Writing Workshops, School Visits, and Presentations

I really enjoy talking to both adults and kids about creativity and writing, and working with picture book writers to develop their craft. I’ve taught multi-week writing workshops, led weekend retreats, visited schools and libraries, and given keynote speeches and presentations to regional chapters of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and the International Reading Association (IRA).

Here are a few presentations I’ve offered:

  • Picture Book Intensives (3 to 6 hours)
  • Writing Workshops
  • Writing the Rollicking Read Aloud
  • Avoiding the Curse of the Verse
  • Writing with Humor
  • From Idea to Published Book
  • Poetry Workshops
  • Ten Tips from Twenty Years

Although I do only a limited number of such events, I welcome your inquiry. And if you’re in the Chapel Hill (NC) area, I’d be happy to consider meeting informally with you or a small group to discuss the craft and/or business of writing picture books.


workshops, classes, school and library visits

Emma Dryden, editor/consultant

“I’ve been a longtime fan of Linda Ashman and have had the pleasure of sitting in on her “Ten Tips from Twenty Years” workshop. Linda’s approach is honest, humorous, forthright, and accessible and she makes people at all levels of their careers feel invigorated about their work and the process. Not only is Linda a terrifically accomplished author, but she’s a thoroughly engaging speaker, a caring teacher, and shares the ups and downs of her own writer’s journey in ways that inspire others to follow her lead.”

Andrea Dupree, co-founder, Lighthouse Writers Workshop

“Linda Ashman was one of the most magnetic instructors we’ve ever had at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Her students, like many who come here, represent a vast array of backgrounds, but they’re talented and they’re tough critics. Still, whenever she offered a class, the rosters filled up in hours, not days. Her evaluations were over-the-top enthusiastic: ‘Linda’s an excellent instructor. Incredibly energetic, professional, and knowledgeable. She was so well organized that the time passed quickly, yet I learned a ton.’ We’ll miss her in Denver.”

Rachel Hamby, Inland Northweat SCBWI Assistant Regional Advisor

“As an avid reader of Linda’s picture books and her craft book for writers, I knew Linda’s instruction would be a something special.  But bringing Linda to Spokane, Washington didn’t fit our small region’s budget constraints.  Behold, the webinar.  I was thrilled when Linda agreed to participate in our series for picture book storytellers.  Linda was an active colleague throughout the planning process. She asked questions along the way that encouraged collaboration and improved our overall event. She created lovely visuals, applicable hand-outs, and gave a polished, personable presentation. Our members were thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from Linda Ashman.”

Deborah Pope, Duke University

“Linda’s Picture Book Intensive was fantastic! She immediately set such a warm and encouraging atmosphere that carried throughout and helped everyone relax and open up. Each activity was so inventive and cool to do—they were fun, not stressful at all—and each step was incredibly well-paced and well-planned. When she brought us full circle with the last activity, I couldn’t believe we were winding up! It didn’t seem possible that hours had passed! She is a superb teacher.”

Julie Hedlund, author

“Editors consistently say they don’t like rhyming manuscripts because most of them are written in ‘bad rhyme.’ As a picture book writer who likes to write in rhyme, I found myself frustrated by the lack of resources directly related to the art of rhyming well. Then I struck gold in Linda’s workshop. It was fun, interactive, hugely informative and the best three hours you can spend if you write in rhyme (or want to).”

Susie Wilde, writing consultant

“What a resource North Carolina has in Linda Ashman! After admiring her wit and wordplay in books, it was such a pleasure to experience the marvelous treat of Linda Ashman Live at a recent SCBWI conference! Eloquently and elegantly she blended her knowledge of children’s books, diverse personal experiences, playfulness and good sound advice.”

Sallye O’Rourke, writer

“I thoroughly enjoyed Linda’s Picture Book Intensive. She is a remarkable storyteller but also an excellent teacher, with a gift for communicating clearly and concisely what it takes to create a terrific story and tell it in a memorable way.”

Lesley Clayton, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library

“You were terrific at the program. The kids and adults loved the whole thing and especially that you are such a positive role model. There were about 200 people at your program and we were very impressed at how well you worked with this huge crowd of babies, preschoolers and elementary age children as well as adults. Thank you for visiting us and thank you for your great presentation!”

Mary Jane Nirdlinger, writer

“What a treat to learn the ins and outs of picture book writing and publication from Linda at our North Carolina SCBWI conference. Her presentation was delivered with wit and honesty. Her Nuts and Bolts Guide has all the answers to the questions we thought of later. It’s so nice to hear an honest perspective delivered with humor and care. For someone new to the field, Linda offers a guiding hand in person and in print.”

Anna Rusconi, Principal, Greenway Park Elementary, NC

“Our visit from Linda was incredible for our second and third grade students!  Her interactive presentation really made the writing process come alive for our kids and inspired several of them to consider a career in writing.”

Joy Jones, Vanderhoof Elementary, CO

“What a motivational speaker Linda is! The kids were excited to hear about how a book is crafted–from the rough draft, to the involvement of the illustrator, to how long the entire journey takes. The students learned that even published authors use the same formula that the kids are taught to follow in a creative writing situation. Our students were spellbound!”

Ellen Mackey, Douglas County Libraries

“We were so pleased to have Linda Ashman present her workshop for our 1st-6th grade Writer’s Group. Her slide show was well-organized and kept the children’s interest. Her writing exercise sparked their creativity, and she guided a lively, enthusiastic workshop session. The children truly enjoyed writing and sharing their poems.”

Jessica Swaim, author

“Linda’s workshops take participants on a fun-filled tour of all the elements of brilliant picture books, with lots of wonderful read-aloud examples as well as writing exercises to get the creative juices flowing. Writers of all levels will come away both informed and energized.”

Denise Vega, author

“Linda’s examples and explanations really gave me insights into what makes a good picture book work. Even though I’ve published a picture book, I learned so much from Linda and would recommend her workshops to anyone who really wants to understand what it takes to write a stellar picture book!”

Claudia Cangilla McAdam, author

“Linda’s workshop on writing rhyming picture books was terrific! Her easy-going style and a presentation peppered with humor provided great insight and technical guidance. It was a workshop that appealed equally to novice writers as well as published authors such as myself. Linda’s expertise in this area really came through, and I think everyone in attendance benefited from her experience–I know I did!”

Ann, Boulder Valley School District

“Linda Ashman’s school visit was memorable and remarkable for students and teachers alike. The author’s warm smile, pleasant personality, and friendly demeanor created an immediate connection for the children. Her presentation creatively and effectively presented the entire writing process from ideas to published material. Teachers were pleased with the reinforcement of the writing process, especially revising! The author visit was fabulous on all accounts!”

Karin Martin, Englewood Public Library, CO

“We enjoyed the program SO MUCH. Thank you for your time and putting together a wonderful presentation.”