Writing for children is a tricky business - but, as always, we’re here to help. With the entries for our Villain competition rolling in (where entrants have to create a children’s/YA villain that makes us shiver in our socks), we thought now would be the perfect time to direct you to the tips and advice on writing for children on our website and beyond.

First up, you need to decide – who exactly are you writing for? Children, yes. But what age group? The answer to this question could be the difference between a 32-page picture book, and a full-length novel aimed at 12 to 13 year olds. Very few children’s books manage to transcend the boundaries between age groups; you’ll find your job much easier if you establish who exactly your target audience is.

Of course, this will mean some self-imposed restraints on your writing before you’ve even started – but if you want to join the fabled ranks of Roald Dahl, J K Rowling and Enid Blyton, then it’s time to power on through those complications anyway! We have a comprehensive section on how to write for children on this website – below is our selection of articles on writing for children, from the leading editors, writers and illustrators in the industry, along with some suggestions for children’s book blogs for you to follow.

All about writing for children by Cressida Downing

Writing for children: getting started by Alison Stanley

Girls vs. boys: do we cater more for boys? By Janey Louise Jones

How to choose your villain by Laura Powell

How to create a fantastic picture book by Emma Blackburn

How to start the next trend by Janey Louise Jones

Interview with Debi Gliori

Picture books: pictures VS words by Janey Louise Jones

Write for children

Writing and the children’s book market by Chris Kloet, Editor

Writing for children’s theatre by David Wood

Writing for teen magazines by Michelle Garnett

Writing genre fiction for children by Malorie Blackman

Writing poetry for children by John Foster

Also, it’s really worth checking out some of the most popular children’s book blogs. For reviews of picture books, The Book-Sniffer is great – whatever book you’re writing, it’s important to stay in tune with the current market; read what’s selling well and then try to find your own niche.

Another review-based blog to follow is the winner of Goodreads’ Children/YA blog 2012, Nerdy Book Club – they cover a wider age range. Finally, take a look at An Awfully Big Blog Adventure and Trapped By Monsters for blogs written by children’s authors.