Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Resources – Books

Here are some writing and illustrating resources in book format (either paper or electronic, we make no distinction). If you would like to see other books resources added to this list, please let us know!

General Writing

  • Writing with Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process by Peter Elbow

  • The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great by Donald Maass

  • Take Joy: A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft by Jane Yolen

  • On Writing by Stephen King

  • The Right to Write by Julia Cameron

  • Writing a Novel and Getting Published by Nigel Watts

  • Beginnings, Middles, and Ends by Nancy Kress

  • Hooked by Les Edgerton

  • The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman

  • Second Sight by Cheryl Klein

  • From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler

Specific/Genre Writing

  • The Complete Guide to Editing Your Fiction by Michael Seidman

  • Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood

  • Children’s Writer’s Word Book by Alijandra Mogilner

  • Fiction Writer’s Brainstormer by James V. Smith, Jr.

  • Writing Crime & Suspense Fiction by Lesley Grant-Adamson

  • Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction by Patricia Highsmith

  • How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy by Orson Scott Card

  • Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers From Start to Finish by James Scott Bell (Writer’s Digest series)

  • Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham


  • Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook by A&C Black (UK & Ireland)

  • Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market by Writer’s Digest Books (US & Canada)

Children’s writing and illustrating

  • The Complete Idiot's Guide To Publishing Children's Books by Harold Underdown

  • Writing for Children and Teens: A Crash Course by Cynthea Liu

  • Writing for Young Adults by Sherry Garland

  • Writing Books for Kids and Teens by Marion Crooks

  • Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul

  • How to Write for Children by Louise Jordan

  • You Can Write Children's Books by Tracy E. Dils


  • A Bridge of Children’s Books by Jella Lepman

  • Singing for Mrs. Pettigrew: A Story-Maker’s Journey by Michael Morpurgo

  • The Child that Books Built by Francis Spufford

  • Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl

  • A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle

  • Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear

Anthologies/Literary Essays

  • From instruction to Delight: An Anthology of Children’s Literature to 1850, edited by Patricia Demers and Gordon Moyles

  • Irish Children’s Writers and Illustrators 1986 – 2006: A Selection of Essays, edited by Valerie Coghlan and Siobhan Parkinson