Writing Picture Books

Got a picture book idea?
Bring it to life!

This course is ideal for: Anyone who wants to create magic and wonder for the youngest readers

If this course were a song:
"Hot Potato" by The Wiggles

7 November 2016
Any time during the week
(about 10 hours total)
3 November 2016
Five Thursday
(10 hours total)
19 November 2016
Two consecutive days
(10 hours total)
19 November 2016
Two consecutive days
(10 hours total)
To be announced
Two consecutive days
(10 hours total)

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.

The course was full of practical tips. Everyone was at the same stage, so you didn't feel like you had to be full of ideas and a prolific writer already.

- Jen Pfitzner

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The format of different types of children’s picture books.
  • How to work with illustrations.
  • Creating characters children will enjoy
  • How you should use language and rhythm.
  • Finding the right topic, tone and themes.
  • What you need to know about point of view, structure and pace.
  • How to find the right voice for your book.
  • The industry: market, gatekeepers, legal and financial considerations.
  • What you must include in your picture book manuscript
  • 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.

My advice to anyone thinking about doing the course is: don't hesitate to enrol. If you want to write children's books, this is definitely one to do.

- Heidi Mulligan

Enjoy 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!


We’ll bring the world-class course content, industry-savvy presenters and a diverse community of like-minded people.
You just bring yourself.