“Writing and Illustrating for Children” Workshop with Dawn Baker and Sam Baker!
March 21, 2021, 2 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Have you ever wondered what goes into bringing a storybook to life that can engage and inspire children?
Join author Samantha Baker and author/illustrator Dawn Baker as they share everything they have learned about writing and illustrating for children through their experiences both collaborating together and working as individuals.
The broad range of topics covered includes creating an appealing idea, crafting a story, and writing at an age-appropriate level, as well as choosing an artistic medium and colour palette, maintaining consistency, and considering book layouts.
Samantha and Dawn will discuss how the interplay between text and images influences their work, and will answer any questions you may have.
Introduction: We will take a few minutes to introduce ourselves and outline the topics we will cover across the workshop.
Writing: Creating an Appealing Idea: What are children, caregivers and educators looking for in a storybook? Samantha will cover several points to consider when thinking about what to write, including subject matter, educational content, overarching messages, relatability, and the potential for attractive visuals.
Writing: Crafting a Story: What goes into making an idea into a story? Samantha will outline her writing process: planning, drafting, and editing the final product. This will include topics such as research, plot, characterization, and what changes to make while editing.
Writing: Using Effective and Age-Appropriate Language: How does writing for children differ from writing for adults or adolescents? Samantha will talk about how to keep text both simple and engaging at the same time, as well as how to identify what is appropriate for the intended age level.
Illustrating: Selecting a Medium and Colour Palette: What goes into choosing a visual style for illustrations? Dawn will cover a number of different mediums and methods available to illustrators, and how these choices impact intensity of colour and mood.
Illustrating: Acquiring Resource Material: What kind of source material can an illustrator use as a reference? Dawn will talk about taking and adapting photographs for her work, as well as some other ideas for artistic inspiration.
Illustrating: Maintaining Consistency: How do illustrators keep their work consistent across every page of the book? Dawn will cover how to make characters and any other recognizable, repeated objects look the same no matter the angle.
Writing: Writing with Illustrations in Mind: What should an author consider when writing a story that will be illustrated? Samantha will discuss communicating and collaborating with an illustrator, plus using visual imagery in writing.
Writing: Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks: Is there anything else to know? Samantha will go over several other tips and tricks she has learned from writing and publishing her first children’s book, as well as teaching English language arts.
Illustrating: Considering Book Layouts: How does illustrating for a storybook differ from creating images for other purposes? Dawn will discuss the importance of leaving space for text, balancing one-page illustrations with two-page spreads, and keeping track of page sequences.
Illustrating: Incorporating Local Flavour: What special touches can illustrators give to their work to represent a place and/or culture? Dawn will outline how she has captured the Newfoundland spirit throughout her work, and some tips and tricks illustrators can use to give their images a distinct feel.
Conclusion + Q&A Period: The workshop ends with closing thoughts and an opportunity for attendees to ask any remaining questions.
Dawn Baker has been a visual artist and children’s writer since 1992. A graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Education and a certificate in library studies, she served on the board of directors for The Rooms from 2006 until 2019. In 2015, Dawn served as a juror for the Governor General’s Literary Awards and toured Ontario as part of TD Canadian Children’s Book Week. She has written and/or illustrated eleven books with Flanker Press.
Samantha Baker is an upcoming author originally from Gander. Her first children’s book, A Newfoundland Maple, was published under Flanker Press in 2020. Samantha grew up with a great love for the arts and has always enjoyed singing, playing the piano, drawing, and, most of all, writing. She studied linguistics and psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2013. Upon graduating, she received the Michael Staveley Award for maintaining Dean’s List status every year of her program. Samantha later returned to Memorial University, where she completed her Bachelor of Education in 2016. She has since worked as a substitute teacher and as an adult basic education instructor at Keyin College, where she primarily taught English language arts. She has also worked with The Rooms leading school and youth programs as part of the Programming and Public Engagement division. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys reading, cooking, taking walks around local parks, and spending time with her loved ones. She currently resides in St. John’s with her fiancé.
Times and Locations
March 21, 2021