Better late than never- Recounting a Picture Perfect Workshop


From Left: Lisa Wheeler, Stephanie Greene, Sarah Sullivan, Don Tate

Obviously, I’m a little behind with blog posts of late. I spent the last two weeks putting a spit-shine on my current work-in-progress, which is now in the hands of my dream agent. Keep fingers crossed!

I can’t let another day go by without sharing tidbits from last weekend’s Picture Perfect Workshop for picture book and chapter book authors.

Many thanks to Debbie Gonzales and Carmen Oliver for organizing such a grand event, and for allowing me to play a small role in the behind-the-scenes activity. Namely, Mark Mitchell and I timed critique sessions. And, I was pleased to be a driver for our featured speakers. Spending time in the car with someone new is a sure fire way to make a new friend.

The much acclaimed Lisa Wheeler offered a condensed version of her popular boot camp for writers. It was, in a word, DYNAMITE! She also provided perhaps the best packet of handouts I’ve ever seen at a workshop. Her generous 21 pages are jam packed with tips for revisions, rewrites, essential picture book components, formatting, nuts and bolts, rhyming, and character development. Top notch reference material for picture book writers. As if her 28 published books weren’t example enough.

Sarah Sullivan, author of three picture books, gave an inspiring presentation titled HUMOR, HEART & HUMDINGERS: Things to Think About Before You Hit the SEND button or drop that manuscript in the mail. Sarah’s revision checklist will remain on my desk for easy reference. She dug deep into picture book core, with examples and tips for first lines, Neologisms, Endings, dialogue, and more; All critical considerations to develop an emotional resonance.

Stephanie Greene
, author of many chapter books, offered a revealing presentation titled, THE TREE FOR THE FOREST, which further broke down the revision process for this longer genre. By examining outlines, chapter-by-chapter analysis, pacing, and themes, writers can determine if their first page promises have been met.

During the end-of-day panel discussion, author/illustrator Don Tate aptly interjected some special considerations by illustrators. How the artist adopts the story and adds the visual half of its telling.

It was a whirlwind day full of learning, sharing, and support. Many thanks to all involved in making it a huge success.

To read more about this event, pop over to Carmen Oliver’s blog. Carmen Oliver’s blog.