WRITING

Cal Poly Bestsellers & Storytellers Writer's Program

The Cal Poly Bestsellers & Storytellers Writer's Program is a series of courses and workshops designed to help you with your journey to become a more effective and captivating writer. Writers of all levels are welcome to participate in this program.

Please view current class offerings here or call our office at (805) 756-2053 to register.


Children's Picture Book Writing I

Have you ever wanted to write a children's picture book? Join published author and teacher Cindy Neuschwander and learn about this writing genre. Five two-hour sessions cover all aspects of writing, editing, and publishing your manuscript. Topics covered in this class include an overview of the picture book from first ideas to published books, history of picture books, character, the mind of the child, narrative structures, story skeletons, illustrations, editing, submissions, and publishing contracts. You will read and study a number of picture books throughout the five weeks with the class and consider both fictional and factual story concepts. Whether you are a teacher, parent/grandparent, or someone who has a great kids' story to tell, this class is for you!

Course Title Instructor Date(s) Schedule Fee
Children's Picture Book Writing I Cindy Neuschwander 4/24/2019 - 5/22/2019 Wednesdays,
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
$185

Children's Picture Book Writing II

Let's gather to critique, strengthen, and rewrite our picture book manuscripts. This class offers five two-hour working sessions, meeting weekly. Participants should be prepared to contribute a completed or nearly completed manuscript before the beginning of the first class. These manuscripts will be shared by all class members via e-mail prior to our first meeting so that class time can be maximized for constructive suggestions and rewriting. We will do big picture edits as well as line edits. We will also investigate publishers for submission and contracts. This seminar class is open to any student who has completed the Children's Picture Book Writing I class.

Course Title Instructor Date(s) Schedule Fee
Children's Picture Book Writing II Cindy Neuschwander 4/25/19 - 5/23/19 Thursdays,
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
$245

Rolling Up Your Writer's Sleeves: A Course in Writing Mechanics for Children's Literature

Join author and writer Cindy Neuschwander for a new five week course in dealing with the mechanics of writing your children’s book. This class is applicable for both picture books and children’s novels. Course work will include instruction in themes, audience, plotting, grammar and punctuation, format, setting, and character. This class will instruct and assist new writers as they take their ideas and guide them to publishable status.

  • Structure and story arcs
  • Common do's and don'ts
  • Character development, dialogue, description
  • Editing
  • Agents and publishing options
  • Promotion and distribution
Course Title Instructor Date(s) Schedule Fee
Rolling Up Your Writer's Sleeves Cindy Neuschwander 2/7/19 - 3/7/19 Thursday,
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
$185

Memoir Writing

Perhaps your life story has the makings of a great book. Or maybe you just want to record your personal story for posterity. This half-day workshop, led by NY Times bestselling memorist Franz Wisner, will teach writers of all levels the basics of penning a memoir, including:

  • Structure and story arcs
  • Common do's and don'ts
  • Character development, dialogue, description
  • Editing
  • Agents and publishing options
  • Promotion and distribution
Course Title Instructor Date(s) Schedule Fee
Memoir Writing Franz Wisner 02/09/2019 Saturday,
9 a.m. - noon
$125
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About the Instructors

Cindy Neuschwander

Cindy Neuschwander is the author of 17 published picture books for children. Her work includes the Sir Cumference series, Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream, Mummy Math, and Pastry School in Paris. Her books have been reviewed by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the School Library Journal, and Publisher’s Weekly. Cindy began writing books in 1994. She had used math literature in her own elementary classes and wanted to use more of these books. There were not many available so she started writing some of her own. Cindy enrolled in a writing class at a nearby university and learned how to better communicate her ideas; this is where her writing career was born. Now, her books are published by Charlesbridge, Henry Holt, and Scholastic.

Franz Wisner

Franz Wisner is the New York Times bestselling author of Honeymoon with My Brother and How the World Makes Love (both with St. Martin’s Press). He has been featured on Oprah, the Today Show, CNN, NPR, Vanity Fair, USA Today, and in hundreds of media outlets around the world. Wisner has also penned essays for NPR, Redbook, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, Coast Magazine, The Toronto Globe and Mail, and The Australian. He lives in Cayucos with his wife and two boys.

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