Welcome! I have put together a list of links and books that should hopefully serve as a useful starting point for fellow authors.
- Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
- The Authors Guild
- American Library Association
- National Council of Teachers of English
- We Need Diverse Books
General Advice and Resources:
- Harold Underdown has compiled a wealth of information for children's book writers at Writing, Illustrating, and Publishing Children's Books: The Purple Crayon
- If you want to be in the know, Publishers Marketplace is the place to go. Their daily email known to all as Publishers Lunch is an essential read.
- Publishers Weekly's children's section with useful news and other resources.
- Middle Grade Ninja and Literary Rambles have all kinds of useful information for writers. I have found it to be particularly helpful when doing my "who's who" research ahead of upcoming conferences!
Awards - AKA, Lists of Must-Read Books!
- Reading Rockets, a national organization for promoting children’s literacy, has a great compilation of children’s book awards, as well as the Printz Award for YA Lit (for some reason not on the Reading Rockets site).
- For local/state awards, click here to find lists such as the state readers' choice awards and similar selections.
Most of the organizations listed at the top of this page hold annual or biannual meetings/conferences. Please see their web sites. Obviously, the essential ones for KidLit authors are SCBWI’s biannual conferences. In addition:
- Children’s Book Council keeps a handy list of events throughout the nation.
- Vonna Carter keeps a thorough list of who will be where...for instance, if you want to know which conferences to attend in order to meet agents, she's got it! Or if you wish to meet editors, she's got them listed by conference as well. Great site all around.
Following are some writing retreats around the country:
The Vermont College of Fine Arts
Better Books (CA)
Highlights Magazine (PA)
The Writing Barn (TX)
The Underdown/Robinson Duo (various locations)
Yale Summer Sessions (CT)
Messner's Time to Write (NY)
Reading and Reference:
- “The Book” put out by SCBWI for members only – is sent to you with membership, is updated yearly, and can be downloaded from their web site.
- Though it is technically for screenwriters, I have found Robert McKee's Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting to be invaluable for any author of longer works!
- Children’s Books and Their Creators: An Invitation to the Feast of Twentieth Century Children’s Literature, by Anita Silvey
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
- Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See
- Writing with Pictures by Uri Shulevitz
- Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books by Harold Underdown
- Writing Children’s Books for Dummies by Lisa Rojany Buccieri and Peter Economy
- Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market – updated and published annually
If you have trouble reading (!), you can listen:
Ever want to peek into the brains of Mo Willems or Jacqueline Woodson?! Here's your chance!! NBC did a great job putting together these video clips with questions about their creative process.
Exploring and Sightseeing!
- Click Here for Beautiful Libraries to Visit in the US...
- And Here for Libraries Around the World...
- And of course, a collection of places of literary significance!
- Independent bookstores (by no means a comprehensive list!):
- Washington, D.C.: Politics and Prose
- Portland, Oregon: Powell's
- Iowa City, Iowa: Prairie Lights
- Ridgewood, NJ: Bookends
- Austin, Texas: BookPeople
- Chicago, Illinois: Seminary Co-op
- New York, New York: Strand and McNally Jackson
- Brooklyn, New York: Community Bookstore
- Miami, Florida: Books & Books
- Denver, Colorado: Tattered Cover
- Seattle, Washington: The Elliott Bay Book Company
- Nashville, Tennessee: Parnassus Books
- San Francisco, California: City Lights Books
- Los Angeles, California: The Last Bookstore, and Skylight Book
When Everything Isn't Enough...How to Come Back to Yourself
There's nothing like some meditation and a good laugh to ground yourself. Enjoy!
A great intro to meditation/mindfulness from Daniel Wallace with some great links.
Some specific meditations from UCLA.
Karyn Hollis' page on Villanova's site has some good jokes.
Greg Tamblyn's collection of famous, crazy/funny quotes on writing.
Like one so much you need a steady fix of it on a shirt or mug? Fun collection to choose from on Writer's Lane from CafePress!