6-week advanced picture book course with Clare Helen Welsh

Going beyond the fundamentals, level-up your writing skills as bestselling and award-winning children’s author Clare Helen Welsh guides you through an advanced picture book course.

If you understand the basic of writing picture books but want to further develop your skills and knowledge, this course is for you. It’s ideal for writers who have already written picture books and want to polish them ready for submission to literary agents. With two-hour sessions over six weeks, this course is designed to delve even deeper into the craft of writing picture books, with comprehensive feedback from your peers, your course tutor, and a literary agent. With a focus on publication, learn more about the children’s publishing industry, including current trends, from our guest agent during an initial Q&A, and how to submit your picture books to agencies and publishers.

The two-hour sessions will take place live on Zoom. Slack, a text-based platform, will be used for work-sharing and mid-week support. 

Not ready for an advanced writing course?

Join the waiting list for Clare’s introductory picture book course, or learn about writing rhyming picture books with author Catherine Emmett.

Course summary

Course date: Monday 25th September to Monday 13th November (with a break on 23rd October & 6th November)  

Time: 8pm-10pm (GMT)

Duration: 6 weeks

Platform: Slack

Tutor: Clare Helen Welsh

Course coordinator: Florianne Humphrey (florianne@write-mentor.com)

Cost: £250

Frequency: Once a week

What is included in the course?

  • Industry expertise: Gain direct access to a literary agent for around two hours during an initial Q&A, which includes up-to-date knowledge about industry trends and submission advice, and a final feedback session on your writing. 
  • Written resources: Receive comprehensive teaching notes from your course tutor, including craft advice and book recommendations, for you to keep and refer back to during and after the course.
  • Video session: In the first week of the course, be introduced to your fellow course participants and your tutor via a Zoom video chat, with a chance to ask any initial questions.
  • Writing tasks: Writing tasks created by your course tutor to help you put the skills you’ve learnt into practice and develop your own picture book.
  • Professional feedback: Receive feedback from your course tutor and a literary agent on your writing tasks and your picture book text.
  • Peer feedback: Receive feedback on your writing from your fellow course participants, and develop your own critique skills by giving feedback in return.
  • Writing community: Learn from and share ideas with fellow participants on the course platform. Discuss each week’s topic, give feedback on your writing, and support one another during and beyond the course. Many of our students even create critique groups after the course has finished.

Course outline

SESSION ONE: 25th September

Introductions followed by one-hour industry Q&A with an agent.

SESSION TWO:  2nd October

Types of Picture Books and the Controlling Idea, plus workshopping of three texts. 

SESSION THREE:  9th October

Choosing a shape, plus workshopping of three texts.

SESSION FOUR: 16th October

Characters and character arcs, plus workshopping of three texts.

BREAK WEEK: 23rd October

Break for UK school holidays

SESSION FIVE: 30th October

Viewpoint, voice, and style, plus workshopping of three texts.

BREAK WEEK: 6th November

Break in the course for agent to read and prepare feedback and for writers to finish their manuscripts.

SESSION SIX: 13th November

Editing – writers discuss the feedback from agent in breakout rooms and with the group, including possible ways forward.


Clare Helen Welsh, author

Clare is a children’s writer and primary school teacher from Devon. She writes fiction and non-fiction picture book texts – sometimes funny and sometimes lyrical. Her first book was published in 2015 and she currently has books in development with Little Tiger Press, Quarto, Andersen, Nosy Crow and MacMillan. She also writes for the Maverick Early Readers scheme.

Twitter: @ClareHelenWelsh

Start the course

Ready to learn more about writing and publishing Picture Books?

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