30 Days to a Stronger Picture Book


Fiction for children, especially younger children, comes in the form of picture books. This series of 30 posts explains how to write and edit the basic picture book, and goes on to discuss specific types of picture books.

How to Write a Children's Picture BookBuy on Amazon
This book gives you CONFIDENCE.

  • Confidence that you have met publishing standards.
  • Confidence that you can write in any picture book genre, from ABC books to rhymed books to picture book biographies.
  • Confidence that you’ve written the strongest story possible.
  • Confidence that your story will receive strong consideration at the publisher of your choice.

Picture Book Basics

Picture Books standards: 32 pages
Putting the Picture in Picture Books
Write the First Draft of a Picture Book
The Dual Audience for Picture Books
Did you Write a Picture Book or Something Else?
Check Your Picture Book’s Story Arc
Shakespeare Helps You Write a Better Picture Book
Picture Book Settings
Options for Picture Book Characters
Playing With Words for Picture Books
Page 32
How to Mock Up a Picture Book
5 Ways to Make The Reader Turn the Page
Revise the Picture Book Text

Specific Types of Picture Books

The Biggest Mistake in Submitting a Picture Book
What Kids Think Is Funny
10 Suggestions for Picture Book Titles
12 Picture Book Topics to Avoid
The Illustrator Doesn’t Tell YOU What to Do
Picture Books: Folk Tales or Modern Stories?
How To Write a Rhyming Picture book
How to Write a Picture Book Mystery
How to Write a Picture Book Biography
How to Write an ABC Book
How to Write a Creative Non-Fiction Picture Book
How to Write a Poetry Collection Picture Book
How to Create a Read Aloud Friendly Picture Book
Voice for Picture Books
Messages, Morals and Lessons in Picture Books
Effective Picture Book Subtitles

Order Now

How to Write a Children's Picture Book, only $8.99Buy on Amazon

  1. How many pages are in a typical children’s picture book?
  2. Who is the audience of a children’s picture book? Hint: It’s not just kids.
  3. Are there restrictions on the vocabulary you use in a picture book?
  4. Do I have to write in rhyme? Do manuscripts written in rhyme sell better?
  5. Do EPUB books have to the same length as printed books?

If you’re not sure about a couple of these questions, this ebook can give you the CONFIDENCE you need.

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  • Cheryl Rainfield
    August 2, 2008

    Thank you for offering this series–and all the information you share with us in your posts. I love reading about writing technique–when it’s well written and feels right–and yours does. I’ve been enjoying all your posts/articles that I’ve read. An area I don’t feel I know enough about is picture book technique–so I’m really looking forward to this.

  • tammi
    August 14, 2008

    Hi, Darcy.

    I’ve got a topic for you: amping up the humor in pbs.

    Thanks for putting this all together. :)


  • Adrian Winter
    February 3, 2009

    Dear Darcy,

    I have just read your ’30 Days to a Stronger Picture Book’ and I wanted to tell you how interesting and helpful I found it.
    I have recently sent my first picture book to publishers here in the UK and I’m eagerly waiting their response…Fingers crossed!


  • Qin Tng
    January 30, 2013

    I am thinking about writing a picture book. Your 30 Days to a Stronger Picture Book posts are very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rich Olson
    July 27, 2014

    I find inspiration going to the library and pouring through many picture books. Feeding your brain with images and stories is the best approach. Once you write a good story, you have to then trim all the fat away so that the story is easy for children to follow. This might take 5 or more revisions. If you can omit a word or sentence without affecting the storyline then do so. Some of the greatest children’s books like “Where The Wild Things are” are very short in word count. Maurice Sendak told this classic children’s story in only 333 words.
    Rich Olson/children’s book illustrator SCBWI