Picture Books: Inspiration and Perspiration Online Workshop Apr 2021

April 9 - 11, 2021

Online Workshop Info:

Spend the weekend in picture book community at this online intensive that features lots of inspiration–and yes, perspiration! There will be live keynotes, office hours, informal discussion and fun group activities. The faculty will do one-to-one consultations with you on your complete picture book manuscript or dummy. Note: your manuscript or dummy must be sent in 3 weeks (or more) in advance for critique.

Online Workshop Participant Cap:

20 students.

What You’ll Learn & Experience:

Take a look at what it means, holistically, to be a picture book creator. Open up what it means to tell a story. Find out how to inspire your creativity and get your stories flowing. Play! Generate words! Receive a critique of your picture book manuscript or picture book dummy. During the workshop you will:

  • Feed your creative soul with art and writing play.
  • Receive a critique of your picture book manuscript or dummy.
  • Complete writing exercises that include word collage and idea brainstorming.
  • Hear craft lectures about how to take your manuscript and turn it on its head, turn it inside out, push it further, and move it to new places.
  • Have free writing/illustrating/revising time.

Please note:
In order for the faculty to prepare for your 1:1 consultation, you will need to submit your manuscript by March 19.

Join Us If:

  • You love writing or illustrating picture books! This course features a faculty writer and illustrator, so creative exercises will have room for both.
  • You’ve been struggling to stay creative and keep finding joy in your craft. Inspiring keynotes, hands-on exercises and idea brainstorming will give you a fresh look at your manuscripts.
  • You write or illustrate fiction or nonfiction. Our faculty have experience with both and have designed the workshop to be inclusive.
  • You would like feedback on a completed picture book manuscript or dummy. A critique is included in this intensive, along with a 1:1 Zoom meeting to discuss feedback.

Preliminary Agenda

All lectures and activities will take place via Zoom, Eastern time
Friday, April 9
1:1 consultations

Saturday, April 10
1:1 consultations

1-2 pm:
Opening Talk: Creating Story and the Importance of Creativity

3-4 pm:
Fun Group Activity: Found Object Art

6-7 pm:
Office Hours (informal Q/A with Debbie and Heidi)

7-8 pm:
Heidi Stemple Keynote: “Picture Book Revision”

Sunday, April 11

12pm – 1pm:

Office Hours (informal Q/A with Debbie and Heidi)

1-2 pm:
Debbie Ridpath Ohi Keynote: “What Illustrators Wish Writers Knew”

3-4 pm:
Fun Group Activity: Gathering Days Poetry

6-7 pm:
Special Guest hands on session

7-8 pm:
Debbie and Heidi Wrap Up: “What To Take With You Moving Forward”

Please note:
If you’re unable for any reason to attend any of the sessions, you’ll have access to the recordings of each through May 15, 2021.Debbie Ohi and Heidi Stemple


Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s website
Inkygirl: Reading, Writing & Illustrating Children’s Books
Heidi Stemple’s website
Get to Know Your Picture Book Before You Start Revising


“Both Heidi and Debbie were friendly, knowledgeable, professional, and accessible. They are the kind of instructors who create a safe environment where all are welcome to participate, without fear of intimidation. Both are gifted creators and teachers who interact well and support each other.”

“Debbie is so enthusiastic and open to share her experience and knowledge with you. Our 1:1 was so helpful especially as it happened before the retreat. Our conversation and the lessons opened a door and sparked a whole new way to look at my story.”

“Heidi is so clear with her writing advice. She keeps it simple and to the point, yet is ready to provide more in depth thoughts when asked questions.”


Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Debbie is the author and illustrator of Where Are My Books? and Sam & Eva (Simon & Schuster), and her…
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Heidi E. Y. Stemple

Heidi didn’t want to be a writer when she grew up. In fact, after she graduated from college, she became…
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