2016 Workshop Description

Afternoon Session — Instructor: Laura Atkins

In Pursuit of Picture Books: Where Text and Image Meet

Picture books provide one of the most exciting and innovative spaces for play in the book world today. Genres collide, stories become graphic novels, and nonfiction dances from the page in lyrical twists and twirls. This concise form — with a close relationship to poetry — needs to carry a strong emotional core, giving satisfaction with minimal words.

This seminar will provide an overview of some of the options available within the exciting variety and glory of the picture book form. Nonfiction picture books for older readers are becoming more popular and receiving awards — in part building from the Common Core focus on nonfiction. This can be a more flexible and innovative form than many people realize. After this overview, we will shift to looking at the nitty gritty of the picture book format — typical page counts, expectations including trip-off-your-tongue language, repetition, and using the drama of the page turn. There will be a chance to do your own writing play in order to generate picture books ideas and time for Q & A about craft and also publishing trends. This session will be accessible to those who have been reading and writing picture books for years, but also those fresh to the form. Bring your curiosity, your youthful spirit, and be prepared to play.