I'm a retired teacher with grandchildren. I'm currently immersed in children's picture books and enjoy them. I needed a challenge. The course outline was enticing.
Having done a number of academic degrees in my past, I was pleased to see the rigour in the course design and the professional industry focus.
I gained a much greater appreciation of contemporary publishing in this genre. I was impressed with the very comprehensive information and detail provided. The realities of contemporary publishing were comprehensively explored and I really appreciated that.
The courses are intelligently designed, with a comprehensive coverage, and genuine professional insights into the industry. They give value for money. For me, the online option is gold. My health doesn't allow attending multiple conferences and courses as I have done in my more youthful past.
I'd completed several AWC courses and they were all amazing, so I knew - when I had an idea for a picture book - that I had to sign up for this course!
I wondered if it was really necessary to take the course as, after all, how hard could it be to write a children's book? I was wrong! There are many principles and lessons to learn to plan, structure and write a picture book. There is also a lot to learn about pitching your manuscript to publishers and the production processes involved, including the importance of trusting the illustrator to enhance your story through "show don't tell".
I really appreciated Cathie's voice of experience, and practical observations and advice, as a picture book editor and publisher, as well as a judge of prestigious picture book competitions.
Completing the assignments was my favourite part of the course... firing up the creative juices and trying to put myself into the mindset of the children and their gatekeepers.
Since completing the course, I can read published picture books more analytically, noting what works particularly well, gaining insights and greater confidence in my own writing as a result.
Whatever writing genre you're considering, don't hesitate signing up to an Australian Writers' Centre course. Just do it. You'll be so glad you did!
Thank you Cathie, Valerie and the team at the AWC. Your courses and podcasts are so enriching for aspiring authors!
Cathie provided constructive and insightful feedback. I felt supported throughout the whole process.
I feel invigorated about writing for children. I can see ideas everywhere - it's just about learning more about the 'craft' of writing.
This course offers lots of inspiration, and the module handouts are invaluable, and something I will refer to constantly.
Every aspect of this course served to motivate and support anyone who is interested in writing for children. I really enjoyed it. Thank you!
I appreciate the honest feedback to help improve my writing. I learned that you need to get the character to do something to create a good story and how you should show and not tell.
A good starting ground to launch your interest in writing.
I have been looking at classes with AWC for quite a while. I'd had a particularly bad day at work as a neonatal nurse and bought a laptop on the way home from work and signed up for this course by the time I went to bed that night. I started it with plans to write a book for my nephews for Christmas.
I was concerned I would be out of my depth. I am a nurse and have never studied any literature or early childhood courses, but the course exceeded my expectations.
Cathie is a fabulous tutor. Her feedback on the assignments has been invaluable and also encouraging.
I loved all of it - both the content and the assignments.
I am writing every day since starting this course. This course has helped me to develop my ideas into stories. It has shown me the importance of show don't tell in picture book writing.
The course is well thought out and easy to complete around other life commitments. The feedback you receive during the course is invaluable for your writing progress.
I knew I wanted to write a children's book; other than the idea, I didn't know where to start.
This course exceeded my expectations. Having actual tutor feedback on my writing was invaluable. She was very patient, very thorough, very quick!
I enjoyed completing my assignment, sitting on it, letting it rest, submitting on Sunday. Waiting for my next lessons, waiting for my Loom feedback session!
I am determined to continue with my journey to be a published author.
I have joined the Furious Fiction writing, I'm listening to your podcasts, I've joined your Facebook pages. I'm getting very involved and very excited! The AWC is a great spot to find a course to help in any aspect of writing that needs it.
I have always wanted to write children's books but felt stuck, so thought a course might help. This short course seemed good quality and covered the things I wanted to learn.
Jude is very knowledgeable on all aspects of what we covered - illustrating, writing and publishing. She was very down to earth and engaging. I really enjoyed seeing Jude's works in progress and comparing them to the final product. It made it feel more doable and not just a distant, unachievable dream.
I think I used to procrastinate writing because it seemed so unrealistic that I could actually create a book. But I feel motivated now and I feel like it's possible.
I already knew it in theory, but I really 'got' the idea that you have to draft and then refine, and keep going through that process, rather than starting and editing it before you have even finished a draft. I would end up being so put off by the thought of a publisher seeing my crappy draft that I would never finish anything!
People do this course for all kinds of reasons, but for me it helped me get unstuck. If you feel like you want to write a picture book but for whatever reason you just don't do it, then it's definitely worth doing this course.
Jude was great; she created a safe and encouraging environment. She has a huge amount of knowledge of the book world. Jude was very encouraging to everyone and gave appropriate and helpful advice without judgement.
The group was fantastic and as a complete beginner I found the shared knowledge and input from the group to be very valuable.
It has given me the knowledge and confidence to create a book from an idea, and with some further work I now have the knowledge to submit to publishers.
The course is very worthwhile and good value for money.
Fantastic opportunity to learn the foundations of picture book writing from an expert. The Convent in Abbotsford was perfect.
Judith Rossell is a natural teacher. The group worked well together under her guidance. We shared out writing exercises and the feedback was incredibly constructive. It made me think about my stories in different ways. I learnt how to develop the story from different POVs and how to analyse and cut/tighten up my work. I would highly recommend enrolling in this course with Judith.
I now feel confident that I have the skills to put my work out there.
Don't hesitate to sign up. If you want to take your writing further, in a supportive learning environment, these courses are invaluable.
This course is very methodical and very comprehensive. Very easy to do online. I am pleased I finally made the leap to follow my dream.
Cathie was very supportive and encouraging. There is a lot to learn, but Cathie gave some good tips. I would like to meet her personally. One day, perhaps!
I enjoyed the challenge of self-discipline - doing the course each week helped with gaining momentum. Now that I have finished I want to invest more in my writing and in more courses.
More, More, More! I want to learn and do more. Thank you AWC! Your emails just keep coming and I knew one day, I would jump in! I am so glad I did. You make it seem easy, but you don't sugar coat it. I have a lot of work to do, but I know you are there for encouragement, support and ongoing learning opportunities.
I absolutely recommend AWC. You have a wide range of courses that suit so many. So accessible and flexible.
I was most impressed with the course and feedback. I enjoyed how the modules built on each other, linking to new material.
I have given myself the challenge to write daily and in a couple of months enrol in the picture book masterclass.
Just do it, you won't be disappointed.
Thanks to Cathie for all of her learnings and feedback. I have learnt so much and I'm extremely excited to continue on my writing journey. She was very specific even down to grammar which helped me immensely to finesse my writing.
I have learnt the structure of how to make an impact when writing a picture book. It has given me the confidence to continue writing and, after some more courses, to send out my manuscripts.
If you are considering doing the course, do it. It's great value for money and you learn so much.
The course was very informative and has given me the confidence and knowledge to work on my own drafts and hopefully submit them in the coming months.
Cathie's feedback was welcomed. It was clear to me how knowledgeable and established she is in the picture book world, and I was happy to take her comments on board.
I liked that it pushed me. I liked that there were two module tasks that made me come up with two manuscripts. I liked that within a relatively short period of time, following submission and feedback, I was able to come up with two manuscripts that I was happy with.
I am motivated to pursue this dream of having a published picture book.
Do it! If you have a passion for children's literature, give it a go.
The commitment of a few hours a week for 5 weeks seemed achievable as a first step for me, with two young children and a business to run. The cost seemed reasonable, and since completing the course I can confirm that it was good value for me.
This was a great introduction to writing picture books. I didn't expect to learn so much about pitching and how to establish my online presence as a writer. The 'Bonus: Insights from an industry expert' was really useful, in addition to the course content.
Cathie provided useful and meaningful feedback. This meant a lot coming from someone of her background in the industry.
I enjoyed the writing, and seeing my stories improve with practice and applying Cathie's feedback.
Since completing the course, the idea of publishing picture books has gone from a vague dream to something within my power to achieve. Although it will require plenty of work (I won't pretend it's easy), the path forward is clearer.
Whether you're a complete novice (like I was) or have been practicing the craft for a while, there is something in this course for any unpublished writer curious about writing picture books.
A big 'thank you!'
I wanted to hone my writing skills and learn the craft of writing children's picture books. I couldn't wait to start!
Cathie is amazing! I'm so grateful for her guidance and knowledge.
I enjoyed absolutely everything about the course. I have a better understanding now of how to structure a picture book.
The AWC is a fantastic hub and learning centre that offers great courses, webinars and has a supportive community.
Cathie's feedback was really good. She was encouraging while detailing what I should improve. I enjoyed seeing my writing improve over the different assignments.
I was already a writer of fiction but I had never done any course and felt that I learned a lot in this course. I want to go back to my published book and use what I learned, even if it's not a picture book.
If you want to improve your writing with professional advice, don't hesitate and register with the Australian Writers' Centre.
Lots of great content to revisit, mull over and practice practice practice.
The tutor was very succinct, clear, knowledgeable. I enjoyed learning the content and hearing positive and constructive feedback from the tutor. Reading submissions from other students.
It has opened my eyes to what is involved in creating a picture book. I have learnt to persevere with something that I am not automatically good at. Good for the brain and new neural connections. I feel motivated to keep working on creating a successful picture book.
My AHA moment was during assessment 4 when I kept working on successive drafts and practicing implementing different elements of what we were learning. That 'polishing' is a practical process and a mystical (inner) process too.
I had stalled with my writing in recent years but this course has reignited my love of writing and again I feel the joy of creating new manuscripts.
I loved receiving the feedback in such a timely manner and always edited my text while the feedback was fresh.
This course is well paced and very informative. It will help you polish and fine tune your work.
Thanks to everyone involved and I am so glad I did this course.
Loved gaining the knowledge. I was very pleased that I enrolled. I know I can do this now. I can take the next steps; that inner critic has quietened down.
The course removed doubt from my mind that I could do this. That my stories could be written so others could enjoy them too.
I had a couple of children's stories which I had submitted to publishers but never received responses. I saw this AWC course advertised, and it sounded practical.
I feel that I have a greater awareness of direct language, economising with words, punctuation, showing rather than telling and revealing feelings. Cathie looked closely at my work and provided useful feedback.
This is a practical course which offers useful writing tips for children's picture books.