ONLINE! Writing Stories for Picture Books – Wednesdays

Arts Workshop

Workshop Details

How To Write A Picture Book

Learning the basics of writing picture books is a valuable adjunct for illustrators. Not only does it give greater creative control, writing as well as illustrating doubles the royalty rate from a publisher: an important practical consideration. This workshop covers the technical requirements of writing for the genre and core writing skills like plotting, pacing, characterization, voice.

Students will be assigned the drafting and revision of both an original picture book story and a reworking of a classic folk or fairy tale in picture book form. If they wish, they may also submit visual roughs of characters or a sample panel to accompany, as they might in a submission to a publisher.

Each online meeting will be workshop based. Several students will read their writing aloud to the group, which will then discuss and critique it under my guidance.

Ted Staunton will be keeping things supportive, fun, and instructive. As well, there will be an instructional component each week in which Ted will be sharing some classic picture books, give insights into the creating/publishing process, and set up the next assignment.

Each scheduled workshop date may not run the full 3 hours of length as there will be support given to students outside of these live sessions. Student emails will be shared with the instructor for this purpose.


  • This workshop requires Internet Access as it will take place at the listed time and dates below via ZOOM. Submissions of written work & receiving of feedback will occur via email.
  • Sessions of this workshop will not be recorded so please ensure you have a means of taking notes prepared.
  • Files should be submitted in a .docx to the instructor. If an alternative file type is required due to your operating system please email

About the Instructor

TED STAUNTON wrote his first story as a class assignment at university. He barely handed it in on time, but he’s glad he did: it became the picture book Puddleman. Now the award-winning author of over forty books, he writes everything from YA and mid-grade novels (including titles in the popular SEVEN series) to Hi-Los, non-fiction, early chapter books, and of course picture books. He’s getting better at handing things in on time. His YA novel Who I’m Not won the 2014 CCBC John Spray Mystery Award. Ted’s work has also been nominated for Silver Birch, Red Maple, Hackmatack, Arthur Ellis, and BC Stellar awards, and many of his books are on CCBC Our Choice lists. Trained as a teacher, Ted is a speaker, performer, and workshop leader in schools, libraries and venues across Canada. As well, he teaches the Writing Children’s Fiction courses at George Brown College. He has also travelled to Ethiopia several times to work with English language writers and editors there. When he’s not writing, Ted plays in the MAPLE LEAF CHAMPIONS JUG BAND. (He always brings his guitar and banjo to school presentations too.) He enjoys running, reading and writing and listening to music. Born young, he is now older. Ted and his family live in Port Hope, Ontario.

Work Examples