Laura Backes Bard and Jon Bard are the forces behind the Children’s Book Insider (CBI), a monthly magazine/newsletter for children’s book writers and illustrators, and the CBI Clubhouse, which is a fabulous online one-stop-spot for all things kidlit. If you have a question about the process of creating children’s books, chances are there’s an answer in the Clubhouse.
Children’s Book Insider and the goodies available in the Clubhouse are available by subscription at a decidedly affordable rate. You can find out more about joining the Insiders here.
That’s not all Laura and Jon do, though. Something I particularly appreciate is their bi-monthly KidLit Social. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, and most of us were suddenly at home, wondering what was going to happen and how we were going to continue to be creative, Laura and Jon began offering free online gatherings every week called (then) The KidLit Distancing Social. There we had a chance to gather with other creatives, celebrate good news that folks had sent in, learn about opportunities, and experience a live interview between Laura and another member of the creative kidlit community.
It has now morphed into an event called the KidLit Social, taking place on the first and third Tuesday of each month. It still offers fabulous learning experiences with an expanded interview segment, and it’s still FREE! I highly recommend you check into it. A bonus is that all previous socials are archived on their site, and you can view them at any time. You can find that archive here. The topic for the coming social is generally posted on social media the day before, in Facebook groups such as the Children’s Book Insider group, KidLit411, and the Children’s Book Hub, among others. If you’re signed up for the CBI newsletter, you’ll get an email telling what the next Social’s topic will be, usually the day before the event.
And that’s still not all!
They, along with colleagues in the kidlit writing world, have developed a series of courses for kidlit creatives known as Writing Blueprints, which you can find at this link. There is a cost for each course, but the content looks well worth every cent. You can try out the free sample for the Blueprints to see if that’s what you’re looking for.
They offer occasional webinars, at an affordable cost, on various topics of interest to kidlit creatives, taught by key people in the field.
They are co-founders of the wonderful one-day online conference, Picture Book Summit, along with Emma Walton Hamilton, Julie Foster Hedlund, and Katie Davis. Picture Book Summit also has a podcast, occasional posts about key issues in the kidlit world, even a free taste of PB Summit prior to the conference itself. Here’s the link to the Picture Book Summit website and the link to a post I did about the conference earlier this fall.
As you can see, Laura and Jon are definitely FOR WRITERS! I hope you’ll take a look at all they have to offer, and I hope you’ll find something that’s just right for you.