Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Children's Book Academy Experience

The beginning of August I enrolled in an exciting children's picture book course offered by Dr. Mira Reisberg. Her Children's Book Academy course gave me the opportunity to study children's books and perfect my writing skills. Is this course worth the time and expense? Yes, I think so. Dr. Reisberg and her team of professionals put together a course rich in content consisting of webinars, critique groups and reference materials.

When I made my payment for $437.00 I received an email with a password and links to the course content. I paid an extra $100. for a personal critique for my script. I thought this was well worth the price for an evaluation from a professional editor. I was able to select either Dr. Reisberg or Kelly Delaney (Random House editor) for a critique.

Accessing the website class material was available during the week each day for five weeks. Mira is such a generous and giving person that the course material is available up to six months for review. This was another factor I considered when enrolling in this course. Of course, not everyone has this kind of money to spend and I can understand that. Mira, Kelly and many well known author/illustrators do a fabulous job in explaining various aspects of children's picture book writing. I especially enjoyed listening to "Just A Minute" by Yuyi Morales and "What If" by Jim Averbeck. Course content discussions included, what is narration, point of view, theme, plot, character development, pacing, setting and so much more as to what makes a picture book. Various levels of professionals are invited to increase their children's writing development. My writing for children is improving and I feel more confident in having the writing tools offered from Mira's course. I found it helpful before taking this course that I was familiar with the internet, have some social media skills and a general idea for my script. The class material can be overwhelming and I am sure some students became stressed out. Remember, you have six months to review this material at your own pace.

Mira's class content is organized for easy understanding, is logical and inspiring. I found Mira's assistants Jen and Mindy helpful in answering questions that were asked. Critique  groups were valuable in offering comments about my script in progress. Homework assignments were available for most lectures so I was able to identify, understand and reinforce picture book concepts. I was encouraged to explore libraries and bookstores and become familiar with many children's books at my local bookstores. Lecture material made me aware of different categories of children's picture books such as board books, novelty books, young adult books, concept books, fiction, non-fiction and more. Mira presents material that is clear, inspirational and well thought out. Live webinars are integral in this course. After finishing my assignment, I turned it in for evaluation on the linked website. Instructors offered comments and suggestions for improving my writing skills. I listened to their comments and evaluations. I was encouraged to go at my own pace and get what I thought was beneficial.

Well, this is just some of what I experienced with Mira's exciting, motivational and creative course at Children's Book Academy. This was an amazing experience that I will always remember. I encourage you to go to the Children's Book Academy website if you are serious about your children's writing skills. One caveat, this may be the last time she offers this course so check out her website and see if it's available. The website is Think of the cost as an investment in your career. You will not regret it. Dr. Mira Reisberg is a generous, energetic and warm person. She made me feel part of the creativeness that exists all around us.