How to write a children’s picture book: A workshop with Alan Durant

Actions and Detail Panel


Event Information

Share this event

Date and time



Online event

Event description
A fun workshop that covers the key techniques for writing picture books for children .

About this event

Many of the most successful ideas for picture books begin with a childhood event, a toy or an emotion. During this fun writing workshop, award-winning children’s author Alan Durant will teach you how to turn childhood experiences into imaginative fiction – and keep a young audience enthralled by your storytelling.

Whether you want to write for your own children or young relatives, or for publication, this beginner-level class will teach you the key techniques and considerations of writing picture books for children.

This practical interactive class is also suitable for illustrators keen to learn how to tell their stories through words. By the end of the day, you’ll have had the opportunity to employ the skills required to respond to the demands and delights of young children in your writing.

Course Content

  • The key elements of classic picture books
  • Knowing your audience: advice on how to write for children who can’t read or are at the early stages of reading
  • How to write a book that will appeal to a young audience and also excite the reader (often an adult)
  • Coming up with ideas: how to explore your own memories for stories, as well as the imagination of your children or young relatives
  • Classic themes: from fear of the dark to a desire for independence, from first experiences to imaginative play
  • Style: expert advice on how to write a story that should be read aloud, plus tips on sentence structure and word count
  • Pictures: guidance on how to write a story that will be illustrated
  • Practical writing activities and a chance to share your writing with the group, with opportunity for feedback

Course preparation

Ahead of the class, you’re encouraged to visit the children’s section of your local library and/or bookshop to look at the kind of picture books that are being published. You should consider which picture books appeal to you most – and why.

What to bring

  • You should bring along a toy or a possession from your childhood, or one that belongs to your child or young relative.
  • Please also bring along one of your favourite picture books.

This course is for…

  • Anyone interested in starting to write picture book stories for children and would like to learn about the skills and processes involved

You will be sent a link to the webinar 2hrs before the start time of 10am (BST).

Tutor Profile

Alan Durant is an award-winning author of over 100 books for children, including picture books and young adult novels. His titles include Billy Monster’s Daymare, winner of the Royal Mail Scottish children’s book award, Burger Boy, Always and Forever, Quill Soup and Dear Tooth Fairy, which was shortlisted for the children’s book award. Alan is an experienced writing tutor, who has run many workshops for children and adults. Find out more on his website.

Course Details

  • Date: Sunday 4 July 2021
  • Time: 10am – 4pm (BST)

This masterclass is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.

You will be sent a link to the webinar two hrs before the start time. Please email masterclasses@theguardian.com if you have not received the access link within one hour of the scheduled start time.

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible but please contact us at masterclasses@theguardian.com if you have any queries or concerns.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website


Share with friends

Date and time


Online event

{ _('Organizer Image')}

Organiser Guardian Masterclasses

Organiser of How to write a children’s picture book: A workshop with Alan Durant

Welcome to Guardian Masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.

Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

Save This Event

Event Saved