Monthly Archives: June 2015

Boot Camp: Writing Picture Books for Children

Springs Writers Presents_Writing Boot Camp: BIG Stories for Little Ears: The Craft and Business of Picture Book Writing

DATE AND TIME: Friday, June 12, 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm Saturday, June 13, 8:45 am – 1:00 pm

LOCATION: Woodmen Valley Chapel, Lower level of Stone Chapel, Building #280, 280 E. Woodmen Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80919 (Located on the corner of Chapel Lane and Woodmen Road)

CLICK HERE for the Rockrimmon Campus Map
Childcare: Sorry, no childcare is provided for this boot camp.
Cost: Click on links below to register.

Half of your registration will go to Nepal Mission which is providing earthquake relief in Nepal. For details regarding Nepal Mission, see below.

BOOT CAMP DESCRIPTION: Remember that picture book idea you have tucked away in the back of your mind? The one you always said you would publish someday? It’s time to dust off the old, mental manuscript and get it on paper. There are children who are waiting for a story- your story.

In this 7-hour picture-book writing “boot camp”, you’ll learn the tools and tricks of the trade to save you time, money, and frustration. Whether you are a newbie, a seasoned writer or a parent of grandparent who wants to write a picture book, this workshop will help you transform your dreams into a reality.

Workshop 1: The Magic in Picture Books

The picture books of today are very different from those from our childhood. This session explores current industry standards and the magic needed to make your book irresistible to children, editors, and agents.

Workshop 2: Generating Ideas

How do picture book writers gather ideas and put them into story form? This session explores the memories of our childhood. We’ll get low to the ground and look at life from a child’s perspective. We’ll allow our minds to roam free of the adult constraints that prefer a realistic world. The creative writing prompts and explorations will help you unleash your mind to ponder the wild and wonderful possibilities of storytelling.

Workshop 3: Crafting the Story

Now we get to the heart of writing. The process and the work of writing. The greatest ideas remain nothing without craft. In this session, we’ll explore the writing cycle, from rough draft to revision and editing. We’ll discuss the 7 major plots in storytelling, the importance of conflict, literary techniques, themes, and common character archetypes.

Workshop 4: The Critique Group

Ah, the dreaded critique group. You think you don’t need one. You can manage on your own, thank you very much. I felt the same until I found a critique group adept at handling the delusional temper tantrum of a 45-year-old writer. My critique group appealed to my sensibility and love for words well-written. They pried the manuscript from my clenched fist, took up their pencils, and killed my “little darlings” — all in the name of good literature, of course. And I am better for it. You will be better for it, too. Guaranteed.

Workshop 5: The Writing Community

At one time, being an elusive hermit added to the mystique of a writer. This is no longer the case. As a children’s author, you’re expected to visit schools, libraries, and bookstores. This sessions covers maintaining a positive social media presence to establish a “following” of readers. For the writer, community offers an invaluable resource for artistic growth and promotion. The internet serves the author by providing both information and a connection to a literary community to grow you as a writer, plus it grounds your name in the kid-lit world.

Workshop 6: The Business of Picture Book Writing

So, you’ve written a story — a glorious story ready to inspire children around the world. It’s gone through 30 revisions and received the stamp of approval from your critique group. Now what? Which publishers should you send it to? Is it time to seek an agent? And WHAT is a query letter? In this final session, we’ll discuss current publishing practices, including: manuscript format, editor/agent etiquette, query letters, submission procedures, and tools that will help you get noticed in the industry.

Headshot4SPEAKER: Michelle Lynn Senters writes inspirational non-fiction for women and children’s picture books. She is the Founder and Director for KIDS ARE WRITERS, a website designed to inspire and educate young writers around the world. An elementary teacher, Michelle earned a M.Ed. in Integrated Teaching through the Arts. You can learn more about Michelle at www.michellelynnsenters.com and www.kidsarwriters.com.

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Notebook or computer for note taking and writing prompts
  • Pens, pencils, colored pencils, crayons (whatever inspires you)
  • Copy of your favorite, published children’s book (optional)
  • 5 copies of your picture book draft (optional)
  • “Brain-food”— snacks or chocolate to share (optional)

Learn more about Nepal Mission: