Educational Resources

Valuable Educational Resources for Writers, Parents, and Teachers

Finding the best educational resources can sometimes be a little overwhelming, I know. And the educational resources I list here are only a small fraction of the variety of available to parents.

My original plan was to just list a few publishers of children’s books, for the aspiring writers who might be checking out this website. But when I started researching
the names of good publishers, I realized there are way too many to list here.

So, instead, I’m listing links (and brief descriptions, where necessary) to websites, organizations, conferences, publications, and other educational resources that may be of interest to not only writers and illustrators of children’s books, but also to parents and teachers.


FOR WRITERS

Listed below are a few educational resources that will help you learn how to get a book published:

BOOKS

2011 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market (Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market) (by Alice Pope)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books (by Harold D. Underdown and Lynne Rominger)

How to Publish Your Children's Book (by Liza N. Burby)

How to Write for Children and Young Adults (by Jane Fitz-Randolph)

Ten Steps to Publishing Children's Books: How to Develop, Revise & Sell All Kinds of Books for Children (by Berthe Amoss and Eric Suben)

The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children (Write for kids library) (by Nancy Lamb)

Writing and Illustrating Children's Books for Publication: Two Perspectives (by Berthe Amoss and Eric Suben)

Writing for Children and Teenagers (by Lee Wyndham)

E-BOOKS

Writing Children's Books for Fun and Profit - The author of this book, Robert W. (Bob) Bly – a well-known figure in the field of direct mail marketing – has teamed up with Maurcia Houck to create a valuable resource for aspiring children's writers. This e-book covers everything from how to come up with a good title for your children's book to finding the right publisher.

PUBLICATIONS

Children’s Book Insider – This monthly newsletter, published by Laura Backes, is the largest independent publication for children’s writers in America.

The Writer – This monthly writer’s magazine devotes its June issue each year to writing for children. Subscribers can access a variety of features online that aren’t available in the print version of the magazine.

Writer’s Digest – This monthly writer’s magazine also offers a wide variety of topics and access to past articles, including several on writing for children and teens.

COURSES

How to Successfully Write and Publish Children’s Books (American Writers & Artists) – Laura Backes, who is on AWAI’s Board of Advisors (and publisher of Children’s Book Insider), has been involved with children’s books since 1986. In addition to being a successful newsletter publisher, she has also been an agent, editor, and teacher.

Writing for Children and Teenagers (Institute of Children's Literature) – This organization has been offering instruction in writing for children for over 40 years, and provides one-on-one instruction.

CONFERENCES / ONLINE RESOURCES

The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (www.scbwi.org) - offers several conferences each year – two annual ones (New York, NY in January and Los Angeles, CA in August), and numerous regional events throughout the country each month.



Write4Kids.com calls itself “The Children’s Writing Supersite” and sends out a monthly ezine called Children’s Writing Update, a newsletter for beginning, intermediate, and experienced children’s writers. Editor Jon Bard works closely with publisher Laura Backes, founder of Write4Kids.com, to offer subscribers a high-quality publication that offers in-depth information on the topic of writing for children.

PUBLISHERS

LiteraryMarketPlace.com is a website that provides names of publishers and editors of all types of books worldwide, including children’s book publishers and children’s book editors. Those who register at the website are allowed free access to view all publishers.

Publishers Weekly 's website provides in-depth information about all aspects of the book world, including previews of upcoming books, trends in the publishing field, and author interviews.


FOR PARENTS & TEACHERS

educational resources for parents and teachers

These are just a few of the many educational resources available to parents and teachers to help them bring kids’ books “alive” for the youngsters in their lives:

BOOKS / PUBLICATIONS / DVD’S

The Read-Aloud Handbook (by Jim Trelease) is a book that every parent (and teacher) should own. On pages 18-19 of the book, Trelease says that another author – Bruno Bettelheim, in his book The Uses of Enchantment – writes that the two factors most responsible for giving a child the belief that he can make a significant contribution to life are parents/teachers and literature. That’s because more than any other art form, literature brings us closest to the human heart. Especially fiction. That’s why most of Trelease’s book recommendations at the back of the book are fiction.

Scholastic’s Teaching Resources series gives teachers (and parents) the ability to teach a variety of subjects using favorite books. The two I’ve used are Teaching With Favorite Jan Brett Books and Teaching With Favorite Mem Fox Books, but other authors in the series include Arnold Lobel, Dr. Seuss, Marc Brown, and Tomie dePaola.

Magazines like Highlights for Children, Cricket, Ranger Rick, and National Geographic Kids are great for introducing children to a variety of literature in small doses.

Audio books (books on CDs and DVDs) are a great resource to use with your children when you’re traveling. You can find them at your library, in local bookstores, or online. Here are a few online resources for print, audio, and online books:

CONFERENCES / ONLINE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

The Association for Library Services to Children (through the American Library Association) offers lots of great resources to children and their parents and caregivers. Book lists, educational websites, and downloadable brochures on subjects like how to prepare kids for reading before they start school and tip sheets for choosing good books for your children.

The ALA also holds conferences throughout the United States each year. This year’s annual conference is being held June 23-28, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Anyone interested in encouraging a love of reading and literacy in children is welcome to attend.

NOTE: Librarians are true experts on educational resources. If you're considering becoming a librarian yourself, be sure to take a look at this page.


The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is an organization that was created in 1989, a pioneer in the concept of putting families first in solving the national literacy problem. Early each year, they put on a huge conference for family literacy professionals and advocates. You can read about the 2015 Families Learning Summit here.

The Horn Book’s website is a fantastic resource of publications about books for children and young adults. Offers glimpses of their monthly newsletters, book reviews, and a virtual history exhibit that spans the 80-plus years they’ve been in existence.

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