Web Resources

Web resources for picture book writers & illustrators:

web resourcesSome 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).

The Children’s Book Academy  Online courses as well as free information for children’s book writers and illustrators from Mira Reisberg.

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 Literature Association (ChLA)    (ChLA Phoenix Picture Book Award)   A non-profit association dedicated to studying children’s literature.

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.

Diverse BookFinder  A database of multicultural picture books with collections of books listed by topic.

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.

How to Launch Your Book  Marketing tips for your self-published or traditionally-published book from The Book Designer.

Inked Voices  Support for children’s book writers, including workshops by professionals.

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.

Kid Lit  Includes Resources for Writers from picture book to young adult from Mary Kole

KidLit College  Webinars, workshops, & critiques from agents, editors, and authors.  Jodell Sadler, editorial agent at Jill Corcoran Literary Agency, is the founder of KidLit College.

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.  

Let’s Talk Picture Books  Exploration in design & illustration by author/illustrator Mel Schuit.

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

PictureBook Makers  International picture book artists provide a blog (for free) and gallery (for a fee) for professionals, students, and anyone with a passion for picture books. 

Picture the Books  Website of debut authors and illustrators.  Congratulations!

The Purple Crayon Writing, illustrating & publishing info from children’s book editor Harold Underdown.

ReFoReMo Reading for Research Month Challenge from Carrie Charley Brown is for helping fiction and non-fiction picture book writers reform writing by reading and researching mentor texts in March.  

Rhyme Zone  Type in a word and find rhyming words.  See also WikiRhymer .

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.  

Storystorm  Author Tara Lazar’s online challenge for brainstorming ideas.  The goal is for writers to create 30 story concepts in 30 days in January.  Formerly called Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo).

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.

Ten Essential Picture Book Elements  Author Kathryn Evans’ notes on how to create a breakout story from the Winchester Conference Picture Book Intensive.

Ten Must Have Online Writing Tools for Writers  From the website Just Publishing Advice

Tips for Creating Child Appeal in Your Picture Books  From literary agent Tracy Marchini.

29 Best WordPress Themes for Authors  For when you are ready to begin your writer’s blog and/or website, or even if you already have one.  From WPBeginner, a beginner’s guide to WordPress.  

VonnaCarter.com  Lists of writing conferences, writer retreats, and other nation-wide and online resources for kidlit writers.

We Need Diverse Books  (Summer Reading Series)  Gives resources and support for diversity in children’s literature.

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?  Neil Gaiman’s essay (and idea starter).  

WikiRhymer  End rhymes, near rhymes, rhyme types.  Type a word in the search box for a matching rhyme.  See also Rhyme Zone.

The Winged Pen  Articles from writers about writing for children and young adults.

Word Choices: Writing Picture Books That Soar Advice from authors Leslie Helakoski and Darcy Pattison.

Writer’s Digest Shop  Resources for writers who write for all age groups, including the following specifically for picture book writers:

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.

Writers’ Rumpus  Writing & illustrating information from kidlit writers & illustrators of the New England chapter of SCBWI. 

Recommended Book Lists:  web resourses

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.

Goodnight Books  List of ten from Brightly.com.

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 Public Library Best Books for Kids 2017

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.

Picture Books That Can Help Comfort Anxious Kids  From Rebecca Flansburg’s blog (franticmommy.com).

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.

We Need Diverse Books Summer Reading Series  In collaboration with the Smithsonian Book Dragon, WNDB’s list of books featuring and celebrating our diversity. 

Wordless Books  Ten wordless picture books to teach storytelling from Mrs. Wills’ Kindergarten website.