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

February 17 - April 13, 2020

Join Us To:

Get a comprehensive look at how the children’s book publishing industry works. Gain an understanding of the writing, revising, submitting, publishing, and marketing of a children’s or YA trade book. Learn details about the editorial development process, including what to do once you have a finished book. Receive a customized consultation from faculty to discuss your work and goals.

Crash CourseThe course is divided into 9 sessions:

  • 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 want to write for children but don’t know how to get started. Our goal is to 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 publicaiton.


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, with Harold Underdown (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, with Harold Underdown

  • 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, with Harold Underdown

  • 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, with Leah Henderson and Harold Underdown

  • 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, with Leah Henderson and Harold Underdown

  • 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, with Harold Underdown

  • 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, with Harold Underdown

  • 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? with Harold Underdown (Live)

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


Who should attend? Watch the video.
Into the Woods podcast talks with Harold Underdown about the online Crash Course
Faculty Interview: Leah Henderson
Harold Underdown: 7 Quick Tips for Beginning Writers
Behind the Scenes With a Bookseller: Dave Richardson
Harold Underdown:How to Start Revising That First Draft
Harold Underdown: Getting Out of the Slush Pile
Questions to ask BEFORE you submit your story or art


Harold Underdown

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

Leah Henderson has always loved getting lost in stories. When she is not scribbling down her characters’ adventures, she is…
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Event Cost: $399.00

workshop information