How to Create Concept Books for Children 2020

October 25 - 28, 2020

Join Us To:

Study the craft of writing concept books: working with the patterns you create and the language you select to create highly visual books with tightly limited language. Explore the interplay between being visual for the child and also giving the adult the best language for reading the story aloud. Explore the differences between picture books and concept books. Learn how to make your idea unique, as well as how to submit it and sell it. Get multiple feedback perspectives on your work, including a one-to-one faculty critique.

What You’ll Learn:

At this course, you will:

  • Examine distinguished examples of concept books to understand how to craft one that publishers will want.
  • Learn what makes a concept book different from a picture book.
  • Learn the differences between concept books and novelty books.
  • Hear faculty presentations about writing and/or illustrating concept books.
  • Learn strategies for making your idea unique. How do you make your idea stand out from the many concept books available?
  • Get help refining your pitch to agents and editors and find out how to submit your manuscript.

Attend If:

  • You are a picture book author or illustrator. The course for this faculty includes authors, poets and author/illustrators. Both writers and artists will find this of value.
  • You are a fine artist. If you haven’t yet explored illustrating for children’s books, this course would be a good introduction to using your art in a highly visual genre.
  • You have ideas for concept books. This course will provide you with feedback on your ideas or manuscripts, and give you tools for pitching to editors and agents.
  • You’re a teacher with experience in sharing concept books with children. We’ll show you how you can use your experience to create concept books and give you a one-to-one critique of your idea or manuscript.


Our workshops typically include faculty presentations, hands-on exercises, specialty topic sessions, some level of feedback, and retreat time for working on your own projects. Although we don’t have a finished agenda for this course yet, see a sample agenda here to get an idea of what to expect.


“I’ve been to many conferences and workshops and I teach a workshop every summer but coming to a Highlights workshop has been on my bucket list for years. It even exceeded my high expectations. Hard to put into words but the whole experience was magical. Being in a nurturing bubble, totally immersed in writing was amazing. No newspapers, no TV, no laundry to do or meals to cook, just writing. And learning from amazing mentors. And talking about writing. And writing some more… Bliss.”

Scholarships Available

Scholarships are available for this workshop:
Application deadline is August 6, 2020. Scholarships will be announced September 5, 2020.
Click here to apply!
For more information about scholarships, click here.


Salina Yoon

Salina Yoon is the award-winning and bestselling author and illustrator of over 160 books for children, with over 3.5 million…
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Denise Fleming

Denise Fleming is the author/illustrator of many award-winning picture books. Fleming’s books are created in her signature style of pulp…
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Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Rebecca is an author and poet whose poetry appears in many award-winning collections, in dozens of anthologies and textbooks, and…
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Patti Ann Harris

Special Guest Patti Ann Harris is the Creative Director at Scholastic, including Cartwheel Books, Orchard Books, Readers, Branches and Little…
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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.

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workshop information

Begins Sunday, October 25 with dinner and ends Wednesday, October 28 with lunch.