Skye St. James. "The Girl's Picture Book." Grade 7. 2010 Gold Medal, Photography.

Brittany Murnahan, a high school English teacher, sent in a question about book publishing for the classroom.

Brittany asked:

Good morning!

I teach English at a private school. For my January Term (J-Term) course, I am planning a two-week workshop in which my students will work on writing and publishing a children’s book collectively. Do you have any advice for us that may be any different than advice for the normal author? Should we raise money to pay for the publishing? I remember when my dad published his books he had to pay to publish them. Please send any advice you may have for my students and me.

Ned Answered:


There are no special rules for writing a book collectively as opposed to as an individual, other than to keep from fighting. I think your skills as a teacher should serve you well in coordinating the writing of the book.

When it comes to publishing, if you want the book printed professionally it will likely cost you some money. I suggest that you raise some. The self-publishing website is a respected and trusted outlet for these types of projects; it allows you to publish for free, but unexpected costs always arise with books and you should be prepared for them. Try to have a few hundred dollars on hand when you set out to publish. Check out and good luck with your project.

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Have questions about writing, or the business of publishing? Ask a real writer! Ned Vizzini Vizzini is the author of three acclaimed young adult books: It’s Kind of a Funny Story (now a major motion picture), Be More Chill, and Teen Angst? Naaah…. Ned has spoken at over 200 schools, universities, and libraries around the world about writing and mental health. E-mail your questions to

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