There are many excellent resources available for picture book writers and illustrators: classes, challenges, workshops, online writing communities, writing organizations, and blogs. The small sampling listed below have all helped me along my writing journey:
Children’s Book Academy - Dr. Mira Reisberg offers many fantastic writing courses, including The Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books, and The Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books. Daily lessons, weekly live webinars with agents and editors, an interactive Facebook group, critique groups, the opportunity for one-on-one critiques, and a “Golden Ticket” submission contest make these classes extremely worthwhile. Also subscribe to the CBA blog, BLOGFISH, where I’m a monthly blogger focusing on craft. www.ChildrensBookAcademy.com.
Making Picture Book Magic - With small-group learning and interaction, Susanna Leonard Hill’s picture book course is an excellent introduction to writing in this genre, and her ongoing Facebook group provides continued support. https://susannahill.com/for-writers/making-picture-book-magic/. Also check out Susanna’s blog and her writing contests. www.SusannaHill.com.
CHALLENGES AND WORKSHOPS:
12 x 12 - Julie Hedlund’s picture book writing challenge encourages members to write 12 picture books in 12 months. The paid challenge includes monthly webinars, inspiring blog posts, curated resources, an interactive Facebook group, a forum of opportunities for critiques and discussion, opportunities for submission to agents depending on membership level, and much more! Highly recommended for picture book authors at all stages of writing. www.12x12challenge.com. Also check out Julie’s blog at www.JulieHedlund.com.
ReFoReMo / Reading for Research Month - This free challenge founded by Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call offers a month-long community every March where writers read and study picture book mentor texts to help with their own writing. Daily blog posts illuminate the books studies. The Facebook group continues throughout the year. http://www.reforemo.com.
Storystorm - This free challenge every January, run by author Tara Lazar, offers inspirational and useful daily posts about catching and cultivating story ideas. The goal is to think of 30 picture book ideas during the month. Prizes included! The Facebook group and learning continues throughout the year. https://taralazar.com/storystorm/.
Inked Voices - Inked Voices is a paid community founded by Brooke McIntyre offering workshops, webinars, critique group setups, writing forums, and more to help connect writers. https://www.inkedvoices.com.
Art of Arc: How to Analyze Your Picture Book Manuscript - An independent-study picture book writing class created by Alayne Kay Christian, focusing on character and story arcs. http://www.alaynekaychristian.com/page05.html.
ONLINE WRITING COMMUNITIES:
Kidlit 411 - an online group of writers and illustrators from all kidlit genres highlighting resources in the children’s writing field. http://www.kidlit411.com.
Sub It Club - A support group for writers and illustrators interested in submitting to agents and editors. https://subitclub.com.
SCBWI - I highly recommend joining the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and your local SCBWI chapter. SCBWI is the international professional organization for this industry. SCBWI hosts conferences and workshops and offers incredible resources for kidlit writers. https://www.scbwi.org.
Aside from those listed above, Vivian Kirkfield’s Picture Books Help Kids Soar blog is invaluable: https://viviankirkfield.com. Vivian also hosts kidlit writing contests for adults and kids.
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Thanks for reading this sampling of resources for picture book writers and illustrators. I hope you find the above helpful, and I’m wishing you the best of luck as you create your picture books!
SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH
by Melissa Stoller, illustrated by Sandie Sonke
Clear Fork Publishing, August 2018
Available for pre-order at https://www.clearforkpublishing.com/store/p66/ScarletMagicPaintbrush.