Winter Conference Illustration_Website subpage - blank.png

Picture Book Revision Precision: Get In, Get Messy and Get Revising! With Alexandra Penfold

Creative Lab Syllabus


Join literary agent and #1 New York Times Bestselling author Alexandra Penfold as she deconstructs the picture book revision process giving real world examples of how stories move from idea to that messy middle stage and finally to published work.

Prerequisites and Advanced Preparation:

This Creative Lab will be most worthwhile for authors with 2-3 completed picture book manuscripts and/or dummies. Please also bring one or more mentor texts and send Alexandra the titles in advance by completing the form found HERE.  She will compile a list of all the titles in advance. A mentor text is a published picture book that you absolutely love and look to for inspiration in terms of how you want your reader to feel after they’ve read your work. It can be serious or silly. Fiction or non-fiction. Comforting, hilarious, heartwarming, mysterious, unsettling or something else all together!


Part 1 (1 hour and 15 minutes)

  • Introduction (5 minutes)
  • Inside the process (45 minutes)
  • Alexandra will walk participants through the raw editing steps of several books to show how changes in order, punctuation, and word choice can add up to a more satisfying read.
  • Bathroom/snack/stretch break (10 minutes)
  • Q&A (15 minutes)

Part 2 (1 hour and 45 minutes)

  • Mentor text sharing (20 minutes)
  • Craft your pitch exercise (10 minutes)
  • Initial revision time (15 minutes)
  • Quick break (5 minutes)
  • Revision observations and discussion (10 minutes)
  • Revision for character (10 minutes)
  • Revision for pacing (10 minutes)
  • Revision for word choice (10 minutes)
  • Q&A and closing (15 minutes)


Participants will:

  • Identify the heart and the “why” of their manuscript to guide revision.
  • Sharpen their pitching skills.
  • Develop a sense of whether or not their manuscript is delivering on the promise of the pitch.
  • Enhance their revision tools and skill set.

To Bring:

  • printouts of your manuscripts/dummies
  • notebook
  • pen or pencil
  • scissors
  • tape
  • glue stick
  • laptop (if desired)


spot 3.png

Don't Miss Out!