Writing the Rainbow: Crafting Picture Books With LGBTQ+ Themes 2019

About This Event


Picture books bring the world into the hands of young readers. The world we would like them to see (and in which we would like to exist) celebrates all of us as individuals, families, and communities. In many ways we are different, and in many ways we are alike. Our diversity is our beauty and our strength.

Picture books that feature LGBTQ+ topics, heroes, characters, families, and experiences can be a source of comfort to many children as well as a chance to promote respect, acceptance, and the celebration of diversity. Join workshop leaders Lesléa Newman and Rob Sanders, along with special guests, for an immersive experience in creating LGBTQ+ themed fiction and nonfiction picture books for today’s market.

What You’ll Learn

Understand the needs of the diverse LGBTQ+ community

Discover the importance of mirrors and windows in children’s books

Analyze current and historical picture books with LGBTQ+ themes and topics

Identify topics that need to be addressed in LGBTQ+ themed picture books

Explore tools of storytelling for both fiction and nonfiction picture books

Examine how to turn story ideas into books that children will love

Learn tools for revision

Hear from an editor about the submission process and LBGTQ+ needs in the market

Receive critique on a full picture book manuscript

Who Should Attend

This workshop is open to all writers and illustrators of all levels.


Day 1

Afternooon: arrival and check in.

Evening: Hors d’oeuvres and dinner.

After dinner: Introductions.

Day 2

Workshops, lectures & one-to-one critiques.

Day 3

Editor Q&A, lectures & one-to-one critiques.

Day 4

Morning: Wrap-up, faculty Q&A.

Afternoon: Lunch and farewell.

Optional tour of Highlights for Children and Boyds Mill Press.


Lesléa Newman’s websites: (contact info blocked) and (contact info blocked).

Rob Sanders’ website: (contact info blocked).

The Gay History of America’s Classic Children’s Books (just for fun!)

Trans kids’ book Julian is a Mermaid is winning hearts and awards


This is a new program, so we have no testimonials yet.

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