Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Area Classes, Retreats, and Workshops

Spring/Summer 2019 Classes, Retreats & Workshops

Classes, conferences and workshops provide opportunities for professional contacts, manuscript critiques, networking and fellowship.  Many an unpublished manuscript has been refocused, redefined, rewritten and published after its author attended a class or workshop. The information below was compiled by Oak Park author, June Sengpiehl.  June lives in Oak Park, with her husband, Paul.  She writes poetry, articles, picture  books and chapter books. Her special interests are mysteries and fairy tales. Her email is





Setting The Table For The Muse

Tuesdays May 7,14,21,28, 2019

1700 Crain Street. Evanston, IL

Instructor: Laura Montenegro,Author/Illustrator

Tuition $300.00

To register or for more information: 847-328-4175

Making the book dummy is arguably the most magical act in the create of a picture

book.  This playful assembling of word, image and book design leads one into wholly

unexpected realms of storytelling and meaning.  Be it rough or finished, the book

dummy elegantly reveals the hidden personality of the book in a way that simple

writing or illustrating cannot do.

In this class, we will focus on a different story structure each week and you will create

four simple, original book dummies based on these structures.  Through demonstrations,exercises and individualized feedback, you will develop your ideas and put them on paper.

Emphasis will be on developing your own personal artistic expression. All are welcome, both beginners and experienced.

Laura Montenegro at:,



Peninsula School of Art

3900 Co Road F

Fish Creek, WI 54212

Creating The Children’s Picture Book

June 10,11,12.13, 2019,  9 am to 4 pm

Instructor: Author Laura Montenegro

Tuition: Members $450.00/Non-Members $490.00

The children’s picture book is a unique art form with visual storytelling at it’s heart.

The unfolding of a story relies on sequential images to carry the reader from beginning

to end.  Add to this, the interweaving of word with image and you have a richly complex

storytelling form.  In this workshop you will experiment with a variety of styles, materials, and techniques to create your own hand-bound picture book, as well as learn about the

children’s book publishing process.

The picture book maker has many elements available with which to shape their story;

word, image, pacing, structure, format, and cover design.  Each day you will engage in

playful exercises, demonstrations, and in-class activities exploring these essential

elements.  This workshop will lead you through making small experimental books to a

longer, more complex hand-bound book dummy based on a concept of your choosing.

You will receive individualized feedback throughout the class as you develop your skills.

Leave with a strong foundation, energized and inspired to continue picture book

making in your own studio.

TO REGISTER OR FOR MORE INFORMATION:  http://www.oeninsukaschoolof art.




Mondays,May 13 to June 24, 2019, 6 to 8:30 pm

Parkland College

Instructor: Author, Patricia Hruby Powell


Explore character, point of view, plot,and setting using your current manuscript or

starting a new one. With award-winning author Patricia Hruby Powell,you’ll practice

show-don’t-tell techniques, scene building and writing in prose or verse.  In class

you’ll practice giving and getting constructive criticism.  You’ll receive expert advice

on the publishing process and be guided toward experiencing the fun of writing.

Writers of all genres and experience levels welcome.


The Newberry Library

60 W. Walton Street, Chicago, IL  312  255-3700


Wednesday evenings,June 12, 19,26,July 3, 2019  5:45 -7:45 pm

Instructor: Author/ Writing Coach Esther Hershenhorn 

Eager to revise your picture book manuscript to ready it for submission? This instructor-

led-mini-workshopping opportunity in which writers share their manuscripts helps writer continue

to learn and hone their craft.  Constructive ongoing feedback on substantive revisions

will focus on key storytelling elements specific to the picture book format. Writers will return to their stories, able to re-vision them with refreshed eyes.

Note: This workshop is only for those who have previously taken a picture book writing

course and have a completed manuscript ready for revision.

To register, visit: 





The Manuscript Workshop

July 14 to 19, 2019

Landgrove Inn, VT

Instructor/Facilitator: Author/Childrens Book Writers Coach Esther Hershenhorn

This small Sunday night through Friday workshop honors Barbara Seuling’s love and knowledge of writing for children, dedication to craft and personal investment in her writers and their stories.  Set in the magic-making Green Mountains, writers of all genres are offered up  close and personal learning, writing and connoting opportunities to take their existing manuscripts to the desired Next Level.

Interested writers can visit and to learn more and/or email

Esther Hershenhorn at with any questions.

For more information abut the beautiful historic Inn, visit


Introduction to Liv Lit


4043 N. Ravenswood Ave., #222

Chicago, IL. 60513

Four week course starting on May 29, 2019

Instructor: Ines Bellina

Cost: $250

 If you’re a writer in Chicago, you have probably heard about the city’s thriving Live Lit

scene.Beyond the thrills and maybe the chills of telling a story to a live audience,

participating in shows can hone skills that are useful for any type of writing, like

brainstorming story ideas,writing within limitations and deadlines, editing for clarity

and precision and tapping into a community of peers.

In this four week course, you will learn the skills to craft a story that leaps off the page

and onto the Live Lit stage. Sessions will include writing exercises, performance

practice and supportive feedback so you can feel ready to share your story with the

world—or at least a small captive audience in the back room of a bar. By the end of the

course, students will leave with at least one one completed Live Lit piece and the chance

to perform at our very own graduation show.

To register: https//storiesmatter.z2systema.con/np/clients/storiesmatter/event.jsp?event=41&


The following classes are taught by  Michelle Kogan

Email Michelle with any questions at:


Evanston Art Center

2603 Sheridan Road

Evanston, IL 60201 

For registration,  call (847) 475-5300 or visit:


Figures and Nature Drawing/Painting #0158, 0159

Starts Monday, June 10th, 2019, 6 week class, 9:30 to 12:30 pm

Starts Monday, June 22nd, 2019, 6 week  class, 9:30 to 12:30 pm 

Using drawing/painting mediums we’ll begin with the figure and add nature elements

to your compositions. Bring in images of nature-drawn or photos.  Each class begins

with warm up sketches. Instruction will focus in creating strong compositions, anatomy,

materials, color and combining figures in nature.  This class will have a life model.

All levels.  Ages 18+ Regular Rate 6 week,EAC Member $230;  Non-member $250


Watercolors: Materials, Composition & Technique #EO160A, #EO160B

Starts Tuesday, June 11th, 2019, 6 week class,  9:30 to 12:30 pm, 

Starts Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019, 6 week class, 9:30 to 12:30 pm,   

Class focuses on creating vibrant paintings, strong  compositions using watercolor tubes and  watercolor pencils. Instruction includes demos on watercolor techniques-applying transparent versus opaque watercolor,washes and painting wet in wet; and critiques.

All Levels. Ages 16+. 6 week EAC Member $195/Non-Member $215





Children’s Picture Book Illustration-12 week class #0153

Starts Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 9:30 to 12:30 pm

Choose a classic children’s picture book or bring in your own picture book story and learn about

making sequential scenes and creating a picture book dummy.  In class we’ll cover creating thumbnail layouts, storyboarding and using a scanner/computer to create book dummies.  Bring to 1st class: 9 x 12 inch sketchbook, tracing paper pad, kneaded eraser, 3 staedtler mars #3b drawing pencils, pencil sharpener and references for your picture book drawings.

All Levels. Ages 18+, EAC Member, $390/Non-member $410


Poetry and Art #0321 

Starts Thursday, June 13th, 2019, 6 week class ,9:30 to 12:30 pm

The link between poetry and art is ripe for exploration—in this class

and we will  write ekphrastic poetry-poems written and  inspired by works

of art, which may include skinny,haiku,tanka, cherita, limerick, list,

golden shovel and concrete. We’ll look at contemporary and historical

art, and images of art you share,we will create both poems inspired by

art and and sketches inspired by poetry   Bring to class: writing journal/

sketchbook, pencils and erasers. watercolors, watercolor or regular inks,

watercolor ink, brushes,pen holders and nibs.

All Levels ages 16+  EAC Member $195/ Non-Member $215


Pen & Ink Watercolor-  #0163 & 0187

Starts Friday, June 14th, 2019, 6 week class, 9:30-12:30 pm

Starts Friday, July 26th, 2019, 6 week class, 9;30 -12:30 pm

Using still life and reference material students will create drawings and paintings using

a variety of pens-dip pens, micron pens, brush pens, watercolors, Dr. Martin Watercolors,

inks and brushes on various papers.  See posted list for materials.

All Levels, Ages 16+   EAC Member$195/Non-Member $215


Michelle Kogan also works independently with students; email her to arrange




The following institutions also offer classes and workshops for writers and illustrators.  Specific class information was not available at time of publication.


Lake Forest, IL

Phone (847) 234-1063 or visit www.ragdale



Elgin, IL

Regular writing workshop plus weekend special-topic workshops

Phone (847) 697-1000, Ext 7578




May 3 to May 5, 2019

The Marvelous Midwest Conference

Chicago Marriott Naperville

1801 N. Naper Blvd.

Naperville, Illinois


Ann Arbor Shop Talk             

June 22,July 27,August 24, 2019, 10 am to 12 pm

AADL Downtown

343 S. 5th Avenue

Ann Arbor, MI


SCBWI-MI Kast Meeting

April 20, June 8, May 18-19,2019, 10 am-12 pm

Comstock Public School Admin. Bldg.

3010 Gull Road

Kalamazoo, MI


SE Mitten Shop Talk

June 1, May 11, 2019

Heritage Park Visitor Center

24915 Farmington Road

Farmington Hills, MI



Social Media for Authors and Illustrators

  Online Zoom Meeting

April 29, 2019, 8 pm




May 21, 2019, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Muskego  Public Library

S73 W16663 W. Jonesville Rd

Muskego, WI


The Dish on Dialogue with Victoria Selvaggio

June 15, 2019, 10 am to 1 pm

Pewaukee Public Library

210 Main Street

Pewaukee, WI


Creating Compelling Characters

July 16, 2019. 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Muskego  Public Library

S73 W16663 W. Jonesville Rd

Muskego, WI



Annual Summer Conference

August 9 to 12, 2019

Los Angeles, California

Visit for faculty, registration and information.





Honesdale, PA

Conferences include seminars, small-group workshops, and one-on-one sessions with some of the most accomplished, prominent and supportive authors, illustrators, editors, critics and publishers of the world of children’s literature, all determined to help authors and illustrators meet their goals

To register:


Crafting Successful Author & Illustrator Visits

April 28 to May 2, 2019

Overview Create and deliver an impressive school visit with our faculty by your side.  School visits are a powerful way to. . .


Color, Light, Line and Texture Hands On Workshop

May 2 to 5, 2019

Come play in paint, explore collage, dive into textiles during this hands-on retreat for every one.

No previous  art experience required. . .


The Whole Novel Workshop 

May 5 to May 11, 2019

Revise and polish your novel in preparation for submission. Focused attention in an intimate

setting makes this mentorship program one. . .


Writing the Unreal: the Whole Novel Workshop  in Fantasy and Speculative Fiction

May 12 to 19, 2019

Designed for any one with a completed or near complete draft of a middle grade or young in adult novel in fantasy or. . .



Filling  The Writer’s Toolbox: Tools for First Lines, Voice, Character, World Building, and

May 19 to May 24, 2019

In this workshop, renowned editor and consultant Emma D. Dryden will guide participants

through proven techniques for editing and revising. . .


Crafting A Picture Book Dummy with Heart and Soul: A Creative Breakthrough

May 30 to June 2, 2019

Find balance with words and pictures as you polish your picture book dummy for

submission.  Whether you are working on . . .


 Anti-heroes and Villains: Crafting Flawed Characters We Love to Hate

June 6 to June 9, 2019

Overview Create deep veins of backstory and characterization to shape villains and

anti-heroes in middle grade and young novel. . .


Nuts and Bolts of Science Writing

June 9 to June 13, 2018

Energize readers through active fiction and nonfiction that shines the light on

exciting science, technology , engineering and math. . .


Building Cultural Competency in Today’s Children’s Publishing Industry: A Working


June 14 to June 16, 2019

Begin the hard work needed to learn about  and fight for representation of culture differences

in children’s books and our. . .


Writing First Chapter Books and Early Readers

June 17 to June 20, 2019

Gain understanding of the unique needs of books for children transitioning to independent

readers. . .


Picture Books And All That Jazz

June 20 to  June 23, 2019

Go beyond the basics to understand the “whys” behind current picture book bestsellers.

Every one loves picture books.  But writing stories. . .


Writing for the Educational Market

June 23 to June 27, 2019

Would you like to have editors actually contacting you and asking you to write for them?

Welcome to the educational. . .


Native Creators’ Summer Retreat

June 27 to June 30, 2017

A retreat for Native American book creators writing for and about children.


From the Outside In: Writing Outside Your Own Experiences For Books For Children and


June 30 to July 2, 2019

Overview Learn meaningful ways to form diverse characters and worlds, avoid harmful stereotypes and create responsible narratives for children and . . .


Summer Camp at the Barn: A Week of Creative Mentorship

July 7 to July 12, 2019

Keynotes, workshops and a creative mentor to provide one-on-one support; our Summer Camp is for any writer or illustrate who. .  .



Master Class In Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adult

July 13 to July 17, 2019

Nonfiction matters.  Publishers crave it.  Teachers and librarians need it. Nonfiction connects our children to the world.  Stories about real. . .


Illustration Intensive

July 17 to July 20, 2019

Immerse yourself in illustration techniques  and gain tools for storytelling. Explore the ever-changing children’s book market with authors, illustrators and. . .


 Revision Retreat

July 31 to August 4, 2019

All writers need to revise, wherever they are on their journey; this workshop will show you

how and  give you. . .


Your Guide to Graphic Novels

August 1 to 4, 2019

Have an idea for a graphic novel or comic book? Join us to learn about the narrative

style of this.  . .


The Ins and Outs of a Picture Book and Its Many Forms

August 4 to 7, 2019

The word count may be short but the book is long.  Let three celebrated picture book

authors help you navigate. . .


Novel Beginnings: Building Strong Foundations For Your Novel and Your Career

August 8 to 11, 2019

Get feedback on your novel and guidance about  your writing career from two

experienced authors with great teaching and editing. . .


Whole Novel Workshop

August 11 to August 17, 2019

Revise and polish your novel in preparation for submission.   Focused attention in an

intimate setting makes this mentorship program one. . .


Carolyn P. Yoder’s Alumni Retreat

August 17 to August 24,2019

A special and unusual retreat, open only to graduates of Carolyn P. Yoder’s workshops.

Participants will come together for seven. . .



For all workshops, phone (877) 512-8365 with questions.  To register or to request more information, e-mail Jo Lloyd, Program Assistant,


Off Campus Writer’s Workshops Winter 2015

Winnetka Community House

620 Lincoln


Join the writing group that will help you start your first or finish your seventh novel, memoir, non-fiction, young adult or children’s book.  OCWW meets Thursday mornings 9:30 am  to 12:00 pm and provides professional workshops from September to May each year, featuring current authors, editors, professors and publishers.  Per session fee $15. (Members $10 with yearly membership).   Yearly membership @$30 entitles members to reduced session fees, manuscript critiques by presenters, and member critique groups.  Our final meeting the first Thursday in May each year presents a panel of publishers and agents who provide vital information for all authors.

Check our website for further information,







Montpelier, VT

July, January

11-day intensive residencies in July and January on campus alternate with 5 month

nonresident projects  (4 semesters, 5residencies).  Faculty includes M. T. Anderson, Kathi Appelt.Marion Dane Bauer, Sharon Darrow, Ellen Levine and Norma Fox Mazer

Contact Melissa Fisher at (800) 336-6794, Ext. 8637 or e-mail or visit the website at





with a Concentration in Writing For Children

Semesters begin in May or October

Program is 4 semesters, 5 residencies

Contact Graduate Admissions at (800) 896-8941, Ext. 2423 or e-mail: or visit the website at




Cambridge, MA

Offering a concentration in Writing for Young People

Semesters begin in January and June

Program is 4 semesters, 5 residencies

Contact Jana M. Van der Veer

Assistant Director, Advising and Student Services

[LINK: mail to:]





1536 Hewitt Avenue

Saint Paul, MN 55104

Semesters begin in January and July

Program is 4 semesters, 5 residencies

Office phone: (651) 523-2047, Fax: (651) 523-2490

For questions, call (651) 523-2900 or e-mail






Correspondence courses and access to articles, tips, chat room discussions on writing.





“Fundamentals of Writing For Children”  (12 week beginning course)

“Focus Course in Writing For Children” (14 week intermediate course)

For details and starting dates on these workshops and other Writer’s Digest Online Courses, visit