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WSP 16 — Writing for the Youngest Audience: Little Children, Big Emotions

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Saturdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 2 days
Date(s): Apr 22—Apr 29
Time: 9:45 am—3:30 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 15
Unit: 1
Tuition: $280
Instructor(s): Lynn Hazen, Elissa Haden Guest
Limit: 21
On-campus course
9:45 am—3:30 pm
Apr 22—Apr 29
2 days
Drop By
Apr 15
1 Unit
Lynn Hazen, Elissa Haden Guest
Well-written books for young children can have a lasting effect on their lives. Great picture books, early readers, and young chapter books offer humor, lyrical language, and the chance for readers (from infants through age nine) to live vicariously through characters. In this workshop, students will participate in engaging in-class writing exercises with a focus on character development, vivid language, pacing, and voice. Throughout, we will examine the interests, concerns, and often turbulent feelings of young children. As legendary author and illustrator Maurice Sendak said, “. . . from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions . . .” We will explore how exemplary classic and new titles by such successful children’s authors as Kevin Henkes, Phyllis Root, and Mo Willems develop empathetic characters, present conflicts, and capture the emotional heartbeat of a story. Students will put these strategies to work in developing their own characters and stories. Practical tips about the world of children’s book publishing will be addressed with plenty of time for Q&A. This workshop is open to aspiring as well as experienced writers.

Lynn Hazen, Author

Lynn Hazen is the author of the young adult novel Shifty, which was named to VOYA’s Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers list 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. She received an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College.

Elissa Haden Guest, Author

Elissa Haden Guest’s most recent picture book is Bella’s Rules. Books in her early reader series, Iris and Walter, have been named Junior Library Guild Selections and have received a PEN Center USA West Literary Award. Guest received an MFA in children’s literature from Hollins University.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Kelly DiPucchio, Gaston (ISBN 9781442451025)
(Recommended) Carson Ellis, Du Iz Tak? (ISBN 9780763665302)
(Recommended) The Global Fund for Children, Global Babies (ISBN 9781580891745)
(Recommended) Elissa Haden Guest, Iris and Walter (ISBN 9780544456044)
(Recommended) Lynn E. Hazen, The Amazing Trail of Seymour Snail (ISBN 978-0805086980)
(Recommended) Meg Medina, Mango, Abuela, and Me (ISBN 9780763669003)
(Recommended) Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are (ISBN 978-0064431781)
(Recommended) Mo Willems, Elephant and Piggie: There is a Bird on Your Head! (ISBN 978-1423106869)