Friday, January 11, 2013

Scratching Away: Taking Class

Some time ago I made a list of everything I wanted to try and accomplish in January when I would be "in between" jobs.  Keeping in mind that I wanted to best use this time, I contemplated taking another writing class.  It has been awhile.  And I was not interested in taking another Picture Book 101 class or another class that lumped all Childrens Books together into one.  Alas, I was at a loss and really thought that a class was not going to happen.
Enter the Picture Book Academy's newest e-Course.

1)  It focuses on writing character-driven picture books. (Who hasn't heard that phrase used by an agent and editor in the last 6 months?!  I swear I have probably heard "character-driven 30 times!)

2)  Its four sessions.  (I have 4 weeks in January!)

3)  Its self-paced!  (As I struggle to figure out what my routine is this month, I can easiily find time that works for me to "'attend".)

4)  Its taught by the utterly fabulous Marsha Diane Arnold!  (Its like having a highly-successful, award winning author visit you in your jammies or in your local coffee house to privately tutor!)

Anyway, this week I took Session 1:  Understanding the Characters Kids Love. 

This session is billed as, you’ll explore what makes certain picture book characters so appealing to children. You’ll be introduced to a wide variety of characters that capture readers’ hearts, from a dancing cow to a garbage truck. When you finish this session, you will understand more clearly what makes certain characters so loved and relatable to children.

Perhaps the best "take away" for me was to look at my own characters and put them to the test.  Are they the kind of characters that someone would choose to spend time with if they were "stranded on a deserted island", as Marsha says.  What a powerful question. 

Anyway, I totally recommend the class and will be blogging about all four session as I take them.

Thanks, Marsha and Mira!  Scratching away...

For more info on the Picture Book Academy and Writing Wonderful Character-Driven Picture Books, visit


  1. this sounds like a lot of fun. Good luck with it and I hope you really enjoy the course!!

  2. So delighted you are enjoying the class, Marcie. Mira and I are excited too about surrounding ourselves with fabulous characters this year and beyond.
    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Thank you Marcie for your awesome description. Marsha and I put our heart, smarts, and soul into creating this course! And come Monday - we are sending out a super special offer for anyone interested in taking the Writing Wonderful Character-Driven Picture Books e-Course.
    Here's the link to join the newsletter and get that super special offer, free gifts, and other cool offerings!

  4. Thanks for sharing info about the e-course. I'm tempted to try one, but am committed through February with another class. Maybe soon....

    1. We'd love to have you and help you with your writing. Totally understand about being overcommited.

  5. Oops - turns out that the newsletter link for the special course discount and other goodies was a dud. Embarrassing. Wish I could rewind but here's the real link! The offer is only good through January but you get a whole year after you sign up to actually take the course :)

  6. cool. great to hear your thoughts. i am also doing the course right now.