The KidLit community is incredibly supportive and generous. Here are just a few of my favorite writing resources from around the Web.
SCBWI The Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is the end-all-be-all professional organization for anyone who aspires to write (or illustrate) for children.
ReFoReMo Reading is one of the best avenues for learning language and storytelling conventions. And Reading for Research dedicates the month of March to reading and learning from new and classic mentor texts. I can't recommend this community enough!
NF Fest Similar to ReFoReMo, Nonfiction Fest is a community that celebrates and learns from nonfiction mentor texts and their authors during the month of February.
KidLit411 KidLit411 is a clearing house of information from experts in the field. Their articles cover the gambit of children's literature: from craft to submissions and marketing.
Storystorm Children's author Tara Lazar organizes a month of idea generation tips every January. Her posts from published authors and illustrators are full of inspiration.
PBChat Justin Colon organizes a live, bi-weekly Twitter chat for picture book creators and spearheads one of the only free mentorship opportunities in the kidlit community.
Local Library or Bookstore One of the best learning resources available to aspiring kidlit creators are published kid's books. Read as many books as possible in the genre you want to write. Read newly published titles. Read classics. Read. Read. Read.
Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul is oft considered the holy grail of craft education for picture book writers. I also like Linda Ashman's Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books.
Writing for the Educational Market by Laura Purdie Salas is an amazing workshop-in-a-book that you can't miss if you want to write children's nonfiction for the school and library market.
Writing Irresistible Kidlit by editor and former agent Mary Kole, is a good guide for middle grade and YA authors.
Making Picture Book Magic: This in-depth class from author, Susanna Leonard Hill, is both affordable and offered as either a self-study or interactive course. Authors Pam Calvert and Josh Funk offer free, self-study mini-workshops for aspiring picture book writers. And for all the rhymers out there, Renee LaTulippe's Lyrical Language Lab should be part of your essential toolbox.
Children's Book Academy: Dr. Mira Reisberg offers a plethora of classes and workshops for all levels of children's writers and illustrators at the Children's Book Academy. Former editor, Laura Backes, has developed a wonderful learning community at Write For Kids offering a low-cost monthly magazine full of craft articles, interviews, and submission opportunities. And writing friend, Annette Whipple, offers affordable on-demand courses at KidLit Creatives. (Don't know if you'll connect with her teaching style? Try a free class!)