“I am a former child,” answered legendary publisher Ursula Nordstrom when asked what qualified her to edit books for children. In this welcoming, inclusive workshop, we will recall ourselves as children—and draw on our experience as adults—as we craft novels, chapter books, or picture books for young readers. How can I make a novel for middle-graders childlike, but not childish? Should my first chapter contain the seeds of my last chapter? How do I balance art and text in a picture book? And…can I take my idea from a Word doc to a published book? Bring your fragile concept, your work in progress, picture book text or illustrated dummy to this workshop, and we’ll do our best to nurture it to the next stage on its journey. There will also be one-on-one meetings with the instructor to review your work in more detail, and a special illustrators’ session to focus on the art of the picture book.
Brenda Bowen is the award-winning author of over fifty picture books and chapter books for young readers, which she writes under the penname Margaret McNamara. She is also the author of one adult novel, Enchanted August (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking). She had a long career in children’s publishing, where she was editorial director at Scholastic Press and Henry Holt & Company, and vice president, associate publisher at Simon & Schuster and Disney Publishing Worldwide. Books edited and represented by Brenda have won the Newbery Medal, Newbery Honors, arethe National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, the New York Times Best Illustrated Award, and many other honors. Brenda now works as an agent at The Book Group, where she represents a full complement of clients, from storied industry veterans to sparkling debuts.