Learn how to write a picture book in 4 weeks

Clare Helen Welsh, author of both fiction and non-fiction picture book texts, will lead this 4 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, Alice Williams, to discuss picture books submissions – and to get some feedback from Alice – to ensure it’s in the best possible shape before being sent out to agents.

Sign up here!

But be fast – only 10 places available on this pilot course at this one-time, exclusive price.

Course Leader

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 www.clarehelenwelsh.com and by following her on Twitter @ClareHelenWelsh

Dates: 4th November – 2nd December

Weekly Workshop Day/Time:

Monday at 8-9pm (London, UK time)


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. 


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


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.


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, Alice Williams.

You can also join Clare in person at our Exeter Writing Weekend workshops.

8th and 9th February 2020

£200 for 2 full days (includes 1-2-1 for free)
£100 for 1 full day
£25 for 1-2-1 session (note: you must buy a session ticket to do this)
Concession prices and payment plans available


SUN AM: Workshop Three: PLOTTING: How to plot a picture book without losing the sparkle (Clare): Planning your route is essential on a long car journey but is plotting every twist and turn in a 32-page picture book necessary? Some plotting can result in quiet, forgettable and unoriginal ideas. So where do the juicy, uncharted, award winning stories live and how do we develop these? Clare will use her teaching and writing experience to share how she plots her picture books without losing the sparkle. Turn off the Sat Nav, dive into plot holes and dream up exciting, engaging and original concepts perfect for a picture book audience.

SUN PM: Workshop Four: EDITING: Ten essentials for picture book submissions (Clare): Whether you plot a little, a lot, or not at all, your finished story needs to be perfectly polished, leaving the reader with a fully satisfying pay off on the last page. Clare will use her critiquing experience to share ten essentials for helping your picture book submission sing and stand out in a crowded market and will advise about the submission process.