sylvia whitmanSylvia Whitman • Writer/Educator

Sylvia teaches creative and professional writing at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota. She’s published books for young readers and articles for adults and kids. 

“Let the Wild Rumpus Start”: Writing Picture Books
Writing a picture book draws on all the elements of storytelling. Both introduction for emerging picture book writers and refresher for experienced ones, this workshop surveys character, plot, theme, and language. Participants will leave with an understanding of picture-book subgenres, from board books to concept books, fractured fairy tales to picture-book biographies, instructions for preparing a manuscript to pursue traditional publication, and resources for development as a picture book author, including a list of recommended “mentor texts.”

Plotting for Pantsers
I once looked down on plot, but teaching a plot class raised my appreciation for story structure. This workshop will offer techniques that put writers in charge of key moments when their characters take action, suffer consequences, and show who they truly are. Participants will leave with an overview of devices: from Freytag’s pyramid to Robert McKee’s quest, and the three-act structure, tips for twists, turns, tension, and prompts for home plotting.