Write Picture Books That Readers Love to Read Out Loud

Become a Picture Book Wordsmith


  • Write picture books with voice, rhythm, repetition and flow.
  • Master alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia, musicality and cadence.
  • Pace your story and write concisely for readability and flow.
  • Make connections with teachers and librarians through your picture book.


Carter Higgins is the author of a A Rambler Steals Home (HMH) and three picture books from Chronicle Books: This is Not a Valentine (Lucy Ruth Cummins), Everything You Need For a Treehouse (Emily Hughes), and Bikes for Sale (Zachariah Ohora).

Carter has spent over a decade as an elementary school librarian, reading thousands of books to children. Her experience has made Carter a picture book wordsmith. She looks forward to helping you develop your own wordsmithing toolkit so that you can create  amazing read aloud experiences.

Carter Higgins

Children's Author

Published Books


Workshop Dates & Time

Wednesdays: 8/26, 9/2, 9/16, 9/23, 10/7, 10/14

Picture Book Wordsmith with Carter Higgins
@ 4:00 - 5:00 PM PST

Course Details

In this 9-week course, you'll learn how to develop healthy work habits, brainstorm great ideas, and work on one idea until you turn it into a picture book story. 

Module 1:
What Is Excellent Picture Book Writing?

Lesson 1: What makes excellent picture book writing?
Lesson 2: Case Study #1: TRUMAN, by Jean Reidy and Lucy Ruth Cummins
Lesson 3: Case Study #2: SMALL IN THE CITY, by Sydney Smith
Lesson 4: How to Write Voice

Module 2:
How Does It Sound?

Lesson 1: Alliteration
Lesson 2: Assonance
Lesson 3: Onomatopoeia
Lesson 4: Musicality and Cadence

Module 3:
How Does It Feel?

Lesson 1: Figurative Language/Imagery
Lesson 2: Rhythm and Repetition
Lesson 3: Adding Emotional Weight and Heart

Module 4:
How Does It Flow?

Lesson 1: Stressed and Unstressed Syllables
Lesson 2: Scansion and Meter
Lesson 3: Diction

Module 5:
How Does It Move?

Lesson 1: Work Count
Lesson 2: Writing Concise (or not!)
Lesson 3: Pacing (both structurally and at the sentence level)
Lesson 4: Re-readability

Module 6:
Beyond the Writing: It's a BOOK

Lesson 1: How Picture Books Work (and the importance of story)
Lesson 2: Making Connections with Teachers and Librarians
Lesson 3: Understanding Your Audience

Everyone Has a Story to Tell

Hear from Amy Flynn

Hear from Kristy Nuttal

Hear from Brian Song

Hear from Grace Nall

Hear from Ann Gronvold

Who Should Take This Class?

Just Starting to Write Picture Books

You're going to learn a lot about choosing great mentor texts and crafting beautiful sentences. This class won't focus on story. If you're looking for a class on developing a story idea, we have other classes that do that really well.

Intermediate Storytellers

If you've written some picture books that you want to take to another level, this is the class you've been waiting for. You're going to study amazing mentor texts and learn how to find the right voice for each of your stories.

Advanced Writers

You've been at this long enough to know that changing the right word, here and there, throughout your manuscript can make the difference between a tepid rejection and a "YES!" from an editor. Come find the inspiration that you need to make that kind of difference in your stories.

Frequently Asked Questions

You'll learn advanced writing techniques that picture book writers use to craft great read aloud experiences.

Literary agents and children's book editors look for great stories and manuscripts that are fun to read out loud. This class will give you the writing tools to write a great read aloud picture book.

Yes! When you enroll into this class, you can take this class again for free in the future. We believe in doing the work and mastering your craft, so we encourage you to retake this class to gain mastery.

You will have access to the replays to watch anytime. There's also a course forum to ask questions.

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