Knowledge Base » Tips for Beginners




If you're just starting out on your journey as a children's writer, chances are you have lots of questions:

  •  Can I really make it writing children's books?
  •  Is it difficult to get started?
  •  Do I have to spend a ton of money on classes and books?
  •  Is there one trusted place I go to learn everything I need to launch my career as a children's writer?

Ready For Some Answers?

1. Of course you can make it as a children's book writer! Over the past 19 years, we've helped many regular folks — without writing experience, advanced degrees or "inside" publishing contacts — go from raw beginner to published author. Your opportunity is out there — go and get it!

2. Getting started is as simple as learning some basic "rules of the game" and then writing, writing, writing!  With just a little guidance, you can escape the pitfalls and discouraging dead-ends that prematurely end so many promising writing careers.

3. It absolutely should not cost you a fortune to get this basic information and ongoing instruction.   In fact, you can learn everything you need each month for less than you spend on a latte.  No kidding!

4. Yes, there is one trusted place that will be your guiding force through the publishing maze.

And you've just found it.


In the pages of Children's Book Insider and on the CBI Clubhouse, you'll find step-by-step instruction that will make your entry into this fascinating field easy and fun. And, because many of our Fightin' Bookworms are experienced, published authors, you'll have the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from some real pros!

Take a quick look around and you'll soon discover: There is no better, friendlier or more affordable place, on or off the web, to get started as a children's writer than right here.  Period.

If this is your first visit to The CBI Clubhouse, why not take a few minutes to enjoy our video tour? Click here and you'll discover what a truly unique place this really is!

Want to learn how to take part in all the fun and learning? Click Here to Join the Fightin' Bookworms!


Now, here are just a few of our many resources for beginners that CBI Clubhouse Fightin' Bookworms have at their fingertips 24/7 (and there's new content being added all the time!) :




 Children's Book Insider,

the Newsletter for Children's Writers

For almost 20 years, we've helped generations of new writers find their way through the publishing maze.  Many have gone on to great success — and most of those folks are still with us today!   As a Fightin' Bookworm, you'll have access to a fresh issue of CBI each month, packed with articles for beginners and experienced authors alike.



The CBI Challenge

Join us for an exciting Step by Step Journey to Children’s Writing Success!  Getting started writing children's books can be a confusing, even overwhelming time.  But not when you've got CBI and the Fightin' Bookworms to guide you!  We start with finding your footing as a children's writer, then move on to the writing process, the revision and editing stage, the submissions process and ultimately provide a blueprint for a long, sustainable writing career. And we'll do it  together, in a fun and unique way.  And here's the amazing part:  This incredible course is absolutely free for all CBI Clubhouse members! (And remember: no matter when you join the Clubhouse, you'll have access to all previous modules and assignments.  So jump right in!) 


The Fightin' Bookworm Forum

On our friendly message boards, beginners and pros rub elbows, share advice and build lasting friendships.  Get answers to your most pressing questions, share your thoughts about great books, voice your opinion about publishing issues, start or join an online critique group…or just have fun shooting the breeze.  We even have localized boards so you can connect with writers in your own back yard! 




Nuts & Bolts: Word Counts &

Age Groups in Children’s Books

Here they are: The Rules of the Game for Writing Children's Books — from Board Books Straight through Young Adult!  How many pages in a picture book?  How many words in a board book?  What subjects are appropriate for an easy reader?  What's the difference between a chapter book and a middle grade book?   The answers are right here, whenever you need them!


Free eBook: The Non-Celebrity’s Guide

to Getting a Children’s Book Published

Yes, non-famous folks can get published.  This fun and irreverent eBook lays out the basics in a clear fashion.  And it's free for all members of The CBI Clubhouse! 



Where To Find Free Lists of

Children’s Book Publishers

The key information you need to locate and target a children's publisher for your manuscript is a click away. …



A Step-By-Step Guide to

Getting Published

In this excellent tutorial, literary agent Jeff Kleinman shows how anyone can go from zero to published!


Editing Made Easy

How to polish your manuscript to a gleam by trimming, tightening or just plain hacking away!



Step-by-Step: Writing a Perfect

Query Letter

You've got 10 seconds to hook an editor.  Here's how to do it….



Beginners’ Corner: Turn Your Idea

Into a Book

Turn your great idea into a workable manuscript with these tips!



3 Commandments of Writing

Picture Books – A CBI Podcast

Can we really boil down the mysterious process of writing a picture book into about four and a half minutes? We’re sure as heck gonna try!



5 Reasons Why You Can’t Become a

Writer….and Why None of Them

Are True

No more excuses! In this podcast, we take away all those nasty reasons many writers have that block them from success.


Jon & Laura on Writing Fiction for Kids

A few years back, Jon and Laura sat down to talk about the key ingredients of writing fiction for children.  From story ideas to manuscript submission, they covered all the bases.   Originally a special bonus for select customers, the entire talk is now available to all CBI Clubhouse members!



Ask Laura

Join CBI Publisher Laura Backes for a series of videos in which she answers your most pressing questions.  Some of the topics covered so far include How Do I Find a Publisher? , Is it OK to Switch Points of View? , Can I Tell an Editor How the Artwork Should Look? and How Do I Propose a Picture Book Series to an Editor?


Plus we've got a full library of author podcasts that are packed with advice for beginners, a special beginners-only section of our Fightin' Bookworm Forum and much, much more. 


So welcome, future writing superstar.  You've just found your new home!




Not yet a member?