November Picture Book Opportunities

As the hours of daylight shorten in the Northern Hemisphere, cozy up with a good book–the one YOU’RE writing or illustrating! Here are some opportunities to hone your craft this month.

Click the links to go directly to each list.

To see what’s available all year ’round, and what’s coming up in early 2022, visit the PICTURE BOOK SUPPORT resource page.

Fee or free? Here’s a key:
– no fee to enter or to participate
($) – fee to enter or to participate
(*See note) – look for *explanation within the blurb 


2021 Middle of the Map Conference ($)
Pay by webinar, or pay for the whole series. November 1-6, 2021, most start at 6pm Central. Hosted by SCBWI Kansas/Missouri.

The ABCs of Poetry – Writing in Verse for Children and Teens ($)
Craft Webinar with Lesléa Newman. November 4, 2021, 10-11:30am Central. From The Writing Barn.

Come Create… Illustration Spreads: From Manuscript to Thumbnails (*See note)
Illustrator Joe Cepeda will guide participants through the initial steps of creating images for picture books. Thursday November 4, 2021, 1PM Pacific. #3 in the SCBWI Digital Workshops 5.0 series. *Free to dues-paying members of SCBWI.

Learn Character – Learn Voice ($)
Join PB/MG/YA author Leah Henderson to explore the delicate dance between character and voice. Thursday, November 4, 2021, at 4:00 PM Pacific. Hosted by Western Washington SCBWI.

MAKING WAVES: An Illustrator Event ($)
November 5 – 6, 2021
. See link for times and events. Hosted by SCBWI Alaska, Hawaii, and Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia.

Opportunities in Nonfiction (*See note)
Join Cynthia Argentine for an exploration of this Vast, Vibrant Genre from Board Books to Middle Grade. Saturday, November 6, 2021 10a.m. – 11 a.m. Eastern. Hosted by SCBWI Indiana. *Free for SCBWI members, $10 others.

Truth and Imagination in Picture Books ($)
This class on writing picture books for children will focus on story and technique in writing fiction and nonfiction. Author Uma Krishnaswami instructor. Saturday November 6, 2021, 9am – 1pm Central. From The Loft.

Creating Characters with Depth and Staying Power ($)
Craft Webinar with Donna Gephart. November 9, 2021, 7–8:30pm Central. From The Writing Barn.

From Research to Red Flags to Representation (free)
How to Find the Right Agent for YOU! with Emma Walton Hamilton and Julie Hedlund. Tuesday November 9, 2021, 8pm Eastern.

Come Create. . . Powerful Pro Presentations (*See note)
Author Bruce Hale shares tips and tricks to make your author presentations visually and emotionally engaging. Thursday, November 11, 2021, 1pm Pacific. #4 in the SCBWI Digital Workshops 5.0 series. *Free to dues-paying members of SCBWI.

Exploring Revenue Opportunities for Illustrators of Children’s Books ($)
With illustrator Scott Burkholder. Friday November 12, 2021 1:30pm Eastern. Hosted by Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia SCBWI.

SCBWI-IL Boutique Critique ($)
Interactive Fall Program. November 12 –13, 2021. Hosted by SCBWI Illinois.

Creating Picture Books that POP! (*See note)
With author JaNay Brown-Wood. November 13, 2021, 11am Pacific. Hosted by Inland Northwest SCBWI. *Fee or free not specified; contact organizers.

The Art of Revision from First to Final Draft ($)
With Paige Terlip, agent, Andrea Brown Literary. Participants will receive Paige’s submission guidelines. November 13, 9am – Noon Pacific Time. Hosted by SCBWI California: San Diego.

How to Critique a Picture Book ($)
Includes how to set up a successful critique group. Author Trisha Speed Shaskan, instructor. Saturday November 13, 2021, 9am–Noon Central. From The Loft.

The Funny Women of Kidlit! ($)
Weekend-long Confab! November 13 – 14, 2021, 9am – 7pm Central. From The Writing Barn.

Gathering Native Voices: Wow Readers with Meaningful Sentences ($)
With author Andrea Page (Lakota—Standing Rock Nation). Monday, November 15, 2021 7pm Eastern.

Crafting Nonfiction that grabs kids’ imagination (free)
With author Vivian Kirkfield. Wednesday, November 17, 2021 7:00 p.m. Israel / 12 noon EST. Registration closes Nov. 15. Hosted by SCBWI Israel.

Draw Stronger: Self-care for cartoonists and visual artists (free)
With Kriota Willberg, cartoonist, massage therapist, and health educator. November 17, 2021 7pm Pacific. Hosted by Western Washington SCBWI.

Come Create. . . Page Turning Plots (*See note)
Author Tiffany D. Jackson will guide attendees through the structure of a gripping story. Thursday, November 18, 2021, 1pm Pacific. #5 in the SCBWI Digital Workshops 5.0 series. *Free to dues-paying members of SCBWI.

Crafting a Killer Query Letter ($)
With Tzivia MacLeod. Thursday November 25, 2021 7pm Israel / 12noon Eastern. Hosted by SCBWI Israel.

Black Friday Bootcamp ($)
Online one-day livestream writing conference. 100% of ticket sales go to support First Book and We Need Diverse Books. Not yet announced as of press time but watch the Storyteller Academy site or Twitter account for 2021 details November 26, 2021. Hosted and organized by Storyteller Academy and author Arree Chung.


Apply for 12×12 Challenge 2021 Scholarships
The 12×12 Challenge? Write 12 picture books in 12 months! Scholarship applications not yet announced as of this post, but usually occur. Up to 6 scholarships awarded: 3 for financial need, 3 for authors of backgrounds underrepresented in the canon of children’s picture book literature. Deadline to apply for scholarship is usually December 1. Winners will be announced January 1st, 2022.

Come Create. . . and Design Characters (*See note)
Learn how to create unique characters with illustrator LeUyen Pham. Thursday, December 2, 2021, 1pm Pacific. #6 in the SCBWI Digital Workshops 5.0 series. *Free to dues-paying members of SCBWI.

A Two-Part Online Mini: Think Like an Artist to Publish Like an Author ($)
Learn techniques to make your manuscript paint pictures. December 7 and 9, 2021, 7 – 8:15pm Eastern. Hosted by The Highlights Foundation.

The Power of Play: a Fresh Mindset for a New Year ($)
Learn from writing teacher and author Sarah Aronson about how to bring play into your process –and reshape your view of your work. Wednesday December 8, 2021, 7pm -9pm Eastern. Hosted by Inked Voices.

Structural Strategies for Expository Nonfiction ($)
Craft Webinar with Rebecca E. Hirsch and Heather L. Montgomery. Friday December 10, 2021, 10:30am – 12pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

Writing Neurodivergent Characters with Sensitivity ($)
Join Author Jen Malia in exploring how to write neurodivergent characters with sensitivity. Sunday December 12, 2021, 2pm-5pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

A One Night Picture Book Mini: Find Your Story and Craft Your Pitch ($)
If you’re interested in illustrating or writing picture books, join author/illustrator Courtney Pippin-Mathur for this one-night mini course. December 14, 2021, 7 – 8:30pm Eastern. Hosted by The Highlights Foundation.

Rate Your Story ($)
Rate Your Story is a service paid annually (January through December) where writers from all levels can submit their story to receive honest feedback from published authors. Early bird registration for 2022 is now open and will close when full; individual critiques are sometimes available to nonmembers using SpeedPass.

Writing Picture Books: From Creation to Publication ($)
Award-winning children’s author Rosie J. Pova will cover the essential elements and steps in the process of writing a picture book. 8 weeks beginning January 3, 2022. Hosted by Writing Workshops.

Writing with Authenticity ($)
Join author/illustrator Jessixa Bagley for a deep dive into writing picture books from the heart. Six Tuesdays, January 11 – February 15, 2022, 7 – 9pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.

SCBWI Regional Virtual Events (Fee and Free)
Clink link to see what’s coming up in months to come. 


For Both Illustrators and Writers

KidLit Social (free)
A free educational hangout for kidlit writers featuring guest speakers, news, 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month: 8pm Eastern, 7pm Central, 6pm Mountain, 5pm Pacific. Replays available here. Sign up for guest notifications here, and get a free ebook: The Ultimate Children’s Writing Cheat Sheet.” Presented by Children’s Book Insider.

#PBChat (free)
Every Wednesday, 9pm Eastern Time (2am UTC), Twitter chat about picture books, featuring special guests & topics. #PBChat. Hosted by children’s writer Justin Colón.

PB Workshop Chat Group (free)
In the PB Workshop chat server you can discuss writing, ask for tips and opinions, share your favorite books, discuss events, etc. Hosted on the Discord App by author Chris Nantais.

For Illustrators

Color Collective (free)
Weekly Twitter challenge for illustrators where you make work based on a single color.

#kidlitart (free)
Every Thursday
, 9pm Eastern Time (2am UTC), Twitter chat for children’s book illustrators & friends. Moderated by author/illustrators @RubinPingk and Charlene Chua (@charlenedraws).

Inktober 52 (free)
A weekly drawing challenge for the entire year: one prompt a week, 52 weeks in the year, 52 drawings. Hosted by illustrator Jake Parker.

SCBWI Draw This! Challenge (See note*)
Monthly challenge for illustrators with a new theme each month. Submit by the 20th for next month’s gallery. *No application fee, but must be a dues-paying member of SCBWI.

For Writers

#write5minutes ($)
Write your children’s book this month 5 minutes at a time in a writing workshop for board books to YA with a 238 page e-book library and a 30-minute mentor meeting call *anytime* during the month taught by author and editor Anastasia Suen.

Ditty of the Month Club (DMC) (free)
Practice writing in rhyme and submit your poem. A new challenge each month, plus interviews. Hosted by Michelle H. Barnes on Today’s Little Ditty website.

FireButtChallenge (free) (#FiBuCha)
About once a month, without warning, a #FiBuCha notice goes out on Twitter. You have 24 hours to write a new PB draft or revise an existing one. Grab a writing partner to keep yourselves accountable. Hosted by children’s authors Michal Babay and Katie Frawley.

Making Picture Book Magic ($)
A 4-week course with short, daily lessons. Options for working with a small class or on your own. New enrollments begin the first of every month. Taught and hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

Monthly Twitter Writing Challenge (free)
Participants agree to aim for 500 words or 1 hour of editing each day for a month. Five hundred words? That’s a whole picture book. Founded by author Kristy Acevedo.

Penny’s Two Cents ($)
Picture book author Penny Parker Klostermann offers video chat sessions, small-group webinars, and packages that include feedback on picture book manuscripts. Contact Penny here to schedule.

Picture Book Study Hall ($)
Marcie Colleen hosts this month-long online critique group for writers who have multiple picture book manuscripts to revise. New session starts each month.

Months of a Year Banner Illustrations by Blue Ring Media, Shutterstock


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