Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Webinar – Writing Humorous Picture Books with Editor Frances Gilbert

Date(s) - 02/06/2021
10:00 am - 11:30 am


I’ll Acquire Your Book If You Make Me Laugh:

Writing Humorous Picture Books with Frances Gilbert,

Editor-In-Chief of Doubleday Books for Young Readers

Moderated by Annie Bailey



Saturday, February 6th, 2021 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am Mountain Time

$10 for Members, $20 for Non-members

This event is non-refundable.


This event will be recorded. A replay will be available to all those that register until March 6th, 2021.

Registration closes February 5th @ 10:00 am MT or whenever the available spots sell out. No additional registrations will be available after the event.

To register for the webinar:

  1. — Register and pay on the bottom of this page with
  2. — Approx. one day before the webinar, you will receive an e-mail containing the link to the webinar.
  3. — Approx. one hour before the webinar, you will receive a reminder e-mail containing another link to the webinar. (So don’t worry if you misplace the first e-mail.)
  4. — Click on the webinar link to sign on live. You will be able to join up to 15 minutes before the webinar begins.
  5. — If you miss the live webinar, no worries, you will receive a link to the video replay after the event.


Webinar Summary:

I love publishing funny picture books, and yet it’s super-rare that I get a humorous submission that ACTUALLY makes me laugh. We’ll take a page-by-page, line-by-line look at two successful picture books I’ve published and will dissect all the different reasons they made me spill tea on my cardigan: Pacing, page-turns, subject matter, audience, originality, hooks, and a bunch of other things that are a lot funnier than this sentence.



Ten written critiques for PICTURE BOOKS ONLY are available in conjunction with this webinar. $50 for members, $65 for non-members.

E-mail your submission to Annie Bailey at by February 6th, 2021. You will receive written feedback on your submission via e-mail by March 13th 6th, 2021. Critiques are non-refundable, and we cannot accept late submissions.

Your submission should contain one word document that includes your cover letter and your manuscript. Please do not send these as separate files. Illustrators may also include a pdf picture book dummy.

Please use the e-mail subject line “FRANCES GILBERT CRITIQUE SUBMISSION” and name your document: TITLE-YOUR NAME. Following these guidelines will save us loads of time and make us smile!

Manuscript Formatting Guidelines – Paid Critiques

Please submit ONE properly formatted manuscript per critique, not to exceed 10 pages.

Manuscripts should have 1-inch margins on all sides, double-spaced, 12 point, Arial or Times Roman, black font on 8.5 x 11 in. paper. The first page of the manuscript should be clearly marked with the participant’s contact information and email, as well as genre, age category, and word count. Manuscripts should also have a header on each page (starting on page 2 of the manuscript) in the upper left or right hand corner that includes last name of writer, title of manuscript and page number.

Rhyming picture book submissions should conform to the guidelines above; however, they may be single spaced with a double space between stanzas.

Questions? Please e-mail Annie Bailey at


FRANCES GILBERT started her career in children’s books when she was still a child, working in the children’s department of her town library throughout high school. After graduating from university with an M.A. in English, Frances’s first job in publishing was as a Book Club Editor at Scholastic Canada in Toronto. She moved to New York in 2000 to set up a children’s editorial division at Sterling Publishing, where she stayed till 2012. Frances then moved to Random House Children’s Books, where she is Editor-in-Chief of Doubleday Books for Young Readers. Titles she has acquired and edited include: The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain, Philip Stead, and Erin Stead; I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty and Mike Boldt; the Hello, World! board book series by Jill McDonald; Bunny’s Book Club by Annie Silvestro and Tatjana Mai-Wyss; and Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer and Dave Mottram.

In addition to editing children’s books, Frances also writes them: She is the author of I Love Pink and I Love My Tutu! (Step Into Reading), an abridgment of The Secret Garden (Little Golden Books), and the forthcoming titles Go, Girls, Go! (Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster); I Love My Grandma (Step Into Reading); and I Will Always Be Your Bunny (Doubleday).

You can follow Frances on Twitter at @GoGirlsGoBooks, where she posts about children’s writing, editing, and girl-centric picture books.