There are so many sources of information on the Internet regarding children’s books that it is easy to become overwhelmed at first. Rather than trying to gather as much information as you can from many sources, try to focus on a few sources at first. You can explore further afield over time. Below you will find some websites, organizations, and books to get you started.


The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books
by Harold D. Underdown

Here is the comprehensive guide to writing, publishing, and selling for the ever-expanding and always exciting children’s market—now in a new and updated third edition.

  • Includes new chapters on self-publishing and on “how to choose a how-to”, plus revision and updates throughout
  • Offers practical advice on getting started–and on dealing with out-of-print books
  • Covers picture books, chapter books, nonfiction, middle-grade and young novels, and common formats and genres
  • Reveals what happens inside a children’s publishing company, and provides guidance in working with an editor
  • Sample cover and query letters, manuscript format, glossary, and recommended resources in an extensive appendix
  • Plus information on agents, contracts, copyright, marketing, and more

Purchase Now

The Encyclopedia of Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books: From Creating Characters to Developing Stories, a Step-by-Step Guide to Making Magical Picture Books
by Desdemona McCannon, Sue Thornton, and Yadzia Williams

This Encyclopedia of Art title focuses on a popular topic for both writers and illustrators: how to make, craft, and sell children’s books. This practical book is a step-by-step guide to becoming a successful graphic storyteller, showing how to create exciting plots and engaging characters that will delight young readers.

Topics feature a wide range of genres, from fantasy and fairy tales to action-packed adventure, and offers guidance on how to tailor work to suit different age groups. The Encyclopedia of Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books also features a special section on the commercial realities of the children’s publishing industry, with tips on presenting and promoting work, and includes a gallery of inspirational examples from renowned children’s writers and illustrators.

Purchase Now

The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children
by Nancy Lamb
The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children offers detailed information and an in-depth examination of storytelling and story structure
Using examples from classic and contemporary sources, Nancy Lamb explores all the key elements of children’s storytelling, from point of view to structure to plotting and pacing.
Taking a hands-on approach, Lamb uses worksheets, exercises, and checklists to show writers how to capture and keep a young reader’s attention, whether the topic is fact or fiction.

Purchase Now

You Can Write Children’s Books
by Tracey E. Dils

Writing for children – whether it’s in the form of picture books, beginning readers, chapter books and novels, or nonfiction – requires a unique skill: the ability to speak to children on their level. “You Can Write Children’s Books, 2nd Edition”, provides readers with the instruction and exercises they need to shape their ideas, develop their writing, and sell their work! This revised edition keeps the book relevant and increases its value as a resource for writers. It provides readers with: updated information on changes in the publishing industry related to children’s book writing; new techniques and exercises for writing children’s books; new instruction for submitting work online; an updated look at publishing methods and opportunities; like traditional, online, print on demand; and, online promotional opportunities that didn’t exist when the first edition of this book was released.

Purchase Now

Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Picture Books
by Uri Shulevitz

Anyone wishing to create children’s books will learn how to tell a story visually; build a storyboard to plot the flow of a book; prepare pages for a printer; and go about finding a publisher. Step-by-step sketches provide insights into drawing characters and developing settings. The works of such renowned illustrators as Beatrix Potter, William Steig, and Maurice Sendak are used to demonstrate a visual approach to storytelling. 10 color and 600 black and white illustrations.

Purchase Now

How to Write a Children’s Book and Get It Published
by Barbara Seuling

Do you dream of becoming the next J. K. Rowling? Are you excited about writing for children but have no idea how to begin or where to send your material? Now, respected children’s writer Barbara Seuling gives you the essential steps to getting published in the competitive, exciting world of children’s literature.

From finding story ideas and creating character sketches to plotting, writing dialogue, editing, and revising your work, you’ll learn how to complete a manuscript and prepare it for submission. Whether you want to write picture or chapter books, fiction or nonfiction, poetry or plays, Seuling helps you master the different genres and capture a child’s interest and imagination, from the early years to young adult. Her fully revised guide also covers the major developments in book publishing, including vital information about using the Internet to research the market and contact publishers. Seuling even discusses recent successes such as the Harry Potter series, as well as the growth of

Complete with updated lists of writing organizations, marketing information, and recommended reading, this is the only guide you need to start writing, get published, and touch the lives of children.

Purchase Now

Illustrating Children’s Books: Creating Pictures for Publication
by Martin Salisbury

The successful book illustrator starts by understanding his author’s flight of fancy, then rendering the ideas and actions imaginatively in pictorial terms. This unusual and inspiring book was written for art students and ambitious beginners. It instructs on methods of developing both imaginative powers and the technical artistic skills to produce high quality illustrations that will please authors and children’s book editors. Separate chapters focus on:

  • Media, materials, and techniques
  • Developing different drawing styles to fit specific storytelling methods
  • Instilling visual personality traits in story characters
  • Creating effective sequential images for storyboards and picture book outlines
  • Design, typography, and preparation for print
  • Illustrating story books for older children
  • Illustrating nonfiction and educational books
  • Breaking into the children’s book publishing business
  • Here is solid, practical instruction for students of book illustration, enhanced with more than 250 how-to illustrations in color and black-and-white.

    Purchase Now

    Show and Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration
    by Dilys Evans
    For over 30 years, Dilys Evans has been deeply involved in the fine art of children’s book illustration. In 1980 she founded The Original Art, an annual exhibition in New York featuring the best children’s book illustration of the year. Now, in this fascinating exploration of children’s book illustration, she focuses on the work of 12 contemporary illustrators. Looking at the wide variety of artistic genius in children’s books, Show and Tell teaches the reader how to look for the perfect marriage of art and text, and is an invaluable guide for anyone interested in children’s books and the art of illustration.

    Purchase Now

    The ABCs of Writing for Children: 114 Children’s Authors and Illustrators Talk About the Art, the Business, the Craft & the Life of Writing Children’s Literature

    Have you ever dreamed of writing a best-selling children’s book? Ever fantasize about what it’s like to live the life of a published children’s author? Although writing and illustrating books for children is not as easy as it looks, new authors and illustrators are being discovered–and published–all the time. Even if you’re not planning a career in this field, learning how authors and illustrators work can lend new insights and appreciation to their art. The same ideas and inspirations that help authors and illustrators of children’s books may encourage students, teachers, librarians and other creative artists in their literary efforts. In The ABCs of Writing for Children you’ll learn many ‘do’s and don’ts’ for creating children’s books. You’ll see that what works for one author may not work for the next. No matter what your aspirations are, whether you want to enrich your reading, teach others to read and write more deeply, or nurture your own creative process, learning what works for others may work for you. Including: • Chris Crutcher • Karen Cushman • Sid Fleischman • Richard Peck • R.L. Stine • Rosemary Wells •Jane Yolen

    Purchase Now

    Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly
    by Gail Carson Levine

    In Writing Magic, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine shares her secrets of great writing. She shows how you, too, can get terrific ideas for stories, invent great beginnings and endings, write sparkling dialogue, develop memorable characters—and much, much more. She advises you about what to do when you feel stuck—and how to use helpful criticism. Best of all, she offers writing exercises that will set your imagination on fire.

    With humor, honesty, and wisdom, Gail Carson Levine shows you that you, too, can make magic with your writing.

    Purchase Now

    Websites and organizations

    SCBWI: The Society of Children’s book authors and illustrators. This is an international organization that was created specifically to help authors who write for children, and illustrators of children’s books. Even if you are an unpublished children’s book writer, you can join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The membership fee is modest, and if you join, you will receive several useful guides and directories, and a newsletter that is packed with information. You will also get access to the SCBWI website. Many towns and cities around the world have their own SCBWI chapters, which you can also join.

    Write4Kids and The CBI Clubhouse: This is a site that is all about writing books and stories for children. There is advice, how-to info, tips, messaging, research links and much more. The site is presented by Children’s Book Insider, the newsletter for children’s writers.

    The Purple Crayon: This is a website created by Harold Underdown who is a children’s book editor. He created the site so that he could post articles and other materials about children’s book publishing. Over the years, the site has grown and now includes articles contributed by other people, covering writing, illustrating, marketing, and editing.

    Children’s Book Hub: The Children’s Book Hub is a ‘virtual salon’ featuring lively, ongoing discussion of the latest trends in the children’s book industry. Led by bestselling children’s book author and editor Emma Walton Hamilton, AKA “The Children’s Book Coach,” the Hub provides information, resources, and ongoing network of support for children’s book authors all year long.

    Children’s Literature network: Children’s Literature Network connects, informs, and educates those who have an interest in children’s and teen books, children’s book authors, and illustrators of books written for children. CLN is an independent source of news, information, and book reviews, supported by our members. CLN members throughout the world enjoy having access to information about books, authors, and illustrators, finding this information useful for their schools, libraries, homeschooling, and personal reading pleasure.