Online Writing Workshops FAQ


Learn the basics of writing for children in a #kidlit writing workshop.

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 offer TWO picture book mentoring options:

Picture Book Stories
Step 1. If you are new to writing for children, you can learn the basics in the Intensive Picture Book Workshop.

Step 2. Write and revise your picture book story in 6 steps for the New Picture Book Manuscript STORY Critique.

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

Rhyming Picture Books
Step 1. Learn how to write a story in rhyme in the Rhyming Picture Book Workshop.

Step 2. Write and revise your picture book story in 6 steps for the New Picture Book Manuscript STORY Critique.

Step 3. Work on the rhyme in your story in the New Rhyming Picture Book SCANNING Critique.

I also mentor chapter book and middle grade novelists.

Step 1. If you are new to writing for children, you can learn the basics in the Children’s Novel Workshop.

Step 2. Develop a working outline of your children’s novel and the first draft of that all-important first chapter in the New Children’s Novel: First Chapter Critique.

Step 3. 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.

Step 4. 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. Do I have to take a workshop before you critique my picture book manuscript or children’s novel?
A. No. If you understand the basics of both the format and the genre that you are writing you should be ready to sign up for a critique. However, if the format (picture books or children’s novels) or the genre (fiction or poetry) is NEW to you, please sign up for a workshop first. The 6 basic workshop lessons will help you study the new format and/or genre so you can find the 3 book comps you need for the 6 step critiques. (Comps are new books that directly “compete” with yours.)

Q. Why do I need to find book comps?
A. Editors compare your book to other books like yours as a standard part of the acquisitions process at many publishing houses. So we start there to make sure your book is unique in some way. (If your book is not unique in some way, why will anyone buy it?)

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.) We will work together one-on-one via email.

Q. When will you send me the lessons?
A. I will email you a new workshop lesson on Wednesday afternoons. You have until the following Wednesday to send in your homework.

Q. How long do I have to complete the lessons?
A. You have 6 weeks to complete the 6 workshop lessons.

Q. Can I work at a faster pace?
A. Yes. If you want to work at a faster pace, just send in each lesson as you complete it. After you complete each lesson, I will send you a new one.

Q. How do I send you my homework?
A. Just click reply to email me your homework.

  1. You can copy and paste your lesson into the body of the email and click reply to send it back to me. I will reply to your lesson via email.
  2. If you prefer to work in a document, please email me to let me know your homework is in our shared Dropbox folder so I can reply using the Track Changes function in Word.

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 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 #kidlit basics workshop or a critique 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 or edited during the critiques 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 or a critique so we can start working together!

Still have questions? Email me.

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.