Sunday, March 4, 2018

A review of Brian Henry’s Writing Kid Lit course by Jillian Dobson

The Artsy Mistake Mystery
by Sylvia McNicoll, one of the guest
authors at Brian's Writing Kid Lit course
Before making the decision to attend Brian’s eight-week Writing Kid Lit course in the spring of 2017 I made a pros vs cons list that looked like this:
  • Long drive and traffic
  • Cost of the 407 to avoid traffic
  • Time away from work
  • Tight time-frame to get home for children after school
  • Am I qualified to share my writing?
  • I had enjoyed Brian Henry’s one-day Query Letter workshop
Despite my Con List outweighing my Pro List,  I went ahead and signed up and am so glad I did.

Brian’s attention to detail and patient manner permeated the class and created an open atmosphere for freely exchanging our writing and ideas. I really enjoyed sharing writing pieces and listening to others share what they had written. Brian encouraged everyone there along their personal writing journey. I especially appreciated how he allowed me to work on pieces I already had in progress as the homework assignments instead of creating new pieces each week.

The guest speakers were excellent and each brought real-life insight, some star power and voice to what it is like to be a published author.  Kira Vermond and Sylvia McNicoll were open and encouraging and shared their experience in great detail.

Brian took the time to do a complete review of one of my picture book manuscripts and there was time during the class to share other pieces with the group, so the amount of feedback I received far surpassed my long list of cons. I would highly recommend this class with Brian to anyone who is still weighing their options.  

Brian has a weekly Writing Kid Lit class coming up Thursday evenings, April 18 – June 13, in Burlington which will feature guest authors Jennifer Mook-Sang and Kira Vermond (see here),  and he's leading a Writing for Children and for Young Adults mini-conference on Saturday, April 21, in Waterloo with literary agent Barbara Berson, Simon & Schuster children's editor Patricia Ocampo, and Young Adult author Tanaz Bhathena (see here). 
If you're looking at this posting after April 2018, see current Writing Kid Lit weekly courses and one-day Saturday workshops here (and scroll down).

Jillian Dobson is a working suburban mom who has lived in three provinces, worked in the family business, and explored Thailand and Brazil during work co-op programs. Jillian loves writing stories for her children, travelling, planning events, riding horses, reading slowly and drinking hot coffee.

See Brian’s complete current schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond. 

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