Hello, my name is Kevin McNamee. I currently live in Yonkers New York, along with my wife and daughter. Originally, I come from The Bronx, which doesn't really deserve the bad rap that it gets. But my experiences there, have given me a wide assortment of characters and plots to choose from. Although I may need to clean some of them up quite a bit to be suitable for the children’s market.
I’ve been writing since I learned the alphabet. I wrote mostly fiction, but I had never tried writing for children. That changed after my daughter was born and our house was flooded with children's books. One day, I was watching my nieces fight and it gave me an idea for a sibling rivalry story that eventually became The Sister Exchange. There was no looking back.
I continued to write and I started submitting my work for publication. Before long, I had amassed an impressive collection of form rejection letters. But I was determined to learn all I could about writing for children and the children’s market, so I did the following…
- Read Harold Underdown’s Complete Idiots Guide to Writing for Children
- Read Writing Children’s Books for Dummies
Despite their titles, they really do hold a lot of practical information about writing and the children’s market. I also…
- Joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
- Joined two terrific critique groups that I found through SCBWI, one for prose, one for poetry
- Bought the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market annually for invaluable information on where to market my work
If you happen to be a writer and you’re just starting out, I highly recommend that you do all of the above. If you happen to be a writer and you’ve done all of the above, good for you!
As I’ve been educating myself about the children’s market and striving to improve my writing, I’ve noticed the following:
- My rejection letters are getting nicer
- I’ve had some successes. Here they are…
… and I’m trying my best to add to this list.