Writing Illustrating and Publishing Children's Picture Books

This is a UNH Professional Development & Training class open to the public. It's offered every fall and winter at both UNH campuses.

Children's' books are written by self-motivated people. I can't teach you how to write a children's book. But I can share with you the things I now know that I wish I'd known, and steer you towards getting published, and simply enjoying great children's' books.

Work from two successfully published students appears below.

Fall 2013 / Spring 2014

UNH Registration Office

This is the longest running
course at
UNH Community Programs.

Course Description
Dates / UNH Links / Maps
Published Students

"If I hadn't taken this
I wouldn't be published today."

Jane Cowen-Fletcher

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Course Description

Children's books are fun and this course reflects that.

This class is an overview of the children's picture book field. It is designed for aspiring writers and illustrators of children's picture books; librarians, teachers and other educators; parents and grandparents interested in creating a picture story for their child or grandchild; and anyone with simply an interest in children's picture books. I am a knowledgeable resource and open to questions. My goal is to meet each group’s needs, so each class may vary. Based on my experiences, I will devote the three parts of class to:

Writing the seemingly simple picture book using examples of various styles.

Illustrating with artwork or photographs, using many examples of both.

in today’s marketplace.

Throughout the class, examples of various types of picture books, including mine, will be examined, analyzed, and explained. Any students with a work-in-progress are asked to bring it in for the end of class.

At least three former students have been successfully published nationally.

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What did you like most about the workshop?
Unedited student evaluations
Practical information on steps for success.
Sharing books with class, seeing his books.
Enthusiasm handouts, examples, and displays, lots of information.
Instructor was very knowledgeable.
Use of a variety of children's books and chance to compare them.
Very informative, lots of helpful information for new authors/ teachers.
Opened my eyes to all that publishing entails.
The teacher's enthusiasm.
The enthusiasm of the instructor.
The diversity of material shown.
The honesty of his knowledge.
He told me what I needed to hear.
Subject matter interesting.
Enthusiasm of information shared.
Clear talks.
Useful, current information.
Lots of ideas, encouragement, and positive energy.
Upbeat, motivated you to try to publish your manuscript.
Mr. McMillan gave a lot of examples of good and not so good work.
Very practical, much useful information presented.
Bruce is an energetic and engaging speaker.

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Dates / UNH Links / Maps
Note: Lunch is included

Fall 2013

UNH at Pease Tradeport in Portsmouths
November 9, 2013, Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

Spring 2014

UNH at Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth
March 8, 2008, Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

UNH Registration Link

UNH Pease Campus Map

UNH Course Description Link ~ Scroll down to the "Writing" class

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Published Students

Kathy Mallat
visit Kathy Mallat's web site
send an email to Kathy

Kathy's had the start of a good book but needed a photographer, and so I collaborated with her for The Picture that Mom Drew. Her oldest daughter, Erin, had been the female lead in my book Eating Fractions. Kathy is an elementary art teacher in Lebanon, Maine, so a concept book about the seven basic elements of art was something she knew well. Her art grew with Seven Stars More. Her art matured with Brave Bear, a beautiful book in it's simplicity. She took another leap forward with a clever train book, Trouble on the Tracks. Her youngest daughter, Meg, is into trains and Meg's birth date is hidden in the numbers of the caboose. I'd said that her forthcoming book, fall 2002, is going to be a classic and it has won a Lupine Award Honor. It's Just Ducky. Oh, Brother! Mama Love.

Autographing "Trouble" at the USM Conference, July 20, 2001.
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Oh, Brother
Mama Love
Papa Pride

Jane Cowen-Fletcher
send an email to Jane

Jane took me by surprise with the start of a book that she let me share in class. "It's about a mother in a wheelchair." It wasn't at all what I thought it was about. "No it's about a relationship. That's why it works." I knew she had a winner with this positve approach. It became Mama Zooms, the story about the relationship between a son and his mother, who just happens to be in a wheelchair. Jane's sister is a veterinarian, who happens to be in a wheelchair. Her second book reflected on her Peace Corps experiences in a positive way with It Takes a Village. This came out a year before Hillary Clinton's book of the same title was published. (No, you can't copyright a title.) Her third book was a leap forward with both her art and success. Baby Angels became a major commercial success. Her husband, Brad, was the model for the father and daughter Jo was the model for the little girl. In her fourth book Jane's son, Freeman, became the model and she leaped forward again with her art. Farmer Will is a beautiful book, and now Jo and Freeman have their own books.

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Denise Ortakales
send an email to Denise

August 20, 2001

Hi Bruce,

I took a class from you at UNH in Manchester in 1995 or 1996. You challenged us to send you back this postcard when we were published. I am happy to report that I have illustrated two books thus far and will be starting on my third soon, as well as numerous pieces for Ladybug, Spider, and other kid's mags. My books are Planets by Jennifer Dussling, Grosset and Dunlap, 2000 and Carrot in My Pocket by Kitson Flynn, Moon Mountain, 2001.

Denise Ortakales
509 Union Avenue
Laconia, NH, 03246.

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