What is the Master Course?


This is an intensive self-guided workshop on the eight Core Principles of picture book writing and editing.

  • Intensive: you will receive over 100 pages worth of content to read and apply as you write or revise your manuscript.
  • Self-guided: each week you will receive a packet with an in-depth explanation of the relevant Core Principle and a related worksheet. Once you receive the materials, you can work at your own pace in applying them.
  • Workshop: you will be expected to apply the principles you are learning to the study of other picture books as well as in revising your own work.
  • Core Principles: this program focuses on eight key principles that make-up the foundation of all good picture book writing. Each weekly lesson guides you through one of the Core Principles in a detailed and comprehensive manner. At the end of the course you will understand when and how to use these principles to create your best work.


How is the workshop structured?

This workshop was developed combining years of research, writing and editing. The program is specifically designed to make it easy for you to grasp these concepts and immediately apply them to your work.


  1. Presentation. The Core Principle is introduced and explained. In this section you will receive in-depth and detailed explanations about the principle and why it works so effectively.
  2. Practice. The Core Principle is broken down and studied in three different picture books.
  3. Application: a Worksheet guides you to apply the Core Principle to your own manuscripts, analyzing what works and why, as well as identifying ways of improving your writing.

What are the Core Principles?

1. Theme

2. Story Structure (Plot-driven stories)

3. Story Structure (Character-driven stories)

4. World-building

5. Character-building (Part 1: POV, Voice, Stakes, Agency)

6. Character-building (Part 2: MRUs, Lies/Wants/Needs, Character Suffering)

7. Showing vs. Telling

8. Three Act Structures

Bonus: Writing Tips

Bonus: Revision Tips


What are people saying about this course?

You can read all course testimonials here.

This is an excellent course – well-structured, indepth and informative.  Even if you are not a beginner but just want to hone your writing, Karla’s patience, passion and knowledge prove invaluable, especially in her generous personal critiques, which I cannot recommend highly enough.  Her source materials and her always up-to-date references and links can be referred to again and again.  I can only speak for myself, but I believe my writing has profited from her wisdom and the tools she has provided me with, and it will continue to do so.

Fiona Halliday

Children's Book Writer

If you are new to picture book writing, Karla Valenti’s Picture Book Master Course is an excellent place to start. Karla covers eight core principals of picture book writing in a clear and concise method. She gives examples using published works to clarify each principle. She also provides worksheets and homework that will walk you through writing a picture book or editing already completed works. The course is easy to understand and the pace is very doable for busy writers. The course offers an optional mentoring component as well as a private Facebook group.

Alayne Kay Christian

Children’s book writer and Picture Book Writing Teacher

Even agented writers will benefit from Karla’s Master Course, which breaks down everything you’ve ever wanted to better understand about the crafting of picture books, their structure, their mechanics, and what makes them more (or less) powerful to a reader. Karla has condensed a wealth of information into bite-sized, manageable steps that one can work through at his/her leisure. Naturally, when it comes to any course, nothing beats one-on-one tutoring. Karla remains accessible to learners throughout the course, answering questions and providing a private support group where any course topics can be discussed. Her coursework remains very hands-on, not only showing you how to analyze picture books in the current market, but also how to apply each principle to your own work-in-progress.

Katelyn Aronson

Children's book writer

Sign me up!

The Master Course on Writing and Editing Picture Books is available for $179.00.

You can also purchase the Master Course Plus which includes the Master Course and one-on-one coaching as you work through a picture book manuscript. With this option you will receive a total of eight critiques on your manuscript and I will be available to answer any questions along the way. $279.00.

The purchase of either option entitles you for a 25% discount on your next Premium manuscript critique. This course also includes access to a private Master Course Facebook Group where you can explore these concepts in further detail, ask questions, or share your own insights. The program is ongoing and you can start at anytime.

Are you ready to become a Master Picture Book writer?


Feel free to reach out to me with any questions about this or any other service. karla.p.valenti [at] gmail [dot] com.