Janet Squires Books   Home of the Gingerbread Cowboy

Coming Events - 2023

Mark your calendar.


  • JUNE
  • Beginning next month I will teach a series of writing seminars on Saturday mornings from 11:00-1:00 PST via ZOOM. The seminars are hosted by KP Publishing.

  • JULY 23rd

        THE NAME GAME Children’s literature from Picture Book to YA – How Genre and

        Category labels can make or break a book’s success.

​        Learn to use category and genre to your advantage in writing and marketing your story.
        Genre and category labels are key factors in potential readers locating books, so it is vital that                   you understand the attributes these labels represent when applied to your work.
        More importantly, genre and category designations establish a contract between the author and                 the audience that you must fulfill with regard to content, book length, vocabulary, and age                   appropriateness, to name a few.
        A comprehensive analysis of fiction genres plus the characteristics of categories will empower                   you to correctly assess your work and apply these labels appropriately.

  • OCTOBER 15th


Picture books are more than illustrated stories for children in the 4–8-year-old range. The

              term encompasses Board Books through Early Readers. Each form has specific

              requirements which will be explored in detail.
        Picture books are one of the most difficult writing forms to master because plot and

              character must be established with a minimal amount of language and every word has

              to be carefully chosen.
        This seminar will examine the essential elements of a picture book by deconstructing an

              award-winning work with its author from conception through the step-by-step writing

        The discussion will include expressing theme, the use of repetition and rhyme, and how

              to create a text that will inspire illustrators.

  • COMING IN 2023 Dates to be announced


       MIDDLGRADE and YOUNG ADULT FICTION: An Exploration of Substance and Method

      This seminar will examine the essential elements of MG & YA literature – content, point-of-view,

            characterization, and more with the goal of enabling you to develop a novel that will engage                    audiences of varied ages.
      The broad range of genres and subgenres will be explored with particular attention given the

            inherent styles, forms, and subject matters of each to help you successfully shape your creative              work.
      Multiple examples of successful titles in both categories will be discussed.

  • ​DISCOVER YOUR STORY: Crafting Your Book’s Plot with a Strong Narrative Structure

    When readers of fiction describe a wonderful book as “a real page-turner” what they are actually          
    saying is the story was well-plotted with great narrative tension and compelling characters.

​       A solid 3-Act Structure is the framework on which a writer maps both plot points and characters

             and is essential to creating a strong story that will hold a reader’s attention from the first                     word to the last.

       This seminar examines plotting in detail and provides writers with strategies for successfully                     shaping their novels.
       The class will include forming the story arc, organizing plot points, and building narrative                         tension.

        ​IMAGINING CHARACTERS INTO REALITY – What they do, what they say, and why.

Successful storytelling depends on an author’s ability to provide readers with compelling                           characters who are relatable, authentic, and organic to the work whether picture                                 book or novel.
        Writers will learn to create believable characters in fiction by expressing motive, behavior,                         thought, and feeling through a skillful combination of action and dialogue.
        Participants will explore the multiple elements of both direct and indirect characterization with                   attention to the “why” that underlies character decision-making and is the foundation of                       powerful character arcs.
        The ways in which decisions about plot and setting impact character behavior and development                 will be discussed.