Your Writing Book Library

The Big Day is just around the corner! Day 1 of the third annual National Picture Book Writing Week (aka “NaPiBoWriWee”) begins at midnight on Sunday May 1, 2011! So in anticipation of our grueling – but FUN – event where we will attempt to write 7 picture books in 7 days, below is a list of fantastic writing books that I have either studied or taught in my children’s writing class at UCLA Extension’s Writers Program. I hope this list of books inspires you to write, write, write! 🙂 Keep reading to see the book list and find out more…

My Favorite Writing Books

If you’re feeling stuck or need writerly inspiration, I highly recommend these wonderful how-to writing books. If you have any favorite or inspirational writing books you would like to recommend as well, please post a comment for our NaPiBoWriWee community! See you at midnight for Day 1 of NaPiBoWriWee! Until then… Happy Writing! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! 🙂

Burroway, Janet. Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (Longman Books, 2000)

Dillard, Annie. The Writing Life (HarperPerennial, 1989)

Gardner, John. The Art of Fiction (Vintage Books, 1983)

Lamb, Nancy. The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children (Writers Digest Books, 2001)

Lamott, Anne. Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (Doubleday, 1994)

Livingston, Myra Cohn. Poem-Making: Ways to Begin Writing Poetry (HarperCollins, 1991)

Marcus, Leonard S., ed. Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom (HarperCollins, 1998)

Marcus, Leonard S. Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children’s Literature (Houghton Mifflin, 2008)

Paul, Ann Whitford. Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication (Writers Digest Books 2009)

Sanders, Nancy I. Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career (E&E Publishing 2001)

Schulman, Janet. The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury (Knopf, 1998)

Shulevitz, Uri. Writing With Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books (Watson-Guptill Publications, 1985)

Suen, Anastasia. Picture Writing: A New Approach to Writing for Kids and Teens (Writers Digest Books, 2003)



  1. Thanks for the list! Another book I like is Brenda Ueland’s “If You Want To Write.” Looking forward to this year’s NaPiBoWriWee!

  2. Hello – is registering with the site enough to say I am doing this this year? Or is there a thread I should comment on?

    It’s already morning of May the First here in the UK so I am being a busy bee and writing away 🙂

    Thanks so much for running this


  3. I also recommend Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Writing Begins with the Breath by Laraine Herring.

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