How to become a children’s or YA book author

by Emmy Abrahamson | 1 April 2014

stop listening to your inner critic, and believe that you truly have something that no-one else can tell

It is my opinion that drama teachers and practitioners make excellent children’s and YA (Young Adult) writers. We are in touch with young people, we think visually and dramaturgically, we have a good ear for dialogue, and we know the importance of keeping an audience interested.

My first book came out three years ago and I have since published a total of four YA books. All books have been sold to several different countries and have been nominated for numerous awards, one of them being Sweden’s most prestigious literary award: the August Strindberg-award. What I would like to do now is to encourage YOU to start writing and share with you some tricks, tips and rules that I have picked up during the last few years as a YA writer.

OK, here we go

Write about what you know. Personally I am not wildly imaginative but I have lived a pretty interesting life so I draw upon that. The first book was based on growing up with an eccentric Polish mother. The following three were a trilogy about a girl who moves to England to go to drama school and then tries to make it as an actress. The authenticity is in the details. My mother believes that male gynecologists, Russians and women named Patrycja cannot be trusted. I find the third example to be so bizarre and funny that I included it in my first book, and it’s these kind of details that make a story feel real and alive.

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