Programs

Getting To Know Your Rhyming Picture Book Online Course (Sept 23-Oct 21) Plus Onsite Retreat (Nov 7-10) 2019

November 7 - 10, 2019

Overview

Give your picture book the special attention it deserves with this long-form workshop: an activity-based web series paired with a guided writing retreat.

Have you already written one or more rhyming picture book stories but aren’t sure what to do next? Have you heard that rhyming picture books don’t sell? Or received feedback that calls your rhyme “forced?” Join this unique program in which participants will workshop their picture books in a creative and encouraging environment.

The workshop has 3 parts (see more details in the “Agenda” section):

Part 1: Weekly Sessions in a Web Classroom
September 23-October 14
You’ll participate in online lessons with community discussion and writing exercises. (You can watch them weekly at whatever time is convenient for you.)
Week 1: STORY, structure & tone
Week 2: VERSE, meter & rhyme scheme
Week 3: REVISION, common pitfalls

Part 2: Revisions, Skype and Phone Consultations
October 15-28
You’ll apply all you learned in Part 1 to your picture book, and have one-to-one Skype and phone consultations with faculty. Submissions for critique at the Onsite Retreat will be due on October 28.

Part 3: In-person Workshop at our Retreat Center
November 7-10
You’ll bring your picture book to our Retreat Center for lectures, writing exercises and a critique with faculty, including an editor or agent consultation.

Find more details in the “Agenda” section.

What You’ll Learn

  • Study and deconstruct lyrical picture books.
  • Learn the differences between poetry, prose and picture books.
  • Look at the intersection of plot and rhyme.
  • Find ways to deepen your understanding of picture book pacing, structure and format, character and story arc.
  • Discover when rhyme works in a story and when it might not work.
  • Discover how to find your own voice.
  • Understand how character and rhyme go together in your story.

Who Should Attend

This course is open to beginner, intermediate and advanced authors and author/illustrators who want to workshop a complete or in-progress picture book project with our mentor team..

If you have taken one of these other workshops, you may find this course of special interest: PB&J: Picture Books & All That Jazz; The Ins & Outs of a Picture Book & Its Many Forms; Everything You Need to Know About Children’s Book Publishing: A Crash Course; Summer Camp; Writing for ALL Young Readers; The Journey; The Craft & Heart of Writing Poetry for Children.

Agenda

Part 1: Weekly Sessions in a Web Classroom
September 23-October 14

You’ll attend weekly sessions in a web classroom. You will:

  • Look at the intersection of plot and rhyme.
  • Find ways to deepen your understanding of picture book pacing, structure and format, character and story arc.
  • Discover when rhyme works in a story and when it might not work.
  • Discover how to find your own voice.
  • Understand how character and rhyme go together in your story.
  • Participate in online discussions.
  • Complete writing exercises, hear lectures and watch videos.

Week 1: STORY, structure & tone
Week 2: VERSE, meter & rhyme scheme
Week 3: REVISION, common pitfalls

Part 1 Notes

  • You can participate in the web classroom at your leisure – no need to attend at a specific time.
  • During the online portion, you will be encouraged to read from a selection of picture books. Access to a public library or good children’s bookstore will greatly enhance workshop benefits.

Part 2: Revisions, Skype and Phone Consultations
October 15-28

You’ll apply all you learned in Part 1 to your picture book, and have one-to-one Skype and phone consultations with faculty. Submissions for critique at the Onsite Retreat will be due on October 28.

Part 2 Notes:

  • You will have a Skype or phone consultation with faculty.
  • By October 28, you will submit your picture book manuscript or picture book mock-up/dummy so that faculty can get ready for your in-person critique.

Part 3: In-person Workshop at our Retreat Center
November 7-10

Bring your picture book dummy to our Retreat Center, where you will hear lectures, complete writing exercises and get faculty feedback on your picture book.

Part 3 Notes:

  • There will be lectures, writing exercises, free writing time and faculty critiques.
  • You will receive an editor or agent consultation on your manuscript.

Onsite Agenda:
Day 1
Afternoon
Arrival & check in

Evening
Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: welcome and introductions

Day 2
Morning
Breakfast
Wake Up! And Rhyme! with Jake Bazel
Picture Books Plot Lollapalooza with Tara Lazar
One-to-one consultations

Afternoon
Lunch
One-to-one consultations and free writing time
How Do You Know the Story is Ready? with Special Guest: Nikki Garcia

Evening
Appetizers & dinner
After dinner: Fireside time/ or work time

Day 3
Morning
Breakfast
Leaving Room for Your Illustrator (Even if you are an author/illustrator) with Courtney Pippen-Mathur
Let’s Draw! How to Write by Drawing First with Courtney Pippen-Mathur

Afternoon
Lunch
Retreat/Writing time (second optional meetings with Diana)
Roundtables with small groups

Evening
Appetizers & dinner
After dinner: Art play! or writing time

Day 4
Morning
Breakfast
Continued roundtables with small groups
Revision strategies that work, all faculty
Final Q & A, goal setting, farewells

Afternoons
Lunch & farewells

Resources

About the Faculty
Diana Murray’s website
Kidlit411 Spotlight: Diana Murray
Tara Lazar’s website and blog
Q&A With Nikki Garcia
Nikki Garcia: The Hardest Question for an Editor to Answer
Courtney Pippin-Mathur’s website

About Picture Books
Picture Books: To Rhyme or Not To Rhyme
9 Picture Book Topics to Avoid
How Do You Know If You’ve Written a Picture Book?
Writing Picture Books That Soar
Short and Easy, Right? How Hard Can It Be to Write a Picture Book?
3 Tips for Writing Funny Picture Books
Pointers for Writing Powerful Picture Books
Get to Know Your Picture Book Before You Start Revising
Collecting Word Treasures
Writing Poetry for Children

Faculty

Diana Murray

Diana Murray is the author of over a dozen rhyming picture books, including City Shapes (Little, Brown), which was a…
Learn more

Tara Lazar

Special Guest Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been. Instead,…
Learn more

Nikki Garcia

Special Guest Nikki Garcia is an editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she works on everything from…
Learn more

Courtney Pippin-Mathur

Special Guest Author/Illustrator Courtney Pippin-Mathur creates humorous and heartfelt books for kids, including Maya was Grumpy (Flashlight, 2013), Dragons Rule,…
Learn more

All-Inclusive Event Cost: $1,699.00

All-inclusive registration includes workshop tuition, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks. Free shuttle service is available from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AVP) International Airport. Airport pick-up at Newark Airport is also available for $75 round-trip.

We offer payment plans as low as $75/month. We'll be in touch with details after you register.

workshop information

The onsite retreat begins with dinner on Thursday, November 7; ends on Sunday, November 10, with lunch.

PRINT INFO