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20 great resources for aspiring writers of children's books

December 29, 2011

Tags: children's books, SCBWI

Want to know how to write and sell a children's book? Children's book publishing works in a different universe from adult publishing. Educating yourself on the basics by exploring the excellent resources of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Go to meetings of local chapters and make like a sponge. This is a specialty you WANT to learn about from practitioners with experience. In Canada, check out the Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and Performers (CANSCAIP). You can learn the basics by reading what you find on the following links:
• Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions about Children's Book Publishing (SCBWI)
• Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market , ed. Chuck Sambuchino. Reviewed by Harold Underdown, who reviews other relevant books, too.
• From Keyboard to Printed Page (basics on formatting your writing and sending it out--SCBWI)
• The Business of Writing for Children: An Award-Winning Author's Tips on Writing Children's Books and Publishing Them, or How to Write, Publish, and Promote a Book for Kids by Aaron Shephard
• Rachelle Burk's Resources for Children's Writers
• The Institute of Children's Literature publishes a useful newsletter ($20 a year) for children's book writers, but also provides many useful articles and transcripts free onlne, at Rx for Writers (a topical index for articles and transcripts on writing for children)
• The Purple Crayon. Harold Underdown's site about the business of writing, editing, illustrating, and publishing children's books, with articles about many topics, including The Acquisition Process, children's book genres, and Getting Started. On Underdown's very helpful site, you'll find this sample acquisition proposal, a section from Harold Underdown's article on The Acquisition Process.
• Acquisitions: Peeling Back the Curtain (Jill Corcoran, helpful links)
• FAQs About Children's Writing (Anne LeMieux, David Lubar and Marilyn Singer, Writing World--the FAQ written for the AOL Chidren's Writers Chat on AOL, which no longer exists). Plus more articles and interviews about writing for this age group (Writing-World.com)
• Types of Publishers (and what to expect of them -- SCBWI)
• From the Editor's Desk (Bantam Delacorte Dell editor Beverly Horowitz answers the questions most frequently asked by writers of children's books)
• FAQs About Children's Writing (Jon Bard, Children's Book Insider, Right-Writing.com)
• Writing Tips from the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua (much material, from several years)
• Children's Literature Web Guide
• CHILDRENS-WRITING (an e-mail discussion list for children's writers and illustrators, and for anyone interested in writing or drawing for kids)
• Children's Book Insider (a $ newsletter) and Children's Book Clubhouse. Video tips from same source: 7 Things Editors at Children's Book Publishers Wish Writers Knew;
• Harold Underdown's fabulous page of links to relevant magazines, organizations, and websites , including
• Verla Kay's website
(for children's writers and illustrators)
• Susan Raab's articles on marketing children's books
• SmartWriters website for children's writers
• Children's & YA Lit Resources (Cynthia Leitich Smith's site)
• Children's Book Council (CBC), many helpful reading lists.

Comments

  1. July 6, 2012 12:37 PM EDT
    Writing Picture Books, a writeup (on Kathleen Temean's website about writing and illustrating books for children) on a workshop Tamson Weston gave at the New Jersey June SCBWI workshop. Tamson tackled common myths about writing children's books.
    - PM
  2. July 6, 2012 12:41 PM EDT
    This is worth a read: Why Children’s Publishing Needs Freelance Editors Now (Emma D. Dryden, Publishing Perspectives, 6-20-12)
    - PM