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The Award-Winning Recipe: 10 Secrets to Crafting Unforgettable Children's Books

As someone who has served on judging panels for award-winning books, I have noticed certain elements that are often present in successful children's literature. Here are ten things to keep in mind when writing a children's book that could potentially become award-winning:

1. Focus on the story, not the award:

Your first book might not be your best work, but that's okay. Focus on crafting a compelling story, and the accolades may follow.

2. Write for yourself first:

Create a story that you would enjoy reading repeatedly. Don't sacrifice fun and enjoyment for heavy-handed moral lessons.

3. Embrace realism:

To create relatable stories, draw from your own experiences and observations instead of relying on stereotypical characters, clichés, or events that only exist in an idealized world or La La Land.

4. Build your audience:

Establish a personal brand and reputation as a writer. Utilize free publishing tools and social media platforms to gain exposure and build a fan base.

5. Study award-winning books:

Broaden your horizons by exploring award-winning children's books from different languages and countries. This will give you a better understanding of what makes a story successful.

6. Remember that judging is subjective:

Different judges have different preferences, and an award-winning book is often a compromise between panel members. Don't be discouraged if your work isn't immediately recognized.

7. Leave room for the illustrator:

Be mindful of the artist's role in the storytelling process. Allow space for their creative input and collaboration.

8. Research your subject thoroughly:

Familiarize yourself with existing stories and ideas in your chosen subject area. If you still want to write about that topic, find a fresh perspective or new approach.

9. Stay connected to current events:

Keep track of pressing matters globally and consider incorporating relevant themes or issues into your story. This could help you discover new, timely topics to explore.

10. Use a familiar yet surprising story template:

Stick to the basic structure of a story, ensuring elements like plot, characters, point of view, setting, theme, conflict, and style are all accounted for. Employ a balance of familiarity and surprise to engage your readers from beginning to end.

In conclusion, writing an award-winning children's book takes effort, dedication, and patience. But if you keep these ten tips in mind, you might just create a story that stands out and captures the hearts of many. Remember to associate with a reputable publisher to increase your chances of being eligible for awards. However, getting your work published by a renowned publisher can be challenging. So, keep working hard and never give up on your dreams of becoming a successful children's book author.


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