**This book workshop was offered in 2005, but I have left it up to see
whether it attracts interest for future events.**


Children's Book Workshop in France

 
Karen Lynn Williams, Catherine Stock


"Writing is easy. You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein." –Red Smith


Got a great idea for a book for children but don't know where to start? Take the pain out of the process. Karen Lynn Williams and Catherine Stock are planning a two week children's book workshop in Rignac, France. Join us in a beautiful spot to develop your ideas and have a great time doing so.

Karen and Catherine have collaborated on several books together in the past, including their award winning and best selling picture book, Galimoto. The two women have taught book writing and design and illustration independently, Karen in workshops, and Catherine at the University of Cape Town. Catherine has also been holding drawing and watercolor workshops in southwest France since 2000.

  
Galimoto, Tap-Tap and Painted Dreams, three books by Karen and Catherine


"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion.  You must first set yourself on fire."–Fred Schero


Karen will work with words, text, concept and development. Check out her website: www.karenlynnwilliams.com. Catherine will talk about design, layout and illustration.

We will begin with an overview of the various genres for children. What makes a good picture book, mid grade chapter book or young adult novel? Character, setting, plot, voice and point of view are important aspects of all good writing in all genres. There will be class time exercises to develop these skills and free writing time to practice what you have learned and to generate new material. Share your writing with other writers in an honest, open, non-threatening workshop experience. Learn how to turn your life experiences and passions into good books for children that your readers will return to over and over again

This course is designed for the beginning writer as well as for the student with a writing background. Learn how to get started, how to revise and how to polish your writing as well as where and how to market your manuscript. Each student will have individual instruction time with Karen as well as class discussion and workshops and free writing time.

Learn how inspiring it can be to write in a new place where everything is different and you are more aware of what you see, feel hear and even smell. Stretch your comfort level and your imagination and produce your best work possible


The village of Rignac painted by Catherine Stock


"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." –Friedrich Nietzsche



Comments from students on writing workshop in Grenada, WI, for Chatham College with Instructor/author, Karen Williams:

"Karen Williams is a gifted teacher because she gives specific, helpful, and thoughtful constructive criticism while still managing to nurture my creative spirit. Her many life experiences make her a fascinating storyteller and a wonderful teacher of storytelling." – Chris T., PA

"Karen Lynn Williams will identify your writing strengths right away and then provide the insight that encourages you to work on everything else." –Ruth K., CA

"It was and amazing experience and a lot of fun. Our instructor rocked."–Amy M., PA

"Karen's teaching method was a combination of experience and enthusiasm. She brought to the course and shared with us her life experience as a world traveler, female, and mother and her professional experience as a published writer of various genres. Karen was always willing to engage in one on one discussions of student work and concerns." –Sadie T., PA

"Karen was a terrific leader for this trip. She is so comfortable in the setting and so outgoing. She created many writing opportunities we wouldn't have had otherwise." –Christine C., PA

"I cannot say enough positive things about this course. All and all I give the trip, the experience, the course and our instructor 2 big thumbs up." –Jaramy C., NY

"To be an accomplished writer is a skill which demands tremendous dedication, talent, and perseverance. To be an accomplished educator one must be able to communicate the basics of a skill, enlist and maintain the interest of students who are often at different levels of that skill, and help those same students to hone and consistently improve upon technique. The true artisan is one who can accomplish both tasks out of pure desire to pass along a love of the art. Karen Lynn Williams is a true artisan." –Carmine Y., CT


Catherine worked for many years as the art director of children's books at the prestigious publishers: Putnam, Clarion and Atheneum. She taught writing, design and illustrating children's picture books for two years at the University of Cape Town. Several of her students have subsequently gone on to illustrious careers as authors and artists.

Recent comments from past students of Catherine's Rignac watercolor workshop:

"A splendid two weeks! Thank you for your skill, your enthusiasm, you constructive criticism, your friendliness and your generous hospitality. You, the house the barn, Rignac and the surrounding area have all been wonderful, but the soups have been superb!" –Peter R., Nottingham, UK

"I really enjoyed the class and the time in Rignac. The whole experience was life giving and refreshing. Thanks for all you did to get it organized, to offer the class with such zest for life and for looking out for everyone." –Nathalie M., South Dakota, USA

"Wonderful time, be back!" –Richard v L., Michigan, USA   (And so he was.)

"When the painting sessions end every day, you're enjoying it so much you want to keep going. But Rignac and the surrounding area is so enriching and inspiring that you are caught up in a continuous swirl all week! Catherine goes out of her way to make everyone à laise and happy." –Anne-Marie M., Paris

"Your art classes are terrific and I enjoy very much the ambiance in which you allow us all to work. As I have never had any special lessons in watercolour I have had tremendous fun learning and experimenting." –Jenny H., Geneva, Switzerland

" Catherine's seemingly limitless enthusiasm and care for all aspects of her students' time in the Lot was most impressive and much appreciated." –Jane M., Montvalent, France


A selection of housing will be offered, or depending on how quickly people sign up, a large private gite will be rented for students. Click here to see more information about my home, the village of Rignac and the Lot, or Quercy as this part of France used to be known.

There are possibilities of repeating the course in Provence, Vermont, and Maui in the next few years.



Try Robert Key's program for six weeks (also try substituting "paint" or "compose" for "write"):

* Allocate a writing hour for every single day.
* Write whatever holds your interest or takes your fancy.
* If you can't think of anything to write, write anyway.
* Work for no other reason than to give yourself joy.
* Bring in the wisdom of all your fallow or waste.
* In your spare time read the admired writing of others.
* Share your efforts only with a trusted friend.
* Look for the gleams of personal style and go there.
* When you think you're getting it right, rewrite it.
* Allow yourself to fall in love with the process.
* Archive your work for your own benefit as you go.
Give this program some honest effort for a six week period.

PS: "Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day, while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day." –Jim Rohn

"We find our freedom along the guiding lines of discipline." –Yehudi Menuhin

"Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself." –Truman Capote


Please feel free to email Karen or Catherine with any questions.

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