Writing Children's Picture Books


 

Have you written a picture book?

If so, we can help. We have two main picture book editors. Victoria Lee, was a senior manager at one of Britain's largest picture book publishers and Pippa Goodhart, a bestselling picture book author. Pippa and Victoria now also work for the Writers' Workshop, passing on their mighty know-how to first-timers. Read on to learn more about what we offer.

The market

The market for picture books is - like everything in the publishing world - a very tough one. Publishers receive thousands of manuscripts, and will only accept a small handful.

Although writing children's picture books may seem easy, remember that each book must: 

  • appeal to the values of contemporary parents
  • engage young children
  • bear frequent repetition
  • sound good when read out loud
  • be suitable for illustration
  • contain engaging, memorable characters

If you think that sounds easy, then we promise you it isn't. Indeed, writing children's picture books is probably the closest thing to writing poetry of anything we know.

One helpful thing to know is that you do not need to provide your own illustrations or find your own illustrator. If you are a professional illustrator already, then that's great. But if not, all pubishers have access to large numbers of pro illustrators and they will want to make the final choice (though you will of course be consulted.)

What can we offer?

We offer everything you need to get started:

  • Advice pages to help you get started (more here and here)
  • An amazing picture book course that is taught by Pippa Goodhart, a bestselling picture book author. (See course details.)
  • And a complete editorial service for writers of children's picture books and other books aimed at younger readers. (See further details below)

Our editorial service will:

  • Give you an honest assessment of whether your work is strong enough for publication
  • Identify any problems with your manuscript & offer detailed advice on how to fix them.
  • Assist with marketing (if appropriate)
  • Discuss all these things with you by phone.

We have an exceptional record of success and our team of children's editors include winners of the Nestle & Smarties Prizes, among other massively prestigious awards.

Our editors

Victoria Lee

Victoria has had a long career in children's publishing. At Reed Children's Books, she was Publishing Manager for Picture Books & Fiction, then Picture Books Editor.

She has herself written a fair few picture books for titles conceived and produced in-house - so she knows the challenge involved in writing such things.

Victoria lives in a tiny sixteenth century terraced house in Warwickshire and, in her spare time, enjoys tending her cottage garden.

Pippa Goodhart

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 fifty 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 Leicester and De Montfort Universities, and also does lots of school visits to work with children. Her website can be found here.

 

Fees & submissions info

We would be delighted to work with you. The fees for our service are:

£145 - for 1 or 2 picture books
£165 - for 3 or 4 picture books

If you would like to go ahead, then please email your work to us at: info@writersworkshop.co.uk. Alternatively, you can post your work to us at: The Writers' Workshop, The Studio, Sheep St, Charlbury, OX7 3RR

We can take payment online, by cheque (payable to the Writers' Workshop) or over the phone on 0845 459 9560.