Happy Fall! Or Spring for those who are south of the equator.
Some excellent organizations operate on a membership model or have on-demand courses, and don’t appear here. Check out “Available All Year” on the PICTURE BOOK SUPPORT resource page.
Challenges, Contests, Mentorships, & Awards
Fall Writing Frenzy (free)
Write 200 words inspired by one of the contest photos, and submit it between October 1 and October 3, 2022. A badge for all participants! Hosted by Lydia Lukidis and Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez.
#SeasonsOfKidLit’s First Annual Trick-or-Treat Event! (free)
A brand-new month-long fall-themed event filled with book recommendations and interviews with authors, illustrators, publishers, and literary agents, plus fun Tricks and tons of Treats for kitlit creators! Lots more information at the link above. October 1 – 31, 2022. From #SeasonsOfKidLit, Heather Macht, Lynne Marie, and Rate Your Story.
Halloweensie Contest (free)
Write a 100-word Halloween story appropriate for ages 12 and under, following prompt for the current year. Prize for the winner. Search Susanna’s blog to find this year’s info. Hosted by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.
Fall Poetry Contest ($)
Your mission is to write a fall-themed poem for kids ages 6-10 years old. It can be funny, lyrical, thoughtful, or entertaining! No matter the tone, it should speak to the elementary set. See link for more details. Submit by October 31, 2022. Hosted by ICL (Institute of Children’s Literature).
#DVPit and #DVart (free)
Twitter pitch parties for historically underrepresented voices in children’s literature. Children’s & YA Fiction/Nonfiction (#DVpit) October 25, 2022, Artists & Illustrators (#DVart) October 25, 2022. From Diverse Voices, Inc.
Picture Book Critique Fest #PBCritiqueFest (free)
A MASSIVE picture book critique giveaway, featuring 36 of the top authors, illustrators, and literary agents on the kidlit scene. Hosted by Brian Gehrlein, creator of Picture Book Spotlight.
SCBWI Narrative Art Award (*See note)
Each year, a rotating panel of judges challenges illustrators to tell a story in three sequential images. The winner will receive free tuition to the Virtual SCBWI Winter Conference. Submissions open September 15 through October 21, 2022. *Free for dues-paying members of SCBWI.
See also HAPPEN EVERY MONTH.
Webinars & Conferences
Events lasting from an hour to a few days, in mostly chronological order.
Digital Presence (free)
Three free webinars to help you create and curate your online writer or illustrator presence, with Sarah Maynard, the founder and CEO of THE START EFFECT, a digital presence education company. Hosted by SCBWI Pennsylvania: East.
- October 3 2022, 7pm: How to DIY Your Website (No Coding Required!)
- October 20, 2022, 7pm: Social Media 101: Do’s, Don’ts, and How to Stay Engaged
- November 14, 2022: Hello Email List, It’s Me, Again
Where To Start & How To Finish: Essential Elements For Picture Book Writing ($)
Join “dream team” author Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrator e.E. Charlton-Trujillo as they share essential elements to crafting and finishing a standout picture book. October 3, 2022, 7-8pm Central. Hosted by SCBWI Texas: Southwest.
SCBWI Digital Workshops 7.0 Session Four: A Picture Book Writing Safari (*See note)
Come take a trek through the wilds of picture book writing advice like, “low word count” and “keep it simple.” In this webinar, agent Kaitlyn Sanchez will discuss what this advice means and how you can implement it in your own writing. October 6, 2022 1pm Pacific Time. *Free to dues-paying members of SCBWI.
Rights, Schmights: Legal Basics for Kids’ Book Creators ($)
Join U.S. Attorney Mark I. Koffsky to learn Essential legal basics for all authors and illustrators, including what you need to know to ensure your work is protected. October 6, 2022, 7 – 8pm ISRAEL time. Hosted by SCBWI Israel.
Picture Book Summit ($)
Full-day writing conference live-streamed to your computer. Saturday October 8, 2022. Founded and hosted by Katie Davis of ICL (Institute for Children’s Literature), Julie Hedlund of 12 x 12, Emma Walton Hamilton of Just Write Children’s Books, and Founders Emeritus Jon Bard and Laura Backes of Children’s Book Insider.
A Conversation on the Riverwalk with Rosemary Wells ($)
Join us for insight into the art of creating magical illustrations and joyful writing with legendary Author/Illustrator Rosemary Wells! October 11, 2022, 7 – 8 pm Central Time. Hosted by SCBWI Texas: Southwest.
REVISING & REVISIONING: Tools & Techniques to Revise Your Manuscript ($)
In this three-hour craft-based webinar, editor and consultant Emma Dryden will be sharing a wide array of tools and techniques for revising all aspects of our manuscripts. Quick Consults available. October 12, 2022, 6:30 – 9:30 pm Eastern. Hosted by SCBWI Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia.
5 Ways to Increase Nonfiction Circulation and Create Passionate Nonfiction Readers (free)
This FREE webinar is geared toward educators, but nonfiction writers and illustrators will also find it interesting. October 13, 2022, 2pm Eastern Time. Hosted by SLJ and Lerner.
SCBWI Digital Workshops 7.0 Session Five: Meet the Agents, Session Two! (*See note)
Meet the agents of this year’s Association of American Literary Agents (AALA) Mentors of Change program and hear what each of them is looking for. October 13, 2022 1pm Pacific Time. *Free to dues-paying members of SCBWI.
Eight and Under Series ($)
Webinar Series for those who write or write-illustrate for children ages Eight & Under. Registration for individual webinars is open. Hosted by SCBWI Pennsylvania: East.
- The Editor/Author/Illustrator Relationship: Bringing Your Book to Publication: Editor Andrea Hall will talk about the collaboration between author / illustrator and editor, the relationship between text and illustrations, and what goes into revisions once the contract is signed. October 15, 2022, 7pm Eastern Time.
- What Editors Want For Young Readers: Editorial Director Sunita Apte will walk you through what editors (or at least this editor) look for when reviewing manuscripts for younger readers. November 5, 2022, 7pm Eastern Time.
Perfect Pitch: Show Time ($)
You’ve learned how to pitch. You’ve practiced and practiced. Now it’s Show Time! You will live pitch to agents and editors on zoom. If they choose yours, you get to submit to them. It’s that simple! October 15, 2022. Picture Book pitch session 9 – 11 am Pacific Time, Novel pitches 1 – 3 pm Pacific Time. Hosted by SCBWI Oregon.
Becoming the ‘Whole Package’ ($)
How to turn yourself into a publisher’s dream author without writing a single word, with author Lindsay Lackey. October 15, 2022, 11am – 12noon Pacific Time. Hosted by SCBWI California: San Francisco/South.
From Query to Acquisitions ($)
Join agent Sera Rivers and editor Jennifer Baker for this two-night minicourse to gain a better understanding of the submission process, from querying your work through acquisitions. October 18 – 19, 2022, 7pm – 8:15pm Eastern Time. From The Highlights Foundation.
SCBWI Digital Workshops 7.0 Session Six: Keeping It Real, Illustrator Style (*See note)
Illustrator Ruth Chan will explore what authenticity means to you – whether it’s identity, style, humor, or emotional authenticity. We’ll also look at how these factors contribute to making your illustrations unique, impactful, and so very awesome. October 20, 2022 1pm Pacific Time. *Free to dues-paying members of SCBWI.
Pace, Pagination, and Page Turners ($)
Learn to hook your readers with picture book author Ana Siqueira! How to work on pacing through pagination and how to add tension to your story with page turners. Saturday October 22, 2022, 2 – 5 pm Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.
Writing Books for Children: Everything You Need to Know ($)
Explore the creative and exciting world of writing children’s books in this insightful seminar led by Ying Compestine, multi-talented author of 20 books. October 22, 2022, 1:30-3:30pm Pacific Time. From Writing Workshops.
Writing Playful Picture Books ($)
Does the business side of publishing occasionally make you feel too grownup-ish? Protect your imaginative bounce! This webinar with Carter Higgins is designed to pull out your playful side and breathe it into your picture books. Saturday October 29, 2022, 11am – 12:30pm Central Time. From The Writing Barn.
Courses lasting more than a day or two.
Show (Don’t Tell) Revision Workshop ($)
Learn how to bring readers deeper into the world of your children’s book story and your query letter pitch by showing (not telling) in this 4-week workshop for picture book to YA authors. Includes Zoom recordings and a private Facebook group. Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 2022. Led by author and developmental editor Anastasia Suen.
Crash Course in Children’s Publishing ($)
Join lead faculty Harold Underdown, and special guests Leah Henderson and Linda Epstein, for a Crash Course in Children’s Publishing. At the end of the course, you will understand how the children’s book publishing industry works. Ten weeks starting October 12, 2022. From The Highlights Foundation.
Writing Leveled Readers for Education ($)
Leveled readers are a standard component of K–6 programs in reading and other content areas. Sonny Regelman will be your guide to entering this specialized writing market. Six Mondays starting October 17, 2022, 7 – 9pm Central. Hosted by The Writing Barn.
Becoming A Master Submitter ($)
Join Chaitali Sen for this two-hour weekly class. We will spend half the time learning about ways to build a publishing history and get your voice out there, and half the time preparing a piece for submission through a modified workshop format. Six Thursdays, October 27 – December 8, 2022, 7 – 9m Central Time. Hosted by The Writing Barn.
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.
Might Could Studiomates (free)
Tired of social media, but still want a space to share your art and be inspired? Meet artist friends and grow your art practice in this free, private online community. Founded by artist Christine Nishiyama.
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.