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another picture book group for writers in 2023

I’m offering another Picture Book Group for Writers online in the new year! This time a Saturday slot!

Over a month, we’ll meet on Saturdays from 10am to noon Pacific with a bonus 15 minute mingle at the end:

Saturdays January 14, 21, 28 and February 4 via Google Meet. 

 

I’ll facilitate two components:

  1. A reading and discussion of a recent picture book title in which we illuminate what makes it sing.
  2. A supportive feedback session (like a critique group) with positive comments as well as a dialogue of our constructive responses and suggestions led by the writer. 

8 participants max.

4 manuscripts each time, so every participant gets their read twice over our month! One draft and then a revision. 

This is open to writers and illustrators of all experience levels with a manuscript in progress who are looking for feedback, community, and camaraderie around this special form and endeavor! (Your ms should be 1,000 words or fewer.)

Cool bits:

You get a picture book read to you! After that, I’ll facilitate a group discussion of what’s effective about it along with what it has to teach us.

You get a supportive environment to confidentially share your work led by a facilitator who is an experienced writer, editor, and teacher who is rooting for you!

You get to receive and respond to comments on your work from other writers (and me), creating a valuable dialogue that supports your voice and vision for your story as you revise. 

You get to build your writing community over four weeks.

You get two opportunities to have your work read—once and then once again after revising per our comments. Folks will get to know your story and we’ll have more context to offer on the second go! Plus, we’ll all learn from one another’s stories. 

You get a 15 minute mingle after the group in case you’d like to stick around and chat, ask questions, or share resources. 

Email me to sign up (I’ll send you a PayPal link unique to me), inquire about the scholarship, or ask a question!

 

 

 

 

 

picture book group for writers!

I’m super excited to offer something new! A Picture Book Group for Writers online!

Over a month, we’ll meet on Wednesdays from 4-6pm Pacific with a bonus 15 minute mingle at the end:

November 2, 9, 16, and 30 via Google Meet.  (Skipping November 24.)

 

I’ll facilitate two components:

  1. A reading and discussion of a recent picture book title in which we illuminate what makes it sing.
  2. A supportive feedback session (like a critique group) with positive comments as well as a dialogue of our constructive responses and suggestions led by the writer. 

8 participants max.

4 manuscripts each time, so every participant gets their read twice over our month! One draft and then a revision. 

This is open to writers and illustrators of all experience levels with a manuscript in progress who are looking for feedback, community, and camaraderie around this special form and endeavor! (Your ms should be 1,000 words or fewer.)

Cool bits:

You get a picture book read to you! After that, I’ll facilitate a group discussion of what’s effective about it along with what it has to teach us.

You get a supportive environment to confidentially share your work led by a facilitator who is an experienced writer, editor, and teacher who is rooting for you!

You get to receive and respond to comments on your work from other writers (and me), creating a valuable dialogue that supports your voice and vision for your story as you revise. 

You get to build your writing community over four weeks.

You get two opportunities to have your work read—once and then once again after revising per our comments. Folks will get to know your work and we’ll have more context to offer on the second go! Plus, we’ll all learn from one another’s stories. 

You get a 15 minute mingle after the group in case you’d like to stick around and chat or share resources. 

Email me to sign up (I’ll send you a PayPal link unique to me), inquire about the scholarship, or ask a question!

 

 

 

 

 

September Picture Book Revision Workshop!

I’m thrilled to once again offer a special picture book revision workshop–online so you can join from anywhere!

It’s supportive, interactive, and will help you revise your manuscript, reflect on your writing journey, receive inspiration, and revitalize YOUR storytelling—all in one sitting! Well, there will be a few breaks sprinkled in. 

This is truly a meaningful revision method that focuses on you as a writer and your picture book manuscript in a unique way that will have a lasting impact on your story—and your vision of yourself as an artist!

Writers and writer-illustrators welcome. (I use this method myself for every project.)

Saturday, September 24th, 2022

9 am Pacific (noon Eastern) to 12:30pm Pacific

You can sign up immediately via that PayPal button below (Pay $175 and please include your email address)! If you have any questions or would like to sign up for a full scholarship—there are three available for creators with marginalized voices in publishing—please do drop me a line! I’d love to have you join, and those spots may go fast!

Register and pay for this workshop here ($175)! (Do include your email address for me to get in touch with details.)

Contact me about a full scholarship!

Within 48 hours of payment, you should get an email confirmation directly from me after I’ve had a chance to log your sign-up (please reach out if you don’t hear from me in a couple of days as that means there was a snafu). 


Here are some testimonials from past workshop series I’ve offeredthat are a little different as they include four sessions and peer critiques.


Last thing! If you are part of the workshop and would like a one-hour video critique of your revision by October 14th, you can schedule with me after the event at a half-price discount! ($75; normally $150; critiques arranged via email after our class.)

 

 

 

the story of to make

So excited to share this with you:

“The Story of To Make” video!

Edited by Skylar Zhang.

This ten-minute video is an origin story from both Mags DeRoma and me on how to To Make came to be. The notebook where I first wrote and doodled the story and why “Keep making” is its essential message; behind-the-scenes of Mags’s beautiful studio and materials she used to make the art; and a peek at our individual creative processes plus how our collaboration got its start.

May this be of use in your own creative endeavors and to show kids so they can dive into how one picture book has come to be!

It was also such a treat to have it up on School Library Journal courtesy of Travis M. Jonker at 100 Scope Notes right here!


 

 

“Teachers Make Readers (and Writers)” on Nerdy Book Club

It’s such an honor to have a post up on Nerdy Book Club!

Teachers Make Readers (and Writers)” shares how teachers make readers (and writers) and about the two teachers on the dedication page of TO MAKE from Singapore American School who made me both.

“Mr. P and Mrs. A aren’t the only ones. There are myriad teachers like them who do this every hour in classrooms and at desks and while sitting on beanbag chairs. Teachers make readers. Teachers make writers. They make worlds and possibility. And they made me.”

 

 

 

to make events!

I’ve got some TO MAKE events on the books to share with you in hopes you may be able to join—I’d be thrilled if you can make one!

First up, a virtual launch with me and illustrator, Mags DeRoma June 7th at very favorite Brave + Kind Bookshop! It’ll be a storytime, a chat, and an activity to take with you so you can make something too! Free registration here.

Makers Mess in Downtown LA is hosting us for an in-person celebration, “Everyone is a Maker” on July 17th from 2-4pm. Stay tuned for more details on that special time!

June 25th I’ll be at kids craft and magical space, Collage Collage in Vancouver BC, making something neat together after a storytime.

pre-order to make time!

It’s getting close! To Make is almost here! 
May 31st is our publication date.
And you can pre-order now!
(Pre-order sales really help authors and illustrators.
They’re kind of a big deal!)

Here’s the neat news:
if you’re one of the first 40 people to order our book through the wonderful
Brave+Kind Bookshop,
you’ll get a thank you in the form of this 11 x 17 poster of a very special theme-containing spread
with words by me and dreamy, beautiful pictures by Mags DeRoma

We’re so lucky that Brave+Kind has partnered in this way
and will be hosting our virtual launch on June 7th
if you’d like to save the date.

Big thanks to this stellar bookshop created and run by a marvelous person!

More soon on that and other events!

Pre-order from Brave+Kind right here!

And thank you so much for your support.

 

“Story Breath” article in SCBWI Bulletin!

  

I’m thrilled to have an article in the spring issue of the SCBWI Bulletin:

“Story Breath: Inspiration for Plot and Pace in Picture Books!”

And check out that tender, dreamy, hopeful magazine cover by my friend, Maple Lam!

This piece encapsulates my view of what makes the form so special and how to inspire your particular story’s unique energy and movement. (And the accompanying darling dragon sketch is by illustrator Faith Pray.)

“…picture books are different. Special. Distinct…Just like breath, each [one] has its own flow, rhythms, patterns.”

 

I offer a rationale for the metaphor of breath for plot and pace as well as six common “breath beats” from inhale to held breath to gasp. 

Plus, there are examples of those “breath beats” from all the wonderful picture books in the image below! 

 

Big thanks to SCBWI for the opportunity to have my work in a publication I’ve been reading and enjoying for so many years. 

another picture book revision workshop series!

The first “Revise, Receive, Revitalize” workshop series was truly special and such a rewarding experience of empowering other writers, I’m offering another! It’ll start February 27th for a total of four consecutive Saturday mornings from 10 – 12:30 (Pacific). This is a space for camaraderie, discovery, and encouragement as you develop your unique voice, deepen your understanding of the form, and meaningfully revise one picture book manuscript. Please reach out if you’d like more information, to secure a scholarship, or to sign up!

this writer’s life button shop is now open!

I’m excited to announce This Writer’s Life Button Shop is now open!! Writer buttons come in packs from 4 to 32, each with an assortment of these 4 designs!

Meant for anyone who loves to write and especially designed to help kids think of and celebrate themselves as writers. 

Plus you’ll get free shipping on any set of writer buttons from now until June 30th, 2020 with the code BUTTONSBUTTONS entered at checkout!


Buttons designed by Michael J. Salter.
Photo by Meiko Takechi Arquillos.

 

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