Picture book writing
Time: 17:30 - 20:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW146
Available start dates
Duration: 4 sessions (over 2 weeks)
What is the course about?
The course examines how to write a picture book text. We will explore 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 and approach publishers.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Child development in relation to perception and books
- Finding appropriate ideas
- Importance of theme
- 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 knowledge of what makes for a successful picture book story.
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
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 deadlines.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring writing materials with you to class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offers further courses in writing for children including Picture book writing: advanced.
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.
Andrew Weale is a poet and author of five picture books, including Nora: The Girl Who Ate and Ate and Ate, and the Red House Award winning Spooky Spooky House. He also lectures on picture book writing at Winchester University as part of the Children’s Writing MA, and mentors writers for the highly successful Golden Egg Academy.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.