Josh Funk’s Guide to Writing Picture Books (in 12 easy steps)

Yesterday I updated my official website ( to include a new Resources for Writers section.

Josh Funk's 12 Step Guide to Writing Picture Books

For those of you that have been following this blog for a while, those 12 lessons may look familiar. I took my Tips for Writing Picture Books series and reorganized it a bit to make it a little cleaner and available all in one place.

See all of Josh Funk’s 12-Step Guide to Writing Picture Books

Lesson #1: So, You Wrote a Book. Now What?
Lesson #2: Picture Books Are Short
Lesson #3: Every Word Counts
Lesson #4: The Illustrator Is Your Partner
Lesson #5: Show Don’t Tell
Lesson #6: Write with Active Emotion
Lesson #7: Story Arc Components
Lesson #8: Don’t Write In Rhyme
Lesson #9: Rhyming Is All About Rhythm
Lesson #10: Some Ideas Don’t Work
Lesson #11: Keep Learning
Lesson #12: Now You’re Ready! Dive In!

I hope that these lessons help any prospective picture book authors, as it’s basically a massive brain dump of things I’ve learned in the last ~4 years.

Feel free to share – and enjoy!

5 thoughts on “Josh Funk’s Guide to Writing Picture Books (in 12 easy steps)

  1. Gah… my first manuscript is a rhyming picture book. Why does the industry hate on them so much? If only I’d read this 5 years ago… do I just toss it and start over with same idea and no rhyming?


    1. Monica, yeah, it’s a bummer. It’s not that the industry hates them. It’s that they’re really really REALLY hard to do well. If you still like your story without rhyme, then definitely try writing it again. Or write something new. I have to admit, my first several manuscripts I wrote aren’t that good. As I learned more about the craft I writing, the stories improved. And those were the ones that are getting published (and even many now still don’t work).

      Just keep writing. Don’t give up.


      1. Aw, thanks so much, Josh!! WILL. DO. I’m loving this guide you put together (someone sent it to our Carolinas SCBWI group email ages ago and just sorting through them).

        Liked by 1 person

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