QWF Announces its Fall Professional Development Workshops for Writers

The Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF) is excited to announce its fall professional development workshops for writers. From the aspiring young writer to the seasoned professional, everyone with an interest in literary writing will find something of value in their extraordinary lineup, led by some of Canada’s finest writers, editors and agents. There are workshops in every genre, including a one-day writing for children’s workshop, led by award-winning author/illustrator Marie-Louise Gay.

Workshop Details

WRITING FOR CHILDREN WITH WORDS AND PICTURES: An exploration of the art of writing for children, from picture books to first novels

Saturday, November 10, 2012
10:00am to 4:00pm

1200 Atwater Avenue, Suite 3

Workshop leader: Marie-Louise Gay

Workshop fee:
$80 for QWF members; $85 for non-members

To register email julia@qwf.org

Over the last few decades, Canadian children’s book publishing has exploded. Innovative, original and exciting books for children written and illustrated by Canadian authors and illustrators were published and rights were sold around the world. The Canada Council funded author tours all across Canada in libraries and schools to promote literacy as well as Canadian books.

Today the publishing industry is in a transition, the competition is fiercer then ever and the new technologies challenge traditional publishing. But authors and illustrators are still essential to the creation of great stories in words and pictures be it on paper or on a screen, traditional or electronically interactive…

The creation of a book for children is deceptively simple. How do you convey emotion, develop characters and plot, inspire and captivate children in perhaps ten, one hundred or six hundred words? How does writing for children compare with writing for adults? How do adult writers create a child’s voice or visualize a child’s point a view?

Writers of picture books for children need a rich visual counterpoint in order to pare down a story to its essentials while retaining rhythm, poetic images, humour, plot and a child’s vision of the world. Images in a picture book add multi–layered dimensions and a visual vocabulary to a story by contributing details and sub–plots, and revealing the characters’ emotions through body language and facial expression.

Bring one or two of your all-time favorite picture books to the first meeting. Be prepared to present each book, read a short passage and explain why it appeals to you.

Bring writing materials. We will be doing short writing exercises that will test your imagination, creativity and awake the visual awareness of childhood.

If you have a picture book manuscript in progress that you would like to submit for discussion and comments, please send a copy (four pages maximum) to admin@qwf.org by October 27th. The subject line should read “For Marie-Louise Gay.”

About Marie-Louise Gay
Born in Québec City, Marie-Louise Gay studied graphic design at L’institut des arts graphiques, animation at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts School and illustration at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. She has written and/or illustrated over sixty books for children: board books, picture books and chapter books. Her books have been published in twenty languages. She has also written three puppet plays for which she created the sets, puppets and costumes. Marie-Louise worked as a creative consultant on the scripts and animation of the television series that was created based on her Stella and Sam books.

Marie-Louise taught illustration at the Université du Québec à Montréal and she continues to do readings, conferences and workshops in schools and libraries across Canada, Europe, Mexico and the United States. She has won amongst other awards and nominations, two Governor General’s Awards, Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Vicky Metcalfe Body of Work Award, and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, and has been nominated twice for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

For a complete list of all workshops, visit www.qwf.org/workshops.

For more information, please contact:

Julia Kater