Crash Course in Children’s Publishing: Everything You Need to Know (Online Only) 2020

February 17 - April 13, 2020

Join Us To:

Understand how the children’s book publishing industry works, including writing, revising, submitting, publishing, and marketing a book for children, teens, or young adults. Learn details about the editorial development process, including what to do once you have a finished book. All of this will be covered in a nine-week online course, plus a 1:1 consultation with faculty after the course to discuss your specific work and goals.

The course is divided into 9 sessions:
Crash Course

  • Session 1: Introduction to the Crash Course
  • Session 2: Books, Publishers, Markets and More
  • Session 3: Your Manuscript and What Happens Next
  • Session 4: Getting Started as a Professional
  • Session 5: Digging into the Work plus Creative Exercises
  • Session 6: Researching and Submitting
  • Session 7: Getting the Deal
  • Session 8: After the Deal: The Editing and Publishing Process
  • Session 9: Where Do We Go From Here?

Please note: our online courses use the Thinkific platform, so when you click to register, you’ll land on the Thinkific site and you’ll register there.

What You’ll Learn:

This is a workshop for serious beginners: learn all you need to know about the business of publishing children’s books! You will:

  • Explore genres of books, types of publishers, types of markets; fiction vs. nonfiction, flat fee vs. royalties, school & libraries.
  • Find out how to get help before you submit: books, conferences, critique groups, beta readers, children.
  • Use writing exercises to get to know your characters and develop your stories.
  • Understand submissions rules and practices: which mistakes to avoid.
  • Find out how to get started as a professional and find your community.
  • Learn about how publishers sign up manuscripts and how to make sense of contracts.
  • Discover the publishing process: developmental editing, line-editing, copyediting and proofreading, design & illustration, production, marketing & distribution.

Attend If:

  • You are a serious beginner. Are you tired of exhaustive online searches, hard-to-sift-through information, or lack of practical advice? This course is a great way to get a jump start on your goals.
  • You want to write for children but don’t know how to get started. Our goal is to demystify children’s publishing and answer ALL of your questions about the process.
  • You’ve written a story for children but have no idea about how to submit it to publishers. This course will give you best practices for revising and submitting your work.
  • You have sold some stories to children’s magazines and would now like to learn more about the book publishing process. Perfect! We’ll give you a behind-the-scenes look at all that goes on, from submission to publication.


The course is divided up into 9 sessions, each with a different topic. Here are the session topics and dates:

February 17, Session 1: Introduction to the Crash Course (Live)

  • Faculty introductions
  • Chapter-by-chapter review
  • How to use the Thinkific platform
  • Writer and Illustrator introductions, and goal setting

February 24, Session 2: Books, Publishers, Markets and More

  • Types and genres in the children’s book industry
  • Types of publishers, and who’s who
  • Today’s children’s book market
  • Additional resources, including Matthew Winner’s “Writers Are Readers” and more!

March 2, Session 3: Your Manuscript and What Happens Next

  • Building your industry knowledge
  • SCBWI, critique groups, & kids
  • Revision
  • Additional resources, including the newly announced ALA and YALSA award winning book list, and more!

March 9, Session 4: Getting Started as a Professional

  • Getting started as a writer
  • Finding community, caring for yourself as a creative, and dedicating time to your craft
  • Additional resources, including “You’re Never Too Old to Write” and more!

March 16, Session 5: Digging into the Work

  • Knowing Your Characters Creative Exercises
    • Character Backstory
    • Little Known Facts
    • Character voice
    • Character interview
    • Place as character
  • Further writing exercises
  • Additional resources, including “Kidlit Illustrators Share Tips and Tricks,” and more!

March 23, Session 6: Researching and Submitting

  • Publishers and Editors
  • Agents & What They Do
  • Submissions
  • Additional resources including, “Query Writing is All About the Pitch” and more!

March 30, Session 7: Getting the Deal

  • Acquisitions
  • The Contract
  • Understanding terms and royalties
  • What to WATCH OUT for
  • Additional resources including “Believing After 10 Rejections” and more!

April 6, Session 8: After the Deal: The Editing and Publishing Process

  • Developmental editing, line-editing, copyediting and proofreading.
  • Design and illustration
  • Production
  • Marketing
  • Distribution
  • The “End”
  • Additional resources including a video highlighting self-publishing in today’s market, and more!

April 13, Session 9: Where Do We Go From Here? (Live)

  • Questions you still have
  • Evaluating your goals and next steps of action
  • Preparing for individual consultations

After the online sessions:

  • Book your 1:1 consultation with faculty.


Who should attend? Watch the video.
Into the Woods podcast talks with Harold Underdown about the online Crash Course
7 Quick Tips for Beginning Writers
How to Start Revising That First Draft
Getting Out of the Slush Pile
Questions to ask BEFORE you submit your story or art

Faculty & Special Guests

Harold Underdown

Harold is an independent children’s book editor and consultant who works with authors and publishers on manuscripts, books, and strategy.…
Learn more

Event Cost: $399.00

workshop information