Writing for Illustrators: An Author/Illustrator Intensive 2020

October 15 - 18, 2020

Join Us To:

Grow as a writer while honoring your illustration background. Discover the interplay of words and pictures. Work on the craft of writing: story arcs; beginnings and endings; character; and manuscript pacing and page turns. Receive one-to-one faculty feedback on your work.

What You’ll Learn:

Topics include:

  • What it means to be doing BOTH the writing & the illustration.
  • Story arc & structure.
  • How to approach beginning a story.
  • How to approach ending a story.
  • Examine how writing complements illustrations, and vice versa.
  • Explore the idea of writing with pictures only.
  • Turning manuscripts into pictures.
  • Turning pictures into manuscripts.
  • Pacing, page turns, and pagination of manuscripts.
  • Being your own line editor.
  • Character sketches as story sparks.
  • Submitting a dummy to agents and editors.
  • Receive multiple feedback perspectives from faculty.

You will be able submit up to 1000 words ahead of time, which could cover a nonfiction project, or a longer fiction project; but if you don’t have any words yet–no worries! This class will teach you how to write them.

Attend If:

  • You are a picture book illustrator with story ideas. This course will help you strengthen your writing and learn more about how words and pictures work together.
  • You are just beginning to illustrate picture books–or you’ve been doing it for a while. No matter what your experience level, you will benefit from the hands-on exercises, lectures and critiques in this course.
  • You are illustrating a wordless picture book and looking for the story. This course centers on finding story through words and images.


Day 1
Arrival and check in

Appetizers & dinner
After dinner: Introductions & welcome

Day 2
The Writing Process for Picture Books
Optional Dummy 101 session or free writing time

One-to-one consultations
Dummy preparation continued
Special guest session

Appetizers & dinner
After dinner: Informal patio chat

Day 3
Finding Your Story
Art Supply Show and Tell

Creating Memorable Characters
Special guest session

Appetizers & dinner
After dinner: Dummy/Character Showcase

Day 4
Get inspired! Resources, Revision, and More
Is your picture book ready for submission? Panel discussion.

Lunch & farewells

A Note About Highlights Workshop Agendas


Elizabeth Rose Stanton–True Confessions of a Picture Book Illustrator, Part 1
Elizabeth Rose Stanton–True Confessions of a Picture Book Illustrator, Part 2
Matt Phelan: Writing Pictures
Crafting Your Picture Book Dummy
Writing Picture Books That Soar
3 Tops for Writing Funny Picture Books
Pointers for Writing Powerful Picture Books
Don’t Give the Negative Voices a Chance to Shine, Melissa Iwai
How to Write a Picture Book (When You’re An Illustrator)


“The faculty was very knowledgeable. I appreciated that all faculty engaged all the students. Their attitudes were positive and conveyed the feeling that all participants had a chance at success.”

“I found several potential critique partners. One of the agents expressed interest in seeing a few completed illustrations from my PB dummy. Everyone was willing to share experiences with art supplies and techniques. All faculty members were encouraging while pointing out areas of improvement.”

Scholarships Available

Scholarships are available for this workshop:
Application deadline is July 27, 2020. Scholarships will be announced August 26, 2020.
Click here to apply!
For more information about scholarships, click here.

Please note that additional faculty is forthcoming.


Elizabeth Rose Stanton

Originally trained as an architect, Elizabeth Rose Stanton segued over to fine art and design while raising her family. Now…
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Jessixa Bagley

Jessixa Bagley is a children’s book author/illustrator as well as a practicing fine artist, and comics creator. She has been…
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Carolyn Dee Flores

Special Guest Carolyn Dee Flores is the author and illustrator of The Amazing Watercolor Fish which broke new ground in…
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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 with dinner on Thursday, October 15; ends on Sunday, October 18, with lunch.