Picture book magic – writing for young children with Andrew Weale

Ref: SWE13254

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About this course

Learn from an award-winning picture book author how to create an idea for a picture book story or add some sparkle to a story you have already written.

Course Description

Picture books hold a special place in the hearts of many of us, from treasures like The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr right up to more contemporary classics like Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo.

What makes these picture books come alive for young children? And how can you write a picture book that they will want to experience again and again?

This course is designed for those who want to explore picture book writing for the very first time, as well as those with a little more experience who wish to add that extra sparkle to a story they have already started. You don’t have to be an experienced writer. Simply bring your creativity and a generous pinch of curiosity and fun.

You will learn about the technical basics of what is generally referred to as a 32-page picture book, the different ways of shaping a picture book story, balancing text and image, characterization, and even writing in rhythm and rhyme.

By the end of the course, you will have a much clearer understanding of what goes into creating a picture book that is truly engaging for a young person. You will have developed your picture book writing skills through story creation activities, writing exercises, interactive group work and discussions.

Perhaps the seeds of the next classic picture book will be sown here. Anything is possible, just as it is in the magical world of the picture book where tigers can very definitely come to tea!


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply all of the materials including photocopies

What students need to bring

  • Pen and paper OR a laptop (if preferred)
  • A picture book to share with the group

Additional information

Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Andrew Weale

Andrew is a children’s picture book author and winner of the prestigious Red House Children’s Book Award. As a children’s poet, he won the 2019 Caterpillar Prize with his poem Wonder-pudderful. He has lectured on children's writing at Winchester University and gives popular visits to many schools and festivals.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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