Melbourne based writer of whatever takes her fancy. She doesn't blog but may just start if anyone on WN likes what she has to say.
Published July 19th 2014
You could be the next Dr Seuss
Go on, admit it. You get more pleasure out of reading a children's picture book than the latest bestselling novel. At the time, you tell yourself the excitement is only due to the prospect of blobbing solo on the couch with the Tim Tams after bedtime stories. Really though, it's because you appreciate a good picture book for what it is - a literary masterpiece!
Then comes the lightbulb moment - probably after reading 'Fox in Socks' a little faster than your ageing brain could cope with - "Why don't I write a picture book?". Kids surely aren't that fussy as long as the pictures are pretty! So you think you know how to make cat rhyme with hat and give a charming personality to a dog? You're sure it could be written in thirty minutes and you'll have a publisher hounding you to sign a contract by the end of the week. Stop! Before you start picturing yourself in Target strolling past merchandise depicting your version of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar', there's something you should know.
Picture books seem easy to write, so lots of people try...and fail. After I was unexpectedly inspired to write my first children's picture book a few months ago I quickly discovered it wasn't going to be as easy as I had first thought. The good news is, ample professional help is at hand. In Melbourne (being the artsy place it is) we are spoiled for choice with courses and workshops designed specifically to help budding authors pen their first children's picture book.
Not sure where to start?
Workshops are usually run over 1 - 3 weekend days, whilst short courses may be over several weeks. Most workshops cover all the basics like book length, appropriate age group, development of plot and character, how to get published and so on. Workshops are almost always presented by one or more published children's picture book author, so you'll be learning from someone who has firsthand experience and was, of course, once unpublished too!
Get those creative juices flowing
Below is a list below of those workshops / courses specifically dealing with writing children's picture books that are running in Melbourne for the remainder of 2014. Most of the organisers continually offer repeat workshops on an ongoing basis, so if you can't fit it into your diary this year, check their websites for upcoming sessions. Many also offer online versions or a mentoring or manuscript assessment program if you can't make it in person (as was my case).
So if you have a great story to tell, or need help to find one hidden deep inside, then reserve your place today - most have limited spaces and it is common for workshops to book out. You may just find you have an unused talent that can put a smile on a child's face and help instil in them a lifelong love for books.
A love for reading starts at a young age
Children's Picture Book Writing Courses and Workshops 2014