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Writing Picture Books

Where a picture is not actually worth 1000 words...

Want to be the next big thing for little people? Learn the essentials to creating the perfect picture prose that will delight small folk every time. More detail

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Upcoming course dates

StartsTuesday 28 October 2014

Location Sydney
Ground Floor
55 Lavender Street
Milsons Point NSW 2061

WhenTuesday EVENING classes
(once a week for five weeks)
6.30–8.30pm

Price$395

Presenter Cathie Tasker

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StartsSunday 30 November 2014

Location Melbourne
The Abbotsford Convent
1 St Heliers Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067

WhenSunday classes
(2 consecutive Sundays)
10am–4pm

Price$395

Presenter Judith Rossell

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StartsThe week beginning Monday 13 October 2014
 
Enrolments open until Wednesday 15 October
(Unless booked out prior)

Location Online
New module released each Monday.
You can complete the module any time during that week.
All you need is an internet connection.
Learn from anywhere.

When Five-week online course

Price$395

Presenter Cathie Tasker

Book Now

Course description

A magical combination of words and pictures

  • Imagine being able to capture the imagination of children.
  • Imagine their wide-eyed wonder as they read their favourite stories.
  • Imagine … writing those stories yourself.

What is it that makes popular picture books so magical? How do you really know what appeals to children? Writing a picture book that publishers want to pay you for is an art. But there are clear guidelines you can follow.

Discover exactly what you need to do next

In this course, you’ll discover what you need to do to turn your story idea into a real picture book that kids will love to read.

Say you have a beautifully-crafted story – funny and lively, sad, or with a deep insight. Is it a first draft, or is it ready to submit? How can you tell? What should you do next? Should you get your story illustrated?

One of the most common phrases used about picture book texts is “deceptively simple”. And that’s just it – the writing is deceptive. It appears simple, but requires a lot of skill to be effective. In this course we plan to show you some of the secrets and techniques you need to write a good children’s picture book.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Understanding the nature of children’s picture books.
  • Working with illustrations.
  • Language and rhythm.
  • What’s so different about the picture book?
  • Point of view, structure and pace.
  • Finding the right voice.
  • Choosing your topic.
  • The industry: market, gatekeepers, legal and financial considerations.
  • And MUCH more!

The course is also suitable for illustrators interested in working on picture books. While the focus of the course is on writing, there is a lot of information about the way authors and editors think, which will show you how to better interpret the text and improve the characterisation. Learn how to make your illustrations better – how to extend the text and make it into a completely new jewel-like work.

This course focuses on picture books for younger children. If you’d like to write for slightly older children, please go to our course Writing Books for Children and Young Adults.

Can’t make it to one of our centres? Learn online

If you have an internet connection, you’ve come to the right place! With our online courses, you get the same juicy content as the classroom course PLUS backstage passes to Q&As, assignments and feedback direct from your outstanding online tutor! You could be anywhere on the planet, or you could be just round the corner. Either way, you’ll be joining thousands of online graduates from here and overseas who’ve already had an awesome time learning online. Check out our demo today.

Online or classroom course – which one is better?

Ha! It’s a trick question… they both have the same high quality – it just depends on how you learn and sometimes where you live. In fact, we’re fanatical about consistency across all our courses, so rest assured that when a class begins in Perth (or Sydney, or Melbourne), it’s going to cover the same ground as its online cousin. Now, we’re not talking robots here. Each one of our talented presenters does of course bring their own unique flavour, but the core lesson material remains the same!

Exclusive access to our AWC Graduates’ Club

Want to know where all the cool kids hang out? The Graduates’ Club of course! Now, calm down – there’s no cigars, leather armchairs or loud ticking grandfather clocks here. But it IS exclusive invitation only (on completion of a course) and it’s free!  Meet other writers online and share successes, seek help or just get something off your chest. Many students believe this ‘legacy learning’ is one of the most valuable things about our AWC community, and who are we to argue?

So if you want to receive feedback, support and a heads-up on opportunities … join the Club!

Your presenters

  • Cathie Tasker

    Cathie Tasker, Online, Sydney

    Cathie Tasker is a fiction editor with over 25 years’ experience. Her specialisations are in children’s and young... View Profile

  • Judith Rossell

    Judith Rossell, Melbourne

    Judith Rossell is a full-time writer and illustrator of children’s books. Over the past 12 years, she has... View Profile

Graduate testimonials

  • “Cathie was extremely knowledgeable. It was beneficial to get an editor’s point of view – it felt like we were given an insider’s perspective on the picture book industry. The timing of the course over five weeks was also nice. It was just the right amount of time.”

    Laura Wuellner

    “I found the ability to talk face-to-face with other like-minded people very inspirational. Cathie was great. I found her manner warm and approachable and I felt I could ask any questions.”

    Murray Henstock

    “Cathie was a very knowledgeable presenter and I liked that she was open to all sorts of questions. It was great to hear how the publishing works from someone who has been there.”

    Catherine Golding

  • “I thought Cathie was excellent. I appreciated her direct feedback and honesty. It was obvious that she had a great depth of experience and knowledge. I thought the course was interesting and Cathie’s directness and sense of humour made it fun!”

    Jodie Hamblin

    “Cathie is extremely knowledgeable on the topic of picture books, and with so much relevant industry experience, her tips and insights were invaluable. The workshop aspect of the course and meeting other writers was terrific. Cathie was awesome. She was direct, honest, informative, funny – perfect!”

    Natalie Keen

    “Cathie offered great advice and tips, along with all kinds of valuable information regarding writing a picture book for children.”

    Brittney Kellett

  • “I completed a five week online course with the Australian Writers’ Centre and thoroughly enjoyed it. I found the course to be well-structured, motivational and most importantly useful. The presenter, Cathie Tasker, offered valuable guidance along the journey and it was lovely to have the company of other students.”

    Carmela