This afternoon was Part 2 of my on-line writing workshop "How to Write a Picture Book" (offered through ELAN's ArtsInspire program) -- this time the students mostly took over. You can see two of them in today's pic -- Julie and Lisa -- both of whom turn out to be talented artists in addition to strong writers. And just last week, I told the class, it's very rare to have a talent for both writing picture books and illustrating them -- only it seems I had two exceptions in my class!

There were many more participants, and several were kids -- but we didn't have the right permission papers to allow me to post pics of the kids. So you'll have to take it from me that they were wonderful. In fact, my favourite part of today's workshop was seeing how beatifully the kids and adults interacted. I think it's because we all felt equal. The kids were super smart, and focused -- and the adults, well, let's just say they're kids at heart. (Those are always my favourite kind of adults.)

Some highlights of today's workshop -- Before Tristan read his story, he explained, "I wrote it for people your age." I told Tristan I was a little surprised he'd written a picture book for adults, but then I thought a second longer and I realized he had come up with a genius idea. If adults write picture books for kids, why can't a kid write a picture book for adults?!! Tristan has a lovely way with words and a good sense of story. I especially loved his line "A bit of everything" (this was in response to a dad asking his son what kind of homework he had to do). I think you've got yourself another great book title, Tristan!

Alexandra told us about waking up after a dream and wondering, "Am I still dreaming?" We thought this might make for the beginning of a cool story. Hayden wrote a story with a friend about "Nopeland" -- a place where people say nope a lot! We discussed in Part 1 of the workshops how stories need trouble, and a land where everyone says nope sounds like trouble to me!

Lisa read us a story inspired by arguments she used to have with her daughter, whose hair was difficult to brush. And Julie read us about a certain pasty-inspired captain who's trying not to lose his cool. As I said at the start of this entry, both Lisa and Julie had begun illustrating their stories and the results were gorgeous.

So, I guess I did my job if my "students" came up with such good stuff, right? Or maybe I was just lucky to have such wonderful students. Thanks to Guillaume for getting us organized, to ELAN's ArtsInspire program for making the workshops happen... and most of all, thanks to the students. You've made me super happy, and also proud that i was able to work with you! KEEP WRITING AND READING AND TAKING NOTES. XO FROM MO