Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Picture Book Workshop for Authors & Illustrators with the Ransomes

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Date(s) - 11/09/2019
12:45 pm - 6:45 pm

Round Rock Public Library
216 E Main St - Round Rock, Texas 78664


Picture Book Workshop for Authors & Illustrators

with Lesa Cline-Ransome

and James E. Ransome

Nov. 9, 12:45pm to 6:30pm

Author Lesa Cline-Ransome and author/illustrator James E. Ransome | Photo: John Halpern

Author Lesa Cline-Ransome and author/illustrator James E. Ransome | Photo: John Halpern

Picture book writers and illustrators, improve your craft with the award-winning author Lesa Cline-Ransome and award-winning author/illustrator James E. Ransome. The couple create books on their own as well as together. Some of their collaborations include the picture books GAME CHANGERS: THE STORY OF VENUS AND SERENA WILLIAMS, MY STORY, MY DANCE: ROBERT BATTLE’S JOURNEY TO ALVIN AILEY, GERMS: FACT AND FICTION, FRIENDS AND FOES, and BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET (a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book). These creatives have won numerous acclaim and awards for their work, and are wonderful teachers.

Attendees will have joint sessions with both writers and illustrators learning together, as well as 3-hour intensive workshops during which Lesa will teach the writers and James will teach the illustrators. Lesa’s writer sessions will work for both fiction and non-fiction projects.

Scroll down to register. SCBWI members, login for the discounted rate.


Here’s the schedule:

12:45-1 – Registration

1 – 2:30 – Joint session:

A Book, A Page, A World:  The Artistic Journey of Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome

Collaborators in life and work, Lesa and James share their early beginnings as author and illustrator, the creative process from idea to revision and how they navigate the business and art of writing and illustrating books for children.

2:45 – 5:45 – Separate craft sessions:

WRITERS: Writing from the Inside Out:  Putting Yourself in the Story with Lesa Cline-Ransome

Creating authentic characters readers care about is at the heart of the stories we write. Lesa explores how observation, memory, and research can guide voice, point of view and narrative and create engaging stories. Writing prompts and exercises will highlight the importance of word choice, beginning lines and finding your writing voice.

ILLUSTRATORS: Do the Hustle: Making a Living as an Illustrator

James will discuss how to  craft a portfolio for the children’s book market by sharing the ins and outs of expanding  your  images to appeal to a wide range of markets. Discussion will include how to balance your creative time, industry trends and developing your visual voice. Participants should come prepared with a notebook/sketchbook and drawing tools.

6-6:30 – Q&A with Lesa and James

Lesa Cline-Ransome’s first book was the biography Satchel Paige, an ALA Notable Book and a Bank Street College “Best Children’s Book of the Year.  She later created a number of picture books including  Quilt Alphabet, Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist, Young Pele,  Words Set Me Free,  My Story, My Dance, and Germs:  Fact and Fiction, Friends and Foes.  Her verse biography of Harriet Tubman, Before She Was Harriet, was nominated for an NAACP image award, and received a Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration.  Her newest picture biography Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams, is an ALA Notable.  Finding Langston, her debut middle grade novel is a 2018 School Library Journal Best Book, Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Novel, New York Public Library Best Book of 2018 and the 2019 winner of the Scott O’Dell award for Historical Nonfiction and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor book.

Lesa’s books have received numerous honors and awards including NAACP Awards, Kirkus Best Books, ALA Notable, CBC Choice Awards,  two Top 10 Sports Books for Youth,  a Christopher Award, Jane Addams Award and an Orbis Pictus Recommended Book. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York with her husband, and frequent collaborator, illustrator James Ransome.  Visit her at

The Children’s Book Council named James E. Ransome as one of seventy-five authors and illustrators everyone should know. An award-winning illustrator of over sixty books, he received the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrations for his book ​The Creation and has received several Coretta Scott Honors for many of his other books as well as being the recipient of The Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance award, the NAACP Image Award for Illustration, and is an ALA Notable Book recipient. His body of work received the Rip Van Winkle Award from the School Library Media Specialists of Southeast New York in 2001. He lives in Rhinebeck, New York with his wife Lesa Cline Ransome, a writer of children’s books.