Here are some websites I recommend:
FIRST check out my amazing mentor, Anika Denise’s website, where you can read her blog and find out about all of her wonderful books. Please help me thank Anika for her generosity in mentoring me for FREE by checking out her books at the library or buying them online or at your local bookstore.
SECOND help me thank Justin Colon for creating the #PBChat Mentorship by following his awesome blog, checking out his resources for writers page, and joining him for the #PBChat on Twitter every Wednesday night.
other useful writer resources…
For improving your craft:
The best recommendation I received as a writer was to join the SCBWI – the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I’m an active member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter. It was through the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the SCBWI that I found an amazing and supportive community of fellow children’s writers, my critique group, great resources about writing and publishing children’s literature, writing conferences, and so much more.
I also highly recommend Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge – where you’ll find more than just a challenge to write 12 picture books in 12 months. It includes access to a supportive community of other picture book writers, informational posts by featured authors, monthly webinars, and a wealth of online resources.
Elaine Kiely Kearns and Sylvia Liu have a great website, KidLit411, which is a wealth of FREE resources for writers of children’s literature: “A one stop information shop for all your kidlit information needs.” It has a very helpful page specific to Picture Books with general resources, website links, formatting tips, templates, and writing tips.
Pam Calvert’s Picture Book University is a great FREE resource for picture book writers with tips and tricks of the trade. She also offers picture book critiques (for a fee) and an updated list of agents who represent picture books.
Harold Underdown’s website, The Purple Crayon, is another great FREE resource full of information on writing, illustrating, marketing, editing, and publishing children’s books.
Marlo Garnsworthy has an affordable and helpful guide to writing a good picture book narrative arc: Module 1: Narrative Structure. She also offers affordable online critique sessions.
Maria Vicente, an agent with P.S. Literary Agency has some great articles on her blog about querying, writing, the publishing industry, and marketing.
Denise Vega has a great writing-related blog, and she also offers mini-workshops on YouTube, and manuscript critiques for a fee. I had the privilege of being in Denise’s group at Big Sur of the Rockies and I can attest to how inspired, kind, and talented she is as a writing coach. I highly recommend her.
For finding inspiration:
Tara Lazar hosts Storystorm on her website every January, which includes daily posts designed to get your creative juices flowing … and some bonus prizes for participants, too!
Susanna Leonard Hill’s website features periodic holiday writings contests – which are great for providing the inspiration and motivation to write something new. And every Wednesday she hosts “Would You Read It?“, where she posts a guest writer’s children’s book pitch, and readers can comment about whether they would read the book being pitched, and why. Once lucky winner each month gets their pitch sent to editor Erin Molta for review and comments.
Vivian Kirkfield’s website features the #50PreciousWords writing contest every March, where writers compete for great prizes by submitting a full story in 50 words or less. Writing contests are great for prompting ideas and pushing yourself to complete a new draft.
Prolific children’s author Claudia Mills has a writing blog where she shares her struggles, triumphs and wisdom about writing and time management. She’s so inspirational!
My amazingly talented sister, Jen Callison:
Jen gets a category of her own for her beautiful portfolio of illustrations and fine art. I couldn’t be more proud of my little sister.
Some of my critique partners’ websites/blogs:
Ana Siqueira – a multilingual picture book writer posts interviews and tips on teaching Spanish through books like her own Spanish Easy Reader, El Pato Quire Uvas.
Kaitlyn Sanchez – an informative math-focused website that includes original writing samples, reviews, author interviews, and a Spring writing contest.
Maria Antonia – a contemplative space full of book reviews and stunning photography.
Dawn Shea – a heartfelt blog containing the “reflections of a flawed perfectionist.”
Anna Castelda – the creative musings of another picture book writer.
Laura Roettiger – an educational and inspirational website featuring Laura’s beautiful new picture book, Aliana Reaches for the Moon (Eifrig Publishing 2019).