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CW 10 — Jumpstart Your Children's Book

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): May 1—May 29
Time: 6:30—8:20 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: May 3
Unit: 1
Tuition: $360
Instructor(s): Lynn Hazen, Elissa Haden Guest
Limit: 21
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
6:30—8:20 pm (PT)
May 1—May 29
5 weeks
Refund Date
May 3
1 Unit
Lynn Hazen, Elissa Haden Guest
ACCESS 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 Chris Naylor-Ballesteros's picture book The Suitcase and Daniel Nayeri’s novel Everything Sad Is Untrue: (a true story), 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. Students will have the opportunity to share their writing in breakout groups.

This course is open to aspiring as well as experienced writers.


Lynn Hazen is the author of the young adult novel Shifty, which was named to VOYA’s Top Shelf Fiction list and was a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children. Her other books are 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 10-book early reader series, Iris and Walter, includes five Junior Library Guild selections, an ALA Notable Children's Book, and the winner of a PEN Center USA West Literary Award.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Chris Naylor-Ballesteros, The Suitcase (ISBN 978-0358329602)
(Recommended) Daniel Nayeri, Everything Sad is Untrue (a true story) (ISBN 978-1646142729)