The Way to Write for Children by Joan Aiken

This short, punchy, entertaining guide is full of wisdom. It blasts its way through the many mistakes that aspiring writers for children are prone to and is packed with interesting insights into what works for children and why.



Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande

First published in 1934, this timeless little handbook has been in print ever since, and when you read it, you understand why. Although not aimed specifically at children’s book writers, it’s a hugely inspiring and revelatory lesson in both the discipline and mystery of writing.



The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

This lucid and exacting book about creative endeavour in general was written by the legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp, former best friend of the beloved, late, great Maurice Sendak. She offers a refreshingly rigorous approach and sound, practical guidance in how to enable yourself to work at your best, whatever your chosen form.


Children’s Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook

This indispensable and comprehensive handbook should be your first port of call as you set sail on the exciting but sometimes stormy waters of children’s books writing/illustration. It gives you absolutely everything you need in terms of up to date advice, information and contacts, and contains very useful and often fascinating articles from top authors, illustrators, publishers and agents. It’s a great book to have to hand, but you can find it at your library in the reference section, or access all the information it contains (and more) on their website:


The Creative Writing Coursebook Forty Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction and Poetry Ed. Julia Bell and Paul Magrs.

This meaty volume, compiled in association with the Creative Writing department at UEA, offers a variety of different perspectives on the fundamentals of writing fiction and poetry. Although not specifically aimed at children’s writers, many of the principles are perfectly relevant.