Monday 13 November 2023

Eight Resources to Help You Write a Great Picture Book - Lynne Garner

 I've been a writer and teacher (adults) for just over 25 years. I believe learning is a life long journey and that's why I've always encouraged my students to continue to learn. So, with this in mind I've put together a list of eight resources you may find helpful with learning how to write a great picture book.


Penguin publishing has a features section on their website. Yes, some of the features are plugging their books. However, there are features that are also educational. One written by author Alan Durant (click on this link to read it) provides a helpful list of five things to consider when writing a picture book. 


Another great resource is The Book Trust. This charity is the UK's largest children's reading charity. Their aim is to get children reading. Each year they reach millions of children across the UK with books, resources and support to help develop a love of reading. If you click on this link you will be taken to their picture book writing page. It contains a wealth of knowledge for writers of all ages. Perhaps start your journey by reading author Joyce Dunbar's 'Guide to Writing Picture Books.'

Julia Donaldson - children's author 

Three: If you have the money to invest in your learning then the BBC run courses created by people top in their field and includes Julia Donaldson. A single course costs £79 or you can sign up for a year at a cost of £10 per month and gain access to all of their courses. Once you've studied how to write a picture book then perhaps explore how to write comedy to help you  write funny picture books. Or perhaps poetry to help you write a rhyming picture book. To find out more click on this link. 


Picture books are different from other books. They conform to page counts (this is cost driven). The words support the images and the images the words. When you understand how important this is and how it works it will help you write a picture book which flows across the pages. The post written by children's author Tara Lazar if one of the best I've come across. Click here to read it. 


This article on Reedys (provide services to authors) gives tips on how to write your picture book and what questions to ask yourself. It also breaks down the different age groups that picture books are aimed at. Plus the difference between being traditionally published and publishing yourself. Again, simply click on the link to read the article. 

If you prefer to go old school and read a book then there are three books which I highly recommend written by children's author Eve Heidi Bine-Stock. They are:

  • How to Write a Children's Picture Book Volume I Structure
  • How to Write Children's Picture Book Volume II Word, Sense, Scene and Story
  • How to Write Children's Picture Book Volume III Figures of Speech


Another online learning resource I've found invaluable for a range of different subjects is Skill Share. At the time of writing this post they were offering a months free trial. At the end of my free trial I had found the courses so useful and enjoyable that I took out a years subscription at a cost of £123.

Eight: Last but not least right here on the Picture Book Den you will find many great posts about the process and business of writing pictures books. I have written about this before so why not click on this link to discover eight tip based posts written by the Picture Book Den team. 

I hope this has been helpful and good luck.

I can be found on LinkedIn.


1 comment:

Natascha Biebow said...

Thanks for this helpful post, Lynne! It's always good to keep learning. I would add join the SCBWI; which offers many professional development opportunities, including the free weekly blog magazine Words & Pictures (; Ann Whitford Paul's book Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication; and a series of free picture book craft tips at /; Other places to find online courses on picture book craft include: The Writing Barn (; ; ; the City Lit for in-person courses.