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PB&J: Picture Books and All That Jazz 2018 | June 7 – June 10, 2018

Go beyond the basics to understand the “whys” behind current picture book bestsellers.

Everyone loves picture books! But writing stories that sell means going beyond a fun idea. In addition to structure, word choice, and plot, have you considered voice, style, rhythm, layout, rhyme, audience, tone, and sound?

This workshop with award-winning picture book authors Darcy Pattison and Leslie Helakoski digs deep into the many layers that create strong creative stories. You’ll go beyond the basics to understand the whys behind current picture book bestsellers. We’ll dissect books with that elusive read-again-and-again quality and learn how to entice readers with our own writing.

In addition to new ways to understand story, you’ll get reviews on personal manuscripts from our three faculty members. You’ll receive feedback on your work from an acquiring editor and hear her discuss why she chooses the books she chooses. Though no artistic talent is needed for this workshop, understanding the role art plays in a picture book is essential.

Imagine yourself attending and contributing to the fun! Our intimate, small-group format will ensure you learn as much as possible and leave with fresh ideas as well as new friends.

Faculty Blog Posts:
9 Picture Book Topics to Avoid
Are You Ready to Write a Children’s Picture Book?
Writing Picture Books That Soar
How Do You Know if You’ve Written a Picture Book?

Preliminary schedule:
Day 1
Afternoon
Optional tour of Highlights for Children & Boyds Mills Press
Introduction: What Space in Children’s Literature Can You Own?

Evening
Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: Picture Book Components: Character, Plot, Getting the Story Down
Writing exercise: Focus and Structure: Focusing Statement and Three-Act Structure

Day 2
Morning
Breakfast with a Story
Format: What’s the Best Way to Tell this Story?
Word Choice

Afternoon
Lunch
Round Table Critiques #1
Free time to write or relax

Evening
Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: Verbal Music and Read Aloud Qualities, Page Turns, Interaction
Open Mic

Day 3
Morning
Breakfast with a Story
Making Room for Art
Rhythm and Rhyme
Scoring Successful Picture Books

Afternoon
Lunch with a Story
Round Table Critiques #2
Free time to write and revise
Q&A with Visiting Editor
Re-envisioning Your Picture Book: Quantum Leap Revisions!

Evening
Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: First Pages with Visiting Editor

Day 4
Morning
Breakfast with a Story
Round Table Critiques #3
Working on the Next Picture Book..Ideas
Dummy-ing Your Story

Afternoon
Lunch and discussion about The Biz
Farewells

Faculty & Special Guests