Our Brisbane classroom was buzzing earlier this month, with children’s author Zanni Louise leading the weekend Writing Picture Books course.
“The course went really well,” Zanni told us. “There was a very warm, positive energy, and heaps of great story ideas.”
A typical Writing Picture Books classroom course will have around 8 to 10 students, so there’s plenty of opportunity to work through the lessons, workshop ideas, and create new friends.
“People always sit back the first day, taking in all the information,” Zanni says. “I get them doing some exercises, and interactive discussions, to warm them up. But the second day, the group members have become friends, and share their stories with lots of enthusiasm.”
Our Brisbane courses take place at beautiful Bright HQ right on the riverside at Teneriffe. It’s easily accessible by car, CityCat, River Ferry and buses and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby. The classroom is a comfortable and creative space, a perfect spot for our picture book writing course.
“I love our Writing Picture Books course,” says Rah Gardiner, Course Coordinator at the Australian Writers’ Centre. “During the weekend, our students have incredible access to top Australian picture book creators. Zanni is wonderfully generous with her knowledge and experience and students learn so much.”
Zanni is the author of many successful picture and chapter books, including Archie and the Bear and the Errol series. With the Australian Writers’ Centre, she teaches the Writing Picture Books both in Brisbane and online. She is genuinely passionate about youth literacy and is an author ambassador for Room To Read which helps to educate children. And through her courses and mentoring, Zanni is keen to help budding picture book authors achieve their goals.
The power of workshopping
Many people dream of writing picture books and creating a beautiful story with gorgeous illustrations. For a manuscript with very few words, there’s a surprising amount to learn! Our course covers language and rhythm, guidance on publishing and working with illustrators, and creating characters. But the most valuable part is the chance to workshop your manuscript.
“People gave each other great feedback,” Zanni says about the Brisbane class. “There’s a really positive atmosphere in the room, especially after workshopping everyone’s stories, and all participants were excited to sink their teeth into the afternoon’s material.”
After a classroom course, it’s not unusual for graduates to stay in touch and continue to workshop their ideas. Zanni says that this group is doing just that.
“Yes, it sounds like the group members are communicating after the course too,” she told us.
A big thanks to Zanni for leading another fabulous class and we can’t wait to see what the graduates get up to next.
Have you attended one of our Brisbane courses? Get in touch and let us know how it affected you, or share any other feedback at [email protected]. We LOVE hearing from our graduates.
In their own words
Here’s what other graduates of the Brisbane Writing Picture Books course with Zanni Louise have to say:
“All of the students were very switched on. It was great team work. We learned a lot from each other. Zanni Louise is a wonderful presenter with a lot of knowledge and flexibility. A very helpful teacher. She has a lot of experience, knowledge, wisdom, friendliness. I felt that I could ask anything. It was a pleasure to be around her. The feedback was really good with appropriate correction of my draft; and inspiring advice.” – Brigitte Gallagher
“The content was detailed and clearly worked through with lots of opportunities to ask questions. Zanni was excellent – humble (though she has a lot of experience and success in the field) approachable, knowledgeable, encouraging and sensitive in the way she gave us feedback on our work. If you’re serious about taking your writing to the next level – do it!” –Lynelle Kendall
“Zanni – a beautiful mix of knowledge, experience and truth – wrapped up in a very warm and encouraging persona. I felt I was actually on the road to writing… actually back at a new beginning, a much more informed and much more resourced beginning which I hope will save much future time and struggle. This was an achievable course that provides the tools and resources to really understand crafting at a professional level.” – Katie O’Connell
“Honestly, the AWC is the best place to start your writing career, especially if you’re like me and have zero, nada, zilch writing experience. This is the 3rd course I’ve completed through the centre and this one was definitely the best.” – Natasha D’Arcy