This section contains selected quotes about writing for children from some top children's authors. These quotes provide insight into children's writing and explain how it is different from mainstream adult literature.
Dr. Seuss: "So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads." (source)
Maurice Sendak: "I don't write for children. I write. And somebody says, that's for children." (source)
J.K. Rowling: "One of the nicest things about writing for children is that you don't find them deconstructing novels. Either they like it or they don't like it." (source)
Roald Dahl: "By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this."
C.S. Lewis: "Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite." (source)
Eric Carle: "Let's put it this way: if you are a novelist, I think you start out with a 20 word idea, and you work at it and you wind up with a 200,000 word novel. We, picture-book people, or at least I, start out with 200,000 words and I reduce it to 20." (source)
Beatrix Potter: "There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you." (source)
A.A. Milne: "Ideas may drift into other minds, but they do not drift my way. I have to go and fetch them. I know no work manual or mental to equal the appalling heart-breaking anguish of fetching an idea from nowhere." (source)
R.L. Stine: "I've never turned into a bee - I've never been chased by a mummy or met a ghost. But many of the ideas in my books are suggested by real life. (source)
Dr. Seuss: "I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities." (source)
Jeff Kenny: "Greg is made up of all my worst parts from adolescence. I do strive to remember funny things from my childhood, then I put those memories in the fiction blender and they sometimes wind up in the books." (source)
J.K. Rowling: "There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place."
E.B. White: "A writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life." (source)
Shel Silverstein: "Never explain what you do. It speaks for itself. You only muddle it by talking about it." (source)
Judy Blume: "The best books come from someplace deep inside. You don't write because you want to, but because you have to. Become emotionally involved. If you don't care about your characters, your readers won't either." (source)
Madeleine L'Engle: "If it's not good enough for adults, it's not good enough for children. If a book that is going to be marketed for children does not interest me, a grownup, then I am dishonoring the children for whom the book is intended, and I am dishonoring books. And words." (source)
You can find more interesting writing quotes on our quotes about writing and quotes about poetry pages.