Web resources for picture book writers & illustrators:
Some resources are free; others are for purchase.
Updated December, 2017
All the Wonders Picture book podcasts, children’s book podcasts, author interviews.
Behind the Name: About Names and Etymology Can be helpful for naming your characters.
Bookworm for Kids Includes recommended book lists by theme (e.g., grief/loss), genre (e.g., fantasy/magic), subject (e.g., science/nature), season (e.g., fall and Halloween), and read-alouds (e.g., bedtime stories).
Children’s Book Insider: How To Fix Your Picture Book Manuscript Laura Backes and Jon Bard’s website Children’s Book Insider includes other writing information in their latest posts. You can also join Children’s Book Insiders.
Children’s Illustrators Gives illustrators the opportunity to promote their work directly to publishers and art buyers worldwide.
Children’s Writer’s Guild (CWG) Community of writers, illustrators and educators promoting excellence in children’s media. CWG Online features articles by artists and educators.
Discover Success Books that help build character, educate, promote good thoughts. Search for books under the Book Search tab by name, habit (e.g., acceptance), audience (e.g., picture books), etc. Great way to find comparable titles to your own book.
Drawn to Picture Books Illustrators share tips and their love of the picture book art form.
Epic Eighteen Brief bio’s on recently-published or soon-to-be published picture book authors, including their books, publishers, and agents.
Everyday Diversity Project Identifies and reviews picture books predominantly featuring People of Color and Native Americans.
Grog Writing resources in a group blog by kidlit authors and others in the field.
Hannah Holt Author Hannah Holt’s blog about making a living as a kidlit writer and other relevant info.
Heather Ayris Burnell This picture book author’s website offers a monster list of picture book agents and publishers, as well as agent interviews, query letters, and other info for picture book writers.
High Concept Picture Books & the Hook A children’s book editor’s definition of what editors mean by high concept picture book, and what editors want in the hook when you pitch your story to them.
Highlights Foundation: Workshops for Children’s Authors & Illustrators Inspirational and informative workshops for children’s authors and illustrators.
How Can You Tell If You’re Using Picture Book Language From literary agent Tracy Marchini.
How Genre & Category Impact Your Ability to Get Published A Savvy Authors blog by literary agent Meg LaTorre-Snyder.
How to Create a Fantastic Picture Book Helpful advice from Emma Blackburn, Bloomsbury Publishing editorial director.
Institute for Writers / Institute of Children’s Literature Offers writing courses.
Jane Yolen: For Writers Musings and advice from prolific writer Jane Yolen.
Josh Funk Shares Powerhouse Marketing Strategies Author Josh Funk’s marketing advice for before and after a debut picture book launches.
Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 Picture Book Writing Challenge An annual online gathering of fellow picture book writers whose goal is to get participants inspired to write a draft or manuscript per month.
KidLit 411 Multiple resources (author interviews, illustrator interviews, poetry & rhyme, picture book resources, diversity in kidlit, other writing resources) for children’s book writers & illustrators.
Literary Rambles: Spotlighting Children’s Book Authors, Agents, & Publishing Agent interviews, other helpful kidlit information, & an agent database you can search by age category, e.g., Agents who rep PB (picture books).
The Manuscript Academy Site of literary agent Jessica Sinsheimer and media professional Julie Kingsley which offers free and for-a-fee writing resources: podcasts, classes, critiques by an agent or editor.
Manuscript Wish List and #MSWL and FAQ #MSWL is the Twitter version of Manuscript Wish List®, where agents and editors of all writing genres post what they want in their inbox. Only agents and editors post on #MSWL and ManuscriptWishList.com, but writers can search posts for those compatible with their work.
Picture Book Depot Reviews of picture books
Picture the Books Website of debut authors and illustrators. Congratulations!
Scholastic Reads Podcast about children’s books.
So, You’ve Written a Children’s Book … Now What? From the publishing company Chronicle Books
Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Offers many resources for writers, including a national conference, local conferences, in-person and online critique groups, etc.
Standout Books Blog & Blog Archives Critiquing and writing tips in various genres as well as other writer support.
Sub It Club Query and submission support for writers from writers and others in the writing field.
The Surprisingly Complex Principles of a Successful Picture Book Children’s book editor, Melissa Manlove, explores the principles of a good picture book using Kate Messner’s Over and Under the Snow.
Teaching Authors Six children’s authors who also teach writing.
Tips for Creating Child Appeal in Your Picture Books From literary agent Tracy Marchini.
VonnaCarter.com Lists of writing conferences, writer retreats, and other nation-wide and online resources for kidlit writers.
Where Do You Get Your Ideas? Neil Gaiman’s essay (and idea starter).
The Winged Pen Articles from writers about writing for children and young adults.
Writer’s Digest Shop Resources for writers who write for all age groups, including the following specifically for picture book writers:
- Writer’s Digest Shop: Picture Books Includes books, critique services, tutorials, webinars, and more.
- Writer’s Digest Shop: Picture Book Tutorials For discount, use coupon code at this link: 15% Off Video Writing Tutorials at Writers Digest Tutorials at Writers Digest Shop. Use coupon code AFF15PERCENT during checkout.
Learn pacing, verbal and visual editing, and more.
Writer’s Digest University. Online Writing Workshops. For discount, use coupon code at this link: $10 Off Any Workshop at Writers Digest University at Writers Digest Shop. Use coupon code AFFTEN during checkout. Includes picture book and other online writing workshops.
Recommended Book Lists:
American Library Association Notable Children’s Books – 2017 Notable books for preschool to Grade 8 children.
Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids & Teens: Picture Books Also check out their list for Funniest Children’s Book Award.
Children’s Book Council: Kid Lit News Variety of reading lists.
Goodreads Choice Awards: Best Picture Books of 2016 Readers decide who wins the award.
Laugh-Out-Loud Picture Books for Little Kids 14 recommended books.
New York Times Children’s Picture Books Latest best sellers in picture books.
101 Books Every Child Should Hear Before Kindergarten From Growing Book by Book: A Guide to Nurturing Young Readers
Picture Books Blogger Great lists of PBs in categories of diversity, father figures, leading ladies, non-fiction, wordless books, graphic novels, Halloween and other holidays by one blogger passionate about picture books.
Publishers Weekly Best Picture Books of 2017 Can also click on tabs for best picture from other years.
School Library Journal’s Best Picture Books of 2017 The world’s largest reviewer of books for children and teens.
Wordless Books Ten wordless picture books to teach storytelling from Mrs. Wills’ Kindergarten website.