I enjoyed listening to the lessons and following along with the handouts. The content taught was very thorough and gave me a good understanding into the Picture Book world.
The tutor was knowledgeable and gave practical feedback.
It has given me a practical insight into the picture book world. I have always wondered about how to get a story published, and I feel like the course provides a very clear path to get there. Just have to write a good story now!
There was a lot of information to take in over a relatively short timeframe but all of it is very useful and great that we continue to have access to it for 12 months.
The tutor was positive and supportive and gave constructive feedback.
It has given me confidence but also it has helped all of my writing, including the writing I do in the business world. To learn how to be economical but highly effective with words has been very useful.
A well-structured, practical course with constructive feedback that also helps you to understand the industry and how to approach it.
Entering the world of picture books is like entering the TARDIS for the first time. The course opened my eyes but has given me the tools and knowledge to work through the maze.
Zanni is great. Her comments were relevant, useful and encouraging. I gained a lot from listening to her feedback on everyone's work, including my own.
I enjoyed the challenge of writing simple text to create big ideas.
I feel ready to join the world of children's book writers. Now I just have to find a publisher who agrees with me. Thank you to Zanni and AWC.
I have had so many ideas, have written in the past and am looking for a new career that I decided it was time to try.
Thankyou Zanni - your feedback was invaluable, very relatable to me. It was of a high quality while also showing me what to do.
I have written my first children's picture book but it has also shown me and given me a taste for other types of writing.
I'm interested in writing a children's picture book. Started researching how to do this and get published online. It all became very overwhelming. Found this course and thought, "what a great way to get introduced to the world of picture books."
I found the content extremely valuable. I really enjoyed learning about the world of pictures books and its complexities. I loved listening to the lessons. There was so much good stuff to take in.
Do it! It's a fun learning environment. Thanks Zanni :)
Having a dedicated tutor that was able to provide real-time feedback and weekly assignments were both really valuable aspects of the course.
Zanni was highly professional, available as needed, and her feedback was very helpful! I would definitely consider scouting her out for ongoing personal mentorship in the future!
I enjoyed reading the ideas and stories of other participants and being able to build upon new skills introduced each week.
Picture book writing is so much more than a good idea and cute characters. There is a whole structured process to picture book writing than I originally thought! It's quite a carefully thought out process with many components and ingredients!
Do it! You will definitely learn something new, or at the very least, you'll have a lot of fun and get to exercise the creative side of your brain!
Zanni is so knowledgeable and diplomatic. It was a delight to be told where my work could improve, knowing feedback was informed by her expertise. I suspect she could give improvement notes on marauding technique to a red-faced marauder mid-rampage and they'd take off their helmet and set down their axe to listen.
Like taking an intensive picture book alchemistry class - in the space of five weeks I've been able to transmute base non-fiction materials into potential golden picture book content.
Spending time and money on the course to learn valuable writing craft lessons now will save you multiples of both to learn them later, if you're open to listening.
Writing picture books is something that I have always dreamed of doing - since I was just six years old. I finally decided to take the plunge!
The course was amazing. The audio lessons are fantastic, easy to access and it's great that they are broken down into small chunks so you can re-listen to anything with ease.
Zanni was wonderful. She gave great, constructive feedback, in a really warm and engaged way.
The course has given me the tools to finally follow a life-long dream. It's opened my eyes to a whole new world, of writing, and picture books, and I am feeling so inspired.
Do it! Just follow your dream, and your heart. You won't regret it.
I was very happy with the quality of the feedback. I was not expecting so much detail, or every week. I also like that I could see what the other students had written and hear their feedback - I found this helped me to learn more.
I really enjoyed the fact that it was over 6 weeks, with weekly exercises and feedback. I had enrolled in a 12-month course before, but over time I slowed down and didn't complete it. By having weekly assignments it made me apply the learning straight away and get feedback so I could consolidate the learning and then build on it the following week. I also loved the weekly feedback; it felt like there were multiple opportunities to get feedback rather than just one at the end.
Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with us in such an open way. And thank you for taking the time to review my work and give me such open and honest feedback.
Wonderful courses that really have practical knowledge to help you succeed in the industry. Not just academic theory, but practical and relevant advice for entering the industry by industry experts.
Having enjoyed reading many (sooo many!) picture books to my young sons, I wanted to learn how to write my own, especially for them. The five-week course also fits well into my busy schedule.
Zanni was attentive and insightful. Her hints and tips were most appreciated (thanks Zanni!).
I'm determined to get published, and excited - not scared - about the journey ahead. Picture book writing allows you to embrace your weird, wild and wacky side!
Get started today!
Though I have written and published a picture book, I wanted to test my ideas out on others to see if I am on the right track. I have completed multiple courses with AWC and always find the content/takeaway notes extensive.
I found the feedback on everyone's story very valuable in how to self-assess my stories. I liked Suzanne's gentle way of pulling a story apart and by doing so giving us insight into what is needed and what to leave out of the text for a picture book.
I enjoyed the challenge and now know I can write a picture book each week if I put my mind to it.
Whatever stage of your writing journey the Australian Writers' Centre has a course for you.
The tutor was amazing. I particularly liked the audio feedback.
I enjoyed the hands-on writing and the expectation for us to write stories for several of our assignments.
A wonderful, practical course with a talented teacher.
Suzanne was great at giving constructive feedback. It was always clear what she was expecting of your writing.
I enjoyed the assessments and listening to the lessons in my own time.
I think now I would really like to put more time into my writing, and try to formalise it rather than it just be a hobby.
I would say it is an excellent course if you are wanting to develop your writing skills and learn more about the industry.
I'd always been interested in writing children's books, but the motivation to complete the Writing Picture Books course serendipitously appeared at the start of this year. Being a former journalist and currently a freelance copywriter, I was approached by a local school that works with children who have Autism to write a picture book on their behalf. The book will be used to help neurotypical children better understand Autism and sold for fundraising purposes.
Suzanne's feedback was well-considered, tactfully delivered and I found her to be highly knowledgeable on the course subjects. As an aside, her tone of voice was delightful to listen to, which I'm sure isn't a prerequisite to being a tutor, but appreciated all the same!
I really enjoyed the assignments! If I didn't have any other responsibilities, I'd have spent many more hours a week on each of them, just editing and playing. The requirement to 'find the best word here', and 'shorten this sentence there', etc, was so much fun! (Though I'm guessing only a fellow writer would understand this comment :-))
I'm in the process of pitching a memoir/self-help novel about pregnancy. The manuscript took me 7 years to finish (including 5 beta readers, 2 assessments, 3 medical checks, all the legal permissions, copy and line editing), and while I can't see myself writing another novel I definitely want to continue writing creatively (i.e. not just for the corporate world as with copywriting).
Now that I understand what's involved in writing a children's picture book and how much I enjoyed the process, I can see myself with a potentially ready-made 'audience' for my future picture books, given I'm planning to publish a book for a bunch of pregnant women! (I think it will be about timing the publications correctly and keeping in touch with my readers.)
It would be a dream come true for me to publish a children's picture book, and this will happen with my book about Autism, but I'd love to continue writing children's picture books for myself and hopefully get a traditional publishing deal.
My 'aha' moment was when I understood great picture books are about subtlety...I had heard the saying 'show don't tell' many times before, but this course gave me a far better understanding of the phrase than I had previously.
This is a fantastic course to do if you're interested in learning how to write a children's picture book.
I really appreciated the way the course is designed. It's clear from the content that you value people's time - there was nothing superfluous, yet there was so much detail included. I thought it might have been a bit 'general' but the insight given was impressive.
Great feedback. I learned a lot from not just my own feedback but by listening to others' too.
I enjoyed the modules themselves and the feedback. Being able to listen to them as audio files was most helpful.
I know so much more than when I began. I read a quote from a graduate saying, 'Don't submit anything before doing this course.' How right they were.
I want to write my own picture book but was not sure where to start. My only concern was that I wouldn't learn what I thought I needed to but I am really glad I enrolled. I have learned so much about writing picture books, but also the publishing process which I hadn't even considered so I am happy that I have this in my mind now too.
My online tutor provided relevant feedback and really helped me fine-tune the story I have been working on. She was honest and critical.
I enjoyed being able to finally begin writing the story I have had in my head for years now.
It was very insightful, simple to follow along and allowed good time to complete each module.
I wanted to achieve some creative development and I wanted some help with understanding what the industry was looking for.
It's a must if you are serious about writing a quality picture book. You will be inspired and the creative juices will flow.
A huge thanks!
The tutorials were great - lots of great information. I learnt so much. Accessing the tutorials was very easy and I had no hiccups with the technology.
I found Zanni knowledgeable and her feedback was thoughtful and appropriate. I appreciated that she gave verbal feedback and it was very timely.
Having this course developed and delivered by published authors gave the course great credibility and I felt like I was given an insider’s perspective of the picture book industry in Australia. I liked that I could access the course in my own time.
The second module called for us to submit a picture book and I created a new picture book one morning for this assignment. I love the book I wrote - which I would never have even conceived if not for the course. I learnt so much and I took a mountain of notes. I've started to really look critically at each written word and consider their value and impact on the text and of course concentrating on making my words sparkle! The course has also excited me about becoming an author and given me so many things to think about that I'd never previously considered - some nights I have so many ideas spinning around my head I can't sleep :)
If you are genuinely keen to pursue a writing career, seriously consider courses with the AWC. They have current, easy to understand and practical tutorials packed full of information about the nuances of writing, how to enter the industry, and everything you need to bring your writing career to life.
Thank you to the AWC and to Zanni. I really enjoyed the course and am looking forward to the next one!
I was able to come up with more story ideas in the five-week period than I have in many years. I was inspired and couldn't wait to wake up each Monday and get stuck into the next module. I learnt so much and loved listening to the audio in my own time and now have the worksheets to refer back to for life!
Make time to write and writing something is better than nothing. You never know what amazing stories you have within you.
Do it! There is so much to learn and so much fun to be had.
Zanni was extremely helpful. She gave constructive feedback that was encouraging even when it was about something that wasn't working well. It is obvious that she is experienced as it often felt like she was reading my mind by knowing what the intentions of my characters were without it being directly stated.
It's made me feel like my dream could actually become a reality.
It's a great introduction to writing and gives you a framework to begin your stories from.
First, I enjoyed learning the techniques of picture book writing, and then seeing them come alive in the books I read with my kids each day. I also enjoyed learning about the publishing process - there was so much I didn't know. Lastly, I enjoyed that by halfway through the course, I had written a complete story! I didn't expect that. And while it wasn't polished or perfect, it gave me the confidence to know that I could do it.
Learning about the publishing process was a huge eye opener. For example, I assumed I would need to know an illustrator in order to have something published. Of course, I learned that wasn't the case, and further, that it could be detrimental to a submission if the illustrations weren't what the publisher was looking for. The course also brought writing back into my life and gave me the confidence to know I can do it and I still enjoy it.
I would say, go for it! This course was well worth the investment of time and money, and I'm sure other courses from the AWC would be as well. As someone who likes structure, I appreciated that there was a framework and flow to what we were learning. On the other hand, there was enough space to be creative for someone who is more creatively inclined.
Thank you for putting on such a great and helpful course. I am excited to continue my writing journey.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and it was probably one of the best online courses I've done in a while. I found the feedback positive, informative and not too overwhelming. I was able to use the feedback and advice to rework my ideas, tweak and adjust accordingly. Couldn't have asked for more!
My ideas were initially a bit unorganised and mostly in picture form which wasn't ideal as I am not a good artist by any means. I now carry a little book with me and just jot and date ideas and expand as I go. I am thinking more in themes and overall structure also which helps me organise my thoughts.
The course helped me to develop my ideas, which up until now hadn't gone too far. Having a template in my head of how a story could translate into a final product I found useful and obviously the guidance on using the correct language, tenses etc helps it all click into place. I am now looking at other picture books and analysing them with a more focused view.
Great course! It was well structured and gave a fantastic overview on aspects of the picture book process and industry. It really gets you into the right headspace for writing and pushes you towards being able to create your own picture book manuscript.
Zanni provided amazing feedback with practical tips to improve our drafts and ideas. The video feedback was fantastic, very personable and it helped to see someone else reading out loud our words. This really highlighted clunky or awkward language and things that needed fixing.
Getting feedback on a whole picture book manuscript was very helpful, and also looking at the elevator pitch/blurb and how this may/may not appeal to a publisher/agent.
I’m much more enthused about my ideas, what to work on next, areas to improve.
Thank you for another fantastic course.
This course is the total package in terms of delivering professional insights & materials covering a vast range of topics while providing helpful, positive feedback on written exercises based on careful reading & publishing experience.
Zanni Louise was an astute & thoughtful critic of our works in progress. I enjoyed the feedback, especially the video version where Zanni read all the stories.
It taught me to hone my craft so I revealed the essence of the story and narrative drive.
Zanni was wonderful!
I enjoyed having the materials in audio so it can be listened to again.
I have a solid foundation in knowing how to structure a story and present it to a publisher.
Thank you greatly! It has been a pleasure participating in the course and the next steps are a great guide in how to continue on our own :)
You should absolutely do it, there is so much to learn.
I got fantastic insight into the world of publishing children's books and valuable advice. Completely and utterly know this is my direction now.
It is more than just writing a book. It is a career engaging with schools, children, readings, events etc. It's totally blown my mind the scope available.
A safe encouraging space with wonderful content.
I have wanted to write picture books for a long time and it seemed like a perfect taster - short (as in five weeks long) but quality content, a respected organisation and full online learning (important as I live in a rural area). I also liked the weekly deadlines and opportunity to have classmates via the course chat.
It was a fabulous course. The audio lessons were packed full of detailed information. I love that we can download them and listen again and again. I liked the mix of literary and industry learning and I learnt a lot of things I didn’t even know I would need to know!
Zanni was very prompt with her feedback and she presented it in a detailed and compassionate way, always providing positives as well as constructive ideas for change. These ideas were clear and concise and enabled many participants to change their stories, sometimes considerably, for the better. She considered so many aspects of each story and it was really amazing that she could do all that on the spot without prior reading of the stories. I liked the way we could listen to classmates’ feedback as well as that also helped my learning.
I enjoyed the audio lessons, reading other participants’ stories, the humour in the course content, the personalised feedback.
I now feel confident to pursue writing picture books as a career choice. I had a lot of ideas before but now all the tips have enabled that to be shaped and structured in a more cohesive and powerful way. I find it thrilling to put it all together now whereas before I was often consumed with self-doubt about my abilities.
It’s a really accessible course for anyone interested in writing, whether or not you have experience. Above all it was a welcoming, fun, professional learning environment with so many opportunities to improve your craft and connect with other passionate learners.
I had no idea just how rich the course information would be. I will have to go back through and read it all again!
Brilliant tutor and feedback. Feel very lucky to have had Zanni reading my work.
Listening to everyone's feedback was invaluable. Amazing opportunity and gave the course a classroom feel.
The piece that I received the best feedback on, I very nearly didn't post at all. I pushed myself way out of my comfort zone which has given me so much to think about.
Sign. Up. Now.
Zanni is helpful and the feedback honest but presented in a very positive way.
I enjoyed the challenges, the new understanding I have and the way it moved forward in an encouraging manner. It was great to read other people’s stories and learn from each other’s feedback.
The course was of great benefit as it starts from basics so everyone is at the same level and carries the participants forward to being able to write a picture book text. The feedback is given in a professional and helpful manner and, as it involves others, a wider feedback is gained from things that we may not otherwise have thought of.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but I liked that it starts with the premise that we can already write and then explores avenues with those skills.
Zanni Louise was amazing - her feedback was always positive and affirming and gently guided us towards doing better and better work. As a teacher it made me re-evaluate my own feedback to students - immediate and targeted is most definitely the most effective and making time for that is so important.
I enjoyed seeing the work of others and feeling as though I belonged in the world of writers who were all amazing and had strengths to be admired.
I think it truly does exactly what it offers and was pitched at exactly the right level for my needs.
Writing picture story books has been something that I have wanted to do for quite some time. The timing was right to pursue this now.
Zanni's weekly feedback was much appreciated and welcomed. It was honest, critical and constructive. Thank you Zanni :)
I enjoyed the opportunity to put pen to paper and to bring to life some of the ideas for stories that I have been collecting for years.
I am inspired to continue writing and to refine some of these ideas.
Amazing! I was so impressed with Zanni, and I am so glad that I did the course. She was extremely professional and knowledgeable.
Zanni's video feedback was great. Having access to all of the stories was excellent too, and hearing Zanni's feedback to all of the stories allowed me to learn so much more because I learned where they needed to improve and where they went well etc.
I feel that there is a lot there I did not know. I did not realise how much goes into writing a picture book. I learned a lot about what publishers look for etc.
I feel that the amount I have learned in these five weeks would have taken me years to learn on my own. I am going to immediately listen to all of the material again and write more stories. I am going to make the most of it while I have it, as I feel it is a really valuable resource. I am so glad that I did it.
Do it. It is money well spent. There is so much you don't know. You would be crazy not to do it.
It was great to be held accountable by handing in assignments at the end of each week.
Feedback was great. Always encouraging with gentle ways to change things, that needed to be changed in our stories. Although I had a heart attack on the first feedback via Loom and my story was read out for all. But it was really good and I see the value of all stories being read out. Heart back to normal beat :)
I enjoyed immersing myself in the world of children's picture books, as this is a totally new world to me. With travel off the cards at the moment, creative imagination is the next best thing. It was challenging and rewarding.
It has given me the confidence to keep going – something I always lack. I don't think you are ever too old to start something new. Really loved immersing myself into the world of children's picture books.
I worked on the same characters and story for the whole course. Loved seeing each week the story develop, improve and fall in love with my character Wilbur. Now, I want to see how far I can go with my little mate.
Thank you to Zanni for support, feedback provided and steering me in the right direction. :)
Having written two books and attempting to approach publishers and agents already, I now know to a greater degree what I didn't know before. I didn't have the knowledge I have now to better my chances in my manuscripts, pitch, bio etc. catching the eye, mind and heart of a publisher or agent.
The tutor was very thorough with a genuine care to help. Always finding the good and a keen eye for the areas that can be improved.
A heartfelt huge thank you for all the individual help and feedback. It has been a great wealth of knowledge and fun.
Don't wait! Don't wait for that more spare time you think you'll have later. If you want to be a successfully published children's picture book writer then go take this course. It will equip you with what you need.
I had completed the Writing Chapter Books for Young Children but felt my style might go younger. So I thought I would give it a try! I've completed a few AWC courses - this one is by far the best!
Zanni provided some valuable feedback - was very supportive in her approach.
Doing this in conjunction with feedback from Cathie Tasker on my first draft of my chapter book - I can better see how this links. Just worked!
The page layout format became really important - and the sparkling language. Gave a terrific perspective for the depth of work required for a children's picture book.
Just pick a course & do it!
I loved how practical this course was! It got right down to the nitty gritty of how to actually turn your ideas into a picture book.
I’ve had several ideas (for many years!) and I was looking for something to help me translate my ideas into reality.
The tutor was great. I loved her helpful and honest feedback.
I really feel like I have the confidence to pursue this new direction with my writing.
I really enjoyed doing this course. The feedback was very helpful. From the beginning to the end, instructions were very clear. I'm glad it laid out the amount of hours to spend on the course each week, as that made me more organised.
The tutor clearly has a lot of expertise; the feedback was really helpful.
I loved being able to learn so much by listening to the audio whilst cooking dinner or doing something else. It was really good for my wellbeing. The tasks were a perfect challenge/opportunity to put into practise the learning from the modules.
Also, it was really affirming to be finally taking the plunge to have a go at picture book writing and using my creative side which I haven't been able to do much for several years due to working full time.
It's a great time out for your own life whilst learning/working on something you care about.
This course is fantastic!
Zanni and her feedback was fantastic and insightful. As a result I have learned heaps and I’m excited to continue learning.
I enjoyed learning about all of the other aspects that go into picture book writing as well as the publishing process which I never knew before.
Thank you for offering this great course and thank you Zanni for your teachings! Definitely 100% do it - it’s great!
I’ve just retired from a career in schools where I was often telling stories. I also tell stories to my grandchildren and I enjoy writing. I just needed to know what was required and how to go about it.
I had no idea of all the components and the assignments really helped me generate more skills. The feedback was good and very useful for future writing.
It has given me the structure and all of the resources and areas to look at and how to go about getting something published.
I loved this course and it has given me my new purpose and direction.
I have wanted to do something like this for a very long time. I just didn't know how to fit it in with my already busy life. This course and structure were just perfect for me.
I was concerned about the cost as to would it be worth it. I have no regrets. I have learnt so much from the course, the tutor and my fellow classmates.
For someone who was always hesitant to share my stories with the world for fear they would not be good enough, I am now happy to begin my journey of submitting to publishers for the world to read them.
The feedback is really useful. At first I was worried that everyone would see my work and hear my feedback but it is so useful and you learn so much from it.
I really like the flexibility and audio classroom as I can listen wherever I like and as many times as I need to. I also like that the course talks to you as if you are a writer already, making you feel the dream is possible.
If writing is something you are interested in pursuing, this is definitely the place to begin that journey.
Zanni's feedback was warm but critical. It was not condescending and did not come across like Zanni was a 'know-it-all'. Her feedback was very insightful and you can tell she has broad knowledge in how to write picture books
I feel I have a better technique for the structure of my picture books and making them more focused on the theme and main emotion.
AWC writing courses, and particularly this one, have a very strong reputation. I was missing something in my picture book education, and I turned here because I knew the course was written and delivered by Australian professionals who knew their stuff. It did not disappoint!
The price is higher than some other courses, and it kept me away for a while, but I knew it would be worth the cost and it was. The feedback we got from Zanni was amazing and made the price 100% worth it.
I have been writing picture books for a number of years, have taken a zillion courses and even won a couple of competitions. But this course was still for me!!! I learnt so much!
Zanni is professional and caring. She gives her honest opinion but she has critiquing mastered because she does it gently and with care. The video format for feedback was amazing. Best way to receive feedback on writing!
It really is the combination of everything coming together. The audio is bite sized and entertaining (thank you Val!). The handouts are comprehensive and easy to follow. The assignments are challenging but achievable. And the weekly feedback is unique and so, so helpful. It helps take you from doing okay, to really understanding where you need to focus your attention.
I was missing something before, or maybe it was that I had all the information but it hadn't sunk in the way it should have. This course changed it all. Picture books are still challenging (and so they should be), but I feel like I have a rock solid foundation and clear roadmap to tackling every picture book draft. I've never felt this prepared before.
It was a brilliant course and I loved every second of it! Huge thank you to Zanni for her generous and detailed feedback. It pushed us all to new heights, which is exactly what you want in a critique.
Want to know how to write better? This is the place you need to go. They know their stuff, and they'll tell you EVERYTHING!
I have been wanting to learn how to write better picture books. The Australian Writer's Centre felt professional to me so I decided to give it a go.
I was mainly wondering if the content was going to be as helpful as I hoped - and it was. It has been wonderful to have not only the actual learning in the form of handouts and audio, but the feedback in real time was incredibly supportive and helpful.
I have really appreciated Zanni's feedback. Her non-judgement has been very supportive. There has been no comparing to another's work either - again very supportive and encouraging.
It has been so inspiring and motivating to have the weekly assignments which kept me going. Life gets very busy some times and there were weeks that I thought 'perhaps it doesn't matter if I don't submit it on time’ (knowing it wouldn't be marked), but I pushed through because the feedback has been invaluable to receive.
I now understand much more about rhythm and so much more. I feel even more inspired to keep writing.
I would say that The Australian Writer's Centre present professional, comprehensive and applicable courses. You will learn a lot, from the actual lessons as well as through the sharings of other students and they will inspire you to keep going with your writing.
Simply thank you.
I regularly listen to the AWC podcast with Val & Al and was inspired to do this course after listening to some feedback from a number of people who had completed the course and had gone on to publish their work.
Zanni was extremely professional and able to get straight to the heart of issues/problems with texts submitted by students, both my own and others. I was constantly aghast at how she so diplomatically found the words to convey her criticisms; and not once did I disagree with anything that she had to say.
I loved the depth of content and the concise, clear delivery. There is a wealth of information in this course and I will be going over it and over it again as I continue to practise my writing.
I now feel legitimately equipped to just 'get on with it.' I have always wanted to write and be published but the fear of failure has been quite a barrier. This course, because it is so comprehensive and the delivery so professional, has provided me with both the tools and the confidence to keep working at it.
I've listened to the podcast and loved it and heard the testimonials for this course. Also I liked how short it was (although once it started I didn't want it to end).
I was worried I would not have time to complete the assignments but it was very manageable.
I got so much out of this course. LOVE! I feel so excited to keep writing. All of the practical tools and knowledge this course gives was exactly what I was hoping for.
I love the tutor. OBBSESSED! Is that too creepy? I thought she gave such great constructive feedback and really broke everything down clearly. She was a wealth of knowledge and definitely the highlight of this course for me.
The practicality and straight to the point approach. It didn't waffle on and it wasn't airy fairy. I loved that it focussed on trying to get as much information about the picture book process into the 5 weeks as possible.
It's given me the writing bug and now I'm obsessed; I just want to keep writing.
Amazing loved it!! 10/10
It was fabulous, and exactly what I needed to learn. Spot on! I felt I had my money's worth by the end of week two :)
Zanni was really great. Her feedback was thorough and insightful. I found her personality warm and friendly, and felt she genuinely cared about helping us with improving our work. She encouraged me tremendously.
The length of this intensive 5-week course was perfect. Long enough to cover a lot of ground, but short enough for me to be able to put other areas of my life temporarily on hold, and really throw myself into it. I worked from 5am-7am each morning on the modules, and completed the assignments each weekend. Sometimes spending 12hrs on Sundays for the longer ones (but loving the process).
Having a weekly assignment deadline was fabulous...they really helped me stay on track, and put the course first in my priorities! Then eagerly waiting to hear Zanni's reviews which were always informative, motivating and spot on.
Firstly it has given me a huge confidence boost. I've written stories on and off for many years, but have not done anything about them as I knew I had much to learn. What I was taught in the course has changed the way I approach my writing, and filled in the gaps I knew were there (without knowing what they were). This new knowledge has turned a key for me, and unlocked a flood of writing!
Secondly, I'm now mentally ready to pursue writing in a serious way. I plan to keep learning and improving with the goal of one day being published as an author. Eventually writing the books I illustrate.
Thank you to Zanni Louise, Valerie Khoo and Cathie Tasker for presenting this excellent course. I intend to follow up with the Writing Picture Books Masterclass and Writing Chapter Books.
I wanted a kick start to write that picture book I'd always been wanting to write.
Zanni was wonderful and very thoughtful in her feedback. She knew exactly what she was talking about and provided actionable steps to improve the manuscript.
I now have two picture book manuscripts that I'm proud of. One is more polished than the other but I feel I'm ready for next steps and learning more.
I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of information and its detail in the course. The feedback on assignments was excellent in the care taken to consider different aspects of the writing
The tutor was generous with her time and encouragement, well prepared, attention to detail, feedback unfailingly delivered in a constructive and positive way.
I enjoyed the opportunity for self-paced learning and appreciated the care that had gone into the lessons and resources. It also forced me to write several stories for children which otherwise I might not have done.
It has made me think again about the start of my novel. I will shorten the lead-in and get into the action sooner than before. There was something about the first chapters that was niggling at me and this course clarified what the problem was. Also writing the elevator pitch for the last assignment led to me revising the elevator pitch for my novel and clarified for me what the novel was really about. I also revised the synopsis giving it a new emphasis.
I loved the amount of detail we covered, and Zanni's constructive and honest feedback. The way she explained different methods was inspiring and you could tell she is very knowledgeable!
It has inspired me to keep writing. Zanni's encouragement gave me the boost I needed to submit a manuscript to a publisher. Wish me luck! ;)
Zanni was knowledgeable, down-to-earth and kind. I thought she did a fantastic job and hearing the feedback was very useful though I was hesitant (just because of time constraints) at first.
I enjoyed the lectures and especially the course notes. It's a great to go away with clear, precise information that I can refer back to as I revise other manuscripts.
There were several concepts which I thought I understood (e.g. show don't tell, pacing, structure) but I clearly hadn't grasped them completely or wasn't applying them successfully. This course provided clear, straightforward instruction and practical advice. It has made a huge difference to my writing—thank you!
Great experience —well worth the money! Some of the concepts and advice will be familiar but the way the information is presented makes all the difference.
I love picture books and reading them to kids! Also wanting to write children's picture books but not really having any idea of where to start, apart from the ideas in my mind.
I realise that I knew very little about the constraints of writing picture books and this course has enlightened me.
I found Zanni's feedback to be constructive and delivered in a very positive way. The video feedback sessions were especially helpful.
It has motivated me to actually start working at writing rather than just thinking and talking about it.
Thanks to AWC and to Zanni. I look forward to many more courses with you.
I'm an illustrator who wants to explore writing children's picture books, and was recommended your course by a librarian.
Our online tutor gave us helpful feedback and explained well where our stories could be improved in a constructive manner.
I enjoyed the results, and having my own stories that I can now work on further.
This course has further shown me the enjoyment that comes with the creativity in storytelling, and has opened my eyes to the possibility of this as a career.
This course helps you dip your toe into writing stories for children, how to learn to edit your own work and how to make a career from it.
I am a Primary School teacher and have an avid interest in picture books. I would like to explore the possibility of writing picture books for children and use my teaching background to write books to help improve children's literacy and build a positive reading culture for young people. I thought that doing this course would help me in this endeavour, and it has.
Zanni was really positive and helped me move forward in my writing. I always value feedback and a critical eye as I feel it is the best way forward (in writing and life). I valued Zanni's feedback as she helped me discover aspects of my writing that are working well and where I need to exert myself more.
I really savoured the content in each module and absorbing the info about children's books. The course also 'forced' (in a good way) me to write more. I love a deadline so having a weekly assignment really helped.
This course really opened me up to the other side of picture books (I have the teacher perspective) but the author and publisher perspective was eye-opening for me. I didn't realise just how much goes into writing children's books.
If you want to build your skills and build your writing toolbox I strongly recommend you do a course through AWC – it will inspire you and assist you in your writing journey, whatever that is.
Thanks for a great course. I have completed a few courses through AWC and while I haven't had anything published yet, I do so love the course content and learning skills and connecting with likeminded people. It also influences what I read from time to time so the courses keep me interested and stimulated.
I had seen good reviews online for this course and the description sounded like what I had been looking for. Initially, I was unsure because of the cost but after some thought I felt it was a good investment to learn the skills I need to pursue my interest in writing picture books
I really appreciated the prompt feedback and the video format was helpful. It was also helpful to be able to hear Zanni's feedback for others in the course.
I enjoyed reading people's stories - it was lovely to see the different creative ideas people came up with and this provides inspiration to see the world in different ways for future stories.
It taught me the skills needed to develop picture books and the knowledge of what is required and involved in getting published.
The course is a great place to start if you have an interest in writing picture books but limited knowledge about how to structure and format them and how the publishing process works.
I enjoyed this course and the feedback. I think it’s the right length too, and the requirement to complete an assignment each week works very well for me and to maintain a discipline of 'doing'.
It was very informative and covered everything from the structure of books to the potential earnings and practicalities of getting published. I also found the links to societies of writers super helpful.
I wrote two stories! Amazing indeed.
There is a lot of information packed into a short and punchy schedule. Easily understood and well structured. I'll be signing up for another course soon!
I have wild ideas every day. The course has provided a great outlet and enabled me to put those ideas into a format. Really appreciate it. Thank you! The course provided an opportunity to put ideas into motion.
The tutor was excellent. The honesty was very much appreciated. I had one dud week, and I knew it. Always constructive. When praise was in order, Zanni provided it. Very appreciative. Honesty is the key here. So thank you.
I enjoyed exploring ideas and getting them out of my head. Having a great laugh along the way!!
The course was awesome - get onto it! The more the merrier. You will be supported and really get to the grit of learning.
Creative writing is a passion of mine and I've always been interested in learning to write for young children. The course overview seemed very comprehensive and exactly what I was interested in learning. I work in environmental education and one of my 2021 projects is to develop two digital picture story books about conservation issues in Victoria. This course seemed like a fabulous starting point to learn more about the structure of picture story books and to practice writing :)
Zanni is very approachable and provides such thoughtful and constructive feedback. She made me feel very comfortable presenting assignments, having a go and trying again. It was a good experience being able to listen to an expert in the field :)
I enjoyed seeing how different everyone's writing style/topics were and being able to learn from each other in the feedback sessions. I also thought it was pretty cool that you could see a massive difference in your writing when you compared week 1 to week 5 assignment responses!
It really opened up my eyes to all the different ways you can write for children! Participating in this course has given me the confidence to continue writing and possibly even pursue writing for children in the future. It's also been great to feel a part of a community of writers :)
Australian Writers' Centre is a wonderfully supportive community that not only improved my understanding of writing for children, but made me feel comfortable to practice and present my work for feedback. My course provided me with real life examples, great advice/knowledge and a new network of like-minded people :)
Thank you Zanni for all your advice, tips and tricks for writing engaging stories. You're such an approachable tutor and your feedback was so thoughtful. Thank you for making the course so much fun :)
I love and write Picture Books and have for several years. I have seen this course offered many times, but 2020 finally made me bite the bullet and spend the money needed to do the course.
Zanni was lovely. She was gentle, upbeat and positive, but was still able to highlight areas in our manuscripts and pitches which needed attention, making suggestions as to how to improve these, where appropriate. We learned from each other’s work.
I loved seeing and hearing what other writers were writing and having our work used to illustrate improvements we could all make. I found the online format extremely beneficial as I did not have to retain copious amounts of information. I could return repeatedly to sift for more PB writing gold and take as many notes as I liked because I could stop and start the audio and video as often as I needed, without having to use half my mind to hear what was coming next, so as not to miss anything important.
It was sooo detailed and well set out; easy to follow, too.
As a Mum to three young children, I’ve barely got a spare second left in my day so I was looking for an online course that wasn’t too pressing timewise. One assignment a week was achievable on top of my other commitments.
I was nervous about sharing my work in an online forum, but did not find it daunting once the course kicked off.
I loved Zanni’s video feedback. She was very supportive and gave constructive advice.
I enjoyed building the confidence and knowledge in an area I’d been wanting to explore for a long time ... and writing first drafts for two children’s picture books in the process!
I feel confident now to give writing picture books a red hot go. I’ve already enrolled in your Masterclass!
Give it a go. It’s great fun!
I have been interested in writing picture books for a couple of years but didn't know how to get started. I was initially concerned about putting our stories up for everyone to see but reading everyone's stories and listening to the feedback on each was one of the most valuable parts of the course.
Zanni was amazing. Her feedback helped point us in the right direction. It was such an important part of the course. I valued her feedback very much.
The most valuable thing about the course was that it made me write or update a story every week. It got me started.
I enjoyed the whole thing but looked forward to the feedback as I learnt so much from the feedback on everyone's stories.
I loved this course. You need to do a course like this before you start writing your book.
Being a father, I read stories to my children when they were young. When we were away from home without any storybooks I would 'make up' stories to amuse them. Now that I am retired, I have spare time and decided to attempt to write stories for young children and maybe get some published.
I enjoyed reading all the excellent material provided. The discipline and commitment required to complete and lodge the assignment on time.
It has inspired me to become creative and write more stories for children’s picture books and when I am satisfied with my stories and have checked them against the criteria advised in the course then submit my manuscripts to publishers.
The Australian Writers' Centre courses are very well structured, the procedures are easy to follow, the handouts and instructions are excellent. For any budding writer, the Australian Writers' Centre will show the right way to write professionally or just for pleasure.
I am glad that I enrolled in the course which has given me the confidence to pursue success in writing children’s picture books.
I found Zanni to be very knowledgeable, honest, and diplomatic with her constructive criticisms. So grateful that she was our tutor! The feedback videos were a great way to receive hints, tips, and direction in a clear and concise context. I wasn’t sure about posting assessments for everyone to see, but it was actually a great way to share ideas.
Great resources, easy to follow instructions and content. Great tutor and an overall rewarding experience. Thank you for the guidance and confidence boost I needed to move forward with my creative process of writing!!
I AM GOING TO WRITE A BOOK!
This was my first online course. I was worried at the start I would struggle with the assignments. But everything was explained well.
This was a great starter course. I enjoyed listening to Zanni read out all our stories each week, and hearing how well they had developed over the five weeks.
It has given me the confidence to continue my dream of one day publishing my own children's picture book.
I was just really pleased how enjoyable the overall experience was. I'm keen to start the Masterclass course now that I've had such a great start.
Don't wait! Do it now! Or to quote Molly Meldrum 'Do yourself a favour!'
Thank you so much. I was looking for a new direction and I think I found it! I was worried I would not be able to write, but I found ideas flowed easily.
The tutor was lovely. The feedback was detailed and helpful. I feel much more confident in my abilities and I think I found my new passion!
Just take the leap, you will not regret it! Thanks Zanni!
Zanni is a friendly, knowledgeable and generous tutor. Her feedback method was great. I enjoyed reading everyone's stories along with her and hearing the feedback. She was always positive, honest and respectful.
I enjoyed having a commitment to writing and editing. It was very satisfying, especially honing the work from one week to the next.
It has helped me realise that I can commit to writing something creative from start to finish. Also, that a small daily commitment can bring about big results. That perseverance has payoffs.
I had heard really great things about this course from a number of published authors in podcasts, interviews etc. They mentioned that this was their 'go to' course to learn about all things picture books.
Zanni provided amazing considered and helpful feedback. She's clearly very dedicated and passionate about picture books and is willing to pass on her knowledge in a very helpful way. I really enjoyed listening to Zanni and hearing her feedback about the participants' stories.
The course is exceptional and so is Zanni as an instructor. It was very helpful to learn about the technical aspects of picture book writing, particularly about the structure and pagination.
I always thought it was hard to understand the concept of 'show don't tell' but having completed this course I really have a much better grasp of this!
Don't bother writing a picture book until you have completed this course.
I have been toying with writing a picture book for a few years and decided I would do it now whilst on maternity leave.
I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who is interested in writing picture books. I absolutely loved Zanni Louise. She was thoughtful, kind, and always had very constructive advice. Her feedback was always delivered beautifully so that you could grow and improve.
I love that each week there were assignments as this really helped to apply the techniques. Having Zanni then provide feedback was absolutely powerful. It's this part I missed the most when it was all over!!
Since finishing the course, all I want to do is write, write and write! I have been obsessed!
You must take this course. It will change your life!
The tutor seemed to know what she was talking about and offered realistic feedback based on what is considered favourably by publishers.
I enjoyed getting to practice writing and receive feedback.
I now understand the process of writing picture books better and feel more equipped to go on to publish work.
The course is achievable and offers something fun and different for you to do. You'll definitely gain some new knowledge.
The course was wonderful. I never realised how much I could edit and improve something I already thought was good. I feel like I now have the tools to take on picture book writing with confidence. And I feel I also gained editing skills I could apply in other writing!
Zanni was great. Very supportive and helpful and I could see that she enjoys teaching. Her videos were a great way to receive feedback.
I can’t stop thinking about picture books!
I have always loved picture books and wanted to write but it never seemed to be the right time. I decided that now it was and I had been thinking about completing this course to get me motivated and give me the skills and confidence to start.
I really loved this course. It was relevant, motivational, informative, interesting, and very practical.
I was very impressed with how quickly Zanni assessed our work and provided helpful and encouraging feedback. I found her points were well-considered and professionally delivered. She gave constructive advice on how to improve our manuscripts which was very helpful.
I think it's just given me some very specific information regarding picture books and simply written stories for children and the importance of showing rather than telling in my stories. It's given me more confidence to write and believe that perhaps I could create something good enough to achieve publication if I work really hard and continue to refine my stories and submit them to publishers when the stories are ready.
This was a great course. I learnt so much about writing picture books and about myself as a writer. Thank you. I am excited to continue to use these skills to write more stories and submit them to publishers.
I was in the last couple of months of parental leave and in a Melbourne Covid lockdown. I've always loved writing, and after spending this last year with my two little ones reading and enjoying countless books, I thought it would be wonderful to learn more about writing picture books.
I thought Zanni was a great tutor. The format of sharing live video feedback was a good one as it felt like you were getting her first, fresh impressions of our work, and it was really useful hearing everyone else's feedback. She went the extra mile to answer all our additional questions, and I think she shared some really valuable thoughts and advice.
Getting to instantly apply what was learnt during the week in our stories for each week's assignment was a brilliant way to dive right in. It's easy to umm and ahh when it comes to writing, but the fast pace here meant you just had to crack on with it, which I found worked very well for me. I think there were so many brilliant insights shared by both the online tutor but also in all the audio and handouts. It was a really frank, realistic look at the industry, and (without crushing dreams), I think it sets students up for what are the best formula/tools for success when it comes to the realities of creating a picture book.
I'm feeling inspired... I feel having a published picture book actually feels like it could (maybe!) be possible one day. Obviously with a lot of hard work and refining all these wonderful new skills and all the rest, but even just learning about the industry, about how sales and royalties work, about all the structures and language elements, have made it all feel less daunting and unattainable.
This course is really excellent for anyone with an interest in writing a picture book. It spans the journey from defining what a picture is, to creating your own author platform once you have a published book. It's fast-paced, packed with industry and author insights, and helps you turn the ideas buzzing in your head into a structured story that people will actually care about.
Really enjoyed it, I'm keen to do lots of practice on my own now, and then consider the next course on honing a manuscript.
Zanni was a wonderful tutor, it was a pleasure to see she is committed to helping others achieve their dreams.
It makes you look at things so different, ‘oh there’s a story in that’ and the confidence it brings that it is actually possible to get your book published. I look forward to putting pen to paper now.
I have learnt so much from this course and I am looking forward to where this will take me next on my writing journey.
If anyone is thinking of doing this course I would highly recommend it.
Picture books often seem magical and doing this course is like being given the spell book that tells you all the ingredients you need to create one of these deceptively simple books. From structure and story arc to language and characters, this course has it all. I know that I'll be referring back to the notes often as I construct more stories to send out into the world.
If you're interested in writing or even learning about picture books this is something worth investing in! It's packed full of information and tips and you'll never look at a picture book in the same way again.
The Writing Picture Books course with AWC was fantastic. Professionally presented audio content and useful information in each week's handouts. It was great to see other students developing and improving throughout the course. Zanni gave some specific feedback to help move my writing forward in such a specialised area. If anyone is keen to find out more about writing picture books and an overview of the publishing process, this would be a great course to get started with.
There is a lot to learn and writing children's picture books is more complex than I originally thought.
It was great to have a currently published picture book author as a tutor. Her perspective was amazing!
I also liked reading through other people's ideas and stories, it was great to see how other people wrote and to think about what I might do differently with the same piece. The course was a good opportunity to try out a few ideas that had been bubbling around in the brain for quite a while, with mixed results!
The tutor was knowledgeable, informed and interested. I enjoyed the assignments and feedback sessions.
When posting assignments - I realised that I really DO love writing and writing under pressure. It was a really fun and really productive course.
I really feel motivated to push forward with the pursuit of a career in picture books and/or publishing.
I enjoyed the challenge and the online lessons that I was able to listen to anytime.
The AWC gave me the confidence and support to try something that I've been interested in trying for a long time.
Zanni provided kind, constructive feedback overall and seemed to look for the strengths in every piece.
The content delivery is excellent - the mix of handouts, audio and feedback makes for an enjoyable learning experience.
It has encouraged me to keep writing and makes me feel that getting published is not always easy but it is possible with preparation, practice, networking and by getting to know the industry well.
Thank you to Zanni and the AWC. I was very pleased with the decision to complete this course. It was enjoyable and I feel much more knowledgeable about children's picture books.
Thank you for providing a wonderful course with a spectacular, insightful and supportive teacher. Zanni was very knowledgeable, fair and supportive. I enjoyed the creativity and the challenge.
I definitely feel that this is an avenue I wish to pursue and that I may have some success in.
I look forward to enrolling in more courses.
It was a good valued introductory course to learning how to put together a children's picture book. The feedback was useful and succinct.
I enjoyed reading children’s books again, haven't done that in many years. Learning about all the little intricacies of this industry.
It's inspired me to write my book, and I'm enrolling in the Masterclass for that assistance.
The Australian Writers' Centre provides courses by people who have been there and done that, and will guide you to achieve your dream.
I have had some books accepted for publication with a small publisher but I know I have a lot to learn. I had ideas for other books and had written a rough draft of another so I decided to use this course to improve my writing and learn more about the writing process.
I really liked the structure of the course and thought 5 weeks was a great introduction into the world of writing picture books. I work well to a deadline so I found the module each week with submission by Sunday 11:59 worked well and fit easily into my schedule.
I really enjoyed the feedback provided by Zanni not just for my submissions but for the other students as well. I found some great information in her reviews and feedback that I have incorporated into my current drafts. The challenge to create new stories and incorporate the feedback. The information in each module gave a great understanding of requirements. I think each component was introduced in a great way without being too overwhelming.
Honestly, I really enjoyed the format of it that I would love to continue with structured writing like this, but I think the course was perfect the way it was. The right length, right amount of information, and great feedback.
I have already incorporated the ideas into my current drafts but it has also given me some insight into why my books have stalled with my publisher. There are some bits of information that I hadn't sent through as I wasn't sure what it was asking and now I know. Definitely less is more with picture books. I had been writing to give clues to the reader and illustrator but I have learned to trust my writing and let the story give the clues.
The course is well structured and you will find great information here. I am actually going to recommend this to a lady I know who would like to enter into children's book illustrating.
I've always loved to write stories for children, but I knew that I needed help to perfect my craft. I'd heard very good reviews for this course so I gave it a try. I didn't enrol earlier because finance has always been an issue for me and I wasn't sure if the course would be worth it as it was only 5 weeks long. But I was wrong!
Zanni was an excellent tutor. You could see that she had the experience and the knowledge of a picture book writer. Her feedback was honest and constructive, but always positive. She wouldn't just tell you that something needed work, but would also provide suggestions on how to fix it. I'm incredibly happy that Zanni was my tutor.
I enjoyed being able to connect with like-minded people, encouraging each other and being inspired by their work. You build a real sense of community, even though you're based online.
I have more confidence, not only in my ability as a writer, but also the confidence to be able to approach publishers. I feel that I have a more solid foundation, which will make it easier to stand behind my books.
The Australian Writers' Centre is not just a teaching resource but a real community. The connections you make with your tutors and others are so valuable. Everyone is positive and encouraging; you come away from each session feeling revived and refreshed. The tutors really know their craft. I've never learned so much in such a short amount of time. 100% worth it!
After googling many authors, groups and courses, I decided to go with AWC after hearing from other authors what a fantastic group it was. I was impressed with the course content that was delivered in such a short time.
Zanni had wonderful feedback that was motivating and knowledgeable.
I enjoyed simply allowing myself to give it a go. I have realized the difficulty in producing a picture book - a lot more complicated than had been thought! I have sparked an interest in following on and gaining a deeper understanding of my own writing. I have a long road ahead!
- Engaging my senses to assist with my writing.
- Contacts that I will use to gain more knowledge and understanding of writing.
- Planning the future to include writing and publishing a picture book
- Learning more about writing!
INDEED go ahead! Choose from the many courses available and get involved in the contact groups and lists of resources made available.
Thank you for sparking my interest even further!
I wanted to refresh on the basics of writing picture books. Online was a good option and only took 5 weeks. It was affordable too.
I enjoyed the course, the materials were comprehensive and the mix of audio and handouts was good. I like that there was a place to ask questions and got some helpful comments from other participants.
I feel I'm starting in a better place with drafting picture books now, like I'm not starting 5 steps behind. It was also good to focus on improving skills rather than the pandemic and all that is wrong and scary in the world.
If you're seriously interested in writing a picture book, then do the course. Without it you'll waste a whole lot of time getting nowhere.
I made the decision that it was finally time for me to get back into writing. I wanted to brush up on my skills and liked the idea of having something that would motivate me and get me back into the habit of writing everyday.
... it's amazing! ... I learnt so much, not least of which was how to make writing a priority again. Zanni was fantastic. She was encouraging yet clear about the things that could be changed or improved.
I've written three new picture book manuscripts during the course and managed to reintegrate writing into my daily life. I also now have clear direction in what I want to do moving forward.
Thank you! I've absolutely loved it!
I want to start writing children’s books and when I came across this course I thought it could really give me a taste of what it’s all about and what I need to do.
I think Zanni gave constructive feedback which was great. I enjoyed all the weekly assignments and the way that it was designed so that you could see what everyone else was doing and hear their feedback too. I also liked the comments page.
I’ll have to see what happens with my writing from here but I definitely feel like I have a much better understanding of what I need to do and the process involved.
The course was very informative and user friendly.
Zanni's feedback helped me to be better at writing a picture book. The feedback each week motivates me to be better in my writing skills.
It's a good start if you have an interest in writing a book.
I wanted to do something creative just for me after juggling a very busy period of work and homeschooling during COVID-19. I have always loved writing and I have heard great feedback about AWC courses. It is in my nature to be hesitant about new things and I had the usual doubts about not being good enough and comparing myself to others. But I am trying to overcome this and remind myself that there is no harm in giving something a go.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has commented upon completing this course that they had no idea how much is involved in writing a children's picture book. There is so much topical information clearly presented - it's amazing how much is packed into a 5 week course!
Zanni provided great feedback and is clearly very knowledgeable about children's literature.
I enjoyed challenging myself to write stories for the assignments. It was the kick up the derriere that I needed! It was great to hear feedback on my own and others' work.
It was beyond what I had expected and I learned so much! It has really inspired me to take small steps every day towards writing a children's book, whether that be market research, polishing my writing, following publishers and authors on social media, etc. While it made me realise just how much is involved in writing a picture book, the course has also given me very clear steps and guidelines on how to go about this task. I may not ever get published but I have a much better idea of what to try! I have a heap of information to digest and ideas to work on, and I am excited to get started.
There were so many 'aha' moments, it's hard to narrow it down to one. I highlighted many sentences while I was taking notes! For me, the information on literary merit and what makes a good picture book was crucial.
This course is structured really well, with a huge amount of information presented in a 5 week timeframe. Definitely worth the money! I learned so much and loved learning about how to improve my writing.
I loved that the course presented material in a way that made me feel that maybe I could actually write a book! It gave me a sense of confidence and I loved being immersed in the world of picture books during the 5 weeks. I'm sad it's over!
Thank you so much for a wonderful course, AWC.
A wake up call to stop dreaming and start working!
A straightforward format easy to follow. Gives an opportunity to learn enough to know if it’s for you or not. If not, there’s plenty of other options to choose from. Thankyou.
I have for a long time had the thought that I would like to write a children's picture book. I love reading, creating art, have dabbled in creative writing and work in a school library, so this course seems to bring all those interests together. I wasn't sure if I had the time to dedicate to the course, with working as well. I also was not sure about paying out the money if I didn't get anything out of it.
I learned a lot during my time studying this course. I found it very informative and I easily got the assignments done on time, which was initially my biggest concern. I live in Melbourne, and the timing of the course was perfect for me, as lockdown here had just started, so it was a great time to do it.
Zanni provided some very constructive feedback to all of us studying the course. I liked the way we could all see what each other was submitting, as it helped us all to learn. Also, the way Zanni read through all of our work, so we could pick up pointers from her this way.
I found that I can actually write a children's story, even though I need to hone my skills and write a lot more before I can consider submitting a story to a publisher! This is a really good feeling! I know I have a lot to do to get better at my writing, but I am encouraged to continue after doing the course.
Since starting the course, I am now going through my day thinking of ideas that I can write stories about.
It is worthwhile doing if you are serious about writing stories. It is a well laid-out and delivered course and I recommend it thoroughly.
I value everything that I have learnt.
Resources and audio lessons were fantastic. These will be very useful for future reference.
My online tutor was Zanni Louise who was very honest and genuine in her feedback to my writing and stories and this I valued immensely. I am a better writer because of Zanni.
I enjoyed each of the tasks that we were assigned each week and the sharing of my work with other students. I felt connected with everyone as we worked together towards the same goal.
The course has inspired me to just keep writing as I am now really driven to make this work and become a published author one day.
The Australian Writers' Centre offers fantastic writing courses that are well resourced, engaging and rewarding.
Zanni answered people's online questions in a timely manner. The assessments were good and the fact that you could complete the modules at your own pace was helpful.
Although I don't think I am ready to devote time to sit down and write a children's book to be published yet, hopefully it will be something that I can come back to in the future. I think that completing this course has given me a basic understanding of how much more there is to know.
There is so much to writing children's books!
I wanted to learn how to write a picture book. Initially my only concerns were the cost and what I would actually get from the course. However, after thinking about why I'd looked into doing the course I decided it would be worth the money - I'd either absolutely love it and learn loads or it would be something to put down to experience. Either way I couldn't lose :)
I have absolutely loved this course. It was perfect timing as I've been on leave, taking some time to reflect on what it is I want in life. The modules and assignments haven't seemed like work as I've been so excited and enthusiastic to work on my writing.
As an educator it has given me a new passion to take back to school and a much greater respect for all those authors whose stories I've shared over the years.
Zanni was really supportive and I found her feedback to be very constructive and at all times encouraging. I also found it interesting to hear her opinions and the reasons for her liking particular stories, especially those I felt I would find more difficult to read to a class.
I most definitely enjoyed the opportunity to write for an audience and to receive feedback on that writing. I also loved learning how a picture book is written and the range of different things that need to be considered when writing one.
Being able to finally focus on getting my writing down rather than the ideas whizzing round in my head has suddenly opened a flood gate of creativity I didn't realise was hidden away.
The focus of my job is working with and supporting children at educational risk because of a huge variety of social factors. I have thought for a long time about how I could support them in a different way and have toyed with retraining in counselling as this is something I do a lot of anyway. However, I've never got beyond thinking 'oh I might look at counselling'. One thing that is very clear is that there is a shortage of stories that deal with some of the more unpleasant social issues faced by young children today and through this course I've realised that this is the 'different way' I can support them.
Since starting the course I have been filled with ideas and concepts for stories and my little writing book is getting fuller and fuller. I find myself thinking of an idea or a phrase and have to keep scribbling it down so I don't forget.
I need to think smart! I know I have some great ideas but I need to write my anger and frustrations out first and then take the best bits and work with them in a calmer, less confronting way. How I might do that is the next exciting challenge :)
Give it a go! You'll learn so much about how picture books are written. It’s an amazing 5 week journey and you'll surprise yourself with how creative you can actually be.
Thank you so much for this course it has genuinely been a fantastic 5 weeks :)
The tutor was professional and encouraging, with excellent advice and knowledge.
I enjoyed learning together as a group, submitting work, and receiving feedback.
I now have a greater insight into the writing scene, particularly publishing, and the confidence to keep trying, practising, and improving.
Invaluable information given, excellent and professional advice specific to your writing, great to learn in a group.
I always had a dream to write picture books. I decided to jump right in.
The audio lessons were great as it meant I could come and go as needed. Very happy with how much information was given. I feel there was a lot more involved than I imagined.
I am very happy with the feedback given.
It has made me more determined to get a book published.
I wanted to learn about writing books for children and was recommended this course by a friend. The outline seemed relevant and achievable. I was nervous and apprehensive about sharing my writing.
The information was comprehensive and relevant. Zanni was honest and encouraging in her feedback. I don't think she said nice things just for the sake of saying them; she was keeping it real.
There was a lot of information provided and I found the handouts a great summary to print out and keep. The audio files were good sized chunks of information and clearly delivered.
I learnt there was so much more to writing picture books than I thought. I enjoyed being creative and sharing my stories but also found it to be quite nerve-wracking waiting for feedback after each assignment. It was good to stretch myself and do something quite different.
I felt proud of myself, despite knowing I will never become a picture book writer, apart from stories for my grandchildren, that is.
I would definitely recommend AWC to others! The amount of relevant, up to date and useful information was more than I expected and will stand me in good stead for any future writing I do. As a successful blogger I felt inadequate when it came to writing and this was good for me; it made me grow! Thanks to everyone involved.
After feedback on one of my stories, I felt like perhaps I could ACTUALLY do this! I was energised and ready to make it real. Since finishing the course I need to find that level of energy again, but to feel it for even one week was a big boost.
This course is professionally presented and wonderfully supportive and encouraging. You just know you are getting the industry gold. Each week it was fabulous fun to write, edit and rewrite, nail-biting to submit (was it ready?) and exciting to wait for professional feedback.
Hearing everyone's wonderful stories read aloud and the precise but always gentle, inspiring, encouraging and helpful feedback from our wonderful tutor Zanni Louise was a revelation. So many imaginative stories, so many styles, so much joy in hearing the stories read aloud, so much to learn from Zanni's feedback. It was like opening a beautiful box of sparkling gifts on Christmas Day.
It has been a joy to participate in this course. I have learnt so much and now feel confident to keep writing, knowing I am heading in the right direction. Thank you Zanni Louise. Fabulous. So supportive, always helpful and encouraging. You just know Zanni knows how to teach writing. I learnt an incredible amount. The feeling of being creative is incredible.
I have wanted to write for children for nearly a decade now. I did this course face to face many years ago and became very discouraged when my writing didn't seem to be hitting the mark. I put the pen down and didn't write anymore for years. Recently I picked up the pen and thought I will try again. I loved the online version of the course. I wasn't rushing to write like during a face to face class as I knew the lessons were there for me to go back to anytime. I just listened and absorbed the lessons, and then wrote.
I cannot thank Zanni enough for her encouraging and helpful comments to everyone. I now feel like I can write and enjoy it, and that I am heading in the right direction. I can't wait to enrol in your Writing Picture Books Masterclass and I hope one day to be published.
Thank you to everyone involved in this course. I think it might have changed my life and it has certainly made me feel confident to write again.
If you want to write, pick up a pen or grab a keyboard and enrol in a course at the Australian Writers' Centre. Thank you to everyone at the Australian Writers' Centre. I would love to do more courses and hope to be a published author one day. Fingers crossed.
Our tutor was very knowledgeable, compassionate and very helpful in the feedback she provided.
I enjoyed receiving detailed feedback so I can learn, and reading the stories submitted by others. I have the motivation to continue writing and to aim for publication.
The course delivers on the learning outcomes and offers very helpful feedback.
Very good approach to develop and build on skills each week to progress your story. Excellent tutor. Very good feedback and guidance.
I enjoyed receiving actionable feedback and being able to walk away with a complete draft at the end. It has given me the confidence to map out a path forward. A great hands on approach to improving your writing skills.
I loved that it was so specific to picture book writing in Australia.
Zanni was amazing!! Her ability to give positive and constructive 'off the cuff' feedback on our stories was incredible - she clearly knows picture books inside out!!
I enjoyed the focus of the assignments each week and having a deadline! And the quick turnaround of feedback from Zanni.
It has given me the tools and confidence to give writing picture books a red hot go!!
This is a fantastic course!! I love that it is so tailored to writing for children and that the focus is on the Australian industry and how it works locally, as well as thinking internationally. Zanni Louise is a brilliant tutor - experienced, honest, kind and helpful.
Thank you AWC! Very reluctant for it to end but thanks also for the ongoing opportunities to stay in touch.
I have always wanted to write a picture book based on tales my father told me as a child and was encouraged to use my spare time (due to being made redundant from my job) to take the course. I was hesitant about the cost, but I soon learned it was worthwhile!
Zanni was a great tutor and provided some wonderful feedback. As with all writing, some was harder to take - critiques of creative writing always seem personal! - but the feedback was delivered in a professional and constructive and always was aimed to improve the quality of my work. Some of her feedback brought tears to my eyes, but in a good way!
I enjoyed the encouragement from Zanni and the other students, which was encouraged and supported by the course framework and structure.
I learned that things will not be as easy as I'd hoped! But I am encouraged to continue with my creative pursuits, thanks to the information and encouragement provided.
If you feel you have a good book waiting to come forth, find a course at the AWC and make the dream reality!
Thanks to Zanni for her wonderful advice and support.
I have a lot of ideas for children's picture books and wanted to learn more about the industry and the 'rules'. I thought I'd come out of the course with a story idea ready to submit to a publisher, or at least ready to start thinking about that. But it's clear I've still got a lot of work to do!
Zanni was great. Her feedback was helpful. She clearly has a good understanding of the industry.
The idea that you have to convey so much in so few words actually means it's very difficult! New respect for picture book authors!
I will make more time to write as I found I really enjoy it. A great way to study and learn and write in your own time while still feeling like you have classmates. Thanks for the course!
This course was really thorough. I didn't realise how much I didn't know and feel like I learnt so much.
Zanni was great! She knows what she's talking about and I really enjoyed her feedback via Loom. I also enjoyed reading other students’ stories and interacting with them online.
I already have recommended AWC to two other friends.
I have never written before and the course gave a good guide to how to start the process of writing a Picture Book.
I would recommend the course as it was very informative and enjoyable.
Zanni was fantastic. She spent a lot of time looking at everyone's assignments and gave really great constructive feedback. The way she delivered the feedback via Zoom was great as it was like sitting down and talking about it, as opposed to just reading her response.
It has started me on my writing journey. A lot of the info in the course, such as tight writing and show don't tell, is not just relevant to picture books but other forms of writing as well.
The tutor is a published author and that the course is online so easy to complete when juggling work/kids.
I would say don't think about it, just do it.
I was interested in learning more about how to construct a picture book. Zanni was very knowledgable. Learning how technical picture book writing is, more specifically how books require a theme. That picture books require themes, they aren't just stories.
It has made me want to write more.
If you think writing a picture book is easy, you need to take the AWC Picture Book course!
I've written several picture books but was keen to get practical advice on how to progress them and get them published.
I thought the course was excellent. It provided so many practical tips and resources and will allow me to take my writing to the next stage.
Zanni was very responsive, helpful and positive in her feedback. She is clearly a highly experienced writer and teacher and I was very grateful to learn from her.
This is a really high-quality course with an excellent teacher and course materials. I would highly recommend it to anyone!
I wanted to develop skills in writing for a younger market, with a view to publishing a work eventually. It seemed like a rare and unique opportunity to learn about a niche market.
The video sessions were fantastic. I valued having Zanni read out the stories in her lovely tone; it put me right back in the child's seat. It's a rare honour to have my fledgling stories read aloud by Zanni, with her warm and considered feedback.
Finding out that I could pen a children's story and have it not be half bad. It's a brief step into a vast new world. It opened a door and showed me a new way of wading into literature. I only wish perhaps it was longer, but with more practice I'm sure the impact will be profound.
The quality of information, clear presentation and extent of topics was amazing! Zanni seems really passionate about picture books and her feedback was on point, honest and positive.
How much more respect I have for writers of great picture books; I knew it was special but it really is an art. Also it gave me confidence that even though I am far from publishing a book, it is possible and I can start now.
It is a very complete course, very serious and professional. Worth the money.
Just, thank you, it was a great experience, and to do it during lockdown it helped to keep the creative juices flowing.
I've wanted to write and illustrate a children's book for a while, and this course was recommended by a friend.
It has made me think about how I can improve, and makes me think that the idea of actually writing a book is achievable.
I have a lifelong dream to be a published author - which led me to your podcast series "Magic & Mayhem" - which led me to the course website. Given the year most of us are having, I did hesitate over the price of this particular course compared to others you offer - but I just went for it - and I'm really happy I have.
Zanni was lovely. Hearing her read our stories and provide positive feedback has fired up my passion for writing. She was also really good at providing meaningful feedback to questions and assignments. I really did enjoy having the chance to write, read and hear stories from others in the course.
It's encouraged me to write more. To write every half idea down just in case in turns into something bigger and better later. I also think hearing Zanni tell me she could see my manuscript published was more of a "YAY! maybe this isn't such a ridiculous dream" moment.
Thanks guys - can't wait to sign up to another one.
I was searching for something to keep me occupied during COVID and maternity leave and have always been impressed with the humorous, accessible approach of AWC. The reviews for this course were fantastic. The value for money was amazing!
Zanni was warm, thoughtful and very detail oriented. She struck the perfect balance between encouragement and constructive criticism and nurtured some of my best writing into creation.
I loved the online classroom format and the respectful, encouraging interactions between all the students. It was very collegial.
I have never seen so many ideas through to completed manuscripts before - this course gave me the drive I needed to achieve this.
This course is the creative kickstart your decaying lockdown brain needs. The content is clear and comprehensive and the tutor offers encouraging, practical advice to help your writing shine. Seriously, why haven't you enrolled yet?
Thank you for creating this fabulous course.
I feel very sad that the course has come to an end. I will miss it very much but do feel inspired and empowered to continue writing now. Thankyou to Zanni, my co-learners and to Australian Writers' Centre for providing and nurturing such a rich and wonderful course.
From the moment I started writing for the first assignment I felt I had found my 'happy writing place.' Everything seemed to just fit together and feel right. That is not to say it is easy, I spent hours pondering, switching, changing and refining words. But it is a pleasurable pain!
I feel so fortunate and privileged to have Zanni as our tutor. She is experienced, passionate and knowledgable about writing which really showed through her comments. She always found positive aspects to discuss in everyone's writing but also wise, sometimes challenging, constructive advice about ways to improve. I loved how she took the time to read our stories aloud and then comment 'in person' through video. It was a highlight of the week, not just to hear our own stories, but also those of our colleagues.
If you have a burning passion for writing or just a little niggle that lives inside you, the AWC has a course to guide, enlighten and inspire you to bring it to life. There are so many courses, delivered in flexible ways that you can find one which meets your needs and fits within your lifestyle. You will learn so much from every course and one could even change your future.