Whenever someone asks me how to get a children’s story published, I often direct them to Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I’ve been a member for over ten years, and I’ve found the organization to be an invaluable source of information relating to the children’s book industry.
Check them out. Sign up for a talk or conference in your area. You will meet other people who share your passion for writing or illustrating. You will also meet professionals in the field who can inform you on various topics such as what they look for in a manuscript, how to submit your work, how to find a literary agent or artists’ rep, and many other topics.
The Children’s Book Council is also a great resource for learning the names of editors at different publishing houses, and what kinds of books they publish. There is also information about how many books they publish a year and whether or not they accept unsolicited manuscripts.
You can find a local independent book store closest to you at Indie Bound.