LEARN HOW TO WRITE A PICTURE BOOK IN 7 WEEKS

Clare Helen Welsh, author of both fiction and non-fiction picture book texts, will lead this 7 week course, taking you from concept to creation.

The course outline is below, and each week will focus on a different aspect of picture book writing. Clare will provide notes on these areas at the start of each week to give you an opportunity to fine tune your own work, then you’ll post it up for tutor and peer review.

In the final week, Clare will be joined by top literary agent, Lydia Silver, to discuss picture books submissions – and to get some feedback from Lydia – to ensure it’s in the best possible shape before being sent out to agents.

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. You can find out more about Clare on her website http://www.clarehelenwelsh.com and by following her on Twitter @ClareHelenWelsh

This course currently has a waiting list – to be added, complete the form on the link below.


WEEKLY WORKSHOP DAY/TIME: MONDAY AT 8-9PM (LONDON, UK TIME)

Week 1 – INTRODUCTION

Week 2 – CREATING A CRACKING CONCEPT

There is no such thing as a bad idea. A standout picture book is more about the ‘way in’ than the actual subject. With that in mind, find out how to make your picture book concepts stronger and more marketable. 

Week 3 – PLOTTING LIKE A PRO

Learn how to plot a picture book idea into 12 spreads and the rules of picture book structure.

Week 4 – THE POWER OF VOICE

You’ve got a knockout concept and rough idea of how the story will pan out.  Now to put the meat on the bones; learn about creating characters, leaving room for illustrations, effective word play and techniques to keep the pace across spreads.

Week 5/6 – ‘Picture Book SOS’ Peer Review Week

Become CPs for the week by swapping manuscripts and helping improve each others work. 

Week 7 – EDITING: WHEN IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH?

Is your text submission ready? A comprehensive checklist of questions to ask yourself before submitting a story to a critique partner, agent or editor.

With visiting agent, Lydia Silver.

After a childhood buried in library books and Beanos, Lydia started her career in the editorial team at Egmont, where she commissioned books such as the Carnegie Medal-winning The Poet X. She joined the Darley Anderson team in 2018, and is building an engaging and diverse list of authors and illustrators. With experience on both sides of the commissioning desk, Lydia loves working editorially with her clients and developing ideas from an initial spark into a full manuscript.

Lydia represents clients including SoofiyaDominic BeesleyMark BradleyRachel Morrisroe and Rashmi Sirdeshpande. If you could sum up her tastes in three words, they would be curious, characterful and heartfelt, and in three books, they would be One of Us is Lying, Nevermoor and You Are Awesome.

Lydia is actively looking for submissions from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, LGBTQ and all other under-represented writers. Please include the hashtag #diversevoices in the subject line of your email when you submit. 

@LydiaRSilver


WHAT DO OUR PAST STUDENTS THINK?

I can’t recommend this course highly enough, I gained the knowledge and experience I needed to become a better and more confident writer. But I also gained the friendship of people who want the same as me, all within a positive, encouraging environment. Clare expertly leads the group and imparts wisdom and guidance when needed… and what a lovely person to boot! If you can get on to the course- do it! 

Jen Ronald

Clare is the most amazing mentor. You feel comfortable asking her anything and to enjoy the course at your own pace. I am currently writing a PB on a subject I would never have thought of writing about before. Clare also encouraged us to set up our own special group going forward, so we can continue to support each other! 

Delia Black

I absolutely loved this course – not only did it made me a better picture book writer but it also connected me to a fantastic group of fellow writers with whom I intend to keep in touch. The chance to bounce ideas off each other and share feedback on each other’s writing each week was invaluable. Clare is an inspirational tutor – the well-planned resources she provides are second to none and the writing exercises she sets are a perfect balance: challenging and thought-provoking but also fun and never daunting. The course was cleverly structured to take us from the vital first step of developing strong concepts and pitches right through to editing drafts and submitting our best work for feedback from friendly agent Lydia Silver in the last session. Meanwhile the opportunity to get feedback on my writing from such an accomplished writer as Clare each week was the icing on the cake. I’m really going to miss being a part of this course!

Claire Lewis