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CW 10 — Jumpstart Your Children's Book

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Saturdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 3 weeks
Date(s): Nov 6—Nov 20
Time: 9:30 am—12:45 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Nov 8
Unit: 1
Tuition: $335
Instructor(s): Lynn Hazen, Elissa Haden Guest
Limit: 21
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Closed
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
9:30 am—12:45 pm (PT)
Nov 6—Nov 20
3 weeks
Refund Date
Nov 8
1 Unit
Lynn Hazen, Elissa Haden Guest
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
In this course, students will learn how to tap into their own children’s book “muse” and discover the unexpected. Through in-class writing prompts, students will explore their own childhood memories, bring elusive ideas to the surface, develop interesting characters, conflicts, and settings, and capture fresh scenes on the page. We will read and discuss such books as Daniel Nayeri's Everything Sad Is Untrue (A True Story) and other children's books both classic and new, highlighting successful craft techniques.

Diving into their own stories both in class and between the sessions, students will leave the course energized with new material and a creative plan for propelling their children’s or young adult stories forward. Practical tips about the world of children’s book publishing will also be addressed with plenty of time for Q&A. Students will have the opportunity to share their writing in breakout groups.


Lynn Hazen is the author of the young adult novel Shifty, which was named to VOYA’s Top Shelf Fiction and was a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children. Her other books include Mermaid Mary Margaret, Cinder Rabbit, The Amazing Trail of Seymour Snail, and Buzz Bumble to the Rescue.


Elissa Haden Guest’s most recent picture book is Baby Builders. Her ten-book early reader series, Iris and Walter, includes five Junior Library Guild selections, an ALA Notable Children's Book, and a PEN Center USA West Literary Award.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Daniel Nayeri, Everything Sad is Untrue (a true story), 1st edition (ISBN 9781646140008)
(Recommended) Chris Naylor-Ballesteros, The Suitcase, 2nd (ISBN 0358329604)
(Recommended) Martin Salisbury, Morag Styles, Children's Picture Books:The Art of Visual Storytelling, 2nd (ISBN 9781786275738)
(Recommended) Nancy Lamb, The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children, 1st edition (ISBN 1582970521)