KidLit411 is such a wonderful resource for those trying to master the skill of writing for children! Do share how it came into being.
Five years ago, my critique partner, Elaine Kiely Kearns, had an idea to create a resource website for writers, to share articles on children’s writing and illustrating. I joined her effort and we created the website KidLit411.
Since then, your website has been named a best website for writers many times over! Congrats on that! Why do you think that is?
KidLit411 contains over thirty pages of writing and illustrating topics, from contests and awards to writing tips and agent submissions and many more. The pages include sixty to one hundred articles on each topic. We also interview at least one author or illustrator each week, featuring their recent books or work. Subscribers get a weekly update of all the new articles added to the website, about a dozen a week.
Since we began, we’ve featured over three hundred authors and illustrators in our Author and Illustrator Spotlights. Our website gets twenty-five thousand to thirty-five-thousand page-views a month!
The best part of KidLit411 is the community of authors and illustrators we’ve connected with, both online and in real life. We run an active Facebook group of over 6,300 children’s writers and illustrators and two companion pages where people can find critique partners, the KidLit411 Manuscript Swap and the KidLit411 Portfolio Critique Swap. Every day, people ask and answer questions in our group on all sorts of topics, from self-publishing to querying to mentor texts and more.
Personally, running KidLit411 is very gratifying. Elaine and I work great together and have a system to keep the interviews and links coming every week. Although it does take work, I feel so connected to the kidlit community. A side benefit is that we’ve created a platform that helps our own author careers. While promoting other authors and illustrators, we develop great relationships and friendships with those who in turn help us when our books come out.
Why do you think KidLit411 has such a continued following?
We try to keep our community engaged. Most years, we run a multi-day book "birthday" bash giveaway, where we give away books, editor critiques, agent query passes, and writing and illustrating courses. This year we ran a contest for illustrators to help design our website banner and Facebook group cover photo. The top two winners got cash prizes, and the top ten are having their banners featured on our website over the course of the year.
We always welcome kidlit peeps to join our Facebook group or follow our website and get connected. We can be reached at kidlit411 (at) kidlit411 (dot) com. Your blog readers are welcome to join us!
Thanks so much for the invitation, Sylvia, and for stopping by! It's been an honor hosting you!
The pleasure is all mine!