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Author offers tips on writing for young readers

December 09, 2013 8:15AM

Author and professor Casie Hermansson will offer guidance and practical advice for aspiring children’s writers on Thursday, Dec. 12, in the Wilkinson Alumni Center at Pittsburg State University. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Hermansson, a professor in Pittsburg State University’s English Department, will present “How to Write for Children and Youth: A Writer's Guide,” at 5:30 p.m. in the lower level of the Alumni Center.

Casie Hermansson mug“I decided to do this because there is a lot of general interest in the community in writing for children and youth (pre-K up through 12th grade) and a lot of people who have ideas but don't know what to do next, or have a story but are not sure where to send it,” Hermansson said.

The presentation will cover the major genres and markets, including magazines, trade presses, educational presses, and self-publishing.

“I have experience with a variety of these and publications in most major genres,” Hermansson said.

One of the challenges of writing for children and young readers is that is a diverse market.

“There is such a range of readerships from pre-K children, beginning with board books, up through young adult novels, so it's not possible to say what would make a great story or opening sentence,” Hermansson said. “But there are some general tips across all genres and consistent editor preferences.”

For example, Hermansson said, editors won’t tolerate condescending to the child reader, however inadvertently or kindly meant.

Hermansson earned a bachelor of arts degree from Massey University in New Zealand and a master of arts degree and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. She has published numerous books and articles for both adults and young readers. Hermansson’s own picture book for children 3-8 years old, “Clever Milly,” a child-friendly original story based on the Bluebeard fairy tale, is available on Amazon.

©2013 Pittsburg State University