Resources (Books and More)

© Lisa Falkenstern
We personally recommend these books to help develop your craft, whether writing or illustration. 


Books on Writing Children's Books

Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication, by Ann Whitford Paul (Writer's Digest Books, 2009) Of the many how to books on picture books, we've found this to be the most useful and practical. 

Writing Irresistable Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult andMiddle Grade Readers, by Mary Kole (Writer's Digest Books, 2012). Mary Kole's book sets forth the key elements to successful writing for young adults and middle grade readers. 




Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, by Deborah Halverson.  -Although this book is for YA, the information can apply to all genres. Get it. 


Books on Writing in General


Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott (Anchor Books, 1995). Anne Lamont is a funny, generous and talented writer who provides inspiration, life lessons, and helpful writing tips to aspiring authors.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print, by Renni Browne & Dave King (Harper Collins 2004) While the best way to improve your writing is to learn from an expert editor or critiquer, the authors give concrete tips on editing one's own manuscripts, using real manuscripts as well as writing exercises.

One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer's Art and Craft, by Susan M. Tiberghien (Perseus Books Group, 2007). Divided into twelve lessons, one per month, this book walks writers through exercises that will help sharpen skills and expand their repertoire. 

On Writing, by Stephen King. A memoir and great writing tips by a master storyteller.





Books for the Visual Storyteller


Picture This:  How Pictures Work, by Molly Bang (Chronicle Books, 2000).  In this deceptively simple book, Molly Bang uses basic geometric shapes to show how pictures work:  how simple principles of design can shape emotions and tell a story.

Writing With Pictures:  How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books, by Uri Shulevitz (Watson-Guptill, 1997). This is a master class in the theory and art of writing children's picture books told in four parts. Part I (Telling the Story) explains the building blocks of picture sequence. Part II (Planning the Book) covers the storyboard and book dummy. Part III (Creating the Pictures) is the "how to" part of the illustrating for children. Part IV (Preparing for Reproduction) is the only outdated part of the book (originally released in 1985).

Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels, by Scott McCloud (Harper, 2006). This is the third in a series of massive comic books about the art and theory of comic books, following Understanding Comics (1993) and Reinventing Comics (2001). 

Industry Publications

Publisher's Weekly Publishing industry magazine, features 
children's articles weekly

Picturebook A children's illustration sourcebook and online 
portfolio targeting publishers and art directors

Horn Book A monthly publication that reviews children's books

Directories of Agents, Publishers, More

The Book - published by the SCBWI and available to its members, this is an annually updated book with comprehensive listings of agents, publishers, magazines, and other outlets that publish children's books. Includes articles about all topics.

2016 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Marketplace - published by Writer's Digest, also provides articles and listings of agents, publishers, and more

Songs in the Public Domain - Royalty free music

Story Submission Tracker- Jamie Todd Rubin


A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Picture Books - subject matter index of 12,000 to 15,000 picture books published from 2000-2009




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