How Do I Know What Age Group I’m Writing For?

We get asked great questions from people looking for advice. Here’s a question I know many people have so I’m posting my advice here.

how to write for the kids you want to write forQuestion 

I’m a young fiction writer. I’m looking some of my stories published. I’m not a professional, but I took a creative writing course in High School, only a year ago. I write all kinds of stories from novels to short stories. I don’t really know how to write for an age group, but I was hoping you could help me with that. I can tell you, however, what age group my stories are intended for, and what inspired and influenced my ideas.

Answer

Congratulations! Keep up the writing. It’s a life long passion that you’ll grow into with practice. Writers write, so write often!

I’ve written a number of kids stories myself aimed at different age groups so let me share what I’ve learned along the way.

Let’s start by looking at assessing what you’ve written.  First off, there is a free writing assessor online  I can’t say this is the best assessor because things like “grade level” change from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but it might give you an idea of where you’re at.

The better approach is to talk to educators and librarians and let them read your book. They are the best to tell what age group writing is appropriate to. The added bonus of this approach is if they get excited about your book they may be willing to give you an endorsement or naturally help you in other ways to market and promote your book. Most teachers I know enjoy having local authors in to read to their class.

Now let’s get onto your future writing.

All writers need to think about the person they are writing to. I know some writers who keep pictures of a man and a women who they think about as their readers. They write to those people and it really shows in their writing.

Try it. Talk to some kids around the age you want to write to. Find out about them and think about how to best communicate to them. You’re not out to impress a teacher anymore. Your ideal reader is the one you’re writing to, so you’d better know them well.

I wrote a short story one day I a looking after my nephew. We talked about his day in school and his friends and I was inspired to write a story about my life when I was his age. Because I knew I was writing to him, the writing came very easily.

So…

  1. Get feedback on what you’ve written.
  2. Get to know your perfect reader well and write just for them.

Hope that helps and look forward to working with you in the future.

Trevor Lund
Book Marketing Director
PageMaster Publication Services
780.425.9303

I help authors sell more books bringing them added income and prestige even if they don’t know how to market locally, have never been interviewed by the media, or don’t have time for social media marketing. Contact me today.

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