How to Write Compelling Concept Books

with Hena Khan

What you need to know about writing concept books.

What are the steps to crafting concept books that will hold kids’ interest and keep them coming back for more? How can you add layers of meaning and depth to something as simple as a counting, shapes, or ABCs?

Join author Hena Khan as she shares her experience, including challenges she’s faced, while creating a series of concept books.

Hena Khan writes picture books and middle grade fiction. Her bestselling middle grade novel Amina’s Voice was named a Best Book of 2017 by the Washington Post, NPR, Kirkus Reviews, and others. The sequel, Amina’s Song, won the 2021 Asian/Pacific Award for Children’s Literature. Hena is also the author of the Zayd Saleem Chasing the Dream series, the Zara’s Rules series, and More to the Story, a novel inspired by Little Women. Hena’s acclaimed picture books include Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, Under My Hijab, Night of the Moon, and It’s Ramadan, Curious George. Her newest series is the Super You, a pick-your-path format.

This webinar purchase includes lifetime access to the 90-minute video, transcript, and downloadable audio track.

"Thank you SO much for an insightful, informative, and inspiring presentation! Congratulations on your beautiful books and incredible journey!"

- Srividhya Venkat

"Thanks for all the insights and sharing your process. This discussion is helpful and enlightening."

- Kathryn LeRoy

"Fantastic…loved seeing the drafts and talking through how the illustrations evolved. Very behind the scenes.Wonderful and insightful."

- Rita Jimenez

Your Instructor

Hena Khan
Hena Khan

Like so many writers, I grew up with my nose in a book. My mother believed children should be seen reading and not heard whining about boredom, and she regularly took us to the Rockville Public Library with grocery bags to fill with books. Along with grabbing new titles each visit, I often chose the same ones over and over again. And I reread treasured personal copies of my favorites until they fell apart.

The books I connected with as a child left a bigger impression on me than almost anything I come across today. I still think of the characters, stories, and random facts that I absorbed years ago. That’s why I love writing for kids—in the hopes that they’ll pick up something I write more than once, and let it become part of who they are.

Here are a few details about me: I’m a Pakistani-American Muslim who was born and raised in Maryland, and enjoy sharing and writing about my culture and religion. I’ve written about a bunch of other topics, from spies to space travel, that take me out of my reality and on adventures. I’ve had a few adventures of my own, managed to get to some pretty fantastic places on our planet, and met incredible people along the way. I’m slightly obsessed with Spain, ceramic tiles and pottery, food, flamenco, and good coffee. When I’m not cooking up a story, I’m often actually cooking food or baking treats for my family or friends. I also spent a good chunk of my life writing and editing for international organizations that work to improve the health of people around the world.

Course Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

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The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
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"Thank you so much for sharing your books and process."

- Ramya Spaulding

"Such a beautiful and thoughtful concept book series! Thank you for sharing all the editorial revisions too!"

- Melissa Stoller

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