Programs

Picture Book A to Z: PLOTTING, An On-Demand Online Course

On Demand

OVERVIEW:

Take this deep, deep dive into picture book structure with lessons on each letter of the “Picture Book Alphabet” designed by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. This on-demand course is designed to give you tools and knowledge to plot your picture books with care.

Online, On-Demand Self-Paced Course

  • Included are five chapters prepared online lessons that you can access on-demand for up to 6 months from the date of your registration
  • Access to live Community Office Hours Thursdays at 7pm Eastern is available for up to 6 months from the date of your registration.  (Most Thursday meetings are for peer-to-peer connection, with faculty Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen joining the community office hours on the first Thursday of every month for questions and interaction.)

 

FEEDBACK EXPECTED:

  • No formal feedback will be offered.  You may interact with peers in community office hours.
  • You will have access to an optional (but encouraged), facilitated, peer group workshopping of one picture book. (See exact dates below for 2022 workshopping.)
  • A limited number of 1:1 consultations are available with Sudipta for an additional fee ($125). Information available for purchase of consultations once enrolled in the course.

 

WHY THIS WORKSHOP?

If A is for ARC, and Z is for ZILLIONS: just imagine all the learning that happens in between. Get ready to read, write, and WORK on all things Picture Book Plot from A to Z!
PB Plotting A-Z
In this course, you will explore every aspect of picture book plotting, including:

  • Narrative arc: beginnings, middles & endings
  • Components: character, theme, setting, word play, humor, dialogue, description
  • Illustration and page turns
  • Repetition and word play

In addition, you will:

  • View lessons (Most written, with some pre-recorded video)
  • Complete assignments
  • Learn about writing query letters and pitching your picture book
  • Analyze mentor texts

Access to live Community Office Hours Thursdays at 7pm Eastern is available for up to 6 months from the date of your registration.  (Most Thursday meetings are for peer-to-peer connection, with faculty Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen joining the community office hours on the first Thursday of every month for questions and interaction.)

You might also like to check out the companion course Picture Book A to Z: CHARACTER, An On-Demand Online Course.

IT’S A GREAT FIT IF:

  • You want to write picture books. This in-depth course will ensure that you have a thorough understanding of how to plot a compelling picture book.
  • You have written a picture book(s) but aren’t sure it’s ready to submit. Making time for this course means you will learn how to revise and strengthen your story.
  • You’ve written a story for children but have no idea about how to submit it to publishers. This course will give you best practices for revising and submitting your work.
  • You’ve been published in magazines but would like to see your book in print. This course can help you build on your strong writing skills to put together a powerful picture book.
  • You need a workshop you can complete at your own pace. You can work through the lessons individually and join monthly office hours to ask questions and engage with your writer community.

 

DETAILED AGENDA:

Lessons: Most Written, with Some Pre-Recorded Video

You will have access to this course for 6 months from your registration. It’s designed to be completed at your own pace.  There are five chapters, with approximately 30 total lessons, including:

Chapter One:

Topics include:

  • Introduction
  • Narrative arc
  • Beginnings & endings
  • Urgency and tension
  • Character
  • Dialogue

Writing assignments:

  • Arcs
  • Ticking clock
  • Dialogue

 

Chapter Two:

Topics include:

  • Foreshadowing
  • Character problem-solving
  • Hooking the reader
  • Marketing and pitching
  • Humor
  • Internal quest

Writing assignments:

  • Emotional journey
  • Pitching your story

 

Chapter Three:

Topics include:

  • Jokes
  • Formulas
  • Action
  • Pacing
  • Energy
  • Layout

Writing assignments:

  • Picture book cheat sheet
  • Picture book layout

 

Chapter Four:

Topics include:

  • Models,
  • Non-traditional formats,
  • Obstacles,
  • Page turns

Writing assignments:

  • Picture book analysis
  • Query writing
  • Refrains

 

Chapter Five:

Topics include:

  • Setting
  • Theme
  • Visuals
  • Final thoughts

Writing assignments:

  • Plotting checklist
  • Setting

 

Office Hours

  • Thursdays at 7pm EST: Optional peer-only office hours for up to 6 months from your registration for the course.
  • First Thursday of each month at 7pm during the Office Hour: Faculty Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen will join for optional live Q & A.
  • Thursdays: March 24, May 26, August 25, December 8: Optional facilitated workshopping of one picture book manuscript. Join for whichever date is included in your enrollment of 6 months.

 

COMMITMENT REQUIRED FOR THE BEST EXPERIENCE:

You can work through these lessons at your own pace, and you’ll have six months from the date of your registration to do so. For an enhanced experience, you can join the community office hours, monthly Q & A with Sudipta, and/or the optional workshopping of one picture book manuscript (see dates above).

 

HOW IT IMPACTS KIDS:

Picture books are the first entry point for getting children engaged in story, inviting kids to immerse themselves in the stories they hear–and later, the ones they read. This course will help you learn the components of a strong picture book.

Why do we mention this? Learn about the Highlights Foundation mission.

 

RELATED RESOURCES:

Picture Book Word Count, and Other Rules that are Meant to Be Broken
Picture Books: To Rhyme or Not To Rhyme
How Do You Know If You’ve Written a Picture Book?

 

FROM OUR COMMUNITY:

“Sudipta provided a wealth of information in the coursework and was very generous with her time during office hours. She knows her stuff!”

“Sudipta is a wonderful teacher in person but the online lessons were also great – so much material laid out in a very accessible way. It is clear she put a lot of work and thought into the class.”

“Even though we were not together in person, I felt the facilitator and Sudipta did a great job in making us feel we were a mini family where we could learn and share freely.”

Faculty & Special Guests

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen is an award-winning children’s book author whose books include Chicks Rule, The United States vs. Jackie Robinson (2019…
Learn more

$259.00

All-inclusive registration includes workshop tuition, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks. Free shuttle service is available from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AVP) International Airport.

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

Our all-inclusive price means we provide transportation to and from the airport, lodging, all meals, unlimited snacks, and wireless Internet access.

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