• West Cork Literary Festival 2021

Writing Picture Books for Children with Julia Donaldson

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Julia Donaldson

By Writing.ie

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Julia Donaldson is set to join BBC Maestro to impart her wisdom in her new course – Writing Picture Books for Children.

BBC Maestro launched in October 2020 to phenomenal success. The first four courses attracted more than one million people to the service, with thousands signing up to learn from their favourite Maestro.

About the Course

Launching 17 June 2021 and aimed at beginners, curious onlookers and experienced authors alike, this course harnesses Julia’s vast experience and expertise to inspire you to create something that will appeal to the ears and mind of the child listener, the adult who will read the story aloud – and also to publishers. Step by step, Julia shares industry tips and guidance, celebrating the magic of picture books and demystify the production process.

The course includes lessons that will help you write your story – constructing storyline and plot, creating rich and colourful characters, using humour, working on rhyme and writing good endings. But it goes further, covering publication and other things to expect like working with an illustrator, getting an agent, and performing at events.

Julia’s passion for picture books shines throughout – the art and craft of it, and what it means to children and families. She speaks expertly on teaching children basic skills like letters, numbers and colours, through to life’s big lessons like celebrating diversity and helping children learn to cope with difficult emotions.

Alongside Julia, the course features other experts in the industry – Julia’s agent, Caroline Sheldon, her illustrator, Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo, The Snail and the Whale, Room on the Broom), as well as the editor of The Gruffalo, Alison Green and TV producer, Michael Rose.

With BBC Maestro courses, the learner can develop professional skills at their own pace and rewatch the lessons as many times as they like. While Julia provides inspiration and insight along the way.

“I’m going to take you through the creation of a picture book from the germ of an idea, to publication and beyond.” Julia Donaldson

About Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson is the bestselling author of children’s books THE GRUFFALO, STICK MAN and ROOM ON THE BROOM (illustrated by Axel Scheffler) and the WHAT THE LADYBIRD HEARD series (illustrated by Lydia Monks), among others. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and won numerous major awards including the Nation’s Favourite Bedtime Story Award, the Scottish Book Trust Award, the Red House Children’s Book Award, and The Booksellers Association Books Are My Bag Readers Award. Her work has been translated into 100 languages.

In 2011, Julia was appointed the UK’s Children’s Laureate. During her laureateship she undertook a tour of libraries from John O’Groats to Land’s End to publicise the state of libraries in the UK. She received an MBE in 2011 for her services to literature and a CBE in 2018.

Julia and her husband Malcolm live in the UK and divide their time between Sussex and Edinburgh.

About BBC Maestro

BBC Maestro offers never before granted access to the minds of some of the worlds’ greatest creative talents, through a series of very special digital tutorials. Whether you are a novice or an amateur enthusiast, BBC Maestro allows you to indulge in your area of passion from the comfort of your own home and learn from the experts. Each course is beautifully filmed in 4K and offers several hours of content, broken down into 20 to 40 easily digested lessons accompanied by downloadable course notes filled with hints, tips and a breakdown of each course. Julia Donaldson is the latest Maestro, joining David Walliams, Gary Barlow, Marco Pierre White and Line of Duty creator, Jed Mercurio. And coming soon are Malorie Blackman, Sir Tim Rice. Peter Jones and more – all imparting wisdom, expertise and industry secrets.

BBC Maestro taps into the fast-growing space of e-learning – because of the way technology has revolutionised teaching and learning, lessons no longer have to be confined to the classroom. In 2020, the number of people using online learning videos rose dramatically, with an estimated 200 million users worldwide. The global ‘Mass Open Online Courses’ market size is expected to increase from $3.9 billion in 2018 to $20.8 billion by 2023.

“We’re so delighted to have Julia on the platform. For the first time, she’s going to teach the audience at home how she goes about her process, to encourage them to find their own craft, their own voice.” Michael Levine, MD at BBC Maestro

See here for further details.

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