Picture Book Bio Bonanza

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It's fair to say that the market for Picture Book Biographies has EXPLODED over the past 5-10 years. That's the good news. The bad news is that the market for PB bios is more saturated now. But never fear! Agents and editors are still seeking picture book biographies, but (you knew that was coming) they really must to stand out in order to sell.

This three-course bundle will set you up to write compelling, heart-felt, and original picture book biographies. Starting with the basics (NUTS AND BOLTS), then digging deeper (PB BIO TOOLBOX), and concluding with strategies for finding unsung heroes whose stories have yet to be told (and should)!

The PICTURE BOOK BIO BONANZA Bundle Includes the Following Courses:


Multi award-winning picture book biographer Jen Bryant gives a comprehensive lesson on how to write a standout picture book biography, including:

  • How to choose a subject
  • Do you need permission from your subject (or their estate)?
  • How to choose an angle or focus for your biography
  • Best tips for researching your subject
  • How to write an emotional arc that's also factual

THE PICTURE BOOK BIOGRAPHY TOOLBOX: What You Need to Know When You Dig In To Someone Else's Story

Many authors find the idea of writing a picture book biography intimidating, but author and Writing Barn Founder Bethany Hegedus has cracked the code. She shares her secrets from her experience publishing five picture book biographies, with more on the way. In this webinar, you will learn:

  • A powerful exercise to help you uncover what subjects YOU were born to write about. This exercise will change the way you view ALL of your writing.
  • The ins and outs of research and resources.
  • What to do if there is another book in the marketplace about your subject.
  • How to utilize page turns in picture book biographies.
  • Permissions: when and how do you get family or estate involvement.
  • Plus much more!


Rita Lorraine Hubbard burst onto the picture book biography scene a few years ago with the award-winning HAMMERING FOR FREEDOM, followed by THE OLDEST STUDENT: How Mary Walker Learned to Read. Her specialty is finding untold stories about unsung heroes that children should know. In this course, she talks about:

  • Where to find unsung heroes to write about
  • Vetting facts through professional relationships
  • Mining and repurposing hero stories for picture books
  • Building your source library
  • Unexpected places to find subjects

All three courses contain video presentations on the topic, Q & A, transcripts, and audio-only versions.

Your Instructor

Rita Lorraine Hubbard, Bethany Hegedus, Jen Bryant
Rita Lorraine Hubbard, Bethany Hegedus, Jen Bryant

Rita Lorraine Hubbard Bio

Rita Lorraine Hubbard is the author of a number of nonfiction books for adults and runs the children’s book review site Picture Book Depot. She is the author of Hammering for Freedom: The Story of William Lewis, which was awarded the New Voices Award by Lee & Low Books and has received three starred reviews, and The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read, illustrated by Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Oge Mora. Ms. Hubbard lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Bethany Hegedus Bio

Bethany Hegedus’ children’s picture books include the award-winning Grandfather Gandhi and Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story, both co-written with Arun Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma Gandhi), Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird, Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People: Dr. Maya Angelou, Hard Work But It’s Worth It: The Life of Jimmy Carter, Hard Work But It’s Worth It: The Life of Jimmy Carter and Huddle Up! Cuddle Up!–an ode to family, football and bedtime. Her books have been included in numerous “best of” lists such as A Mighty Girl’s Best Books of 2018 and Kirkus’ Best Books of the Year. A former educator, Bethany is an in-demand keynote speaker, workshop leader, and mentor who speaks and teaches across the country about writing, creativity, resilience, and privilege. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA, is the Founder and Creative Director of The Writing Barn, a writing retreat and workshop space in Austin, Texas and is host of the popular Courage to Create podcast.

Jen Bryant Bio

Jen Bryant writes picture books, novels and poems for readers of all ages. Her most recent biography, Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball, illustrated by Frank Morrison, releases in October 2020. Her other award-winning picture book biographies include, Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson, illustrated by Cannaday Chapman, and Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille, illustrated by Boris Kulikov, which won the ALA Schneider Family Book Award.

Her biography A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, received a Caldecott Honor. Their second collaboration A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin, won the ALA Schneider Family Book Award, the Orbus Pictus award, was named a Sibert Honor Book, received four starred reviews and was a Junior Library Guild Selection. Their third collaboration, The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus, received a Caldecott Honor and The Sibert Medal and was an Orbis Pictus Honor Book.

Jen’s novel in verse RINGSIDE 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial is an Oprah Recommended Book for ages 12 & up. Other titles include Pieces of Georgia (IRA Young Adult Choices Pick), The Trial (1935 Lindbergh kidnapping trial, a Borders New Voices Pick), Kaleidoscope Eyes (a 1960’s–era novel, a Junior Library Guild Selection), The Fortune of Carmen Navarro (Paterson Prize for Young People), Georgia’s Bones, celebrating the life of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, and Music for the End of Time, based on a true WWII story.

Jen has taught writing and Children’s Literature at West Chester University and Bryn Mawr College and gives school and public lectures throughout the year. She lives with her family in Chester County, PA. When she’s not writing or taming the piles on her desk, Jen enjoys visiting museums, swimming, cycling, listening to music and cheering wildly for the Phillies.

Courses Included with Purchase

Finding Unsung Heroes for Picture Book Biographies
Rita Lorraine Hubbard
The Picture Book Biography Toolbox:
What You Need to Know When You Dig Into Someone Else's Story
Bethany Hegedus
The Nuts and Bolts of Picture Book Biographies
Jen Bryant

Original Price: $201

"I love how (Jen) arrives at the place to begin (her) stories. How (she) decides where to enter the life of her subjects. Very enlightening!"

- Vivian Kirkfield, Author

"My heart is full and my head is dizzy with everything I'm going to do with (my picture book biography). Thank you, Bethany!"

- Rina Singh, Author

"I am walking away from (Rita Lorraine Hubbard's) webinar with all the tools I need for a nonfiction idea I've been mulling in the back of my mind. Thank you!"

- Monica Acker, Co-Founder, Impressive Company

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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