I have found the best way to learn more about writing for children is to immerse yourself in the world of children’s literature. It has been my experience that other Authors, Literary Agents, and Editors are out there helping to educate a new generation of Children’s Writers. I have put together a list of resources that have been useful to me. I hope you will benefit from them as I have.
Writer’s Organizations/groups to join:
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators - SCBWI was founded in 1971 and currently has more than 22,000 members from all over the world. SCBWI offers a wealth of information to children’s writers. Membership is open to unpublished and published authors. They offer annual conferences and local chapter events. These events are a great place to connect with other writers, while learning more about the craft of writing.
Verla Kay’s Message Board - The Children’s Writers “Blue Boards.” This is a wonderful place to ask questions and join a community of children’s writers online.
Books on craft to read: Absorb! Be a sponge.
- How to Write a Children’s Picture Book Volume I, II & III by Eve Heidi Bine Stock
- Self Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to edit yourself into print by Rennie Browne and Dave King
- Picture Writing by Anastasia Suen
Children’s Literature to study: Studying children’s literature classics is essential, however aspiring children’s writers should also strive to study titles that have been published in the past two years. This will give you a good feel for what is being accepted and published in the current children’s book market. Also, try to study at least 30-50 titles in the genre you are interested in writing in. I’ve listed books below that have inspired me, from classics to contemporary. Isn’t it fun to read what you love?
Picture Books/Early Readers
- Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel
- Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
- Corduroy by Don Freeman
- How do dinosaurs say I love you? by Jane Yolen
- Olivia by Ian Falconer
- Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
- Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Conner
- Calvin Can’t Fly by Jennifer Berne
- Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer
Chapter Books/Middle Grade
- The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and Rodrigo Corral
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson