Rhyming Picture Book Writing Retreat in an Idyllic Village just 1hr from London

Dates:              Arrive from 4pm Friday 4th February 2022.  Check out 10am Monday 7th February. 

Course:           Rhyming Picture Book Writing Course – the course, run by published picture book author Catherine Emmett, will cover all the key elements of writing rhyming picture books.

Location:         Guests will stay in a beautiful, large thatched cottage surrounded by rolling fields in peaceful, rural Essex.  

Cost:                £360pp

This is a self-catered retreat. We will give those attending the opportunity to connect discuss possible shared meals in advance.


Friday: Arrive from 4pm on Friday to have a welcome drink and meet your fellow attendees. 


10am-12pm:  Concept and plot:  We’ll explore the picture book market and develop your concept. Then we’ll discuss how the 3-act structure can be applied to picture books.

12pm-1pm:     Lunch break

1pm-3pm:       Metre and rhyme:  We’ll delve into the Mechanics of Metre before learning about the Rules of Rhyme. 

3pm-4pm:       Break 

4-5pm:            Layout and page turns:  We’ll explore how to balance your story across 12 spreads and how to make your words work with the pictures.

Sunday: A free writing day to put all that you have learned to the test, or to find inspiration on one of the beautiful countryside walks?

Monday: Check out will be 10am


The cottage is a large, recently renovated, thatched cottage, parts of which date back 400 years.   It is surrounded by off road walks and has sunset views across open fields.  It has a private courtyard and orchard for your enjoyment. 

The cottage is set a gentle half mile walk from the beautiful village of Finchingfield along a very quiet lane.  The village boasts three friendly pubs and three lovely cafes situated around the green and duck pond. The picturesque village has been called ‘one of the most photographed villages in England’.

The cottage has 4 double bedrooms and one twin room. Each guest will have their own room unless they request otherwise.  Guests will have shared use of 2 bathrooms and a WC.

The course is self-catered so guests will need to bring their own food, or they can of course make use of the pubs and cafes in the village.   Guests can decide whether to cook their meals together or to book a table in one of the local pubs. 

Full details of the accommodation can be found at: http://www.dynescottage.com

Getting there:

The cottage is just an hour’s drive from East London and there is plenty of parking on site.  

If coming by train, the easiest route is to take the train to Stansted and then to take a 30min taxi to Finchingfield. 


We will operate a first come, first offered system.

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