Linda Ashman

children's book author, mom, wife, writing instructor, animal lover, gardener, vegetarian . . .

With my lovely Lighthouse Writers class.

At a bookfair for Colorado Humanities with my friends and fellow authors Denise Vega and Kathleen Pelley.

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Workshops and Presentations

"I've been a longtime fan of Linda Ashman and have had the pleasure of sitting in on her "Ten Tips from Twenty Years" workshop. Linda's approach is honest, humorous, forthright, and accessible and she makes people at all levels of their careers feel invigorated about their work and the process. Not only is Linda a terrifically accomplished author, but she's a thoroughly engaging speaker, a caring teacher, and shares the ups and downs of her own writer's journey in ways that inspire others to follow her lead." Emma D Dryden, editorial & publishing consultant, drydenbks

"What a resource North Carolina has in Linda Ashman! After admiring her wit and wordplay in books, it was such a pleasure to experience the marvelous treat of Linda Ashman Live at a recent SCBWI conference! Eloquently and elegantly she blended her knowledge of children’s books, diverse personal experiences, playfulness and good sound advice." Susie Wilde, children’s book columnist for the Raleigh News and Observer and Charlotte Observer

"Linda Ashman was one of the most magnetic instructors we’ve ever had at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Her students, like many who come here, represent a vast array of backgrounds, but they’re talented and they’re tough critics. Still, whenever she offered a class, the rosters filled up in hours, not days. Her evaluations were over-the-top enthusiastic: 'Linda’s an excellent instructor. Incredibly energetic, professional, and knowledgeable. She was so well organized that the time passed quickly, yet I learned a ton.' We’ll miss her in Denver." Andrea Dupree, co-founder and Program Director, Lighthouse Writers Workshop

Presentations for Adults
I love talking about picture books and writing, and sharing what I've learned about both the creative and business aspects of publishing. I've taught multi-week workshops on writing picture books, and have given presentations to regional chapters of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and the International Reading Association (IRA) about being an author, the writing process, the road to publication, writing in verse, revising, and other topics. I typically give a slide presentation using my laptop computer (I use Keynote, Apple's equivalent of Powerpoint), with plenty of interaction and time for questions.

If you're in the Chapel Hill area, I'm happy to meet informally with small groups to talk about writing, publishing (or a topic of your choice) and answer questions. Please send all inquiries by email to lindaashman@​

Comments from writing workshops:

"Linda's workshops take participants on a fun-filled tour of all the elements of brilliant picture books, with lots of wonderful read-aloud examples as well as writing exercises to get the creative juices flowing. Writers of all levels will come away both informed and energized." Jessica Swaim, author, The Hound from the Pound and more

"I had always wanted to write a children’s picture book and had undeveloped ideas tip-toeing around in my head; however, I didn’t know how to transfer these ideas onto the page – until I took Linda’s class. Linda knows the children’s picture book canon and not only provided a multitude of models to learn from but also suggested examples we could turn to for our specific, individual writing needs. In her workshop, she created the creative catalyst I wanted and the safe space I needed to explore, experiment, write and share." Heather Cyr, Boulder

"Linda's workshop on writing rhyming picture books was terrific! Her easy-going style and a presentation peppered with humor provided great insight and technical guidance. It was a workshop that appealed equally to novice writers as well as published authors such as myself. Linda's expertise in this area really came through, and I think everyone in attendance benefited from her experience--I know I did!" Claudia Cangilla McAdam, author, Do You See What I See?

"Editors consistently say they don't like rhyming manuscripts because most of them are written in 'bad rhyme.' As a picture book writer who likes to write in rhyme, I found myself frustrated by the lack of resources directly related to the art of rhyming well. Then I struck gold in Linda's workshop. It was fun, interactive, hugely informative and the best three hours you can spend if you write in rhyme (or want to)." Julie Hedlund, writer and blogger

"Linda's examples and explanations really gave me insights into what makes a good picture book work. Even though I've published a picture book, I learned so much from Linda and would recommend her workshops to anyone who really wants to understand what it takes to write a stellar picture book!" - Denise Vega, author, Grandmother, Have the Angels Come?

"What a terrific job you did! I have been to quite a few SCBWI workshops, and yours was by far the best I have attended on picture books. My only complaint -- I would have been very happy to have listened to you for the afternoon as well!!" Kathleen Pelley, author, Inventor McGregor

"Thanks for a great class, Linda. You were very good and I came away extremely motivated!" Denise Newberry, Cabin Press Studio

School & Library Visits

A full-day school visit usually includes 4 presentations and an autographing session. I typically give a slide presentation about being a writer, and the process of getting a book published--from the initial idea to the finished product--tailored to the age group. The presentation is very interactive, and I always leave time for questions. I can also do poetry workshops.

I do ask that schools order books through a bookseller before the event, and that you include time for autographing in the day's schedule (it can take a while!). Hosting an author requires a great deal of planning; please click on the links to the left for helpful information about school visits and download a sample agreement and book list.

Library visits vary, but normally include one presentation, tailored to the particular audience. One recent event included a "Story Safari" Summer Reading kick-off with a short slide show about the the writing and publication process. Another program featured a slide show, readings from Stella, Unleashed, and visits from the therapy dogs involved in the library's "Paws to Read" literacy program. I love to donate several autographed books to raffle off as part of the program.

Comments from school and library visits:

"We were so pleased to have Linda Ashman present her workshop for our 1st-6th grade Writer's Group. Her slide show was well-organized and kept the children's interest. Her writing exercise sparked their creativity, and she guided a lively, enthusiastic workshop session. The children truly enjoyed writing and sharing their poems." Ellen Mackey, Youth Librarian, Douglas County Libraries, Colorado

"Linda Ashman's school visit was memorable and remarkable for students and teachers alike. The author's warm smile, pleasant personality, and friendly demeanor created an immediate connection for the children. Her presentation creatively and effectively presented the entire writing process from ideas to published material. Teachers were pleased with the reinforcement of the writing process, especially revising! The author visit was fabulous on all accounts!"
Ann, Teacher Librarian, Boulder Valley School District, Colorado

"What a motivational speaker Linda is! The kids were excited to hear about how a book is crafted--from the rough draft, to the involvement of the illustrator, to how long the entire journey takes. The students learned that even published authors use the same formula that the kids are taught to follow in a creative writing situation. Our students were spellbound!" Joy Jones, Library Teacher, Vanderhoof Elementary School, Arvada, Colorado

"We enjoyed the program SO MUCH. Thank you for your time and putting together a wonderful presentation. Karin Martin, Englewood Public Library

"You were terrific at the program. The kids and adults loved the whole thing and especially that you are such a positive role model. There were about 200 people at your program and we were very impressed at how well you worked with this huge crowd of babies, preschoolers and elementary age children as well as adults. Thank you for visiting us and thank you for your great presentation!" Lesley Clayton, Manager of Children's Services, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library

The kids (and I) LOVED your presentation! As a kindergarten teacher of new and very excited writers, the thing that's so great for them to hear is where great writers get their ideas. And how writers tap into their everyday life for ideas! You made those points very well! Mo Forster, Sierra Elementary, Arvada, Colorado

"Poetry rules and so do you and your books!"
Second-grader, Peak to Peak Charter School, Lafayette, Colorado

Read school parent/​reporter Rhonda Cratty's review of a recent school visit on


Brand New
"A go-to source of calm and comfort." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
In Print
"Altogether delightful." Starred review, KIRKUS
"Excellent advice in a sweet and easy-to-swallow package." KIRKUS
"A memorable first skate by an irresistible imp." Starred review, KIRKUS
"Ashman's concept is both sophisticated and delightful." KIRKUS
"Beautifully crafted and satisfying." Starred Review, BOOKLIST
"Kids will love the colorful paintings while parents will appreciate that it's chock full of facts about the Centennial State." VAIL DAILY
A "lovely reverie on the joys of being alive and being loved." Starred Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"As pithy and clever as Ogden Nash at his best." Starred Review, KIRKUS
"A splendid bedtime fantasy." KIRKUS
Other Titles
"Ashman's poetic portraits are packed with lots of tasty assonance and alliteration." Starred Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Quirky, sarcastic, and rather educational, too." BOOKLIST
"A 10 on the "aw"-inspiring scale." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"A family outing gone hilariously awry." BOOKLIST
"A rip-roaring, exciting excursion." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
An "enchanting ride." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"The clever, rhyming text bounces along with perfect cadence." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"A riotous adventure." HORN BOOK MAGAZINE
"Vibrant, playful text . . . excellent for storytimes." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"A hilarious look at the world through the sharp eyes and nose of a dog." SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE
"This one's a keeper." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Youngsters will find nothing but comfort in these pages." KIRKUS
"Ashman captures the non-stop action in rollicking rhyme." KIRKUS
A "captivating collaboration." Starred Review, KIRKUS
"A lighthearted look at bad behavior." KIRKUS
Wagmore is "a charming, gentle hero." KIRKUS REVIEWS