Craft Books to Inspire (Picture Book) Authors

Today we wrapped up the 2016 Picture Book Intensive at The Writing Barn featuring Tricia Lawrence of EMLA, Ariel Richardson of Chronicle Books and author Jill Esbaum. The presentations and workshopping were thought-provoking and inspiring, and I can't wait to dig in to all I learned. 

But first - a quick list of some of the craft books recommended over the four days at the Barn - from combatting envy and fear to revisiting the rules of writing kid lit, these eight texts represent a master's class in writing - for picture books and otherwise.

  1. Life Without Envy - Camille DeAngelis "Life Without Envy by Camille DeAngelis is a game-changer for artists of all stripes: a practical guide for navigating the feelings of jealousy, frustration, and inadequacy we all experience to create a happy life regardless of how your career is (or isn't) going."
  2. The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books - Linda Ashman
  3. Getting into Character: 7 Secrets a Novelist Can Learn from Actors - Brandilyn Collins "Drawing on the Method acting theory that theater professionals have used for decades, this in-depth guide explains seven characterization techniques and adapts them for the novelist's use."
  4. Writing Irresistible Kid Lit - Mary Kole
  5. Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom "The letters included here are representative of the brilliant correspondence that was instrumental in the creation of some of the most beloved books in the world today."
  6. The Ode Less Traveled - Stephen Fry "Comedian and actor Stephen Fry's witty and practical guide, now in paperback, gives the aspiring poet or student the tools and confidence to write and understand poetry."
  7. Writing with Pictures - Uri Shulevitz
  8. Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (And Rewards) of Artmaking - David Bayles and Ted Orland "Art & Fear explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn't get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way."
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
— Stephen King, On Writing

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