Writing for Illustrators: An Author/Illustrator Intensive 2020

  • Highlights Foundation Highlights Foundation
  • Pocono Mountains Municipal, Coolbaugh Township, PA, USA
  • Oct 15 - 18, 2020 (4 days)

About This Event

Join Us To:

Grow as a writer while honoring your illustration background. Discover the interplay of words and pictures. Work on the craft of writing: story arcs; beginnings and endings; character; and manuscript pacing and page turns. Receive one-to-one faculty feedback on your work.

What You'll Learn:

Topics include:

What it means to be doing BOTH the writing & the illustration.

Story arc & structure.

How to approach beginning a story.

How to approach ending a story.

Examine how writing complements illustrations, and vice versa.

Explore the idea of writing with pictures only.

Turning manuscripts into pictures.

Turning pictures into manuscripts.

Pacing, page turns, and pagination of manuscripts.

Being your own line editor.

Character sketches as story sparks.

Submitting a dummy to agents and editors.

Receive multiple feedback perspectives from faculty.

You will be able submit up to 1000 words ahead of time, which could cover a nonfiction project, or a longer fiction project; but if you don't have any words yet--no worries! This class will teach you how to write them.

Attend If:

You are a picture book illustrator with story ideas. This course will help you strengthen your writing and learn more about how words and pictures work together.

You are just beginning to illustrate picture books--or you've been doing it for a while. No matter what your experience level, you will benefit from the hands-on exercises, lectures and critiques in this course.

You are illustrating a wordless picture book and looking for the story. This course centers on finding story through words and images.

Alums of our other illustration workshops. If you have taken one of these workshops, you may find this course of special interest: Picture Book Illustration: From Conception to Birth; Illustration Intensive; Crafting a Picture Book Dummy; Color, Light, Line & Texture; Getting to Know Your Picture Book; Carving Out Your Picture Book for Submission; Creating Picture Books; Super Children's Book Boot Camp.


Day 1


Arrival and check in


Appetizers & dinner

After dinner: Introductions & welcome

Day 2



The Writing Process for Picture Books

Optional Dummy 101 session or free writing time



One-to-one consultations

Dummy preparation continued

Special guest session


Appetizers & dinner

After dinner: Informal patio chat

Day 3



Finding Your Story

Art Supply Show and Tell



Creating Memorable Characters

Special guest session


Appetizers & dinner

After dinner: Dummy/Character Showcase

Day 4



Get inspired! Resources, Revision, and More

Is your picture book ready for submission? Panel discussion.


Lunch & farewells

A Note About Highlights Workshop Agendas


Elizabeth Rose Stanton–True Confessions of a Picture Book Illustrator, Part 1

Elizabeth Rose Stanton–True Confessions of a Picture Book Illustrator, Part 2

Matt Phelan: Writing Pictures

Crafting Your Picture Book Dummy

Writing Picture Books That Soar

3 Tops for Writing Funny Picture Books

Pointers for Writing Powerful Picture Books

Don't Give the Negative Voices a Chance to Shine, Melissa Iwai

How to Write a Picture Book (When You're An Illustrator)


"The faculty was very knowledgeable. I appreciated that all faculty engaged all the students. Their attitudes were positive and conveyed the feeling that all participants had a chance at success."

"I found several potential critique partners. One of the agents expressed interest in seeing a few completed illustrations from my PB dummy. Everyone was willing to share experiences with art supplies and techniques. All faculty members were encouraging while pointing out areas of improvement."

Scholarships Available

Three scholarships are available for this workshop:

Full tuition

Half tuition

Partial tuition

Application deadline is July 27, 2020. Scholarships will be announced August 26, 2020.

Click here to apply!

For more information about scholarships, click here.

Please note that additional faculty is forthcoming.

Cancellation Policy

100% deposit refund for cancellation 30+ days before event.
50% deposit refund for cancellation 15-29 days before event.
0% deposit refund for cancellation 0-14 days before event.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due upon arrival.
Get full details...

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