03 October 2017
How to write for young readers, from the How to Train Your Dragon author
Cressida Cowell’s advice for children’s writers
• Read lots of children’s books. Think about what you loved to read, and read children’s books of today to get ideas of where you would fit in, and to get a sense of the levels at which children are reading.
• The other thing, practically, is to remember that it’s tough getting started. I was doing picture books for four or five years before I wrote How to Train Your Dragon, and that wasn’t instantly successful. It got a cult following, but it’s taken a long time to get established. So bear in mind not to get disheartened – things can take time.
• Listen to advice from agents and editors. I can be harder than you think, to listen to them. People feel very protective about their work, and that’s right, but advice from experienced agents and editors is worth hearing.
• I’m very keen on Writing Magazine – it inspires people to write. We need good new writers. I spend my time trying to inspire children to write – we need writers!