Summer may be vacation time but there are still plenty of learning opportunities this month for picture book creators! Taking some time off? Check out what’s coming up in the fall. To see what’s available all year ’round, visit the PICTURE BOOK SUPPORT resource page.
Click the links to go directly to each list.
Challenges, Contests, Mentorships, & Awards
#AuGHOST is an all-skills, all-inclusive, all-for-fun daily art event. For each day on August, draw or create something “ghosty” that’s inspired by that day’s prompt word and post it online with #AuGHOST2022. It’s fun and friendly! Created by @Sommerjam and @DavePietrandrea.
Your adventure begins Aug 5, 2022 (should you choose to accept!). What am I talking about? The annual #SunWriteFun Nonfiction/ Informational Fiction contest! #ExploreandSoar your way to some serious prizes. Full details at link. Hosted by Karen Greenwald, Aimee Bissonette, and Jenny Turnbull Malizio.
How to Make Children’s Books (free)
Learn how to write, illustrate, and publish children’s books during this one-week Challenge. A different speaker each day! (No artistic talent required!) August 8 – 12, 2022, 5pm Pacific Time (replays available). From Storyteller Academy.
ICL Poetry for Kids (free?)
Start working on your haikus, limericks, and sonnets! ICL’s next poetry contest opens summer 2022. Check back at link above for more details on the theme and submission guidelines. From ICL (Institute for Children’s Literature.)
Russell Freedman Award For Nonfiction For A Better World (free)
In honor of the late Russell Freedman, Newbery Award winner and one of the modern masters of narrative nonfiction, a prize to a traditionally published nonfiction book for children or young adults, released between January 1 and December 31, 2022. Submission deadline September 15, 2022. From the SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund.
Webinars & Conferences
These “Rules” Aren’t Rules: How to Free Your Picture Books from Formulaic Writing ($)
Stop listening to people who tell you there are rules for writing. Come listen to Frances Gilbert, VP and Editor-in-Chief of Doubleday Books for Young Readers, who is tired of rejecting formulaic writing. Monday August 1, 2022, 8pm Eastern. Hosted with Justin Colon.
Picture Book Publishing ($)
An Ask-Me-Anything Session with author Dev Petty. Confused? Curious? Send your questions in advance, or ask them on the spot! Wednesday August 3, 2022, 6:30 – 7:30 Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.
SCBWI Annual Summer Conference ($)
Join SCBWI on Zoom for the annual Summer Conference. Keynotes, panels, breakout sessions, tracks for illustrators, self-publishing authors, traditionally published authors, and nonfiction authors, online socials, and opportunities to pitch to acquiring agents and editors. August 5 – 7, 2022.
Picture Books from A to Sneeze ($)
Author Josh Funk will share everything he’s learned about writing picture books—from resources to working with illustrators to the stigma of writing in rhyme and more. August 6, 2022, 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time. Hosted by The Writers’ Loft.
Research and Writing: Children’s Nonfiction for Education ($)
If you’ve tried to get your creative work published and haven’t been able to, yet, join author Lisa M. Bolt Simons for this two-session class to discover another writing option. Schools need more nonfiction, which means educational publishers are looking for skilled work-for-hire writers. August 6 and 13, 2022, 9am-noon Central Time. Hosted by The Loft.
The Role of Author Websites in the Social Media Era (free)
When author Meg Medina designed her website, she set up a news tab that worked as a blog of sorts. But now, several years later, she’s not sure people read blogs or websites. Consultant Jane Friedman will discuss with Meg how she can best use her website and social media in concert with one another. August 9, 2022, 12pm Eastern time. Register here. Part of Jane Friedman’s The Business Clinic series.
My Process Shop Talk: Author/Illustrator Violet Lemay (free)
Violet LeMay shares her process in creating her picture book Let’s Be Friends. Tuesday August 9, 2022, 7 – 8pm Central Time. Hosted by SCBWI Kansas / Missouri.
Idea Lab: Finding Inspiration for Your Children’s Book Writing ($)
Join Loft teaching artist and children’s book author Cristina Oxtra for an engaging morning of community, adult play with words, and dedicated time to talk about your ideas! August 13, 2022, 10am – noon Central Time. Hosted by The Loft.
Picture Books with Purpose ($)
Whether we want them to be or not, children are acutely aware of the world around them and its major events. Join author Ty Chapman for a study of picture books that speak to deeper issues. August 13, 2022, 1pm -4pm Central Time. Hosted by The Loft.
What’s in a Word: Making Every Word Count in Picture Books (*See note)
In poetry and in picture books, every word has always needed to pack a full punch. Join Janna Matties to explore how authors can make the most of their word choices. Saturday, August 27, 2022, 10 – 11a.m. Eastern. *Free to current members of SCBWI, nominal fee for non-members. Hosted by SCBWI Indiana.
Writing Twisted Tales: How to Fracture Songs, Nursery Rhymes, and Fairytales ($)
Join Sue Fliess for this 3-hour workshop designed to help you brainstorm, begin or continue to write, or even finish a twisted tale you’ve had bouncing around your head. August 28, 2022, 2pm – 5pm Central Time. From The Writing Barn.
So You Want to be an Author/Illustrator? ($)
Explore the possibilities of illustrating AND writing your own book, with a focus on craft and an intense level of feedback. Thursdays, 8-9pm Eastern Time, August 11 – September 15, 2022. From the Highlights Foundation.
Perfecting the Picture Book II ($)
Perfecting the picture book is not an easy task; let author Carmen Oliver be your guide in this online workshop. Six Wednesdays starting August 17, 2022, 7pm – 9pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.
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 creating picture books, from generating story ideas to finishing a first draft, picking a catchy title, to revising and submitting. Eight Mondays beginning August 22, 2022. Hosted by Writing Workshops.
HAPPEN EVERY MONTH
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.
PBParty New Draft Challenge (free)
Usually the third Thursday of each month, unless it conflicts with a pitch party, so check web site. All day, Eastern Time. Hosted by Mindy Alyse Weiss.
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.
Color Collective (free)
Weekly Twitter challenge for illustrators where you make work based on a single color.
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.
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.
The first Friday of each month, 8am-8pm Eastern Time (1pm-1am UTC), write a new picture book first draft with inspiration from the day’s blog post featuring guest authors, then enter to win a free MS critique. #FirstDraftFriday. Hosted by children’s writer Hollie Wolverton.
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.