Current Writing Classes


Molly Beth Griffin

Check out my Picture Book and YA writing classes for adults at The Loft Literary Center!  I am also available to teach or speak about picture book and novel writing for children and young adults in other venues, please contact me for details.

Not sure about taking a class? Read what students are saying.

Can’t make it to a class? Look at my distance learning offerings below, or try out my critique service for one-on-one help with your manuscript.

Courses at The Loft Literary Center:

Picture Book Master Class

Date: January 21-April 29

Location: The Loft Literary Center, Open Book Building

Day of the Week: Mondays

Time: 6pm – 9 pm

Ages: Adult

Class Level: Advanced

Genre: Children’s and Young Adult Literature

• Regular: $630.00
Member pricing and low-income pricing available.

If you love writing picture books, have manuscripts underway, and are ready to be immersed in the complex world of picture book craft, this master class is for you.

We’ll study diverse and award-winning mentor texts for the youngest readers by authors such as by Lauren Castillo, Jacqueline Woodson, Suzy Lee, Joyce Sidman, Matt de la Pena, Margarita Engle, Phyllis Root, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Bao Phi, Javaka Steptoe, and many more. We’ll write together from prompts, revise with rigorous exercises, and critique your manuscripts in a supportive large group setting.

Visiting illustrators will speak about their work, and you’ll get a chance to ask all your questions about submissions and the publishing process. You’ll leave the class with polished manuscripts, a critical approach to reading picture books, knowledge of the industry, and critique skills that will help you run a productive writing group.

Ready to take the next step? The intensive master classes are designed for writers with serious writing goals who are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

Enrollment capped at 12 students. Register now!


Independent distance learning classes:

The Lyrical Picture Book: Writing Poetic Prose for Kids

(Offered on request, about 2-3 times per year. Contact me for details.)

The picture book form is a vehicle for storytelling that is uniquely able to bridge the gap between written and oral traditions. Unlike other forms of prose, we write children’s picture books to be read aloud, and it is through the conjunction of sound and image that we enchant our readers. In this 8-week distance learning class, we will explore the auditory components of picture books by relating them to poetry and music. We will look at rhythm, repetition, cadence, sensory language, rhyme, breath, and imagery in great picture books, and learn to use these and other tools to make our own writing more powerful. If you have a grounding in basic picture book technique (structure, character, plot, dialogue, and theme) and are seeking ways to deepen your understanding of this form and infuse your prose with beauty and magic, let me help you explore the poetic possibilities of picture books.


Timeline: 8 weeks, offered continuously based on interest

Cost: $200


6 emailed handouts (1-3p) with information about an aspect of Lyrical Picture Book writing, each with an accompanying booklist of example texts and two or more relevant exercises.

  • Topics covered:

1) Nuts and Bolts of Picture Book Writing
2) Meter, Cadence & Breath
3) Repetition & Refrain
4) Rhyme of all Kinds
5) Sensory & Figurative Language
6) Showing & Telling

1 complimentary picture book critique of a manuscript of your choice (under 1000 words, no art please), to be done either at the beginning or the end of the course (Week 1 or Week 7). You email or snail mail me your manuscript and I return it to you line-edited and with a 1-2 page letter explaining my general thoughts about the piece and suggestions for revision.
Note: I’m happy to do additional critiques after the course is completed.

1 handout with tips for submitting your manuscript to publishers, info about the picture book publishing process, and a cover letter template. ( Week 8 )


I email you once per week, attaching your “lesson” for the week as a pdf file. You teach yourself the material independently, using the handouts and example texts (I send you the booklists at least one week ahead of time so that you can be requesting and acquiring books from your library or bookstore), and working on exercises with your manuscript. You may send me one short email back per week with any questions you have about the content you’ve received. I’m looking into adding a Skype component to the course and/or discussion forum. If you live in the Twin Cities area, we can plan a get-together at the end of the course to wrap up the class and address any lingering questions you might have, and to meet other distance learners completing the course at the same time for a face-to-face discussion.

Please contact me if you are interested in working with me in a distance learning format.  More class options are in the works.