It is getting increasingly difficult to publish a picture book manuscript, but many publishers are actively soliciting chapter books. If you are writing a first chapter book or novel, you might be interested in Cynthia Nugent’s course at Langara College called The Chapter Book.
The course runs for eight Wednesdays, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., starting May 20. The cost is $239.
The class is a workshop format with short lectures on topics that arise out of the current manuscripts. Every week, students workshop manuscripts, do some in-class writing and look at examples of the different levels and kinds of books such as very early chapter books, middle readers, juvenile novels, low reading level/high interest novels such as the Orca soundings series, epistolary novels such as Little Wolf’s Book of Badness, linked stories such as Betsy Byar’s Tornado, fantasy, and juvenile and YA issue novels. Cynthia does a substantive edit of each manuscript that is handed in and returns it after it has been workshopped in class.
Past lecture topics have included: choosing a point of view, plot mapping, character development, the hero’s quest, diction in historical and regional fiction, as well as publishing strategies and writing cover letters.
Here are some comments from past students:
“My only comment would be I wish it were longer. Incredibly motivating. Excellent comprehensive feedback. Fabulous and talented instructor. Would most definitely recommend to others.”
“Cynthia’s a wonderful teacher – empathetic and understanding, but with a no-nonsense approach to criticism.”
“The instructor was well-qualified and displayed excellent knowledge of the subject and was able to address each student’s needs. Fabulous!”
“I thought it was a fantastic mix of practical and creative help, and I was very surprised at how much it inspired me to write! (The writing prompts were especially helpful.) It was clear that you put a lot of effort into the classes and your feedback. I enjoyed every part of it and feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with you. Thank you for helping me to start!”