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Editing Children’s Rhyming Picture Books, March 21–April 17 (4 weeks online) SP22


March 21, 2022

28 seats available

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Headshot of Lou Piccolo

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Our online courses are conducted through the LAMP Consortium on Sakai, a learning management system (LMS). You never need to be at your computer at any specific hour. More information about how these asynchronous classes are conducted is available here.

In this introductory course, students will learn the difference between rhyme and meter in poetry and why this matters when they’re editing children’s rhyming picture books. They will discover how to identify and analyze problems in a rhyming manuscript in terms of “rhyme crimes” that many writers commit. Last, they will do a developmental edit on a rhyming picture book manuscript with reference to the rules of poetry, scansion, and the guidelines of picture books. (The story always needs to come before the rhyme, not vice versa!)

Lessons include handouts, videos, links, and class discussion via a forum and a live Q&A session on Zoom. Class size is limited as it includes plenty of one-on-one instructor feedback.

Week 1: We’ll discuss the nuances of editing rhyming picture books and learn the key terms and basics of editing this type of work. Students will have a list of rhyming picture books to read in preparation for the course. In this week’s assignment, students will analyze poems in terms of the four different meters they will be studying during the course.

Week 2: We’ll discuss the ins and outs of scanning a rhyming picture book manuscript and marking up the meter. In this week’s assignment, students will practice marking up the meter on their own and identifying “rhyme crimes.”

Week 3: We’ll discuss the developmental work this type of material often needs. In this week’s assignment, students will do a developmental edit on the manuscript in terms of plot, motivation, conflict, characters, and setting. They will mark up the structure of the story using Track Changes to flag issues with these elements.

Week 4: We’ll go even deeper into developmental editing and the more complex issues students may come across in this material. In this week’s assignment, students will use everything they’ve learned throughout the course to propose solutions to rhyme crimes, problems with meter, and story structure on a sample manuscript.

Lou Piccolo is a freelance developmental editor of fiction and creative nonfiction. She also writes graded readers for Burlington Books in Spain and is the editor for Go English Kids magazine in Lyon, France.

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