Being a teacher librarian in a P-12 school, I spend a lot of my time choosing and reading picture books. I wanted to get a sense of how to write one to see what it was that made them so special. Once I started and realised how challenging it is to write a picture book, I discovered a new appreciation for the wonderful picture book authors we have in Australia.
Suzanne was very helpful with her feedback. I found it beneficial to listen to all of the feedback to help with my own writing.
The way that the course is delivered is excellent. Not too taxing on time which suits me at this time of my life. I also enjoyed the information about publishers and the complexities of how to submit work. I thought that the course was great for the price with very valuable information shared.
I think I will start to gather stories in a journal to see where they end up. I've had a lot of ideas over the past years but haven't committed to writing them down. It's given me permission to start!
I have always loved reading and writing, and always imagined I would be a writer one day... however, I found life kept pulling me in other directions. With one toddler already, and another baby on the way, I realised it's never going to happen if I don't prioritise time to write. I read a lot of picture books with my toddler and I would love to write books that she can enjoy, but I knew there would be more to this genre than meets the eye. I decided to take this course to learn the ins and outs of creating a picture book.
The tutor was really great - I found the feedback provided for our whole cohort to be very useful. There were things picked up from the work of other participants that I have tucked away for future reference as they may well have popped up in my work down the track.
This course is pure gold with no fluffy stuff. It gets right to the point and shares exactly what one needs to know about how to write this genre. I started out doing a Master's degree in Writing (part-time around work and life) and completed 4 subjects. One year of study. I got more out of this 5-week course.
It has given me the confidence to give this a real go. And also a blueprint of how to go about it.
I liked the way information was given - there was no 'dumbing down' and it was realistic and usable information. It treated us as intelligent people capable of learning to write.
Cathie clearly has a lot of knowledge and was very encouraging. She tried hard to tailor her feedback to each individual which was beneficial for us all. She gently hinted us in the right direction.
I have greater understanding of the recipe for a picture book, and I feel I have a more realistic understanding of what to expect when writing a good picture book. It has helped me find a framework I can fit my creativity into, and encourages me to refine my practice.
The course was easy to access, with valuable content and practical skills you can apply.
Thank you to Cathie for her insights. I have really enjoyed engaging in this course and will continue to refer to the content as a new author!
Cathie's feedback was invaluable, clear and constructive and provided concrete suggestions to try.
It was a complete eye-opener into the world of picture books. 'Deceptively simple' - it was a challenge.
I feel it has helped my writing by learning how to refine my use of words, use sparkling language using the 'show don't tell' way of writing and becoming aware of the use of other senses apart from sight.
The courses I have done have been comprehensive, informative and given me the opportunity to read other participants' writing and connect online. The feedback from tutors has been invaluable.
Thank you for another great course.
I learnt a lot from the course, broadening my ideas of picture book writing and its complexities - beyond my naive ideas of its simplicity and realising its depth was greater than I first thought.
It's made me put into words my story, work on the ideas creatively, and rethink my original piece to my final piece, knowing there is more work to be done.
I was concerned it would be another writing course that I would do and put away, not to be looked at again. However, this has been an incredible experience which has given me confidence in my writing with the techniques to help me finish and polish my stories, rather than having them sit on my computer not knowing what to do with them next.
It was a wonderful opportunity to have Cathie Tasker as a tutor - to have her background and knowledge giving me feedback and helping me with my story ideas (some 10+ years old) was a very valuable experience.
AWC wants you to succeed in your writing and gives you so much information to help you.
After hearing Nat Amoore speak so highly of Cathie Tasker and reading about her illustrious career, I really wanted to do this course and be guided by her. I knew that Cathie's wealth of knowledge would help me grow and improve as a writer. I also found Cathie's feedback for myself and my classmates to be really helpful and I greatly appreciated her words of encouragement as well.
First of all, I absolutely loved that I could fit the course in around other commitments. I also enjoyed the challenge of submitting an assignment each week and getting Cathie's valuable feedback. Another aspect I was grateful for was to be able to go through this experience with a number of classmates. Being able to read each other's assignments and also each other's feedback from Cathie was a great way to learn even more.
I have learnt so much about writing children's picture books. I knew that there would be a lot to learn but never could have imagined just how complex it could actually be. Now that I have completed this course, I feel that I can create stories that have potential to be published. I don't think this would have been possible otherwise.
For me, the 'aha' moment was when I starting looking at my daughter's picture books after having learnt so much during this course. I feel like I'm seeing these much-loved stories in a whole new way with new-found appreciation.
I'd just like to say a very big Thank You to the team at the Australian Writers' Centre and especially to my lovely tutor Cathie Tasker. I thoroughly enjoyed the Writing Picture Books course and I look forward to putting what I've learnt into creating wonderful stories for children. Thanks again!
I highly recommend the Australian Writers' Centre to anyone who has an interest in writing and would love to take their writing to the next level!
I really enjoyed this course. It has helped shape the way I approach writing picture books and I felt I learned enough to give me more confidence with my ideas.
Cathie was helpful and very knowledgeable. I appreciate all her feedback and have taken everything she said and worked with it.
I loved challenging myself and writing a new story each week.
Ten years ago I wrote a YA novel. And a few years ago I started to learn the craft of script writing. But I have always wanted to learn how to write picture books. We, as a family, have had a very rough recent few years and I completely lost myself. I had thought I would probably never pick up writing again. So it took a lot of courage for me to sign up to this course but I knew that I had to do this to make that one positive change in my life. And without sounding ridiculous, I have truly found my 'happy' again. There is nothing I love more than writing and this course has given me a new and wonderful focus.
Do it. If you really love writing and you say this is what you want to do, then do it properly and learn from someone who can actually guide you.
I would like to say thank you. This has been a wonderful experience for me.
I'd been thinking about doing this course for some time. A friend had done it and raved about it. Then a particular story idea came up and I thought it was a good time to get on with the course.
My eyes have been opened to the many and varied contributing factors that make great picture books such a multi-layered and deceptively simple art form. The course is incredibly thorough and I know I will return to the audio modules again over this coming year as I continue to develop the stories I have begun. So the course is great value for money too!
Suzanne provides excellent feedback. She has real passion for children's picture books, a wealth of knowledge and excellent attention to detail.
I learnt SO much. I now realize just how basic my understanding of picture books was. Writing a children's picture book is no small task. It requires a ton of patience, determination and time. 'Time is your friend' is a line that will stay with me... If I want to do it properly I need to learn to take my time. - Big lesson for me!
Whatever you want to write about, Australian Writers' Centre will have a course for you and I guarantee it will be not only be top quality but great value.
Well done on delivering yet another fabulous course!
Suzanne's approach was gentle but direct, which I found to be extremely helpful. As a beginner writer it can be daunting exposing your work to scrutiny but Suzanne was great in providing creative criticism and insightful suggestions.
Every module had something new and built on previous lessons. I most enjoyed seeing how, by implementing those lessons, my writing/story improved and developed.
This is the first writing course I have enrolled in. It has given me an intro into the industry but mostly I feel like with work and persistence I may have something I can build on.
Go for it! The course content for a beginner is comprehensive, easy to understand and follow. The feedback from the tutor (Suzanne in my case) is constructive and detailed. It's a great launching pad into understanding the world of children's picture book writing.
I really enjoyed the course and looking forward to developing my writing.
I have been working on a story that I have tried to get published and wanted to hone the story to hopefully have more success with publication.
I found the feedback from Suzanne valuable and feel that I know what to work on to make my stories suitable for publication. I have learned a lot in this course and know what to work on in the future.
I would recommend this course to anyone who is starting out writing children's books. It provides excellent grounding in the essentials.
I am now 54 and have not undertaken any creative writing since leaving secondary school. I have, however, spent a bit of time contemplating children's story ideas as I move through life. I don't know why but one morning I decided to seek out a course and I was fortunate to have found this one. I didn't really know how much I didn't know about children's books.
I love that you have access to the materials for a year as I intend to revisit the material a few more times.
I liked that the feedback was constructive and truthful (at least I hope that's the case). All the feedback I found encouraging and emphasized the importance of reviewing your work and reworking it.
I now feel that I have the skills to rework my original ideas and transform them into something more powerful and polished.
I have always thought about writing a children's book but just didn't know the exact process. I have been looking at this course for over a year now and very keen to complete it. So finally found the extra time and thought why not? :)
I really enjoyed the way the course was structured. I thought it took me through the process step by step instead of lots of information all at once.
I thought the tutor was fantastic! Really responsive and appreciated all of her constructive feedback! Feedback was always delivered as a learning opportunity.
I enjoyed how it motivated me each week to keep developing my ideas.
Thank you for a great course! Extremely worthwhile if you have been toying with the idea of writing!
I loved the course and the flexibility. The expansion of creativity it allowed, learning and growth each week in a supporting environment.
I'm publishing my first book, out next year!!!! So HAPPY! Based on an idea that emerged within the course.
Honestly it was all great and allowed my creative flow to flourish and remain curious.
I thought the amount of information given was very generous. Cathie gave great additional information each week, depending on what she was seeing in our work, and was very direct but encouraging.
I love the fact that I now have great printed notes but I can also go back and listen to the audio. I think that there is so much to take in, that you don't get it all after listening just once. It's great that it is available for us to return to.
I feel like I have a structure to work within and I have boundaries about where I can and can't go. It makes my story writing harder and easier somehow. I also feel very inspired to write more and to keep records of what I write. Until now, I've never formally kept records.
I love the fact that you offer such a variety of courses.
Having been a primary school teacher for many years, I have developed story ideas and hoped I could explore turning them into books!
Cathie was brilliant. She gave great feedback. She was able to point out the strengths and weak areas in my writing.
I enjoyed being given the chance to take a risk and write! It has given me a new dream!
I am an artist with writing ideas and I enjoyed being tasked to create new ideas and write 4 stories with a clear guide. I was pleasantly surprised there were extra lessons for illustrators. Communication very personable and you feel supported by staff and other students.
Responses from tutor were quick. Critiques were gentle but poignant. Also commented on good points which help to keep me motivated.
Enjoyable, well structured, challenging, supportive great. Just a big thank you.
I wanted to acquire more structured understanding and writing skills of this deceptively 'simple' category of children's books.
The course as a whole is very well structured, all modules instructive and enjoyable, offering a wealth of specific information on picture book writing. Being a librarian, I thought I knew something about picture books, but this course proved me wrong. Definitely an eye-opener!
A BIG thanks to Cathie! And I also appreciate the ability to access the course for a full year!
I will keep trying to improve my writing.
Writing my own stories was the best part of the course for me. Once l got going, the feeling of terror at the thought of producing something of my own was replaced with a beautiful sense of excitement and anticipation. I also liked reading stories others in the course wrote as well as learning from the feedback Cathie gave to all of us. Her feedback was very thoughtful and provided in a friendly, respectful fashion.
My feelings about the writing process and producing my own stories really affected me. It felt comfortable and uncomfortable, exciting and infuriating, nerve wracking and rewarding. Most of all, it felt really right. I was also surprised that l could produce something that Cathie said, 'Might have legs'. Lastly, when l now read stories to my classes, l seem to be reading them differently, more analytically and more in tune as to why authors make certain choices in their writing, how their story is structured and so on.
I love writing poetry and have written many poems for celebratory milestones for family and friends. Recently becoming a grandparent has kindled an interest for me in writing picture book stories and I explored courses available to progress this interest.
The tutor was very engaging. The learning was interesting and helpful. Suzanne provided constructive criticism in such a kind manner.
It was busy fitting the course around full time work and outside work responsibilities. I found the time because it was important and now it's over, I miss it.
It has given me confidence to further develop my writing approach and how to navigate the publishing world.