Suggested Books for Children's Writers

Whether your writing children's picture books or young adult novels, the following books can help you break into the publishing market and hone your writing skills:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, 3rd Edition by Harold Underdown
Provides valuable insights and information on the ins and outs of getting a children's book published.

How to Write and Sell Children's Picture Books by Jean E. Karl
Teaches the key elements that all children's writers should know in order to create picture books that will appeal to children. It also provides information on marketing your book.

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway
Written by a professor of English Literature and Writing, this book provides very clear and comprehensive insights on how to create excellent narrative fiction. If you only read  one book on how to improve your writing skills, this would be the one I suggest.

Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
After Janet Burroway's Writing Fiction, I recommend this one next. Card provides invaluable perspectives on how to develop and use your characters to make your stories come alive.

The Comic Toolbox by John Vorhaus
This book provides a great guide on how to add a humorous or light side to your stories. Even if you're writing serious stories, this book can provide you insights on how to successfully create needed tension and conflict in your stories.

Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon
From listings of physical attributes to character actions and the way they dress, this is a good reference or resource book for helping you define the unique characteristics of your individual characters.

From Aaron to Zoe : 15,000 Great Baby Names by Daniel Avram Richman
A good source for coming up with character names. Daniel Avram Richman also has an excellent web site ( that contains a 15,000 name database that allows you to search for names on up to nine different criteria, including language, popularity, meanings, and more.

Writer's Digest Books also puts out an excellent series of books to help writers improve their writing skills, which include the following:

Plot by Ansen Dibell

Conflict, Action & Suspense by William Noble

Beginnings, Middles & Ends by Nancy Kress

Scene & Structure by Jack M. Bickham

Old MacDonald had a Dragon      Cow Can't Sleep      Brave Little Monster

Old MacDonald had a Dragon

Cow Can't Sleep cover art

Brave Little Monster
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