Fiction | Nonfiction | Master Class

1-Day Visual Narrative Master Class: Illustrating Emotion & Conflict

This class is programed in collaboration with She Designs Books.

This three-hour master class for writers, book designers, and illustrators of every level is designed to help wordsmiths develop tools to better visualize their works-in-progress. Whether working with fiction or nonfiction, it is crucial to define the moments to illustrate in a text. Where is the action in a story? Is there a moment of conflict or emotion that move the narrative? How do you tell someone else’s story while maintaining your own voice? How do text and image work as halves of a whole?

For authors, distilling your text down to a single image or series of images can give you a whole new perspective on your work, and allow you to forge paths forward in unexpected directions. Students must bring a previously written short fiction, nonfiction, or memoir piece to work on illustrating in class—these pieces should be printed out and no more than eight pages long. Excerpts are welcome. Students will leave with a renewed understanding of their artistic process and strategies for using illustration to break through creative blocks.


- Visualizing a story by combining word and image

- Elucidating what is in the text to create a visual

- Access to Catapult's list of writing opportunities and important submission deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes


- Three-hour workshop with in class exercises

- Exercises with pencil and paper, no previous art experience necessary

- Learn how to use storyboards and images to visualize a story

Ellen Weinstein

Ellen Weinstein is an illustrator/author and regular contributor to The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and many others. Ellen has won awards from American Illustration, Communication Arts, the Society of Illustrators Society of News Designers, and Art Directors Club. She illustrated the children’s book Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity published by MoMA and the Author/Illustrator of Recipes for Good Luck: The Superstitions, Rituals and Practices of Extraordinary People. She was President of ICON8 The Illustration Conference and teaches at RISD.