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 at 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!


Information and registration
Course Title Instructor Date(s) Schedule Fee Enroll Online
Children's Picture Book Writing I Cindy Neuschwander 4/19/18 - 5/17/18 Thursdays,
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
$185 Class in session
Children's Picture Book Writing I Cindy Neuschwander 10/4/18 - 11/1/18 Thursdays,
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
$185 Enroll Now
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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 Picture Book Writing I class.


Information and registration
Course Title Instructor Date(s) Schedule Fee Enroll Online
Children's Picture Book Writing II Cindy Neuschwander 2/8/18 - 3/8/18 Thursdays,
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
$227 Enroll Now
Back to top Children's Picture Book Writing - Character Development

Children's Picture Book Writing - Character Development

Unique and memorable characters are at the heart of every well written picture book. Join author teacher Cindy Neuschwander for a one day class on recognizing and crafting unforgettable characters. We will look at examples of strong characters as well as learn how to create our own.


Information and registration
Course Title Instructor Date(s) Schedule Fee Enroll Online
Children's Picture Book Writing - Character Development Cindy Neuschwander 6/2/18 Saturday,
9:00 a.m. to noon
$75 Enroll Now
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The Mind of the Child

With one foot planted firmly in the imaginary and the other in reality, children demonstrate that their minds work differently than adults. Join author and teacher Cindy Neuschwander and explore ten universal themes that occur in picture books. This class will give adults a peek into what children are thinking and what resonates with them. Anyone who enjoys children and their literature will benefit from taking this one-day class.


Information and registration
Course Title Instructor Date(s) Schedule Fee Enroll Online
The Mind of the Child Cindy Neuschwander 5/5/18 Saturday,
9:00 a.m. - noon
$85 Enroll Now
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Get Published Now

Amplify your voice and leave a legacy by learning how to get your writing published. In Get Published Now, Brian Schwartz will help you take the step from writer to author. Schwartz, the founder of SelfPublish.org and former president of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association, has spent the last eight years working with authors and publishers to help them reach success. Topics covered include advice from bestselling authors, common mistakes to avoid, marketing, branding, internet resources, and more. Learn how to implement a plan to get your writing published now!


Information and registration
Course Title Instructor Date(s) Schedule Fee Enroll Online
Get Published Now Brian Schwartz 10/13/2018 Saturday,
9:10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
$125 Enroll Now
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About the Instructors

Brian Schwartz is an award winning author and former president of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. In the past 12 months, Brian Schwartz and his marketing team have taken more than fifty titles to #1 status on Amazon. Some of Brian's notable clients include NY Times Bestseller Sara Davidson, Joe Cross (Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead), and Arlo Guthrie. Brian is the founder of SelfPublish.org, a site dedicated to bridging the gap between self-publishers and traditional publishing. He is a passionate speaker who enjoys sharing the proven strategies and techniques of successful indie authors. His YouTube channel has over 100,000 views. Brian has authored two books: 50 Interviews: Entrepreneurs Thriving in Uncertain Times and Finding Speaking Success (Wise Media Group). He was featured in Wild Ink: Successful Secrets to Writing and Publishing in the Young Adult Market (Prufrock Press). He is a past columnist for the Northern Colorado Business Report.

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 review 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.

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