Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Project Picture Book

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Date(s) - 09/24/2016
9:00 am - 2:30 pm

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



An Illustrator (& Writer) Challenge Workshop

Have you ever watched the designers on Project Runway and marveled over how much they can accomplish in just a few hours? (If the answer is ‘no,’ go check out an episode and come right back!) Have you ever wished great picture book ideas were easier to come by? Or that you could get those ideas down more quickly? Or have you had trouble taking an idea from start to finish?

This is your chance to throw caution to the wind and blow through the entire picture book planning process in one day! In this workshop, we’ll go from idea generation, through character development and story structure, all the way to dummy book layout.

Unlike our TV inspiration for this workshop, Project Picture Book is not a competition—everyone will be doing the best they can in the time allotted in a fun, supportive environment [no editing for drama!]. And everyone will leave with new PB ideas and knowledge, and a PB project with potential!

Bring your favorite drawing pencils and a laptop, tablet, or cell phone (plus charger cords) to look up reference for landscapes, characters, etc. Paper, storyboards and dummy books will be provided.

Writers are welcome, too—you will be encouraged to think visually and work with stick figures or notes to inform your writing.


Shelley Ann Jackson

Shelley Ann Jackson

Shelley Ann Jackson is an author, illustrator and educator. She holds MFA degrees in illustration from the School of Visual Arts and in writing for children & young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

She is the author/illustrator or illustrator of four picture books, including SCBWI work-in-progress grant recipient, ForeWord magazine gold medalist, and Cybils award nominee, Little Lions, Bull Baiters & Hunting Hounds: A History of Dog Breeds.

Shelley teaches design and illustration at Texas State University and writing for children at St. Edward’s University. She is a long-time member and volunteer of SCBWI.


9:00 – The Challenge: Examples and overview

• Warm‐up drawing exercises

• Idea generating exercises

9:45 – Time to Sketch: Storyboards

• Story arc

• The expected unexpected

• Character development

10:15 – Trip to Mood: Not really, but here’s where you choose your picture book elements

• Rhythmic syncopation

• Pacing

• Scenes

10:45 – Tim Gunn’s (imaginary) Visit: Self-evaluation

• Variety

• Page turns

• Directional lines & eye movement

11:15 – Make it Work!: Adding text

• Counterpoint

• Voice

• Word Choice

12:00 – Lunch break

12:45 – Stitching it Together: Dummy books

1:45 – The Runway Show: Tack up books (optional) and see what others have done

Attendance costs $65 for SCBWI members and $95 for non-members and includes a light lunch. Come learn, get inspired and build a picture book.