Non-Traditional Picture Book Structure (A Two-Night Mini Course)

Online | Picture Books
Picture books vary in topic, style, and genre. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to plotting your picture book, either.

January 23 - January 25

Online

$59

Overview

A Two-Night Mini Online Course

Picture book journeys aren’t one size fits all, and that’s a good thing! Join children’s book author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and literary agent Rachel Orr to celebrate alternative approaches to picture book structures. This program is a great fit if you’re looking for a short course of two, 75-minute sessions offering limited interaction with the community, but loads of information.

  • Monday, January 23, 2023 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Wednesday, January 25, 2023 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Webinar-style program with closed captioning available and limited interaction in the chat
  • Optional post-course critique opportunity available for an additional cost

Why This Workshop?

Picture books vary in topic, style, and genre. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to plotting your picture book, either.

In this short course, children’s book author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and literary agent Rachel Orr will cover:

  • An overview of picture book approaches, including concept books, “slices of life” books, holiday books, biographies and other non-narrative nonfiction
  • What is a “traditional” plot and why
  • Contemporary stand-outs that twist the traditional structure
  • How to decide what model is best for your project
  • What exactly is a high concept book (and how do you figure out if that’s how you should be pitching your project?)
  • Considerations from the author (creative!)
  • Considerations from the agent (business!)

Feedback Expected

  • None included in the course. There will be limited interaction in the chat feature of the webinar-style program.
  • An optional, post-course critique opportunity is available for $125 for a picture book manuscript (up to 800 words). You will be contacted within 4 – 6 weeks of your submission with comments. Details will be released during the final night of the course.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You are starting out as a picture book author or author/illustrator looking for beginning information about structuring your picture book.
  • You are a picture book author or author/illustrator who has already written books with traditional plots and you are looking to expand your repertoire.
  • You are considering writing a picture book for children and want to learn more.
  • You’re looking for something short, sweet, and smart! This is not a full workshop, instead it is two, 75-minute sessions meant to engage and build your knowledge of the picture book form.

Tentative Agenda

At registration: You will receive a Zoom link to use each night of the course.

All Times are Eastern Standard Time.

Part One: Monday, January 23, 2023 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)
  • Picture Books: An Overview
    • What is considered “traditional” in picture book plot
    • Concept Books to Biography [and everything in between])
  • “Non-traditional” approaches to picture books
Part Two: Wednesday, January 25 (7pm-8:15pm EST)
  • High concept: What is it?
  • Texts & Models: A Showcase of Examples
  • How to decide what approach is best for your project
    • Considerations from an author
    • Considerations from an agent
  • Q&A
  • Information about optional critiques
Optional After the Course Critique

An optional, post-course critique opportunity is available for $125 for a picture book manuscript (up to 800 words). You will be contacted within 4 – 6 weeks of your submission with comments. Details will be released during the final night of the course.

}

Please Note:

If you’re unable to attend either session for any reason, you’ll have access to the recordings (with closed captioning) through February 28, 2023.

The Highlights Foundation strives for a safe and inclusive environment. You will have access to our Community Standards prior to the workshop where we ask for your respectful engagement with fellow creatives, including our faculty and staff.

How It Impacts Kids

Some stories can use non-traditional plot structures to spark children’s imaginations and inspire them.  This two-night mini workshop can help you discover what your story needs.

DETAILS

January 23 - January 25

$59

Online

Access

When you register for this course, you’ll receive information via email to confirm.

For mini courses (one or two nights only), you’ll receive webinar links immediately to use on the evening of the course.

For longer courses, you’ll receive an invitation to your virtual classroom as the workshop approaches.

Learn more about the technology that we use for our online workshops.

Visiting Our Campus

Our campus (The Barn at Boyds Mills) is tucked away in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  It's a few hours from both New York City and Philadelphia, but worlds away from everyday life.

Line drawing of the Barn at Boyds Mills

Our Mission in Action

Scholarships
Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit
Sustainability

The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.

For Businesses & Organizations

Fund a Scholarship
Partner with Us