« New comic on Writer Unboxed | Main | KidLit Cares: KidLit Community Raises Funds For Post-Sandy Relief Efforts »

Tina Cho's Advice For Aspiring Picture Book Writers

Congrats to Tina Cho, who recently won the COWBOY CHRISTMAS book prize giveaway as part of my interview with Rob Sanders.

Tina Cho is an author of 22 guided reading books from Lakeshore Learning and Compass Media. My Mini Pet Shop and The Christian Girls Guide to Grace (a book about etiquette), both with Legacy Press Kids, and a coloring book with Warner Press will be out in 2013. She is a former elementary teacher who currently homeschools her 5th grade daughter and 2nd grade son. Though she grew up in Iowa, she is now living outside of Seoul, South Korea. She is participating in Julie Hedlund’s 12x12 in 2012 picture book challenge and Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo.

You can find out more info about Tina at http://tinamcho.wordpress.com.

What advice do you have for aspiring picture book writers?

I had to read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by the late Stephen Covey in college, and one of those seven habits stays by my side. "Be proactive." If you really want to learn how to write picture books and get one published, you can! Join a critique group. Read writing craft books. Read writers', illustrators', editors', and agents' blogs. My children's lunch was delayed today because I was so engrossed in reading blogs! Read picture books every day. And join picture book challenges. Not only are they fun, but they connect you to other writers like yourself. 


For more insights from children's book writers and illustrators, see the Inkygirl Interview Archives.

Reader Comments (12)

I forget my children's lunch almost daily for the same reason, Tina:) Thanks for this post. Great tips, all!

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRicha Jha

Great advice, Tina. And since I get to benefit from your excellent critiquing in our pb group, I agree that belonging to such a group is invaluable. Congratulations again on all your books! You're a terrific writer.

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEvelyn Christensen

Go Team-Tina!

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Rowan-Zoch

That's great advice, Tina. All those things DO make a big difference. For those who don't know Tina, she's the consummate professional!

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Jackson

Great advice, Tina! Learning, connecting and getting feedback keeps me inspired every day.

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Newman

So true, Tina! I have both burned dinner and forgotten to make dinner because I've been so absorbed in reading/writing/critiquing. My writing has become much more of a priority since I started connecting with other people who are doing the same thing.

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie F

Tina, picture book writers can take your tips as authentic because you have proven them to be true by your own successes.

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Bockman

Thanks so much, everyone! And thanks, Debbie, for allowing me to be on your blog and for the great win!

November 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTina Cho

Hurray Tina! You know that we love your Lakeshore books at this house. Can't wait to read more from you.

November 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Mealey

Such good advice, Tina, to get into the "thick of things." I, too, get sidetracked with all there is to absorb in our field. Moderation is the key. Thanks for the encouragement!

November 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJarm Del Boccio

Great advice, Tina - and it has obviously worked for you! "Be proactive" is another version of my personal motto: "Less talk. More action" - because opportunity doesn't actually knock on doors. :)

November 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRenee LaTulippe

Thanks again, Debbie, for having me, and thanks everyone for your nice comments! Go forth and write!

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTina Cho

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>