The National Writers Series in Northern Michigan is creating classes that will help young people cook, create a children’s book, and publish a magazine story.

Young people the world over often dream of getting published and two upcoming National Writers Series classes will get them closer to the thrill of seeing their work in print. Jillian and Craig Manning will team up to teach kids, ages 11–18, how to write a children’s book (with an adult class planned for this summer). They’ll also teach young people about writing for a magazine, from crafting the pitch to writing an actual draft.

NWS is also partnering with Great Start and 5toONE to offer an international cooking class with Deanna Cook. The price of admission is Cook’s cookbook: Cooking Class Global Feast (say that three times fast).

The one-hour cooking class will kick off other global cooking and feasting experiences sponsored by Great Start with family book happenings planned for later this winter. When parents and kids cook together, they talk to one another and build a closer relationship. Kids also get a chance to put their reading, math and science skills to work in the kitchen. Global cooking adds an additional advantage of learning about other cultures and family heritage around the world. To sign up for classes, please visit

How to Write a Children’s Picture Book

Instructors: Craig and Jillian Manning
Price: $70/person
Class Size: Max 12
Ages: 11-18 (and a class for adults will follow in the summer!)

Class times: Jan. 25 and Feb. 1, 7-8 pm, and on Feb. 8, 7-8:30 pm, broken up in 10-minute individual appointments for editorial feedback.

Crafting and Pitching a Magazine Story

Instructors: Craig and Jillian Manning
Price: $70/person
Class Size: Max 12
Ages: 11-18

Class times: February 22 and March 1, 7-8 pm, and March 8 from 7-8:30 pm

Jillian Manning is an author, editor, and marketer with over a decade of experience in the book publishing industry. Her books with Sesame Street, published under the pen name Lillian Jaine, have sold over 250,000 copies.

Craig Manning is a journalist and author. He writes for the Traverse City Ticker, Traverse City Business News, and Northern Express, and has written multiple children’s books, such as The Great Easter Race, What is Family, and Kindness Makes the World Go Round.

Global Feast for Families

Instructor: Deanna F. Cook
Event Ticket: $20; includes the book Cooking Class Global Feast
Ages: 6 to 12

Class time: January 23, 2021, 10 am

Travel around the world without leaving your kitchen! In this one-hour cooking class, kids will learn how to make delicious global dishes — Mango Lassi from Nepal, Bahn Mi Sandwiches from Vietnam, and Scottish Shortbread for dessert. The entry fee includes a copy of Cooking Class Global Feast.

Deanna F. Cook has written dozens of award-winning children’s cookbooks for kids, including Baking Class, Cooking Class, and Cooking Class Global Feast. She has been the creative development director at Family Fun and an editor at Scholastic and Disney and is currently a children’s book and cookbook acquisitions editor at Storey Publishing.