A blog about reading, writing, finding and studying children’s books

A blog about reading, writing, finding and studying children’s books

Raising a reader: my experience as a bookish mum so far!
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As an editor who adores books, raising a reader is really important to me and I’m super lucky that my six year old, Caeden, loves books. But it’s not really down to luck – it’s because I’ve put the hours in! Since the day he was born I’ve been sure to surround Caeden with books as an absolute priority because seeing…

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How to write a spooky forest in middle grade or YA
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Hey – what was that noise? It sounded like a twig breaking but there’s nobody else around here, right? Must’ve been my imagination. Okay, stop – did you hear that? No, it wasn’t an owl. I’m telling you I heard a voice. I think they’re laughing. We’ve got to get out of here. Which way’s home again? Hello, authors! Welcome to…

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Club Ed Conversations: Editing Horror, Middle Grade and YA
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The year before last, the wonderful Jennifer Lawler invited me to speak to her students about editing horror for children and teenagers and of course I jumped at the chance! I love talking about children’s books, I love talking about horror and I love talking about editing – it’s truly my dream job – so I was delighted to be…

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Resources: Hiring a copyeditor
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If you work with me (or someone else) on a critique or edit, you might decide to continue your publishing journey with another editor. There are several types of professional editing available and they all happen at different stages in the process. You might decide to stop after your manuscript critique or you may choose to take your book through…

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FAQ: What’s in your contract and how does it protect me?
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Handing your manuscript over to a stranger is scary, I absolutely get it. That’s why I have a really detailed but easy to read, jargon-free contract that I’ll ask you to sign before we work together. That way, you know exactly what you’re getting out of our work together and you’ll know you’re protected. Here is my contract template for you…

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Nail Your Genre and Give Young Readers What They Want! New course 🎉
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If you struggle to pin down your book’s genre or don’t really understand why it matters when it comes to children’s books, this is the course for you! It comes with an interactive workbook, downloadable genre guide (a more detailed and up-to-date version of this one!) and genre bingo cards which are super fun. I’m massively excited about this one…

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FAQ: How does payment work at Writer and the Wolf?
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Editing and developing your craft can be super expensive investments. Trust me, I know! I’ve paid for more writing and editing courses than I can count, plus I’ve hired professional editors for my own work and none of them were cheap. So I get how important it is to understand upfront how and when you’re going to be expected to…

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Genre battle! The Clackity vs Clown in a Cornfield 2
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Hey, genre fans! Welcome to a new series on the blog: kidlit genre battle! The two questions that crop up most often in the emails and enquiries I receive are: is my book middle grade or YA? what genre is my book? I also work with a lot of authors who find it hard to find comp titles because they’re…

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Siobhan O'Brien Holmes – editor

Hello and welcome to Writer and the Wolf blog! I'm Siobhán and I'm a developmental editor of children's and YA books. This is where I post advice and tips for authors, parents, librarians and anyone who loves children's books!

Most popular posts

The MONSTER guide to middle grade and YA genres and subgenres
How old should your main character be?
What's a comic and what's a graphic novel?
How to write a creepy graveyard in middle grade or YA
5 simple ways to tell if a book's MG or YA without opening it
Which age group is YA for?





Joelle Wisler
Siobhán's advice shaped my manuscript and query into a project that got a full manuscript request from an agent in the first week of querying.

Jennifer Grolemund
I am completely BLOWN AWAY! Your feedback is SO helpful and SO thoughtful. You are a truly talented editor!

Hazel Compton
One of the best things I’ve ever done for my writing. I’ve been writing for years, but this manuscript critique has developed and delved into a much stronger, deeper and focused version of my novel.

Angela Kecojevic
You’ve nailed everything and picked up on the things only an editorial expert can spot! You really have been amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better editor to help with this!

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