feel strange to write a column now that didn’t mention it, or acknowledge the ways writers and illustrators, particularly of kidlit, are coping and helping.  Below, we’ll look at ways authors and illustrators are helping young readers… Read more »

Bronwen Fleetwood

Celebrating Reading: Days Dedicated to Books

‘Tis the season to celebrate books! Because reading and literacy are so important there are a number of book-oriented events on the annual calendar. Some are regional, some global. And they all emphasize the importance of reading for kids. As writers (and illustrators!) for children we should be deeply invested in spreading literacy and a… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Resolutions from the DIY MFA Team

Happy (Almost) New Year, Word Nerds! We hope you’ve had wonderful holidays, and are ready for a new decade (!!). In celebration of the end of 2019 and the beginning of the roaring twenties, we asked some members of the DIY MFA team what their resolutions are.  At DIY MFA, we believe goals or resolutions… Read more »

A Whole New World: Graphic Novels for Kids

Graphic novels are rising in popularity, across age groups. In September 2019 The New York Times announced, citing “reader interest and market strength,” that it would bring back its monthly “Graphic Books” best seller list, which includes fiction, nonfiction, kidlit, comics, and manga. Topping the list upon its October 2019 return is the Middle Grade… Read more »

What is SCBWI and Should You Join?

If you’ve spent any time in the kidlit writing community you’ve probably seen the acronym ‘SCBWI’ pop up. It stands for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a professional organization dedicated to supporting everyone who creates books for kids.  You may be wondering what qualifies a person for membership and what the drawbacks and… Read more »