The Bookshelf Cafe News

Choosing a Title

 Even though your title may change before publication, it’s worth choosing a good working title.

Lessons in Picture Books

 Kids want to be entertained, not lectured, by their picture books.

Common Writing Mistakes

 Watch out for these common mistakes even good writers make.

Fourth Wall

 Here are some mentor texts if you want to break the fourth wall (talk directly to…

Picture Book Dummies

 Even if your only artistic talent is drawing stick figures, if you’re writing a picture book,…

Sense of Smell

 We all know how important it is to include all five+ senses in our writing, but…

Dialogue Tips

 These dialogue tips will leave your readers wanting more.

Plot Problems

 Maybe your plot problem is actually a character arc problem.

Raising the Stakes

 How do you raise the stakes in your novel to keep your reader turning the pages?…

Pinch Points

 What are pinch points and where should they go in your story?

Picture Book Pacing

 “Hijack” a mentor picture book to test out the pacing of your manuscript.

Average Word Counts

 There are always exceptions, but it’s a good idea to try in stay within the average…

Children’s Books Age Levels

 What are the usual age ranges for each category of children’s book?

Switching Agents Within an Agency

 What’s the appropriate way to ask to switch to another agent within the same agency?

Revision Tips

 Here are eight detailed suggestions of what to do and look for when revising.

Describing Action

 Describe actions in chronological order–this happenned, then that–so you don’t confuse your readers.

Picture Book Tips

 Here are twenty tips for writing the best picture book possible.


 Bring your book to life by incorporating aspects of the physical setting.

Purple Prose

 How do you avoid purple prose–writing that draws attention to itself?

Where to Cut

 Here are some ways to tighten your manuscript by cutting unneccessary words, phrases, and even, scenes.…

Kidlit Agents

 Here are 89 agents who rep children’s books and are open to submission at the time…

Show, Don’t Tell

 We’ve all heard that we should show, don’t tell, but that advice can sometimes lead you…

Author Blogs

 How do you maintain an author blog with regular posts?

Why do Responses Take So Long?

 Why does it take so long for an agent or an editor to get back to…

Universal Emotions

 Avoid detailing emotions that everyone feels in your novel.