Writing Picture Books

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

You will:
Write your own picture book
Incorporate elements publishers want
Create characters who appeal to younger readers
Understand how to break into this market






Online classroom
Starts Monday 13 May 2019 , Any time during the week
5 weeks (Allow 3-4 hours per week)
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Starts Saturday 1 June 2019 , 10am-4pm
2 consecutive days
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Starts Wednesday 12 June 2019 , 6.30-8.30pm
5 Wednesday evenings
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Starts Saturday 22 June 2019 , 10am–4pm
2 consecutive days
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Starts Saturday 1 June 2019 , 10am-4pm
2 consecutive days
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Starts Saturday 9 November 2019 , 10am–4pm
2 consecutive days
Book Now

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. And we'll show you exactly what they are.

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. (Don't worry if you don't yet have a story idea – you'll likely be inspired as you complete the course!)

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 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

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 – it appears simple, but you if you want to get published, you need to know how to put many elements together to create a successful children's picture book. In this course we plan to show you some of the secrets and techniques you need to do just that.

The course is perfect if you've always wanted to write a picture book but aren't sure of the steps you need to take to make it happen.

It 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 improve your writing and the way you create your characters. You'll also 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.
For slightly older children visit:
Chapter books (for 6 to 9 year olds)
How to Write for Children and Young Adults (for 8 to 18 year olds).

The AWC methodology

We truly believe that every person needs to tap into their own creative intuition. It’s YOUR ideas and imagination that will make your stories unique – and find your voice in your writing. However, we also know there are clear frameworks and techniques that will make you a better writer. AWC’s methodology will equip you with the right tools and skills you need, but also show you how to harness the creative process and tap into your own innate talents.

"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

Q: What's the difference between the online course and the classroom course? Which one is better?

A: Great questions! Both our “online” and “in-person classroom” courses cover the same material. So regardless of which one you choose, you’ll be receiving the same quality resources. Naturally, each of our talented presenters brings their own unique experience and flavour to the lesson material, but the core lessons feature the same quality content. It all comes down to personal preference and what fits best into your schedule.

Q: How does the online course work?

A: You’ll get access to our online classroom. You and your classmates (yes, you have classmates!) receive weekly course modules in the form of audio MP3s or videos. You can learn at your computer, in the car or even while you’re at the gym. You’ll also get handouts and resources. And if you complete your (optional) weekly assignment you’ll get personal feedback from you tutor. You can also ask your tutor any questions.

Q: Do I need to know how to draw to enrol in this picture book course?

A: No, not at all. This course is all about how to create the text or story for a picture book. The majority of picture books have a different author and illustrator. (But hey, if you can draw, that's okay too!)

Q: Do I need to already have a story idea to do this course?

A: All you need is enthusiasm and an open mind about the picture book process. If you have a story in mind, great. If not, ideas will likely come to you as you explore examples of stories that work well. That's the fun part!

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.