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Come to the SCBWI creativity retreat in October

It sounds like this year’s Weekend on the Water is going to be a creativity recharge extravaganza. And I get to lead two of my favorite workshops! One, is making an Insight Book, discussed here (more examples on my website). The other hands-on workshop is making a picture book dummy from a manuscript work in progress. Specifically geared to writers and illustrators new to laying out picture books, this class encourages visual thinking. If picture books are a marriage between words and art, it's to a writers advantage to use illustration to tighten — as well as expand — your story. This is a class I developed for the PNWA conference this year. It was a big hit, so we’re taking it on the road and into the woods. The lovely, magical woods of Islandwood, that is. (A new interview about this class, and my picture book dummy workshop has been posted here).

From the retreat coordinators:

”Mark your calendars for October 13-15, the dates of this year’s fall retreat. We’re mixing it up with a whole new approach. We’re calling it “Inspiration and Motivation for Creatives Retreat: Weekend on the Water,” and it’ll also be full of connections — between your work and your life, and among you and your tribe. It’ll including programming for creatives of all stripes — illustrators as well as writers, from seasoned pros to beginners — and it'll launch you high into NaNoWriMo or the 2018 of your creative dreams.

One example of this year’s potent opportunities: Every attendee can create their own Insight Book in a session led by local artist and author Wendy Wahman.

What’s an Insight Book?

It’s art and writing, collage and doodling, improvisation with yourself. Anyone can make one — you need not be an artist. You start with nothing in mind, then a line or a color triggers an aha! One line, written or drawn, leads to another.

Non-artists surprise themselves by making art. When you’re done, you a hold a book in your hands. Your book. Your insights. A new door to your creative heart.

What’s it look like?

What people who’ve done it have said:

“This was a great exercise for Residency – getting out of my head and putting my hands to work, working with the random arrangement of lines, listening to the shapes, finding the colors of the text. I took the text I'd written in my book from our workshop and put it into lines and verse for a poetry class a few days later, and it is a wonderful start to a piece called Forest for the Trees. It is always exciting to me when work can cross genres, and when a bigger piece is born from a seemingly small prompt. And, I hope this becomes a habit.” – Samantha Claire Updegrave, Whidbey Writer’s MFA Residency

“I was lucky enough to take part in Wendy Wahman’s workshop on Insight Books last month. Not only is she a talented author/illustrator and a great presenter, but she did something that, in the middle of an intensive writing residency, was pivotal. She encouraged us to play. The result was a beautiful book and a wonderful sense of inner peace.” – Mureall Hebert, Whidbey Writer’s MFA Residency

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