Online Children’s Book Writing Workshops FAQ


Work on your children’s book manuscript with a developmental editor.

The author of 245 books for children, teens and adults, I have been working as a developmental editor since 1999. According to Wikipedia, a developmental editor works with writers in two ways.

  1. Some developmental editors coach writers before the manuscript is submitted.
  2. Some developmental editors coach writers as they revise after the manuscript is submitted.

Over the years I have worked both ways as a developmental editor. I find it very satisfying to help writers “find the story inside their story.” You know your story best. My job is to help you see what you already have – in your imagination and on the page.

I mentor picture book writers:

Picture Book Step 1. Learn how to show and tell your picture book story (without writing notes to the illustrator) in the January 1-February 12, 2016 Show Me A Story / Tell Me A Story Picture Book Workshop video e-course (with a private Facebook group). This new video e-course will not be offered again until 2017.

Picture Book Step 2. Write and revise your picture book story in the Intensive Picture Book Workshop.

Picture Book Step 3. Work on your second and third revisions (of the same story) in the Picture Book WIP Critique. (WIP is Work-In-Progress.)

I also mentor chapter book and middle grade novelists.

Children’s Novel Step 1. Develop a working outline of your children’s novel and the first draft of that all-important first chapter in the Children’s Novel Workshop.

Children’s Novel Step 2. After you complete chapter one, we can work together month by month as you write the chapters of your book with the New Children’s Novel: WIP Chapter Critique.

Children’s Novel Step 3. When you have completed the first draft of your entire novel, you can send it in for a New Children’s Novel: Full Novel Critique.

Q. What happens in an online workshop?
A. Unlike the traditional classroom, we do not meet face to face for an online workshop. There are no “hours.” We won’t have any scheduled meetings, so it doesn’t matter what your time zone is or which continent you live on! (Over the years I’ve worked with writers on six continents.)

Q. When will you send me the lessons?
A. If you are taking an email workshop, I will email you a new workshop lesson on Wednesday afternoons. You have until the following Wednesday to send in your homework. If you are taking the video e-course, I will email you when the new module goes up on Friday morning.

Q. How long do I have to complete the lessons?
A. The Show Me A Story / Tell Me A Story Picture Book Workshop video e-course (with a private Facebook group) is 6 weeks long. This workship is self-paced so you can complete the lessons at any time. You will have access to the e-course for one year.

The workshops with critiques have weekly deadlines. The Intensive Picture Book Workshop and the Children’s Novel Workshop are 8 weeks long. The Picture Book WIP Critique and the New Children’s Novel: WIP Chapter Critique are 4 weeks long.

Q. Can I work at a faster pace?
A. Yes, if you are signed up for a one-on-one critique via email, you can send in work as you complete it. After you complete each lesson, I will send you a new one.

Q. How do I send you my work for the critiques?
A. When we begin working on your manuscript, I will set up a shared Dropbox folder for you. All of the documents we use during your critique will be placed in this folder. We will both have access to these documents on all of our devices and everything is backed up in the cloud.

Each time you are ready for a new step, I will email you a link to a new file in our shared Dropbox folder. When your homework is ready, just click reply to that homework email me to let me know.

I will make a copy of the document with my initials, and then add comments, questions, and suggestions for you to consider using the Track Changes function in Word.

When I am done, I will reply to your email and send you a link to the new document in your folder.

Q. How do I add or upload files to my Dropbox?
A. Use these tutorial links to help you add or upload files to Dropbox.

If you are using an iPad, download the app first and then try to open Dropbox. Check the Dropbox iPad help page as well.

Dropbox – Create a Folder, Move Files, Share Folder (4:08)

Everything You Need to Know About Dropbox (7:17)

Q. When will you reply to my homework?
A. I write my own books first thing in the morning, then work at my day job writing and editing books and curriculum. I work one-on-one with individual writers in the late afternoon and early evening Monday through Friday.

Q. Will you recommend a publisher for my book?
A. No. There are three steps to becoming a published author.

  1. Write the book.
  2. Edit the book.
  3. Sell the book.

A critique is for the second step only. When you begin working with me in the Intensive Picture Book Workshop or the Children’s Novel Workshop I will ask you to describe your book’s topic and theme. These descriptions can help you when you send the book out, but knowing who is buying what right now is a full-time job. The person who sells books to a publisher is a literary agent.

Q. Will you give me a partial refund if I can’t finish all of the work before the deadline?
A. No. If you sign up for a workshop and need to cancel before we begin, please be advised that I charge a $20 handling fee for cancellations. After the session begins, fees are NOT REFUNDABLE.

It’s not easy “see the bones” of a book so you can figure out how to write your own, but you can do it. Don’t let fear get in the way. Set a timer for 25 minutes and start working. Push fear aside and get it done.

My writing students come from all levels of the continuum, from beginner to advanced. Some students sold the books they wrote in the workshops while others continued to master their craft and sold their first book later. Are you ready to work with a writing mentor? Are you looking for a writing class to help you start your book or take your work to the next level? Sign up for a workshop so we can start working together!

Still have questions? Email me.

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.