Beyond the Craft: Practical Matters in Children’s Book Publishing

Online | Business of Publishing
Getting started in the children’s book industry can be confusing. After nearly three decades in children’s books, Editor Harold Underdown has much to share about the practical matters you need to know.

July 11, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - July 13, 2023 @ 8:15 pm




A Two-Night Mini Online Course

Getting started in the children’s book industry can be confusing. Beyond the skills needed to craft a great story, there is much to learn as you aspire to write and/or illustrate professionally and publish for kids and teens. After nearly three decades in children’s books, Editor Harold Underdown has much to share about the practical matters you need to know.

This program is a great fit if you’re looking for a short course of two, 75-minute sessions offering limited interaction with the community, but loads of information.

  • Tuesday, July 11, 2023 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Thursday, July 13, 2023 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Webinar-style program with closed captioning available and limited interaction in the chat
  • Recordings available until August 31, 2023

Why This Workshop?

Join Editor Harold Underdown as he offers valuable guidance and insight for children’s book writers and illustrators. Key topics covered during the program will include:

  • A guide to types of children’s books;
  • Getting support and feedback;
  • Researching types of publishers, editors, and agents;
  • Understanding the submission process;
  • How manuscripts are acquired;
  • Key terms in contracts and how they work;
  • What to expect in the publishing process;
  • and so much more!

There will be time saved for a Q&A on the final night of the program, plus the opportunity to connect with Harold after the program for one follow-up question! (Contact information shared on the final night.)

BONUS: A substantial handout with books and web resources for your education and research will be provided!


Feedback Expected

  • There will be limited interaction in the chat feature of the webinar-style program.
  • Harold will be open to answering a publishing question from each participant after course. Contact information will be shared on the final night of the program.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You are starting out as an author and/or illustrator for children’s books, and want to understand the publishing process.
  • You’ve written or illustrated outside the children’s book industry, and want to learn how you can break into kids’ books.
  • You’re looking for something short, sweet, and smart! This is not a full workshop; these are short sessions meant to engage and build an understanding of the children’s book publishing industry.
  • You are considering A CRASH COURSE IN CHILDREN’S BOOK PUBLISHING and would like a sample of the course content, as well as a taste of Harold’s teaching style.

Tentative Agenda

At registration: You will receive a Zoom link to use each night of the course.


If you are unable to attend either session for any reason, you’ll have access to the recordings (with closed captioning) through August 31, 2023.

Please note that if you register for the course after the start of the first session, you will not receive recordings immediately.  You’ll receive both recordings after the close of the last session, usually within 24 hours.

All Times are Eastern Standard Time.

Part 1: Tuesday, July 11 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)

Part 1: Types of Publishers & Books

  • Types of Books and Types of Publishers (and what makes them different!)
  • How to Find Out What to Read
  • Getting Support and Feedback
  • Researching Publishers
Part 2: Thursday, July 13 (7pm-8:15pm EST)

Part 2: Getting Started as a Professional

  • Researching Editors and Agents
  • Submissions and the Dreaded Query Letter
  • The Acquisitions Process and Contracts
  • The Publishing Process
  • Q&A with Harold

How It Impacts Kids

Stories help kids develop language, build the power of imagination, understand their world and value their lives as they see themselves reflected within. This course educates and encourages creators as they bring their voices to this important work.

Testimonials from Our Community

“I loved getting deep insight into the children’s book world today and also a better understanding of the business of the publishing world and how to navigate it.”

“I knew I could not attend in person but I signed up because you offered the recording. Having that option was invaluable.”

“Keep the mini courses going for those of us that can’t attend at the Highlights Foundation Campus! It helps us stay in touch and keep our skills growing!!”

Meet the Faculty


July 11, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - July 13, 2023 @ 8:15 pm




When you register for this course, you’ll receive information via email to confirm.

For mini courses (one or two nights only), you’ll receive webinar links immediately to use on the evening of the course.

For longer courses, you’ll receive an invitation to your virtual classroom as the workshop approaches.

Learn more about the technology that we use for our online workshops.

Our Mission in Action

Share Your Story, Inspire a Child
Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit
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The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.