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jlmott
10-12-2016, 10:30 PM
I am going to start querying agents about my middle grade novel at the beginning of November. I have no writing credits, so all I put in my bio is that I am a member of the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators. The question I have is that because I am also starting a podcast about middle grade books in November, of which there would be only two up for that month (one on the first and another halfway through the month-this will only be a twice a month podcast), should I bother mentioning it at all, or forget about it since it is so new and at this point in time not much to brag about? I am leaning towards the latter, but would be interested to hear another point of view.

Aggy B.
10-12-2016, 10:58 PM
I would probably leave that out. Even if you had more episodes up, it's only something of interest if it has a following/has brought folks into your readers platform. (Which isn't to say that it won't, but that's what you would want to talk about. "I have a podcast that has x number of subscribers/website traffic/etc." Not just that you have a certain number of episodes up.)

Best of luck with the querying.

Anna Spargo-Ryan
10-13-2016, 10:29 AM
I agree with Aggy. If you'd been doing it for a while and had some stats or acclaim to report ("I host X Podcast, which won the Best Podcast in the World Award and has 15,000 subscribed listeners), that would be worth including (so hopefully in future queries (that you hopefully won't need to send)).

WeaselFire
10-15-2016, 12:07 AM
Keep in mind that the bio is not necessarily a resume of your writing accomplishments. If you're writing middle grade, having children, siblings. nieces/nephews or random kids you grabbed ooff the street that you have read these books to or provided the books for, that can have some affect. Anything that justifies you writing your book.

Jeff

Toothpaste
10-15-2016, 12:47 AM
Actually Jeff, I'd disagree. Saying "My kids like this book" is kind of akin to "My mom liked this book". And just because you have kids in your life does not at all mean you can write for them. Possibly being a teacher or children's book librarian might be more helpful as a) that likely means you know what's popular and have read A LOT of current MG books, and b) you might have some good contacts come the book's publication. But otherwise I think it might be wiser to say less in the bio than trying to find something. I had absolutely no credits or anything and it was a non-issue :) .

WeaselFire
10-15-2016, 05:27 PM
Actually Jeff, I'd disagree. Saying "My kids like this book" is kind of akin to "My mom liked this book". And just because you have kids in your life does not at all mean you can write for them. Possibly being a teacher or children's book librarian might be more helpful as a) that likely means you know what's popular and have read A LOT of current MG books, and b) you might have some good contacts come the book's publication. But otherwise I think it might be wiser to say less in the bio than trying to find something. I had absolutely no credits or anything and it was a non-issue :) .

I think you're clarifying what I was intending to say, not disagreeing. The key is what makes you the author that should write this book.

Jeff

Toothpaste
10-15-2016, 08:06 PM
Oh okay cool! I was under the impression you were telling the OP that if they had had kids read their work and like it they should mention that in the query. Sorry that I misunderstood! :)

InsomniaShark
10-15-2016, 08:32 PM
I agree with the others that the podcast isn't worth mentioning quite yet, and you should just focus on why you're writing middle grade or what makes you an "expert" on it.

I like the "former teacher, current parent" thing in your profile. :] Maybe fluff it up with what grade you taught and the age of your kids? What's your current occupation?

I'm not familiar with the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators. Do you contribute to or participate in that in some way?

jlmott
10-18-2016, 04:24 AM
Thanks for all the responses. Like I said above, I didn't think it might be a good idea, and so far all the responses have confirmed my suspicions.

The Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators, since you asked, is probably the most well known national organization for published and would-be published children's writer's and illustrators. I have been able to attend numerous conferences through their regional office, including several sit-downs with editors and agents for a quick 10-15 critique of first 10 pages. A couple of times that has lead to request for manuscripts (but, alas, no takers) and I have had the chance to hear speakers such as Bruce Coville and Laurie Halse Andersen. I also get to meet with other struggling writers like myself to commiserate and share our thoughts and ideas. It has been invaluable to me, and I highly recommend it to any would-be kids book or YA authors.