Intimate and inspiring workshops for children's authors and illustrators.


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Capturing Character: Hear Their Voices 2017 | June 8 – June 11, 2017

Bring your cast of characters to life through this dynamic workshop!

Readers (and editors!) are clamoring for character-driven stories. Character informs all aspects of a story in both picture books and novels. Believable characters connect readers to the world by relating their secrets, ambitions, and obsessions. The characters we create respond to conflict according to their own motivations, and their growth drives the story forward. Do you know how to build characters that your readers will care to follow into your story?

Work with celebrated author Padma Venkatraman (A Time to Dance and Island’s End), An Na (A Step From Heaven and Wait for Me) and author Kristy Dempsey (A Dance Like Starlight and Superhero Instruction Manual) to find ways to bring your characters to life on the page. Learn how voice and emotion are influenced by character. Writing exercises will help you choose and build your characters from the inside out and give your story a unique voice that is a true representation of your characters’ personalities and charm.

You will also explore ways that point of view and character are intertwined. Learn how perspective drives characters’ views of their problems and their views of world problems.

In additional to engaging sessions and writing exercises, each participant will receive a 10-page manuscript review and work one-on-one with our faculty to develop individual projects.

Please note: in order for the faculty to read your manuscript before the workshop, you will have to turn in your manuscript by May 20.

Blog Posts About Character
Faculty Interview: Capturing Character with An Na, Kristy Dempsey, Padma Venkatraman
Kim Briggs: The No-Limit Character Shopping Spree
Padma Venkatraman: Walking Through the “Woulds” With Your Character
Nicole Valentine–Take Your Character to Work Day
Laurie Calkhoven–Meditation to Uncover Character

Faculty & Special Guests