For Writers

Picture Book Den Blog
Picture Book Den Blog


Picture Book Den is a blog by a group of us picture book authors. It's for anyone interested in picture books -writers, illustrators, librarians, teachers and, of course, readers. My posts are generally aimed at picture book writers who are keen to write the best picture book they can, though there's some useful stuff there for other writers, too. Other posts are aimed more at teachers, parents, librarians and book lovers in general. Why not check it out?


My latest posts:


July 2012. Editing picture books and reducing word count.


May 2012. Increasing the chances of getting your picture book published, and the value of joining a critique group.


March 2012. How *not* to write a rhyming picture book. Pitfalls to avoid when writing picture books -and how to use rhyme effectively.

SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)

People often ask how they can get their manuscripts published. For anyone seriously interested in writing for children, my number one tip for creating the best story you can and telling it the very best way you can tell it, is to join the SCBWI. Learn more about the craft of storytelling, meet fellow writers and illustrators, editors and agents, join critique groups. It also provides a fantastic support group so writing never has to feel like a lonely business again. I'm part of the British Isles Chapter (you can join the Facebook group without being an SCBWI member) but there are Chapters all over the world


Critique groups

Critique groups can be extremely helpful in honing your manuscript so you can improve it until it's the best it can be. You can join online or face-to-face critique groups through SCBWI and other groups. I run critique events and am part of two successful children's writing critique groups (a face-to-face general one and an online picture book critique group). If you want to start your own, here are a few tips for setting up and running a successful group. 


Picture book critiquing service

If you would like me to critique your picture book manuscript, I charge £70 for a manuscript (plus £30 for each additional manuscript), including a report and a skype chat of up to one hour. Please contact me for more details. 


Books and websites on writing

If you’re interested in reading about writing, there are hundreds of books and websites to choose from, and it can all get a bit overwhelming. I’ve included the books and websites I’ve found most useful and interesting here.

Finally, I’ve included links to websites of other authors and illustrators that I either know personally and like, or don’t know personally and like (click here). If you have any comments on any of these links, or know of others that you think are really useful, I'd love to hear from you (click here). Thank you.

The Unstoppable Maggie McGee


“… I love this story! It’s beautifully told and I love the way it shows the power of the imagination to take you wherever you want to go….a great story [which] has something to say to all children…”

Malorie Blackman, Children’s Laureate 2013-2015 


Don't Panic, Annika!


“a reassuring read that your child will relate to and love” Parents in Touch


“a fun read aloud… full of life” Books for Keeps


“the rhythmic text… and the imaginative illustrations make for a lovely read”           Primary Times


“a great story to encourage independence and confidence … ” Carousel