Writing Chapter Books
Writing Chapter Books
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Writing Chapter Books

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Create a series that kids will love


Chapter books are gaining more and more shelf space these days, and many editors are actively looking for new series to publish. But so few writers really understand how this unique format works.


LESSON 1: What Is a Chapter Book?/How to Develop Characters and Setting Worthy of a Series

  • Chapter book format
  • How to create engaging characters
  • How to develop a setting or situation that kids will want to escape to time and time again.

LESSON 2: Series Premise vs. Book Premise (and why they are both important!)

  • What is a series premise, and why should you develop one before you even start writing your first draft?
  • What is a book premise, and how does it differ from the series premise?

LESSON 3: The Nuts and Bolts of the Chapter Book Structure

  • The Crumb Cake Method vs. the Layer Cake Method of writing
    • What should go into your first chapter
    • Breaking your plot into chapters
  • The anatomy of a chapter
    • How to end each book in the series


marcie colleen

Marcie Colleen's books are The Super Happy Party Bears chapter book series (Macmillan), Love, Triangle illustrated by Bob Shea (HarperCollins), and Penguinaut!, illustrated by Emma Yarlett (Scholastic). She is a frequent presenter at conferences for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as a faculty member for The Writing Barn, San Diego Writer's Ink, and the University of California San Diego Extension. Her educational work in children’s literature has been recognized by School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, and the Children’s Book Council.