Resources for Aspiring Children’s Book Authors

I often get emails from aspiring children’s book authors who want to know where to begin their writing journeys. I respond by giving them links to all the online places where I (and author friends) got started. (Please note: The children’s section of my local library was and continues to be my most prized writing resource!). Here is a list of places, I highly suggest you go to if you want to write for children:

First…Not sure if you want to publish traditionally or independently? Not sure what either category means?

Start here with Jane Friedman’s Guide to Key Publishing Paths. She includes a handy dandy chart as well as some detailed, but easy-to-understand explanations of the different ways to publish a book.

I’m NOT an expert on self-publishing, but Rahma Rodaah is! If you’re thinking about self-publishing, consider this resource: Self Publishing: Everything You Need to Know

The resources that follow have a traditional publishing focus:

Free Resources

Josh Funk Resources for Writers
The Purple Crayon
Resources for Children’s Writers and her related StoryStorm challenge:

Free Writing Feedback:

Kidlit411 Manuscript Swap

We Need Diverse Books Mentorships 

Helpful Online Communities:

Kidlit Alliance
Kidlit Authors of Color
Missing Voice Picture Book Discussion Group

Binders Full of Picture Book Writers
Binders Full of Middle Grade Writers

Black Creators in KidLit (A Slack Group)

Paid Resources and Communities

Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators
12×12 Picture Book Challenge 

Rate Your Story (for feedback)
Highlights Foundation
Kweli: The Color of Children’s Literature Conference