The Weekly 411 (1/10/14)

© 2013 Liza Woodruff

January 10, 2014

Welcome to the Weekly 411! This will be a weekly post that highlights the new links added over the past week. This was the first full week of the site and we added a LOT of links, so bear with us this time around. We will also announce the Illustrator Spotlight in this post. 

If you subscribe to the site by email, you will get these posts once a week.

Illustrator Spotlight

This week's illustrator is Liza Woodruff. Read all about this talented author-illustrator.

New Links Added This Week:

New Sections

Check out our new page, Creating a Platform.

Magazine Submissions

For Writers

Open Call for YA Submissions- UNTIL 1/12/14 ONLY!!!!!

For Authors

Marcie Colleen -Teacher's Guides  Authors- If you're looking for teaching resources to accompany your picture books, which will increase your opportunities for school and library visits contact- 

Grammar/Writing Resources

TEMPLATES! Proper Manuscript Format, Fiction/NF/Novel- William Shunn

Online Picture Book Workshop- Literary Agent Jill Corcoran A path to publishing workshop. The workshop looks amazing and is limited to 10 students. Sign up early to secure a spot. (Online)

AR Book Finder - trying to figure out word counts of your favorite books? Plug in the title under the Advanced Search and you will get the word count.

General Resources 

Children's Book Hub - A subscription based resource for children's book writers.

Writing and Illustrating- list of best posts from 2013 from the blog; lots of good writing tips

Video Boot Camp with Katie Davis  If you're a writer, you need to be making videos in today's technologically centered world. Think it's hard? Well, Katie Davis assures us that it is not! In her Video Boot Camp, Katie walks you step by step through the process. If you think blogging is fun, wait until you check out how cool vlogging is! Go there now!

OMM WRITER- DISTRACTION HELP FOR WRITERS This incredible program (use it with headphones) creates a distraction free writing environment through sounds and visuals.

For Illustrators

Advice for Building a Portfolio

Donald Wu Illustrations: a great article, "How to Build an Illustration Portfolio," covering what types of work, order and pacing, and content.

Juana Martinez Neal: "How to Put a Children's Illustration Portfolio Together," a hands on, how to primer on the physical act of putting together a beautiful portfolio

Good information

Good Opportunity for Illustrators (Kathy Temean, Writing & Illustrating): information about new illustrator agent.

Writing Challenges

We welcome contributor Sarah Maynard, who will help keep up with the writing challenges.

Meg Miller's ReviMowith Meg Miller
What: Dust off those rusty picture book drafts in this challenge to REVISE! You can participate on the blog, on Twitter with a Twibbon, and/or on Facebook
Who: Open to All Picture Book Writers.
When: January 12th to 18th 2014. Registration closes 10 pm CST 1/11/14.
Cost: FREE

3rd Annual Non-Fiction Picture Book (or MG or YA) Challenge (Reading challenge) with Alyson Beecher
What: Challenge yourself to read a self set a goal number of nonfiction picture books (or MG or YA books) over the year. Link your blog or GoodReads Shelf with a widget provided on the challenge blog post. Tweet about the challenge using #nfpb2014
Who: Open to All
Cost: FREE

Lucky Clover Picture Book Contest with Christie Wright Wild

What: Submit your MS for a chance to win a personal critique. Guidelines and specifics found on website.
Who: Open to All
When: Quarterly contest held four times a year  

What: Strive to complete 26 picture book drafts in 28 days.
Who: Open to All Picture Book Writers and Illustrators.
When: February 1st to 28th 2014
Cost: FREE

Mini-WOW NonFicPic with Kristen Fulton
What: Fall in Love with nonfiction picture books while researching and preparing for WOW-nonficpic 2014. Three days to discover three different topics each day. At the end of Mini-WOW you will have 9 ideas to dive into and narrow down to the 7 you will fully write for WOW-2014. Enter on site daily.
Who: Open to All Non-Fiction Picture Book Writers.
When: February 14th to 16th 2014
Cost: FREE

PB 14:14 with Christie Wright Wild
What: Read, study and share 14 picture books in 14 days. Blogging challenge.
Who: Open to All.
When: February 14th - 28th 2014
Cost: FREE

Where: with Cathy Mere, with Mandy Robek, and with Julie Balen
What: List your 10 must have non-fiction picture books. Tweet via #nf10for10, link to your blog or comment with your list.
Who: Open to All
When: February 19 (Speculative Date)
Cost: FREE

Challenges for Illustrators

52 Week Illustration Challenge - a weekly prompt for illustrations

Blogs to Follow

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen's Nerdy Chicks Rule - Great information about all things writing and with a name like Nerdy Chicks Rule, you can't go wrong! 

Renee LaTulippe - No Water River - Just named as a "kidlit blog to visit before you die" in SCBWI's THE BOOK!

Writers Rumpus - a blog by children's illustrators and writers writing for all ages; blog posts on Tuesdays and Fridays

Emma Walton Hamilton's Blog Bestselling Author Emma Walton Hamilton has a blog that guides you through the writing process and the industry.

Marcie Flinchum Atkins Marcie Flinchum Atkins has a great blog, including a Picture Book Status Update form that you can use to track the status of your picture books. Pretty awesome stuff.

Kate Messner - Award Winning Author, Kate Messner blogs about writing and craft.

Agents & Editors, and Queries

Sub It Club -  support group for writers and illustrators to send their work out. Includes articles, query tips, and more.

Freelance Editors/Freelance Authors

Editing Services

Harold Underdown, Editor

Emma Walton Hamilton, Editor

Critique Services

Lori DegmanSpecializes in rhyming picture books ONLY, Author

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Author

Linda Skeers, Author

Copy Editing and Freelance Services

Beth Stilborn

Critique Groups

Rate Your Story - a free and paid service that will review your picture book manuscript at rate it on a scale of 1-10. Staffed by published and experienced authors.


Start the Year off Write  21 days of 21 writing prompts, led by writer Shannon Abercrombie, with guest blogs and prizes.


Noblemania   Even awesome children's authors get terrible reviews. Need a laugh? Go here!

Resources -Books


  1. This is a great idea! Your site is going to become comprehensive--but could also become overwhelming. Your weekly posts will make the new stuff stand out, while pointing out the wealth of available resources. Savvy and accessible. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Pat. Appreciate your comments.

  2. This site looks great. I'll be checking back often!
    And thanks so much for linking to the Sub It Club.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Dana! Glad you're enjoying it!

  4. Yay! Cool! WOO!!! AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks so much, Erik! We appreciate the comments! :)

  5. Replies
    1. Hi Deborah - thanks for stopping by. Just go to the sidebar on the left of this site and enter your email into the form that says "Weekly Updates by Email" and then activate the link that will get sent to you.


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