I have recently enrolled in the Institute of Children's Literature writing course. I guess editors probably don't really care that I'm trying to better my skills? I've been playing the slush pile game with publishing houses now for 10 years, I thought ICL might give me a leg up. What do you think?
Editors don’t care that you’ve taken a writing course. Editors don’t care if you’re in SCBWI. Editors don’t care if you’ve written a column on children’s books for the last few years in your local paper.
Editors care that your writing is good. If I read in your query letter than you took a writing course at the Institute of Children’s Literature, it won’t make a difference to me one way or the other. It’s very nice, but it doesn’t really matter very much.
Because, as always, what matters is your writing.
And so the course is valuable if it improves your writing. If it makes you a better writer, a better storyteller, then it is definitely worthwhile.
But don’t expect the name of your course alone (or even stellar recommendations from your professors) to get you through the door.
The course doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t help, either – on our end. On your end, it might make all the difference.