Note to Authors:
Advice on Illustration from Illustrators
By Sarah Brannen
From time to time, members of Yellapalooza hear from aspiring
children's authors looking for someone to illustrate their
story. If you're new to the business of writing for children,
here are a few basic guidelines and tips.
First off, you don't necessarily need an agent. Although
there are some wonderful children's literary agents, we
know many children's authors who have been published without
having an agent.
Unless you're planning to self-publish, you don't need
to find an illustrator. Study the market, polish your writing,
and send it to appropriate publishing houses. If they
decide to publish your story, they will find an illustrator
To help you learn more about the business of writing
for children, we can point you to many excellent books
and web sites. Look at the Resource
Books and Links pages
right here at Yellapalooza. One good book to start with
is the Children's
Writers and Illustrators Market.
To polish your writing, read as many books in your genre
as you can. You may want to take a course in children's
writing. You should certainly join a writing critique
group. To find groups in your area, visit the Society
of Children's Writers and Illustrators.
If you are planning to self-publish, be aware that it's
quite expensive to print a full-color picture book. In
addition, the illustrator will probably need to be paid
for two or three months full-time work. You may be able
to find a beginner who will work for the experience; a
good place to find others who are just starting out in
the field is on message boards like the Yellaboard.
Writing (and illustrating) for children is hard, and
the business is competitive. If you love it enough to persevere,
we wish you great good luck!!