This course is ideal for: Anyone who wants to write a picture book that publishers and kids adore
Learn about the picture book industry
Create characters children will love
Use language and rhythm to tell your story
Receive direct feedback on your own writing
Get guidance on publishing and illustrations
In this online course, you’ll discover what you need to do to turn your story idea into a real picture book that kids— and their parents— will love to read. (Don't worry if you don't yet have a story idea – it's likely you'll be inspired as you complete the course!)
What is it that makes popular picture books so magical? How do you really know what appeals to children? Writing a picture book that publishers want is an art. But there are clear guidelines you can follow.
You'll unlock a module full of lessons each week and complete a small assignment due each Sunday night – plus receive direct feedback from your online tutor – an expert in the world of picture books.
What is a children’s picture book? You’ll explore many examples of children’s picture books and how the text and illustrations should work together. Understanding the format will help you understand the kinds of topics children are interested in, the word length and the pace of your story. You’ll receive feedback on a 3-part comparison writing exercise.
In this module, you’ll look at the constraints and joys of writing for the 32-page format common to picture books. You’ll discover how to write an opening with regard to characterisation and emotion. And explore turning points, climaxes and resolutions. You’ll also learn about point of view and “show, don’t tell”. Your tutor will provide feedback on a piece you create in close focus point-of-view using a clear main character.
Learn how to plan your text for a double-page spread. This module will look at invisible punctuation – something unique to the picture book format. Once you understand the pace and structure of the format, you can focus on the action and emotional resonance, plus core themes which drive a picture book. You’ll receive feedback on an original story assignment.
In this module, you’ll look at poetic text to make your prose sparkle. You’ll also learn about some common traps for new picture book authors and discuss how to polish and edit your work. You’ll discover how different voices and reading patterns can change the rhythm and meaning of your work, as well as how to use noises and onomatopoeia, repetitive texts and more. You’ll receive tutor feedback on another original story assignment.
In this final week, you’ll learn how to submit your manuscript to a publisher, what to expect when working with an editor, and some legal and financial aspects. We’ll also share some great ways to keep in touch with the industry and its new trends. You’ll have the opportunity to bring together all of the skills you’ve learned and apply them to your own original story (including marketing blurbs) and receive valuable tutor feedback.
For this online course, you should be familiar with the following picture books (available at libraries or bookstores):
“If it wasn’t for this course I would most likely have started submitting and wondering why nothing was sticking. We learnt so much about the conventions of structuring a story, and identified the patterns in successful stories. We looked at pace, rhythm and cadence, voice and characterisation. It was all tremendously valuable. It was a really great course, I learnt what I didn’t know, and there’s so much that you don’t know about writing picture books, it’s such a craft. From reading a picture book it looks so simple, it’s only when you start to explore what’s involved that you learn how much there is to it. Go NOW and sign up!”
– Shelly Unwin, published picture book author
Graduate of Australian Writers' Centre, author of Ribbit Rabbit Robot
Magic & Mayhem
The free ebook and podcast series for children's authors
Writing Picture Books does not require any artistic skills (although if you have them, good for you!). It is a course in storytelling for anyone keen to explore this magical genre. People like these:
Watch our video tour of the online classroom.
Writing Picture Books provides you with all the foundation skills you need to start creating fantastic picture book stories. And when you feel your story is ready to take to the next level, our Writing Picture Book Masterclass will cast an expert eye over your work. It’s the polish and publication advice all good stories need!
|KNOWLEDGE:||There’s a surprising amount to learn about the mechanics of putting a picture book together.|
|CONFIDENCE:||Having the skills to create your own stories and knowing the formula is a fantastic thing!|
|INSPIRATION:||Even if you didn’t have ideas before, the online course will help unleash your creativity.|
|MOTIVATION:||The positive support and forward momentum this course offers, along with a continuing online community, will drive you to write your own picture book!|
GET OUR FREE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER – WITH WRITING TIPS, COMPETITIONS AND MORE! YES PLEASE!