Welcome to Writing Picture Books for Children
This website is based on a course in writing for children I have been giving at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education for several years. It is an attempt to answer some of questions and concerns of new writers. I hope it offers inspiration, encouragement, and even the occasional touch of humor. It is not intended as the last word in writing picture books, or even the first. There are many websites and books out there on writing for children. If you want more information and advice, please visit my links page for connections to a wealth of resources.
Keep in mind, though, that no amount of advice is a substitute for writing itself. I often like to joke that there is so much writing advice out there, if you took time to read all of it you would never get around to writing.
There's no magic formula or secret recipe for writing. Everyone's process is different. Some writers become successful on their very first try. (If you find yourself among them, more power to you!) More typically, though, writers write a lot before they publish a little. Then they write a lot more and publish a little more. That may sound discouraging, but it's really a bonus. It means you can make mistakes, try new things, and generally muck around on the page without fear. If you want to write for children and don't know where to begin, I have a few writing exercises to help you get started.
After you've been "mucking around" for a while, I encourage you to find a group of compatible writers with which to share feedback. Please look at my page on manuscript critiques for some tips on giving and receiving critiques. There are also some links to resources that can help you find and organize critique groups.
I hope you find this site useful. If you have questions or comments, feel free to use my contact form. If you want to learn more about me and my books, visit my website here.
Good writing and many thanks for dropping by.