Writing a Children’s Picture Book

Turn your ideas into fully-fledged story-book texts for 2-6 year-olds with advice from a published children's picture book author.


May 01 2019 - Jun 12 2019

Write a Picture Book

Make great stories for young kids


Hosted on our bespoke learning platform

Course fee £200

+ includes professional feedback on your picture book


Writing stories for very young children is lots of fun, and can seem very simple. But there’s great skill involved in bringing those memorable characters and colourful worlds to life – and you have just a small number of carefully chosen words in which to do it. The best children’s picture book stories fire our imaginations and stay with us for our whole lives – so how do you work that magic?

In this online creative writing course, popular children’s book author and illustrator David O’Connell guides you through the unwritten rules of how to write children’s picture book texts, teaching you how to plan your story using the forms and format that publishers like; showing you how to develop your characters and their worlds; how to sharpen your style and use language in ways that children love – and how to develop your writing professionally, so as to attract publishers.


This course is ideal for aspiring someone who wants to learn the fundamentals behind writing a picture book text.

This great learning package features teaching videos and substantial notes organised into six weekly modules designed for flexible study, so you can take part at times to suit you and from wherever in the world you are.

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Weekly Modules

A clear path to a finished picture book text

Work through six weekly modules containing teaching videos and substantial notes specially writ-ten and produced by picture book author David O’Connell.

Forum capture

Student Forum

The hub of our online courses. Find your community

Upload your completed writing tasks, give and receive feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your fellow students and the CBC team.


Video Tutorials

Children’s writer David O’Connell guides you through course

Specially filmed Teaching Videos from successful children's author David O'Connell (at least three videos per module).


Writing Tasks

Custom tasks from David to help you learn practically

Designed to help you progress the planning and writing of your story. You'll be posting your work in the forums and we encourage students to offer positive, constructive feedback as the course progresses.


Resources & Notes

Comprehensive teaching notes and reference materials that are yours to keep.

These include a reading list, a glossary of useful children's publishing terms, and a template show-ing how a children's picture book should be set out.

Karl Newson, author-illustrator


Get feedback from your peers and an expert CBC editor

Each week, author-illustrator Karl Newson will be viewing the work posted and offering some fo-cused comment on a few students' work – every student will get written feedback on their final task.


Open to all-comers, the Writing a Children’s Picture Book course is the right choice if you are looking for expert advice on writing the story (ie. the text/words) for picture books for the under-6s. If your focus is on illustration, take a look at our Illustrating a Children’s Picture Book course with Sarah McIntyre. If you would like to develop as a writer and illustrator, you can either start off with one of these courses, and then take the other course at a later date – or you can enrol now for the combined course – Writing and Illustrating a Children’s Picture Book, which brings together the teaching materials from both courses at a discounted price.

The course is suitable for complete beginners as well as those who have already written picture book texts but want to learn more and improve their skills. It’s also suitable for people who’ve previously written in different forms (eg novels for older children or adults), and for people who’ve taken creative writing courses with universities or other organisations (as well as other CBC courses). We can’t promise this course will get you an agent or a publishing deal, but it aims to demystify the children’s picture book publishing world and help you to understand what children’s publishers look for in a submission.



Our bespoke learning platform features separate forum spaces for each teaching unit, arranged in a clear structure that’s easy to use. This enables students to quickly find and take part in discussions and to easily locate task materials they’d like to refer back to.



Learn to read as a writer, looking at the picture books which are being published now


Inspiration and Ideas

How to find inspiration and develop ideas for your picture book text



Creating memorable characters and settings for your story



Finding the right words for your picture book text



Plan your story – working to the right format


Next steps

Professional development, and how to approach publishers & agents


We’re excited to have you join our community of writers and illustrators. Choose your preferred option from the right-hand-side and click the ‘Pay & Enrol’ button. You will be shown a secure credit card form for payment. If you have a discount code you can input the details at payment. Once you enrol we’ll send you a confirmation email and then on the day before your course begins you will receive a welcome pack explaining everything you need to know about the course.

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