Writing Children’s Picture Books with Julia Donaldson for BBC Maestro

Author of The Gruffalo, Children’s Laureate with 100 million books sold worldwide, Julia Donaldson joins BBC Maestro to impart her wisdom in her new course – Writing Children’s Picture Books - that is launching  on 17 June 2021

BBC Maestro launched in October 2020, with Downing Ventures as the lead investor,  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.

Aimed at beginners, curious onlookers and experienced authors alike, this online 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 demystifies the production process.

The course, ‘Writing Children’s Picture Books’, will look at the whole process of creating a picture book, from inception to publication and beyond. Lessons will include constructing a storyline and plot, creating rich and colourful characters, using humour, working on rhyme and writing good endings, as well as working with an illustrator, finding the right 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 (Stick Man,The Smeds and the Smoos,The Gruffalo, The Snail and the Whale, and 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

Julia Donaldson’s course will be available on the 17th June www.bbcmaestro.com

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 world’s 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, Peter Jones, Helena Bonham Carter 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.

BBC Maestro operates in partnership with BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC.

“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

About Downing Ventures

Downing Ventures invests in innovative technology companies and pioneering founders across the globe with Early to Growth Stage funding across the Deep Tech, Enterprise and Healthcare sectors. The Downing Ventures team spans the UK, USA and Israel giving our portfolio a global perspective and expertise. The team are scientists, engineers, founders, visionary thinkers and story tellers. We have a portfolio of 71 companies as at September 2020. To find out more, visit www.downingventures.com


Date published:

08 Jun 2021

Practice area:

Enterprise