Do you dream of writing children's picture books? Learn from the author of The Gruffalo, who's sold more than 100M books.
Julia's industry secrets and creative tips will guide you from initial idea to final manuscript and how to get your children's picture book published.
You couldn’t ask for a more qualified teacher. Julia’s books have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, won too many awards to list and been adapted into eight award-winning animated films. And she’s a former Children’s Laureate to boot. So soak up the wisdom and insight from this formidable writer and her frequent collaborators – including her agent, her editor and The Gruffalo illustrator, Axel Scheffler.
Julia introduces the glorious world of picture books.
Take a peek at the vast range of topics and styles.
Understand how a book is built and what each page is for.
How to spark and develop original ideas children will love.
Using traditional stories as a jumping off point.
How to create original, relatable and memorable characters.
Building a brilliantly brutal baddie to challenge your hero.
Master the art of a satisfying, yet unpredictable story.
Why to put your hero on a journey – inside and out.
Weaving values and life lessons into your picture book story.
Charming children with wicked words and slick sounds that POP!
Learn how to create catchy choruses and repetition.
Nailing that rhyme and keeping in time.
How to craft conversation between characters and readers.
Use mischief and bottom burps to make children laugh.
Julia’s top tips for giving your story a satisfying conclusion.
Why and how to include number, letter and colour recognition.
Valuing representation and introducing children to other cultures.
Find out what to expect when pictures are added to your words.
Discover how Julia works with illustrator Axel Scheffler on books like The Gruffalo.
How to find the perfect artist to illustrate your story.
A case study of Julia’s book, from initial idea to live performance.
How to get an agent and the role they play in the process.
How to pitch your book to an editor and what happens next, featuring Alison Green.
Bringing your stories to life for book tours and school visits.
What to expect if your story is transferred to stage or screen.
Well done – you’ve learned how to write a children’s picture book!
- Learn with Julia Donaldson
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- Watch as many times as you like
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- Download course notes and exercises
- Access every BBC Maestro course, including Julia Donaldson
- Enjoy over 100 hours of video lessons at your own pace
- Watch as many times as you like
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- Download all course notes and exercises
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A downloadable PDF packed full of tricks, tips, and exercises to get you thinking and writing like Julia.
What people are saying
I felt so motivated taking this course. It covers everything from initial idea inspiration, story development, language patterns and then finally on to the publishing processes.- Kara Bee
I loved Julia’s presentation of the course. It was full of tips and ideas and gave a real insight into what it takes to be a successful writer of children’s picture books.- Gabrielle Mccallion
Julia offers so many fascinating insights into her writing process. I could listen to her forever!- Joanna
I absolutely love it! Thanks @bbcmaestro. Julia is super inspiring. The course is very clear and informative. I'm loving learning all about picture books from the Queen of rhythm and rhyme! Julia's books are firm favourites in our house and it's an honour to be her student.- Sidra Ansari
Thinking of writing a children's picture book? Honestly, I can't praise this @bbcmaestro course highly enough. 25 modules, 6+ hours of learning from the very best in the business. I've learnt so much and come away with 3 exciting book ideas. Highly recommended.- Tony Walsh
I'm enjoying the course. Lots of practical information with worksheets to print out to help with story-telling and characterisation and much more.- Carol
I have almost finished the course would definitely recommend to anyone who is becoming a future illustrator or a children's book writer. Julia is such an inspiring coach and her voice is just music to my ears.- Monika Kelly
Absolutely loved the videos. Easy to listen to, she is the perfect person to host this kind of presentation. Very informative and natural. Worth every penny.- Keva Connolly
Julia is a wonderful instructor, the course is informative and challenges me to think in different ways that I had never considered. I just wish I had more free time to focus on it!- Homera Khan
I really enjoyed this course and I was pleasantly surprised about the depth and usefulness of the content. Julia is a very engaging speaker and her experience and tips helped to round out a very informative course.- Trevor Boyle
Julia was so generous with her tips and suggestions. She was absolutely brilliant, a pleasure to listen to. She gave me so many useful ideas for writing.- Frances Mackay
I feel like I’m opening a treat cupboard and indulging. Every day I look forward to stealing some time for another class and am finding Julia totally enchanting.- Marisa Lassman
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