Tell Us Your Favorite Resources, Enter a Book Giveaway

checklistIf you’ve read the About Us page, then you know that Writers’ Rumpus is written by members of an SCBWI critique group that meets in a public library. Our first post lists our goals for the blog, one of which is “to share information to help newcomers navigate this new-to-them world [of writing and illustrating for children]—whether the newcomers attend our meetings or read our blog from afar.”

Toward this goal, my to-do list for this blog includes creating a static page (next to that “About Us” tab) with a bibliography of resources for children’s writers and illustrators. (Or is that a resource-ography, since biblio- means books and a lot of resources are links?) I know what’s on my list (SCBWI, Harold Underdown, Verla Kay, etc. . . .), but I’m continually amazed at how many MORE great resources are out there that I only discover when someone else points them out.

So here is a Writers’ Rumpus back-to-school special request with a book giveaway incentive: In the comments section, you’re invited to list your favorite go-to resources for children’s writers and illustrators. Resources can be organizations, web sites, forums, blogs (even specific blog posts), books, or magazines; paid, free, open or subscription-only; for newbies, veterans, or somewhere between—anything as long as it’s currently available and relevant to people who write and/or illustrate for children. If someone else has already listed one of your favorites, please say so; it helps to know that more than one person finds it useful. Please include enough information that I can confirm that the resource is available and tell readers where they can find it. At the end of this month, I’ll mine this treasure trove and craft a new resources page for the blog.

One lucky person (with a USA address*) who comments on this post AND enters the drawing through the link below will be selected, at random, to receive a copy of the just-released picture book MONSTER NEEDS A COSTUME signed by the author, Paul Czajak, one of our Rumpus Writers.

Do two simple things to enter the drawing:
(1) Tell us your favorite writer or illustrator resource in the comments section of this post.
(2) Enter the drawing by following the instructions at the link below. You need to enter before midnight, Eastern Standard Time, on September 27. If you’re new to Rafflecopter, it’s pretty simple. Click on the link and the widget will ask you to sign in either with Facebook or with your email address. Rafflecopter lets you give us your contact info privately, and it does the random drawing for us at the end.

The lucky recipient will be announced on October 1, and this trick-or-treat themed book will ship in time for pre-Halloween reading.

*For our readers in Australia, Canada, the UK, and other countries: regrettably, we can ship the book only to an address in the United States. But we hope you’ll comment anyway.

You can Tweet, email, Like, and generally let everyone know about this call for suggestions in whatever way you prefer, but make sure your followers understand that in order to be considered for the book giveaway, their comments must appear on this blog post, and they need to enter through the Rafflecopter link for this giveaway. Thanks in advance for helping to complete my to-do list.😉

P.S. And for those who write picture books as well as reading them, stay tuned for a different giveaway in this Friday’s post.

MonsterCover_smallClick here to enter the drawing for MONSTER NEEDS A COSTUME!

“First-timers Czajak and Grieb pair up for a gently funny story about a boy and his furry blue monster, who can’t decide what to wear for Halloween.” –Publishers Weekly

“Given the jaunty flow of the story and the humorous details on every page, put this at the top of the list for unscary options come October. (Picture book. 3-6) –Kirkus Reviews

About Marianne Knowles

Marianne Knowles writes chapter books and MG/YA with a science fiction slant, runs an SCBWI critique group, and serves as admin for the group blog Writers' Rumpus. By day, she is a curriculum specialist at the innovative edtech developer, SixRedMarbles. Marianne is represented by Emily Mitchell of Wernick & Pratt Literary, who suggested she pull her current work in progress out of the drawer and finish it, already.

22 thoughts on “Tell Us Your Favorite Resources, Enter a Book Giveaway

  1. I use Cool Mom Picks – they list both actual books and read-along apps. I LOVE LOVE LOVE their blog and have found all of their recommendations to be wonderful.


  2. I would like to add and They have everything writers need. From agent information categorized to word count information categorized. Every writer should have these websites bookmarked and added to their favorites tab.


  3. I’m getting multiple copies of the book myself on Sunday, so I’ll pass on the contest, too. Here are a handful of my favorites sites (in addition to many of those already mentioned):

    I get most of my writing world news from
    I constantly have a thesaurus tab open at has *by far* the greatest rhyming tutorial available (which I originally came across on is informative and very entertaining also has literary agent interviews and lots more


  4. is one I return to over and over again. Their lists of small presses and other resources are amazing. is one I recently learned of – agents and editors put up their wish lists. That’s very cool. And another great web site is Mary Kole’s “”Kidlit – My Writing Book and Resources”. She’s now an agent and offers lots of support for writers. You could spend years reading about writing! Thanks, Marianne, for this great post.


  5. I’m lucky enough to get my own MONSTER copy signing at critique group (thanks, Paul!) so I’ll skip the giveaway, but add my most recent (and quickly becoming favorite) resource, the blog MIss Reader Pants. She is an amazingly passionate middle school librarian and I love her book reviews because she rates books based on a slew of different criteria, but also takes the time to post any questionable/potentially objectionable material such as use of language (she counts instances and lists words!), drug use, sexual behavior, etc. As a parent of tween boys who are now venturing into YA, I use it as a helpful resource in determining which books might be appropriate for their tastes and maturity level. As an MG/YA author I also appreciate so much that she includes whether she’ll buy a book for her library and why or why not (often she’ll buy something she doesn’t care for because she knows her students will clamor for it and she tells us why that is). It helps me evaluate recent releases from a marketing perspective, which I think is an important thing for authors to do. I don’t want to spend months, blood, sweat, and tears on something that won’t attract the interest of readers in my target age group. All around, fabulous blog!


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