Turn Up the Volume on Quiet Picture Books: A Two-Night Mini

Online | Picture Books
Sometimes feedback whispers, “this book is too quiet,” but what does that really mean? And, is there a place in the market for a “quiet” book? Join award-winning author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow to learn ways to embrace your “quiet” book, turning up the volume for your audiences.

May 16 @ 7:00 pm - May 18 @ 8:15 pm




A Two-Night Mini Online Course

Sometimes feedback whispers, “this book is too quiet,” but what does that really mean? And, is there a place in the market for a “quiet” book? Join award-winning author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow to learn ways to embrace your “quiet” book, turning up the volume for your audiences.

  • Tuesday, May 16, 2023 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Thursday, May 18, 2023 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Webinar-style program with closed captioning available and limited interaction in the chat.  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.

Why This Workshop?

  • What does it mean when an editor, agent, or critique partner reacts to your story as “too quiet”? Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow has an idea (or a few)! Jamilah has successfully written, published, and shared many “quiet” books that speak volumes to her readers.

    In this short course, writers will:

    • Dismantle the idea of “too quiet.”
    • Examine common pitfalls that lead to a book being seen as “too quiet.”
    • Learn ways to embrace the themes and tones of their “quiet” books, while turning up the volume in all the right spots!
    • Explore examples of contemporary stories that speak to young readers.

Feedback Expected

  • None included in the course. There will be limited interaction in the chat feature of the webinar-style program.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You are starting out as a picture book author or author/illustrator, and you’re building your understanding of the picture book form.
  • You are a picture book author or author/illustrator who has already drafted picture books and have been told that your manuscripts are “too quiet.” Join Jamilah to unpack that feedback, and find ways to revise your picture book to speak to your readers.
  • 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 understanding of turning up the volume on your quiet stories.

Tentative Agenda

At registration: You will receive a Zoom link to use each 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 June 30, 2023.

All Times are Eastern Standard Time.

Part One: May 16, 2023 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)
  • What exactly is a “quiet” or “too quiet” book?
  • Pitfalls that lead to this kind of feedback
  • Writing exercise
Part Two: May 18, 2023 (7pm-8:15pm EST)
  • What “volume” is just right for your story?
  • Revisions tips and techniques
  • Open Q&A

How It Impacts Kids

Kids need all kinds of books– yes, quiet books too! This course will help you unpack what the feedback “too quiet” might mean, and show you ways to turn up the volume so that your quiet book can speak to readers!

Testimonials from Our Community

“Jamilah’s eye for craft is outstanding and she really helped me improve my manuscript.”

“I knew I could not attend in person but I signed up because you offered the recording. Having that option was invaluable.”

“Keep the mini courses going for those of us that can’t attend at the Highlights Foundation Campus! It helps us stay in touch and keep our skills growing!!”

Meet the Faculty


May 16 @ 7:00 pm - May 18 @ 8:15 pm




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.

Can't Attend Some Sessions Live?

That's generally okay!  We know that you are juggling other demands with your workshop.

Recordings are made available to all registrants for most live sessions, usually the day after the session.  Check your course description for specific details about session recordings, and when they are released. 

We also try to suggest in the description how using the recordings may impact your experience if you can't attend live.  But ultimately, it's up to you!  Let us know if you need help.

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

Workshops for Writers & Illustrators

> Online
> In-Person
> On-Demand (Self-Paced Online)

New to the Highlights Foundation? Try these:

The Crash Course | The Whole Novel Workshop | Summer Camp


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Line drawing of the Barn at Boyds Mills

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