Introduction to Creating Picture Books Summer School

An intensive five-day summer school for adult beginners.

When, Where

On this intensive five-day beginners’ summer school, you will learn how the essentials of creating picture books for 0-6 year olds with contemporary market appeal. As both a professional author and illustrator, Claire is uniquely placed to teach both writing and illustration.

Although creating a whole dummy book is beyond the scope of a single course, this week-long course will be instrumental in inspiring you with new ideas, introducing you to relevant literary and artistic techniques and equipping you with the commercial know-how to make a success of your project.

As well as benefiting from Claire’s expert guidance, you’ll have access to our House of Illustration exhibition galleries, a rich source of visual and conceptual inspiration.

During the course you will:

  • Gain an overview of the market and get advice on getting published.
  • Learn how to create stories with convincing characters.
  • Experiment with a range of appropriate artistic mediums.
  • Explore narrative themes, structures and writing styles.
  • Learn how to storyboard a book with compelling layouts.
  • Learn how to make a dummy book to send to publishers.
  • Receive one-to-one and group feedback on your work.
  • Get free entry to the House of Illustration galleries for the duration of the course.
  • Be offered the opportunity to enrol on Claire’s intermediate level evening course where you can develop your book idea further and present it to a visiting publisher and agent at the end of the course.

Please bring:

  • A 2B pencil
  • An eraser
  • A biro pen
  • An A3 sketchpad
  • A notebook
  • A slim A4 ringbinder

An A3 portfolio or plastic wallet to carry your artwork and art materials is recommended. 

All other materials supplied by House of Illustration.

Please feel free to bring along any relevant work you've already created. However, this is a beginners’ course, so please don't worry if you don't have anything to bring. Claire will be there to inspire new ideas throughout the course.

About the tutor:

Claire Alexander is an author/illustrator based in London. She recently completed two book collaborations with writer Sean Taylor, illustrating Humperdink Our Elephant Friend and The Snowbear. Other recent books include The Best Bit of Daddy’s Day, Millie Shares and Monkey and the Little One. The latter was shortlisted for the 2015 Junior Design Awards and listed as one of the top ten best new picture books of the year by the Independent Book Sellers Association. A previous book Back to Front and Upside Down, dealing with the subject of dyslexia, won an American Library Association award in 2013. Other titles include Small FlorenceLost in the SnowThat’s When I knew and Lucy & the Bully, which also won an award in the US. Claire studied Fine Art at the Kent Institute of Art and Design and has a BA honors degree in Painting. She studied Illustration at Putney School of Art and has been teaching her own picture book courses for over ten years.


"Claire is an inspirational teacher and has been incredibly supportive over the past few years. Her courses are fantastic for focusing on specific skills and are always tailored to include the things most relevant to the students’ own projects and aspirations. There is plenty of encouragement and advice on getting your work out there. I’ve been on several of her courses!" Loretta Schauer, signed by literary agents Darley Anderson, subsequently published by Little Tiger Press, Paragon and HarperCollins

"I was so impressed with your students – their work put some college courses to shame. I have so many illustrators who apply to join my agency who would benefit from your tuition." Lorraine Owen, The Organisation Illustration Agency

Course dates:

Monday 26 - Friday 30 August from 10am-4pm


The price refers to the whole course, not to individual sessions.

For more information, please download the document below.


Tickets Price Number Total price
Total amount £0.00
Adult ticket with gift aid£495.00 £495.00
Adult ticket£450.00 £450.00

The price refers to the whole course, not to individual sessions.

- Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable. All tickets sales subject to our general terms and conditions.
- This ticket entitles you to gallery entry for the duration of your House of Illustration course.
Please note that your confirmation email may go to the email address associated with your Paypal account. If you do not receive a ticket confirmation, please contact

Gift Aid

The Gift Aid prices include a 10% voluntary Gift Aid donation. This enables us to claim an extra 25p in every pound, which makes a huge difference. Thank you!

You must be paying enough income tax and/or capital gains tax to cover the amount of tax that all charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs you donate to will reclaim for each tax year (6 April to 5 April). Council tax and VAT do not count. If you are not a UK taxpayer, please select non Gift Aid tickets.