What: Picture Book Lab is a 90-minute workshop in which a group of picture-book writers of all levels—ranging from beginner through multi-published, award-winning authors—come together to experiment with the elements that make up a picture book.

When: Every week on a Wednesday from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm (eastern)

Where: Zoom

Investment: $200 every 30 days ($50 per session plus a bonus session if there are five Wednesdays in a 30-day period) or $70 for an individual session.  You can cancel at anytime prior to the next billing cycle.


Do you want to uncover the stories you need to write?

Do you want to learn the tips, tools, and techniques that turn writers into award-winning, best-selling, multi-published picture-book authors?

If the answer is YES, I invite you to join a group of growth-focused picture-book writers in  the Picture Book Lab.

The Picture Book Lab is a place where we experiment, explore, and experience all things related to making picture books.

It’s where inspiration strikes and where insight dawns. It’s a safe space to experiment, to discover what works and what doesn’t work—because that’s how we learn.

The Lab is where you ignite your creativity, deepen your understanding of the writing process, and inspire you to explore the possibilities of picture-book making.


Here’s how the Lab works:

During each session, I will provide you with prompts and exercises which are carefully designed to enhance your understanding of a specific aspect of craft.

After writing, we will come together to engage in thoughtful, insightful discussion about the work. Drawing on the diverse perspectives of fellow attendees, we will explore how our individual ideas and writings work and sometimes how they don’t.

While the goal of the Lab is not the completion of a full manuscript, you might very well identify thoughts and seeds that could grow into picture-book manuscripts.

The Lab is not designed to take a manuscript from inception through to a finished, submittable piece of work. (Although stay tuned, there’s more about that coming soon! <smile>)

The Lab is designed to

Level up your understanding of how picture books work

Engage in the deliberate practice that leads to mastery

Inspire and motivate you to write more and better

And . . .

do it all while having fun.

The Lab is open to writers of all levels who have an interest in exploring picture-book writing. Whether you are a seasoned author or just beginning your writing journey, the Lab is designed to foster a deeper understanding of yourself as a writer and ignite a passion for the possibilities of the picture-book genre.

If you are ready to step into a world of imagination, connect with fellow authors, and embark on a journey of creative self-discovery. I invite you to attend a session of the Lab.

Bring your curiosity, creativity, and a pen!

Lab coats are optional!

Questions and Answers

A: The Lab is process oriented rather than product oriented, so it is not about the creation of a specific piece of work. You will learn by engaging thoughtfully with the work of other writers, which will help you refine your story antennae and become more sensitive to the way that writing works. You’ll develop critical and creative faculties and skills that will be applicable to your work. Considering the work of other writers will help move the concepts we experiment with out of the theoretical into the world of embodied writing. If you’re looking for specific, actionable critiques of an individual manuscript, I suggest you sign up for an individual consultation. [ You can do that here.]


“Simone Kaplan’s Picture Book Lab is inspiring, thought-provoking, and fun! The time flies between writing exercises, prompts, and critiques, and I hate for it to end. If you ever have (and who doesn’t?) the blank page scaries, this is the perfect way to get your mind and your pen moving.”

—Paulette Bogan, Award winning author/illustrator of Virgil and Owen and Lulu the Big Little Chick and many others


Picture Book Lab offers opportunities to explore, develop, and play with thoughtful ideas for potential manuscripts. Providing inspiration from eclectic sources, Simone brilliantly brings out the best in the writers of picture books in a thoughtful, supportive, gentle, and direct manner while encouraging other group members to share and support as well.

Picture Book Lab under Simone’s guidance encourages exploration of your ideas—some which you didn’t know were brewing—into beginning manuscripts.”

—Caren Sacks, Author of the forthcoming titles Draw and Discover: An Art-Making Journal for Kids and Vision and Voice: An Art-Making Journal for Teens


“If you’re a picture-book creator looking for the next step of your development, then a seat at Simone’s Picture Book Lab awaits you. It’s like a present-day portal to the past, to the days of Gertrude Stein’s literary and artistic salons …

After years of scouring the internet for picture book advice, classes, and learnings, I know that Simone’s’ Picture Book Lab offers what no one else is offering … a real- life, in-the- moment safe space to create … where ideas begin and where they begin to grow.

A place to be inspired, to inspire, and to have the conversations and discussions on what matters most in your own picture book journey alongside other creatives, elevating one’s own work in the process.” 

—Shell Le Drew


In the Picture Book Lab SImone offers exercises and prompts that excavate memories and tidbits from our subconscious that are pure gold.  She guides us through these exercises with expertise and enthusiasm and if we decide to share our work with the group, Simone’s feedback is always razor sharp.  In one exercise a vivid memory from my childhood came up. It took hold of me–lighting all my senses–and I had no choice but to turn it into a story, then a book dummy, and hopefully it will be a book soon.
—Lisa Desimini
Award winning author/illustrator of My HouseDot the Fire Dog and many others