Ok, summed-up version. Was working on science fiction novel, stalled, got real depressed, decided to take a week off of writing while I was in Florida. During that time I read some old critiques for a short story I'd written called "The Legendary Fox." One reader said, "The idea of a young crippled rabbit who is an outcast appeals much more to me than the gruff ex-solider schoolmaster. Why not make him the protagonist?" This led to an unfortunate series of connect-the-dots in my brain that made me think: Hey, maybe there's book potential here? It's already 7000 words long and the sequel story you wrote is 12,000.

My experiences with "children's" fantasy have been all over the timeline and almost exclusively informed by British fiction. Redwall, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Narnia, Artemis Fowl, etc. I've tried looking up contemporary American "children's" fantasy with little to no success (I guess Fablehaven counts?), which leaves me woefully uninformed about the current market and sensibilities (what one can and cannot "get away" with, like violence and dramatic themes).

So yes, I have ideas in my head but I'm not sure what kind or what to do with them. I'm thinking about rewriting the short story as suggested and submitting it to Ember magazine (with whom I have a good rapport), but I'm already spiraling down the path of world-building. Figured it was best to come here and ask a few questions before I get too far ahead of myself.

1. Does the old anthropomorphic animal fantasy trope still have a place in kid's lit? I question whether or not my stuff is marketable.

2. What are some recent titles I should check out to get a feel for the genre/category/age group and how things are done?

3. Biggest perks/challenges in writing this kind of literature?

4. Anything you think I should know or try.

Thanks for listening. This is a direction I honestly never expected my writing to take.