Word Count for Children’s Literature For @PictureBkMonth & @NaNoWriMo

This is the second post I wrote on word count. Since I write mostly picture books, I know what my target word count is each time I write – less than 600, but 500 is ideal.  But as I glue the scenes of different projects I am writing, I always want to make sure that the word count has not changed since my last research. And if I find something different, I will copy it and put it on the blog so I can refer to it as needed. This is like my personal research notebook.

I went to literary Rambles, to the word count of children’s literature. It sent me over to Kidlit. This is the information I gathered about word count for children’s literature.  I think I read somewhere that these numbers have changed since the popularity of Harry Potter.

  • Board Book — 50 words max
  • Early Picture book — 300 words max
  • Picture book — 700 words max (Seriously. Max.)
  • Nonfiction Picture book — 2,000 words max
  • Early Reader — I’d say 1,500 words is the max.
  • Chapter book — This varies widely, depending on grade and reader level. 15,000 words max.
  • Middle Grade — 35,000 words max for contemporary, mystery, humor, 45,000 max for fantasy/sci-fi, adventure and historical
  • YA — 70,000 words max for contemporary, humor, mystery, historical, romance, etc. 90,000 words max for fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, etc.

You may check the archive for earlier post about word count.  Below, there are tools online you may use to check your word count. Microsoft Word have a built-in word count tool. But if you are like me, and sometimes do not write directly into Microsoft Word, then use one of the tools below. Happy Writing!






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