2020 Online Classes

If you are looking for my individual mentorship, coaching, critiques, or editing, click here. 

Stay informed about all upcoming classes (online and in-person) by subscribing to my e-newsletter (see column at right).

Please be patient as this page undergoes construction

2020 Online Classes:

6-Week Online Intensive—Writing Picture Book Biographies (via Zoom)

Sundays, 4pm-6pm.        May 3,17,24,31, June 7,14  (class will be repeated if demand is high)

Registration Opens April 1, 2020 (no foolin’)

              In this intensive class, we will cover:
* How to identify and analyze mentor texts
* Identifying expository vs. narrative approaches
* Finding the scope/focus/angle of your story
* Crafting a voice unique to your story
* Identifying your story’s theme & incorporating a throughline
* Character arc and narrative arc
* Choosing the best structure
* POV & perspectives
* The nonfiction/fiction threshold
* Research considerations
* Backmatter
* Guest author(s)

Read my Highlights blog post titled 10 Things to Consider When Writing Picture Book Biographies here.

COMING SOON: Critique-a-Palooza Online Workshops—Small online critique groups where you’ll get a written critique from me AND a small group of genre-specific peers—with the added bonus of online discussion about each manuscript. Critiquing others’ works is a powerful learning opportunity.

COMING SOON: Nonfiction Picture Book Online Class

COMING SOON: Webinars and pre-recorded classes for writers and educators. Let me know if you have a preferred topic by emailing me at donna@donnajanellbowman.com or click the contact page.

Previous Classes and & Instruction

(See the Presentations page for more)

March 5, 2020—How to Analyze Mentor Texts: Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books Through Novels. Zoom presentation for Rochester Area Children’s Writers and Illustrators

 March 5, 2020—Tone, Voice, and Mood: Not Just for Angsty Teens—Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) panel

October 2-5, 2019—Picture Book Biographies—Onsite Highlights Foundation workshop with author Lesa Cline-Ransome. Boyds Mills, Pennsylvania (Stay tuned for more)

July 1-August 5, 2018—SOLD OUT– 6-week Intensive Online Class – Writing Picture Book Biographies, facilitated through a Zoom virtual classroom

June 8, 2019—How to Analyze Mentor Texts. Austin SCBWI

June 9, 2018.  9:00am – 4:00pm  Picture Book Biography Workshop—SW Texas SCBWI

June 11-July 30, 2018 Sundays –Style & Substance: Picture Book Biographies—The Writing Barn, Austin, TX—SOLD OUT

December 3, 2016 3:30-5:30pm— Picture Book Biographies: How Creative is Too Creative?—The Writing Barn, Austin, TX—SOLD OUT

Testimonials from former students

“If you’re new to writing PB bios or have been writing them for a while but want to dig in deeper, you should definitely take Donna’s class! The handouts are invaluable, the camaraderie she develops both in class and in the Facebook group are incredible, and the analyses of many, many current PB bios have made me feel ready and excited to dig into my next few writing projects.” —Debra Shumaker
“Donna tailored the class to meet our individual needs. I came away with such a deep understanding of the content I feel totally prepared to write. Best writing class I’ve taken!!! Donna ROCKS!!!”  —Gail Shipley
“This is a MUST class for any writer wanting to learn about PB narrative non-fiction. Donna’s mentor text analysis process and topic exploration sheets are worth their weight in gold. This class has taken my understanding and writing of NF PB Bios to a new level.”  — Darshana Khiani

Donna’s picture book biography class will make you look at children’s books with a new set of eyes. The examination of picture book biographies will hone your focus on writing styles that may best suit you as a writer. Donna gives examples of published authors’ works as she guides you through this wonderfully detailed course. She encourages you to read, read, read so that you can learn the practice while learning a bit about history along the way. I highly recommend this workshop to anyone wanting to write in this genre. After all, don’t we want to entertain our readers, while educating them at the same time. — Debbie Lodato

“There is an overwhelming amount of information to learn about writing nonfiction picture books, and Donna Bowman’s course on Nonfiction Picture Book Biographies taught me the building blocks I needed to advance my own work. For the first time, I finally understood the process of research and how to go about tracking and connecting the pieces of information I want to include in my narrative nonfiction projects. Donna’s style is friendly, while the course was well-organized and moved at a fast pace.” — Lynn Pedersen

“I was wise to take a summer class with the talented Donna Bowman. During it, I labored, persisted, stretched and cried a little. If you want to grow and learn, please take any class with Donna. You will be forever changed and inspired.” — Wendi W.

“Taking Donna’s course was just what I needed to gain confidence in my writing and join a writing community.  She is an expert on picture book writing and shares her knowledge so generously with all of her students.” —Susan H.

“I got SO MUCH out of this class! I loved the depth of insight you presented and feel that it worked on so many levels – simple enough for beginners, but complex enough for those further along on their writing journey.” —Gayleen R.

“It was a great gift to myself attending your class. I enjoyed your teaching style and the input from classmates. It was excellent!” — Tracy V.