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Writing for Children Workshop Series

Have you always wanted to write for children? Our introductory courses taught by some of New York's most prominent members of the children's literature world will help you get started!

  • Writing for Children: Finding Your Voice
    Course Number: TEWS598N 
    (Formerly titled: Writing Your First Children's Book)

    So you want to write a children's book! This workshop will give you the boost you've been waiting for, and get you started on that picture book, novel, or young reader, once and for all. In this friendly, supportive environment, class discussions will focus on all aspects of good story telling and good writing, including tone of voice, clear dialogue, characters who feel real, and beautiful language. The focus is on the exciting process of finding your voice and writing not just a story, but one that really means something to you. Teachers will gain a better understanding of the writing process so that they, in turn, can help their students find pleasure in crafting their stories. Everyone who takes this course will come away with new insights about the beautiful power of storytelling, and why children's books will always count. Instructor: Amy Hest

    July 9 - 30, 2018 (7 sessions)
    Mondays and Thursdays, 5:00 - 7:30 pm
    $460 17 CTLE hours or 1.7 CEU (not offered for credit)
    Registration Deadline: 7/2 (Registration is limited. Early registration is suggested) for updates

  • Writing for Children II: Fine Tuning Your Manuscript

    Course Number: TEWS807N

    Writing a children's book is hard work, but you don't have to do it alone! Refining your manuscript will be a continuing process in this workshop. There will be tweaking, fine tuning, and yes, even joy as you watch your story take shape in a non-judgmental and quite friendly environment of like-minded writers. We recommend taking Writing for Children: Finding Your Voice (offered in early spring and summer) prior to this workshop, but it's not required. Instructor: Amy Hest

    July 25, August 1 and August 8, 2018
    Wednesdays, 9:30 am - 11:30 am
    4 CTLE or .4 CEU $225 (not offered for credit)
    Registration Deadline: 7/18 for updates

  • Writing for Children III: Publishing 101

    Course Number: TEWS808N 

    So you’ve got a manuscript you’re happy with – now what? This online class will take you through the whole process from creation to post-publication. You’ll learn the basics about queries, agents, and the editorial process as well as how to find likeminded writers and promote yourself and your work. Most importantly: you’ll learn what to and what not to do! Instructor: Sharyn November

    Online* Synchronous Meeting: August 2, 2018
    Thursday, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
    $35 (not offered for credit, CEU or CTLE hours)
    Registration deadline: 7/26

    *This course is synchronous; participants are expected to be online during the time listed above. Directions for accessing the course page will be emailed upon registration. A computer with a high-speed internet connection is required. A microphone and video camera are optional. for updates

  • WFC IV: Introduction to Illustrating Children's Books

    Sure, you need drawing skills to illustrate a children's book, but it's the ability to tell a story visually that makes a children's book illustrator. In this course, you will learn some of the basic tools including pacing, page-turns, character development and secondary storytelling. We will meet online for 1-hour synchronous sessions to introduce and explore the process and key concepts around illustration for children’s literature. Asynchronous work between sessions, such as illustrating a moment of a well-known fable, will give you the opportunity to apply the concepts introduced in the synchronous sessions. The goal is to better understand the illustration process and how to develop basic strategies to set you on the road to illustrating your own projects. Instructor: Stephen Savage

    Online Course Timeline: April 24 – May 15, 2018
    Synchronous Sessions: Tuesdays, 7:00 – 8:00pm
    14 CTLE or 1.4 CEU $460 (not offered for credit)
    Registration Deadline: 4/17

     *This course is synchronous; participants are expected to be online during the time listed above. Directions for accessing the course page will be emailed upon registration. A computer with a high-speed internet connection is required. A microphone and video camera are optional. Asynchronous work is also expected between synchronous sessions. That is, participants work at times that suit them best to complete weekly assignments. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per week on coursework.

    Course Number: TEWS809N for updates

  • The Writer's Lab for Unpublished Authors

    Course Number: TEWS810N 

    We are offering this lab for a small group of committed writers who enjoy the writing process and want to come together each month to share their works in progress and receive feedback from other committed writers. This is a safe, supportive place to try out what you've been working on independently in a facilitated workshop. Occasional guest speakers from the publishing world will join the group to discuss different aspects of writing, such as writing from an illustrator's perspective or to provide personal viewpoints on the writer's experience. Instructor: Amy Hest

    Prerequisite: Finding Your Voice, Fine Tuning Your Manuscript or submit a manuscript in progress. Inquiries and manuscripts should be emailed to by June 28, 2018. Space will be limited to 15 people. Individuals who submit a manuscript (or who took a prerequisite class) will be notified of acceptance on a rolling basis.

    Summer 2018:
    July 10 and 31, 2018
    Tuesdays, 5:00 - 7:00pm
    4 CTLE or .4 CEU $160 (not offered for credit)
    Registration Deadline: 7/2 (Registration is limited and manuscripts must be submitted by 7/28.) for updates


Amy HestAmy Hest is the author of almost 50 books for children of all ages, including In the Rain with Baby Duck (winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award), When Jessie Came Across the Sea (Christopher Award Winner), and Kiss Good Night (a New York Times best seller and Christopher Award Winner.) Hest's focus is on family relationships and she wants you to know that everything she writes is personal! Ms. Hest has an MA of Library Science from C.W. Post College and a BA from Hunter College.

Sharyn November is an editor, marketer, idea-generator, and problem-solver. For many years, she was senior editor at Viking Children’s Books and the Editorial Director of Firebird Books, where her authors included Laurie Halse Anderson, John Barnes, Sarah Dessen, Diana Wynne Jones, Ellen Klages, and Nnedi Okorafor. You can find her at, as well as

Stephen SavageStephen Savage, MFA, is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of 11 books for children, including Little Plane Learns to Write (Roaring Brook Press, 2017) and Jack B. Ninja  (Scholastic, 2018). He is the recipient of a New York Times Best Illustrated Book award, a Sendak Fellowship, and a Geisel Honor. His editorial illustrations have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek and Time. He is also an adjunt faculty member at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Savage earned a MFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His BA is in Art History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.