Do you long to write Picture Books that engage and delight young children but don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry. If you long to write, you’re already halfway there. This is a course which aims to introduce you to the key skills and techniques required for this specialist area of writing. Picture Books are a child's first contact with the world of books, so this market is always looking for new, quality writing that stimulates young readers. Each week Pippa will guide you through the important elements of this genre and get you playing with sound and pictures as well as words.
* To understand your audience for Picture Books
* How to refine your writing to suit your audience
* How layout is important
* How to work text and pictures and book design together for dramatic effect
* To understand the market
* How best to approach publishers and agents
Pippa Goodheart was an excellent tutor. She was encouraging to everyone and offered insightful editing of all posted work. I felt that I learnt a great deal and made good progress during the course. Pippa responded very quickly to posted work and gave generously of her time. I didn’t want the course to end! I now have so much more confidence and fully intend to keep writing picture books. F. D
I have already been singing the praises of this course to many people! Many thanks – I really enjoyed the course and it has inspired me and taught me a lot of valuable lessons. O. Neville
I have loved the personal challenge, grown as an author (I hope) and adored watching my peers stories unfold and develop.Thank you to Pippa ... I know that she is an expert but I think she has given over and above the call of duty with her "marking" T. Bunting
We will start by getting you to think about your own childhood memories, fragments of experience, emotion, sound and touch. Think about what is important to a small child, what upsets them, what excites them, what new experiences they may face and, of course, what makes them laugh. You will be getting in touch with what it is like to be a small child and identifying how your own small memories can tap into the universal emotions of young children. You will start to look at the world from the viewpoint of the very young.
This week we will be focussing on the construction of stories and examining the way that words and pictures work together in the picture book format. We will be looking at the key elements of shaping your story, giving it pace and creating a good ending. We will also explore the advantages and pitfalls involved in writing about real life or fantasy.
We will explain the main physical requirements that your story needs to fit into the picture book format, and to suit the publishing world. We will be looking at how to make your work dynamic and entertaining. The exploration of the visual progression of your story and learning how to justify every part of the text are covered along with the key areas of rhythm and repetition to make your story have impact.
During this week we concentrate of the problems and opportunities relating to getting your work published. We will be looking at the picture book market and thinking about where your picture book fits into it. We will explore not just what a child responds to but also what the adult purchaser is looking for in a picture book. You will be encouraged to think about how to make your work stand out in a competitive market, and a possible alternative to full picture book publication. Sub-sections of the market, eg age range, will be discussed.
We will address how to approach a publisher or agent, as well as giving advice on ways to find out what publishers are looking for.
Pippa worked in the book world, selling, working as a publisher’s reader, and teaching young children before beginning to write books herself. Shortlisted for the Kathleen Fidler, Smarties, Young Telegraph Book of the Year, Blue Peter Book of the Year and Stockton Children’s Book of the Year, she has had more than a hundred books published, ranging from picture books to early readers to novels. Picture books include ‘You Choose’, illustrated by Nick Sharratt and selected by Bookstart.
Pippa teaches writing for children at Cambridge University's Institute of Continuing Education, and also does lots of school visits to work with children. Her website can be found here.
Here's feedback from our course users.
Our courses are hosted on our own community site, The Word Cloud, which is a very friendly, intuitive and supportive writing community.
The tools and environment are very intuitive and easy to use: you won't have a problem. Each week, courses will include:
• A video introduction
• A written 'lecture'
• Interactive classroom discussion
• A writing exercise on the week's topic
• Feedback on your homework
All the course material can be accessed at any time of day or night. If you miss a few days, it will be easy to catch up. You are also warmly encouraged to interact with fellow-students - offer advice, give feedback and make friends. Find out more about how our courses work here.