September 14, 2017
8 Weeks | $315
Join us to explore the constantly evolving form of the picture book, in which words and images work together to create magic. We’ll examine a wide range of published picture books, with an eye toward how text interacts with image. Students will learn to read picture books like writers, looking at such elements as story arc, how much text is too much, and where the writer stops and the artist takes over. We will read two picture books each week, from simple concept books to more complex works. We’ll read classics and more experimental works, and take a look at picture book biographies. We’ll discuss what makes these books work, and how the picture book form has changed over time. Students will also post their own picture book manuscripts and receive feedback from classmates and from the instructor.
Week 1—Introduction: How this class works; tell us about yourself; Discussion of picture book favorites. Students begin posting work in progress for critique by class and instructor.
Week 2—What is a picture book? And overview of picture books past and present. What’s changed? What’s stayed the same?
Week 3—Words+Images=Magic. We’ll get into the nitty gritty and learn about story arcs, page breaks, and making our own dummies.
Week 4—The changing face of picture books: We’ll take a look at some recent releases and discuss how they’re becoming more inclusive and what this means for writers—and for readers.
Week 5—Just the facts, Jack. A look at nonfiction picture books—biography, science, history. They are hot right now. But are there different rules for writing these picture books? How much information is too much? How much is not enough?
Week 6—Concept books: Not as simple as they seem! We’ll talk about what they are, how they work, and how can you make yours a child’s favorite.
Week 7—Goodnight, Reader: We’ll look at some fresh approaches to some perennial subjects. Does the world really need another going to bed book? Absolutely!
Week 8—The End: You’ve got a finished manuscript. Now what? A discussion of marketing.