Publish and Launch your Child’s Writing

How to publish and launch your child's writing_ My Little Bookcase

Celebrating and showcasing the wonderful talents and achievements of children is a strong passion of mine. I also stand by my word that kids will develop a positive attitude to writing if they are given meaningful opportunities to write. That is,  writing that has a real purpose.

Publishing a child’s work can be incredibly empowering. It shows them that people are interested in their writing and care about what they have to say; Team that with an official book launch and a child’s confidence in themselves and their work can soar.

Pulling this off is much easier than you might think.  Cammy started writing her story in April and it was just sitting on my computer. Just a few days before The Reading Hour, we decided that it would be an opportune time to share her story with family. In just a few days we printed the book and prepared for the book launch. The key is to keep the event simple but fulfilling.

Here’s a run-down of our event for you:

1. WRITING THE STORY

Proficient writers will be able to write on their own. Although a stimulus or prompt might help your child to develop a story line.

Pre and beginning writers, although not able to write legible words, are still capable of composing stories. They may just need a scribe to help them convey their thoughts. This is what I did for Cammy.

Parents can use a mentor text with pre and early writers, where children use the structure of the book as a guide for their own story. In our case, we used I’ve an Uncle Ivan. Cam wrote her story in April 2013. At the time,  I’ve an Uncle Ivan was a favourite story for Cammy, especially after attending the book launch. But Cammy thought writing a story about family would be perfect for her baby brother to introduce him to his family members. I’ve an Uncle Ivan consists of a fairly simple format; each page introduces a family member in the form of a rhyming sentence.

Cam brainstormed rhyming words for each of her family members and used those to construct sentences. At the beginning, she needed help with the number of syllables in her sentences, but quickly picked up the pattern.

Publishing your child's writing_ My Little Bookcase

2. PUBLISHING THE STORY

There is nothing wrong with using a child’s own handwriting in a published piece of work, but as Cammy is a pre-writer I acted as her scribe and chose to type her story. I used Microsoft Publisher- as it allows you to easily create a booklet using a predesigned template.

3. ILLUSTRATING THE STORY

Each page featured a rhyming sentence about a family member. I included a photo of the family member and Cammy illustrated the page, giving more meaning to her text.

Tips for publishing your child's illustrated stories. My Little Bookcase

Parts of a book_ My Little Bookcase

4. PRINTING THE STORY

We kept the book simple and had the books photocopied at Officeworks. We bound the book (covered the staples) with washi tape. For a more professional finish, you could have your books printed by Blurb.

Use Washi Tape to bind your child's first published book_ My Little Bookcase

5. INVITING GUESTS TO THE BOOK LAUNCH

We invited Cammy’s family by sending a simple multimedia text message. Although we didn’t give much notice to family members, they were keen to come along to support Cammy.

A book launch invitation_ My Little Bookcase

6. PREPARING AND PLANNING A BOOK LAUNCH

We kept the party planning very simple:

  • We chose to serve food that can be easily prepared with the help of children (fairy bread, cupcakes, popcorn, sausage rolls and party pies).
  • We provided and wrapped book thank you gifts for each of the children at the launch party (it was The Reading Hour after all).
  • Face-painting was on the top of Cammy’s book launch list. It was something she’d seen at other book launches. Tattoo pens seemed like a simple compromise.
  • We also used the event to showcase Cammy’s abundant art work. For a bit of fun, we added price tags to each piece of art.


Tips for hosting a book launch for your child. Visit My Little Bookcase for details.

Set up a Book Signing Table_ My Little Bookcase launches child's book.

Provide book gifts for children at a child's first book launch_ My Little Bookcase

Face painting at a child's book launch_ My Little Bookcase

Run an art sale at your child's book launch. Visit My Little Bookcase for details.

7. BOOK LAUNCH READING AND SIGNING

Cammy practised her speaking skills by reading her book aloud to her audience. Her family was completely enthralled and blown away by her confidence. Her humorous punch lines were well-received too.

Cammy thoroughly enjoyed her night. We were both on Cloud Nine as she discussed her art and signed books.

Publish and launch your child's writing_ My Little Bookcase

Publish and launch your child's writing

Publish and launch your child's writing

Launching your child's writing with a book launch and book signing_ My Little Bookcase

Create an art gallery at your child's first book launch_ My Little Bookcase

Publish and launch your child's writing

THE FUTURE

Our most talented authors and writers surely had humble beginnings. I get quite excited about the effect this book launch may have on Cammy- on her love for writing, her desire to write, and on her confidence as a writer. A little bit of effort for a rewarding future certainly seems worth it.

Hatched
I was quite moved to receive a copy of Hatched from Fremantle Press last year.  Writing competitions and awards are another way for children to showcase their love and talent for writing and the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers encourages creativity and imagination, and provides young writers with an opportunity to develop their writing skills. Hatched is a collection of the winning stories from 1993 to 2012, all written by children aged 10-16. Reading the short stories made me miss the classroom more than ever before. The stories were brilliant, but I was excited for the children that their stories had been published in this way.

So I encourage you to celebrate your child’s writing.

FURTHER IDEAS FOR ENCOURAGING WRITING:

My Little Bookcase Writing Activities board

My Little Bookcase Storytelling Prompts Pinterest Board

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About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase

Publish and Launch your Child’s Writing

6

  1. I am actually in tears reading this Jackie! It is so amazing! What a wonderful experience for Cammy!! And so wonderful to see her beautiful smiling family supporting her! What a wonderful childhood you are creating for her Jackie – you’re a star! xx

  2. Debs said: On April 28, 2014

    I just love that you had a book launch party. What a special experience for your little girl. Fabulous job!

  3. Such a great way to build confidence. We have made a few books, but this is taking it one step further. What a lovely idea.

  4. Hey Jackie! Just stumbled upon this post and was thrilled to see “I’ve an Uncle Ivan” used as a template for Cammy to use for her own story. Great work Cammy! So nice to see the launch was a huge success. I held some rhyming/drawing workshops at ArtPlay in Melbourne that used the pattern of “Ivan” to make a large book written and illustrated by the kids. Was a huge success, and shows how talented the next generation are. Cheers, Ben.

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