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Featured Online Writing Class

FIVE PICTURE BOOKS IN FIVE WEEKS (ADVANCED COURSE)  by Lynne Garner

START DATE: This class is currently closed.

DURATION: 5 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed for students who have already completed the How to Write a Picture Book course or a similar course, and are familiar with the basics of writing picture books. Each week the notes provided will discuss how one of the five senses can be used to enhance storytelling skills. Each student will be required to complete a story per week. Feedback will be given on all stories submitted during the duration of the course. At the end of the course students will be encouraged to submit their stories to a relevant publisher.

Although I’ve studied a bit about picture books on my own, your in-depth notes are awesome and so detailed. I know I’ll refer back to them often. ~ D. Essner, WOW! Picture Book student

I have learned a lot about picture book writing that really surprised me. It certainly is more than writing a story down on paper. ~ K. Johnson, WOW! Picture Book student

Your notes are the best I have ever received in a class. They are so to the point and clear. ~ B. Biancarelli, WOW! Picture Book student

I really learned a lot from the class. This is the first writing class I have taken where I actually sent something out at the end (and I have taken a lot of writing classes). ~ A. Searcy, WOW! Picture Book student

... yours has been one of the most practical and the best! I would really recommend it to anyone interested in writing a children’s picture book! ~ M.A. Livingston, WOW! Picture Book student

Thank you so much for challenging me to create a better story and for all the valuable information you have shared during this course, including the professional way you have commented on each assignment. ~ K. Kirkelie, WOW! Picture Book student

I want to thank you for all the wonderful information you have shared during this class. I have learned more than I thought I would. ~ J. Burstein, WOW! Picture Book student

WEEKS AT A GLANCE:

Week One: Sight
In week one, we will be looking at the sense of sight. We will discuss using it in your story, and how to describe color, texture, and movement. Ideas will also be suggested for using the sense of sight as inspiration for new stories.

Assignment: Complete a 600 – 1,000 word story using one of the options below:

Option A: Go for a walk and keep notes of what you see. Use these notes as a basis for your new story. For example, you see people shopping, waiting at the bus stop, or a cat in a tree. Use these observations in scenes in your story.

Option B: Start your story with these lines:
(Insert the name of character here) didn’t like the color red.
(Insert the name of character here) didn’t like the color yellow but (insert name of character here) loved the color blue.

Week Two: Sound
In the second week, we will be looking at sound and how this can be used to create a sense of atmosphere of what is happening on the page. For example, the sound of rain pattering on the window tells us there is a shower; however, say the sound of the rain is supported by the sound of thunder, then we know there is a storm. We will also look at how sound can be used to inspire your stories.

Assignment: Complete a 600 – 1,000 word story using one of the options below:

Option A: Stand in your back garden/yard or somewhere else safe. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. Make a list of those sounds; try to describe them and the feelings/emotions they stir in you. Use these notes as a basis for a new story or as scenes in your story.

Option B: Start your story with these lines:

(Insert the name of character here) heard the owl screech, the fox cry, and the frogs croaking but (insert the name of character here) wasn’t scared...

Week Three: Smell
During the third week, we cover the sense of smell, how this can be used to stir memories for inspirational purposes, and how you can add life to your stories by adding smell as part of the scene.

Assignment: Complete a 600 – 1,000 word story using one of the options below:

Option A: Think of a range of smells and the memories you associate with them. For example: cut grass, freshly baked bread, or your favorite perfume. Ask others what memories are stirred by the same smells. Use your notes as part of your story.

Option B: Start your story with these lines:
(Insert the name of character here) breathed in deeply, “Mmm, that smells good,” said (insert the name of character here), “where can that lovely smell be coming from?”

Week Four: Touch
In week four, we discuss the sense of touch and consider what it is like to feel by touching with your fingers but also someone or something touching you. We explore how we sense the world around us by touch—for example, hot and cold. We also learn how we can use our sense of touch to stir memories, and how to describe this sense.

Assignment: Complete a 600 – 1,000 word story using one of the options below:

Option A: Gather together a range of objects, close your eyes and concentrate on what they feel like as you hold/touch them. Keep notes of your reactions and use these as a basis for your story. Also ask family and close friends to repeat the process so you can discover how they describe something, then compare to your description. 

Option B: Start your story with these lines:
(Insert the name of character here) picked up his (insert a type of soft toy animal here, giving it a name if you wish). “What happened,” said (insert name of character here), “you feel all strange. You don’t feel like my (insert type of soft toy here, using the name if you wish) at all!”

Week Five: Taste
In the last week, we will discuss the sense of taste and look at how people’s reactions differ from one person to the next. For example, there are those of us with a sweet tooth and others who prefer savory tastes. We will also look at how taste can be described.

Assignment: Complete a 600 – 1,000 word story using one of the options below:

Option A: Over a period of a day concentrate on all the things you eat. Describe the taste, the sensation and any memories attached to these tastes. For example, did your grandmother make the tastiest apple pie you’ve ever eaten? What made her pie so special? Take notes and use these as part of your story.

Option B: Start your story with these lines:
“I can’t eat that,” said (insert the name of character here), wrinkling her/his nose in disgust, “it tastes horrible!”

Materials needed:  There are no books required for the course; however, students will need to find objects to stir the senses covered.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:  Lynne Garner has been a freelance writer and author since 1998. Since that time she has written for a large number of magazines both in the UK and the US. She has 21 books published; this includes three picture books, with a fourth to follow shortly. Her first title ‘The Best Jumper’ was recorded for the CBeeBies children’s radio channel (part of the BBC) whilst ‘A Book For Bramble’ has been translated into five languages including Korean and Indonesian.

COST:  $175. At the beginning of each week the students will be supplied with course notes via email, which will include an assignment. One-to-one support and feedback will be supplied via email, and students will have access to a Yahoo group.

BUY NOW:  Five Picture Books in Five Weeks (Advanced Course), by Lynne Garner (6 weeks, starting 5/7/2016) Limit: 15 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is now closed. Please check here for our current schedule.

For Class Session Starting 5/7/2016

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Notes:  Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor. She will contact you via email with detailed instructions and assignments.

Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:
classroom[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com

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