(Mostly) Free Resources for Picture Book creators. Helpful links for those creating dummies.

Free Programs:
All of these programs are 100% free to download from their creators.

Photo Editing/ Painting software:

Krita - Painting software like Adobe Photoshop.

Gimp - Good starter software. Not recommended for those use to Photoshop.

Vector Software:
Inkscape - Vector creation software like Adobe Illustrator

Writing Software:
yWriter - Novel creation software for PC


Will Terry Talks about everything in Picture Book Illustration.

Classes, Email Lists and Webinars:

Mira Reisberg has a wonderful free webinars and her kidlit classes are Top Notch:

Barney Davey - Art Marketing Guru

Giuseppe Castellano - Art tips from a real Art Director

Mark G. Mitchell - Illustration Teacher


Note: all of these Podcast can be found on iTunes for your Computer or iPhone.

Brain Burps About Books - Katie is an Author, Illustrator, Writer Entrepenuer and marketing expert. These podcasts cover everything Kidlit. Very helpful for giving Writers and Illustrators marketing advice (though not limited to this).

All the Wonders: Mathew C. Winner “talks shop and gets down to business with Authors, Illustrators, Award Winners, Up-in-Comers and everyone in between” in the .
Kidlit world (Picture Books).

The Picturebooking Podcast - Nick Patton, Picture Book Writer and Illustrator talks to many people in the picture book industry. Much of his insight comes from the illustrator's perspective.

Not directly related to kidlit:

The Art Studio. Comics and Art: Dan Burke talks about freelance illustration. Recent podcasts about crowdfunding, game making, and ideas in illustration.

Big Illustration Party Time Kevin Cross & Joshua Kemble are no longer creating new episodes of this podcast. The episodes were fantastic, upbeat and gave a lot of insight into the world of freelance illustration.


Carter Higgins - Focuses on design of pictures books and other issues in kidlit.

Dani Jones blog about everything Illustration from Picture Books to
Graphic Novels

Elizabeth O. Dulemba - blog about Picture Book Illustration

Tara Lazar - Tara Lazar 's Writing for Kids (While Raising Them) Home of PiBoIdMo

Sub It Club: Encouraging the act of submissions

Mary Kole

Forums: Official SCBWI Blue Boards. Great information and free to join. Few areas are SCBWI members only.

Websites: Comprehensive website for Kidlit Events, Contests, Courses, Conferences/Workshops, and lots more industry news. Information for Parents and Education. Videos featuring Author's, Illustrators and other people in the kidlit industry.


Year Round

12x12 Challenge - Challenge to create 12 picture books in 12 months. To officially enter you need to buy a membership.

52 Week Illustration - Blog of the 52 Week Illustration Challenge

Diversity Reading Challenge - Challenge to read 12 books on diversity.

Doodle Day - - Alison Hertz's blog - host of Doodle Day A Daily Doodle Challenge

Illustration Friday - New prompt every Friday on their website.

Picture Book Dummy Challenge - (#Pbdummy) 6 Month Picture Book Creation Challenge. Starts in January. Connected to #kidlitart on Twitter. Follow the blog for updates.

Sub Six: Challenge to submit 6 Picture Book manuscripts in a year. Support for year round submission.

Other challenges:

January: ReviMo - Revise More Picture Books Week. Revise the manuscripts you've been working on this week! Next Challenge dates January 11-17, 2015


ChaBooCha - Chapter Book Challenge. Write a chapter book in 31 days.

ReFoReMo - Reading for Research Challenge

RhyPiBoMo - Rhyming Picture Book Challenge.

Smart Dummies Create a Picture Book Dummy in 30 days. Taking place in October for 2016!

Inktober - Create 31 Inked illustrations in October

PiBoIdMo - Generate 30 Picture Book ideas in November.

Facebook Groups to Join:

Artst Journal Workshop Safe place to share journal pages. Not for finished work!

Challenge groups:
52 Week Illustration Challenge group -
Doodle Da y - Daily doodle challenge group -
Kidlit 411's Facebook group -
PiBoIdMo official Facebook group -
Smart Dummies challenge group -

Sub Six - Picture book manuscript support/challenge group -


  1. Oh, thank you, Dani.
    This is very useful. I especially like the podcasts.

  2. This is a very comprehensive list or resources. Thank you for sharing, Dani.
    ~Suzy Leopold

  3. Thank you Dani.
    I'd like to add:

    Podcasts: Creative Pep Talk:

    Art Directors Contacts:

  4. Thanks for putting this information together. Very useful!

  5. Such a great list Dani, thanks!

    FYI - the Let's Get Busy Podcast is no longer running (although you can still find archives on the site). He's now transitioned over to All the Wonders: