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.
KidLit411 KidLit411 is a clearing house of information about children's literature. Their articles cover the gambit: from craft to submissions and marketing.
March On with Mentor Texts Reading is one of the best avenues for learning language and storytelling conventions. A reiteration of ReFoReMo, March On with Mentor Texts dedicates the month of March to reading and learning from new and classic mentor texts.
NF Fest Nonfiction Fest is a community that celebrates and learns from nonfiction mentor texts and their authors during the month of February.
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.
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.
Storyteller Academy, the brainchild of award-winning author/illustrator, Arree Chung, offers courses to both aspiring authors and illustrators from published authors, agents, and children's book editors. Their annual "Children's Book Challenge Week" is an awesome opportunity to experience their classes for free!
Children's Book Academy: Dr. Mira Reisberg offers a plethora of classes and workshops for children's writers and illustrators at the Children's Book Academy. And 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.
I have personal experience with each of the resources listed here and can vouch for their content. However, there are many, MANY more learning opportunities out there for kidlit creators, including webinars and conferences from SCBWI (which is another reason you need to be a member) and a plethora of helpful blog posts and articles. Happy learning and happy writing!