In Writing, Consider Your Audience – Writing about Fear for Children


Earlier today, i wrote about Fear and the way that Fear affects adults. I made the point that Fear affects Everyone, and I would like to add that it even affects children. After I wrote my morning post, I began thinking about the importance of considering audience in writing.


In my earlier post, I essentially said that Fear is paralyzing and that it prevents us from enjoying life and of even participating in life.  Here Quite honestly, the piece was much lighter than many of the things that I write for adults, but it was still not what I would write for a child. If I were writing to a Children’s Audience, I would approach the matter entirely differently, and Ella Burfoot has already done that very well in her book Darkness Slips In, which begins in a completely non-threatening way.

As the book begins, we are looking at a pink little girl in a pink little room. Almost Everything is in the Pink. But if you look beneath the bed, however, the image begins to suggest that something darker might be lurking about. Burfoot is beginning to slip in the idea that Darkness might Slip In.


And Here He Comes:


Even a child can sense that something unpleasant is about to happen, but the unpleasantness is presented gradually and in a way that a child can handle.


In my piece about Fear for adults, I made the point that Fear Happens, but the secret to surviving with Fear is to just keep on keeping on; or as John Wayne says, “Saddle Up Anyway!”  And that is what Burfoot is saying, too; but she says it in an entirely different way.


Earlier today, I also said that if we do not control Fear, Fear will control us, and in the above image, Burfoot is demonstrating that the little pink girl is managing Fear just fine, and she is still in the pink.


Earlier today, I made the point that I see no way of conquering Fear, and that the only way to survive it is to learn to live with your fear, and that is also what the above image is saying.

©Jacki Kellum July 11, 2016

You can see the entire book on the following video:



2 thoughts on “In Writing, Consider Your Audience – Writing about Fear for Children

  1. Hi – still trying for permission to borrow the use of this illustration: The one with the dancing child and the dancing Fear shadow behind her. This for my blog, I would certainly appreciate it and of course I will give you full credit and linkage. Thank you. –Herb


    1. I responded before. I do not have the permission to extend for that image. Sorry. In fact, I no longer even have the image in original jpeg


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