Industry Insight: Dapo Adeola on Children's Books

Spend a day with the award-winning illustrator and designer as he shares his journey to success, along with his agent and team at Puffin.

When, Where

  • Zoom

Join Dapo Adeola online for a day of inspiring discussion, the first in our Industry Insight series of professional development events for illustrators.

In conversation with his agent, editor, designer and publicist, Dapo will talk you through how children’s picture books are made – from pitching and production to publication and promotion.

Over three sessions, each focused on a case study of one of his bestselling books, Dapo will chart his journey into publishing and highlight the different experiences you may come across in the industry. Each session will be packed with visual examples of everything from work-in-progress sketches to final spreads.

There will also be plenty of practical advice, information and discussion about different aspects of working in children's publishing.

What we'll cover

  • Getting started in the industry
  • Finding the right publisher and agent for you
  • Developing a story with an author
  • Working with an in-house editor and designer
  • Drawing relatable characters
  • Designing layouts
  • Collaborating with other illustrators
  • Promoting your work
  • Tackling 'imposter syndrome'
  • Using your voice and platform as an illustrator
  • Using children's books to promote real positive change

About the speakers

Main speaker

Dapo Adeola is an award-winning illustrator and designer who creates characters and images that challenge expectations around race and gender in a fun and upbeat way. He is the co-creator and illustrator of bestselling picture book Look Up! – winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the number 1 debut picture book of 2019. Born and bred in London of Nigerian heritage, Dapo is a tireless advocate of highlighting the possibilities of a career in illustration to underrepresented members of the Black diaspora.

Read our Q&A with Dapo


Guest speakers

  • Sallyanne Sweeney, Agent, MBC Creative
  • Chloe Parkinson, PR Manager, Penguin Random House UK
  • Joe Marriot, Publisher, Penguin Random House UK
  • Monica Whelan, Designer Manager, Penguin Random House UK

Guest illustrators

We will also be joined by Hey You! contributors Chanté Timothy, Joelle Avelino and Selom Sunu.


We are pleased to be able to offer subsidised tickets for early career illustrators, students and unwaged participants, with support from Puffin, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK.

This in recognition of barriers to entry to the publishing industry, particularly experienced by illustrators of African, Caribbean, Central Asian, East Asian, South Asian, South East Asian and West Asian heritage.

Gift this event

If you would like to gift a place on this course to event, we can send you an e-ticket for them by email.

How it works

  • Buy a ticket below.
  • Forward your email booking confirmation to, along with the name and email address of the person you will be gifting it to.
  • We will send you a personalised e-ticket by email within 4 working days.
  • You can choose to print the voucher or email it to your recipient.


Tickets Price Number Total price
Total amount £0.00
Full price with donation£38.50 £38.50
Full price without donation£35.00 £35.00
Early career illustrator£12.00 £12.00
Student/unwaged£8.00 £8.00

Tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and subject to our general terms and conditions. Age 18+ only.

Your ticket confirmation email may go to the email address linked to your Paypal account. Please contact immediately if you do not receive it.