making a bookA list of general sources and organizations for both newcomers and established writers and illustrators.


The Basics
Are you absolutely brand-new to this and aren’t sure where to start?

“I Want to Write Children’s Books Too!” by Kelly Carey on 24 Carrot Writers has a great three-point plan of action for turning writing dreams into reality:

Josh Funk’s Guide to Writing Picture Books has 12 concise, easy-to-navigate lessons on the picture-book writing journey. Many lessons also apply to chapter books, middle grade, and YA.

This post on Harold Underdown’s The Purple Crayon provides a great short orientation of what to expect on your journey to publication.
This next post, on the same site, uses a fun quiz format to walk you through what you need to know to get started.

Confused by terms you’ve never heard? Check out the Writers’ Rumpus Glossary of Publishing Terms.

Writing for Children and Teens
Cynthea Liu’s fantastic Crash Course gives you the basic steps in a few minutes. Step One starts here:

The intro to this site reads: “Welcome to KidLit411! Are you writing a children’s book? Well, you’ve come to the right place! One website, with all of your favorite sources in one place!” It’s like an extended, illustrated version of the page you’re reading right now.

Absolute Write & Absolute Write Water Cooler
A forum in which writers compare notes and experiences on agents, agencies, and publishers.
Main Site:
Water Cooler (Forums):

Children’s Book Insider
Monthly magazine and associated CBI Clubhouse online community and resources.

The Institute for Children’s Literature
A well-established and well-regarded organization that provides correspondence courses for children’s writers.

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Professional association for children’s writers and illustrators. Connections to other writers and illustrators in your area. Access to online communities and updated resources. Two major conferences each year plus regional activities across U.S. and internationally. Membership includes THE BOOK: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children, updated annually, and access to an incredible community of helpful writers & illustrators on the Blueboard message & chat forum.
SCBWI’s Blueboard, A Message & Chat Board (merged with Verla Kay’s board in late 2013):

Publisher’s Lunch / Publisher’s Marketplace
The latest news in the publishing world across all genres. Free subscription to daily general e-news and once-weekly announcements of select book deals. Paid subscriptions to exclusive content, comprehensive announcements of deals, and Publisher’s Marketplace searchable archives of deals.

Publisher’s Weekly
The latest news in the publishing world across all genres. Influential book reviews. Free subscriptions to daily general e-news & free twice-weekly e-news for children’s publishing. Paid print magazine.

The Purple Crayon
Harold Underdown is an independent children’s book editor and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books. His free site, The Purple Crayon, has a wealth of information for newcomers, established professionals, and everyone inbetween. The “Who’s Moving Where?” page is updated monthly with staff changes at agencies and publishers.

Verla Kay’s Website
Verla Kay is a children’s writer, has taught writing through the Institute for Children’s Literature, and hosts an amazing website chock-full of information for children’s writers and illustrators. Verla Kay’s message board merged with the SCBWI message board in late 2013; find that link above under SCBWI.

Writer’s Digest
Comprehensive articles and news for writers in all genres (not just children’s). Agent interviews. Paid print magazine. Many well-regarded, regularly-updated resource books for sale.

Resources for Teen Writers
That’s teenagers who write, not adults writing for teens. This post on The League of Extraordinary Writers has an amazing list of links.