Monday, January 7, 2013

The Kidlit Writer's Alphabet

    By Kris Kahrs

     By the same people who brought you The Pirate's Alphabet, Ms. K. felt inspired to share her version of the Kidlit Writer's Alphabet.  Please feel free to join in and share your own version in the comments below.

A is for Associate Social Media Editor, the job you take while working on your manuscript nights.

B is for 'But first coffee..', the first thing your brain says in the morning as you stagger to your writing table after another late night.

C is for Conference, where you spend the trillions of dollars you make at your day job to flog your latest YA, geek-cum-vampire masterpiece.

D is for Desk Cat, because (say it with me now), no writer should be without one.

E is for Earnest, as in the tone of the Query Letter you write to the editor you met at the conference.

F is for the thing that you said when you received your twelfth rejection letter.

G is for Great which is the chocolate you ate after the twelfth rejection letter.

H is for Hungover, which is how you feel after you drank the martinis after you ate the chocolate after the twelfth rejection letter.

I is for Instant Acceptance, which is how the newly published author you went to listen to at the bookstore described how her book got picked up after she got out of her Master's program.

J is for 'just', the word you did a search and replace on and found 54 times in your manuscript.

K is for Knight, the new character you add to your YA manuscript on the advice of your online critique.

L is for the Love letter you write to the agent who calls to request the whole manuscript after reading your ten page submission.

 M is for the Mantra (please buy my book) you chant the whole time the agent has your manuscript.

N is for the Non-stop fun you are having doing the revisions requested by said agent.

O is for the Opera you sang when the agent offered to take you on as a client.

P is for the Publishers your agent shops your manuscript to.

Q is for yet another Quick and dirty revision you do for each of them.

R is for the Riot you started at Staples when you couldn't find the right ink cartridge for your printer.

S is for the Salmon filet you cooked for desk cat (you had the champagne) when the publisher called to say they wanted your book.

T is for the cup of Tea you had (to keep your hands from shaking) when you went in to the Publisher's offices to sign the contract.

U is for the pair of Uggs you bought that you wore to Starbucks because you are a writer in L.A. after all.

V is for Very ecstatic because your agent says your book is on The New York Times bestseller list.


W is for Writing the sequel because your agent has created a bidding war for your next manuscript.

 X is for the Xtra large cup of Pinkberry you buy because you figure you can afford the big bucks.

Y is for the YES you screech when your agent tells you that a producer is interested in making a movie of your book.

Z is for zealous, which is how you feel about you and desk cat religiously getting your couples' massage on Tuesdays.

     Best of luck to all of us in 2013!


  1. Love But First Coffee. So essential. And just-well, I can't count how many times I've deleted that. Happy New Year!

  2. Hi Natalie- so glad the post resonated for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. I am dithering between putting S, V, and Y first on my favorites list. Loved it. Thanks Kris.

  4. Thanks Sue. It was fun to write.

  5. I'm sharing this with my Washington critique group. How fab! And I love the letters! Just Judy

  6. Hi Judy--

    I'm so glad you love the letters, so do I. Took a long time to do them and they still look a little blurry. Not sure if it's my eyes or the browser! Thanks for stopping by and letting us entertain you.

  7. Went through Second Chances . Cut the number of uses of the word 'just' from 89 to 19. It's always been a favorite of mine....(sigh)

  8. WOW! This took a lot of effort, and I love it! Love U! :) LOL

  9. Hi Margo, we'll take love anyway we can get it! Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Brilliant A-Z! Thanks for another reminder about that blessed word 'just'.

  11. Hi Rosemary--

    Other bugaboos are: Well, but, then, and....(sigh). Thanks for reading!

  12. I'm stuck at Ja! I just hate that word.

  13. Thank you Pat. It was fun to do.

  14. Hi Australia! Are you local to L.A.? Or just visiting? Glad you like it. What a blast it was to do.

  15. I found you through the Comment Challenge. I love the KidLit Writer's Alphabet! Makes me want to do one for KidLit illustrators. hmmm...

    1. Hi Kristen, we love the Comment challenge! Yes, please do one for the Illustrators. It would be soooo perfect for them!

  16. This made me smile, Ms. K. Oh, how I'd love to make a sale, let alone get a movie deal. I shall dream on. :-)

  17. Carmela, it's just around the corner. I can feel it! Thanks for reading.

  18. Haha! I love this! Especially the desk cat...

  19. This is awesome. Gotta love the letter F one. I loved this post. What a cute and creative idea.

  20. What a fun post! Does the instant acceptance happen very often? Unusual, right?

  21. It got aspirationally wacky there towards the end, but definitely was fun! (Oh, and per your suggestions over at the Comment Challenge check-in, I've eliminated the word verification on my blog comments and just left it at comment moderation - hopefully that will make commenting easier!
    best to you all!

  22. Bless you, Lee!!!!
    Off to comment now.


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