What is the course about?
Using examples from published material alongside writing exercises and activities in class, the course examines how to write a picture book text. Over six weeks, there is plenty of opportunity to develop and explore hands-on writing techniques and develop individual stories. We will examine the unique relationship between the words and the illustration in a picture book and - from a writing point of view - how the story must take account of both. The course also looks at how to prepare a text manuscript, set it out and ap-proach publishers.
Lou Kuenzler attended a writing for children class at City Lit some years ago. Since then she has written many popular books for newly fluent and middle grade readers as well as picture books. She has also written for Cbeebies television. She is very proud that so many of her past students have achieved publication success of their own.
City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
- Child development in relation to perception and books
- Finding appropriate ideas
- Importance of theme
- Active plotting
- The twenty-four and thirty-two page spread
- Finding ideas in the familiar world and in fantasy
- Handling characters, time span and visual variety
- Using repetition, rhyme and rhythm
- The picture book for older children
- Approaching agents and publishers.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- show awareness of the technical requirements of picture book writing
- demonstrate familiarity with what makes a successful picture book story
- plot and set out an original picture book text of your own.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No special educational attainments are required, but students should be able to write fluent English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through exercises in class, both individually and in groups, class discussion, analysing examples, and through tutor presentation.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which
will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a
policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should
be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Bring writing materials.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Other children's writing courses. Please speak to your tutor for further advice.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details