For Authors

Resources for Writers and Illustrators

Traditional Markets:

Chicken Soup for the Soul is a publisher of true, motivational, inspiring, heartwarming and heartfelt stories. If you have a story that happened in your life that can bring joy and awareness to chicken soup readers, check out their online submission form “Send Us a Story”. Be prepared to wait a long, long time to hear back.  They don’t tell you if they are NOT going to use your story.  They pay $300 for stories.  They buy true stories from adults, kids, and teenagers.

The Children’s Book Council (CBC) is a non-profit trade organization that has been dedicated to encouraging literacy and the use and enjoyment of children’s books since 1945.  A good market guide for you updated monthly: CBC Markets.

Cricket Magazine Group is a publisher that includes Muse, Click, Cicada, Cricket, Spider, Ladybug and Babybug magazines.  Check out their “Submission Guidelines” at for writing and illustrating guidelines and payment terms for all of the magazines.

Stone Soup Magazine is a magazine that brings young readers thought-provoking stories, heartfelt poems, and beautiful art by their peers worldwide. Budding writers and artists are encouraged to create and submit their own work.  Carefully follow their “Contributors’ guidelines” to submit your stories and illustrations. Contributors of stories, poems, book reviews, and art work are paid $25 each, illustrators are paid $15 per illustration, and the cover artist is paid $50.


AGENTQUERY.COM: a great place to look when you are searching for a good agent:

Neil Gaiman – Inspirational Commencement Speech at the University of the Arts Class of 2012: Watch this on YouTube and enjoy!

Interview on writing by Jan Peck
Interview by Cynthia Leitich Smith on my w
riting of Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree

Seven Simple Rules for Good Writing
This is everything I know about good writing style in seven simple rules.

Picture Book Writing Kit
This is a one-page handout from David Davis and myself that we use in our writing workshops. It has the elements of writing a picture book–all put together in this little kit. Enjoy!  Picture Book Writing Kit.

Verla Kay’s Site:  One of the BEST “how-to” sites for Children’s book writers!
This is the place to come for information on how to get started, and what to do
after you start selling. Begin with the Getting Started, Writer’s Tips, and Links pages, and browse through the extensive workshops on the Transcripts page. Then, when you need more information, move on to the Published Writer’s
page. Share your successes on the Good News page, chat with other writers in the Live Chat room (nightly) or on the Forum Chat board.

Literary Rambles: Spotlighting Children’s Book Authors, Agents and Publishers, an especially good list of agents and what they think:

Aaron Shepard’s Kidwriter Page: Tips on How to Write, Sell & Promote Children’s Books

North Central/ Northeast Texas Chapter of
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
The local chapter of SCBWI.  This is a wonderful supportive, professional group of people.  Learn the ropes of writing and illustrating for children.  This organization can save you from making years of common mistakes.

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is the only professional organization dedicated to serving the people who write, illustrate, or share a vital interest in children’s literature. Whether you are a professional writer, a famous illustrator, a beginner with a good idea, or
somewhere in-between, SCBWI is here to serve you. Their Web site has a dual purpose: It exists as a service to their members as well as offering information about the children’s publishing industry and their organization to non-members. Your time here will be well spent.

A Great Rhyming Dictionary Online:

My Simple Plot Outline for a Picture Book:  When I first learned a plot outline from Dr. George Stanley, I started selling my writing.  Once you understand the concepts behind the outline, you do not need to slavishly go by this.  Watch how the tension builds through out your story.  Plot outline.

Storyboard your Picture Book: 
This is a valuable tool for visualizing your whole picture book on one pageYou do not need to be an artist to use this.  It shows the proper 32-page format for picture books.  It also shows you where your page turns and double-page spreads are located in your book.  Print only one page.
Picture Book Storyboard Print Out

Writing a cover letter for your book:  Sometimes this is where writers get stuck.  This is based on a class I gave on writing cover letters for the North Central/ Northeast TX Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Cover letter information.

Resources for Finding a Job in Publishing by Cindy Kane Author/Editor:  
This will show you many ways to break into publishing.  Check out this link at

The Jan Peck/David Davis Publishing Link Sheet



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Publishers Lunch:

Publishers Weekly Marketplace:       

Children’s Bookshelf Weekly: Breaking news, author interviews, book reviews, and more for children’s and young adult publishing:

Cooking the Books Twice A Month: News, reviews, deals, interviews, bestseller lists and news stories for buyers, publishers, librarians, media and cookbook enthusiasts. Targeted cookbook business info.

PW Comics World Monthly: Top stories, business trends, artist, publisher profiles and retail information for comics and graphic novel publishing. Includes release schedule of upcoming titles.

PW Daily Newsletter Daily: Authoritative reporting of the day’s important information – deals, personnel moves, sales and technology information. Includes blogging updates, employment information and author media appearances.

Religion BookLine Monthly: News, features, columns, reviews, author interviews, market-segment bestseller lists and more. Religion and spirituality publishing’s premier source of information.



Amazon’s Fantastic Search Engine: When you get an idea for a book, this is a great place to research what is already published. Also, type in a publishing company name, the type of book, and sort the books in order of sales to understand what types of books the publisher has had success publishing.

Top Blogs in Children’s Literature from Hornbook:

Linked-In SCBWI list: Join and receive notices of new additions. Includes posts by editors Harold Underdown, Emma Dryden, and many others.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books. His social media resources:

Emma Dryden:Join her Facebook business page:

Be the Monkey – Ebooks and Self-Publishing: A Dialog Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath: (Warning: some in poor taste.)


1.Smashwords: Started by Mark Coker: Best site to begin ebook journey. Easy to upload, get ISBN’s, and get distribution.  Their “meat grinder” program converts your Word document to all forms of files for readers, computers, and iphones etc. It takes trial and error at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. The free Smashwords Style Guide and Smashwords Book Marketing Guide are a help in getting an overview of the ebook jungle.  2. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing:  3. Barnes and Noble Pub-It: 4. CreateSpace: is the best deal for most independently published books. Lulu site costs more, but may work out better for some people because you can order hard cover books. It depends on your situation.  Count the costs and return on each project before you decide which path to take.


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