Writing & Illustrating a Children’s Picture Book

This online course brings together the teaching materials from our two individual courses - for people who want to work on the text and the illustrations for children's picture books.


May 01 2019 - July 10 2019

Create a Picture Book

Make great stories for young kids


Hosted on our bespoke learning platform

Course fee £350

Includes professional feedback on your draft picture book


This online course brings together the teaching materials from our two individual courses – Writing a Children’s Picture Book and Illustrating a Children’s Book for people who want to do both. If you love to write children’s stories and to create the artwork for them, then join this course for expert advice from two established author-illustrators to help you improve your skills in both disciplines, to help you to produce the complete illustrations and text of your own children’s picture book, and to learn how to raise your game and adopt an informed, professional approach in your dealings with the children’s publishing world.

However if you are only looking to work on either writing or illustration, then check out the relevant single-discipline course (above-mentioned) instead. You can also take the individual courses in writing and illustrating one after the other, rather than choosing this combined course. If you’re unsure which option is right for you, take time to read through the descriptions of all three courses, and email us on cbccourses@curtisbrown.co.uk or call us on (44) 207 3934201 if you have any questions you’d like to ask.


This course is ideal for aspiring writers or illustrators who want to learn the fundamentals behind making a picture book.

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

Sarah and Dave

Weekly Modules

A clear path to a finished picture book text.

Work through 10 weekly modules containing teaching videos and substantial notes specially writ-ten and produced by picture book illustrator Sarah McIntyre and 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 writers Sarah McIntyre and David O’Connell guides you through course.

At least three videos per module), including footage of Sarah drawing to demonstrate illustration techniques and ideas.

Writing image


Custom tasks from Sarah and David to help you learn practically

Designed to help you progress the development of your writing and illustrative techniques, the planning of your story, the sketching of your thumbnail roughs, the writing of your final text and the creation of your full set of preliminary drawings - followed by your final illustrations*.


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 showing 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.


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.



Studying the market and learning from the work of other children’s book writers and illustrators


Inspiration: Writing

How to find inspiration and develop story ideas in writing


Inspiration: Illustration

How to find artistic inspiration and develop ideas as illustrations


Characters and Setting: Writing

Make your characters and settings stand out


Characters and Setting: Illustration

Creating vivid settings and worlds


Technique: Writing

Finding the right words


Technique: Illustration

Pencil drawing, painting, digital work and exploring other media


Planning: Writing

Planning your story & working to the 32-page format


Planning: Illustration

Planning your story and spreads – thumbnail sketches and pencil roughs


Next steps

Professional development in both writing and illustration, how to approach publishers and agents; working on your final illustrations and creating a portfolio


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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