Book Review:



Become a Children’s Writer

Insider Secrets!

Jill McDougall - 108 Pages

Published 2007 – Electronic Download

Reviewed by Cheryl Wright©
All rights reserved

I read a lot of non-fiction books. And I do mean a lot.

Those on similar subjects are often basically the same, which means I glean virtually no new information. This book is not one of those.

From the moment I started reading it was obvious this book was different, that the author had a thorough understanding of the children’s book industry. And of course, she does.

Jill McDougall has had over a hundred books published since 2001, and recently signed a new contract with international publisher, Walker Books.

Living in South Australia, Jill McDougall teaches creative writing, and I can fully understand why. As you read your way through the book her passion and knowledge are blatantly obvious.

Jill imparts so many of her secrets that nothing is left to chance.

She explains the various types of books (easy readers, picture books, chapter books etc) and explains the difference between educational and trade books, and why you should target both.

This book goes right into brass tacks and guides you through the process of researching existing books before you start writing your own.

As with all good books for writers, there’s a section on finding ideas. In addition to the actual finding of ideas – and keeping them – this section also teaches you a unique way of outlining your story.

This section alone is worth purchasing the book.

Jill takes you step-by-step into how she builds on a very simplistic idea and turns it into a basic outline for her books.

I sat down with my seven-year-old grandson and used this method, and at the end of the process, with very little prompting from me, he’d outlined a story for a ‘dragon’ book. I was amazed at how easy it was to do. (The intention is that together we will write this Chapter Book in the near future.) There is absolutely no reason you couldn’t use Jill’s method (or formula as she calls it) to outline fiction aimed at any age group.

This book is so chocka-block full of Insider Secrets, that you’ll be amazed. In addition to answering questions related to the topic, Jill has provided almost twenty pages of direct links to publishers’ guidelines. She has tirelessly tracked down children’s publishers around the globe who accept unsolicited submissions. This resource will save the writer hours of work especially since Jill’s links take you directly to the publishers’ submission page – something that is often hard to find.

When recommending books, people will often tell you it’s a gem. In my opinion, Jill McDougall’s Become a Children’s Writer is more of a diamond!


About the author: Cheryl Wright is an award-winning Australian author and freelance journalist. In addition to an array of other projects, she is the owner of the website and the Writer to Writer bi-weekly ezine for writers. Her publications include novels, non-fiction books, short stories, and articles. To keep up to date with her publications and new releases, visit Cheryl’s website


 Click Here to Learn More! 





How to Write a Great Children's Book


Become a Children's Book Writer