Summer School: Graphic Novel Your Life

Turn your life experiences into a graphic novel in this one week course for adults hosted at London Metropolitan Archives.

When, Where

  • London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Rd, London EC1R 0HB

Learn how to create a page-turning graphic novel based on your own life experiences on this course with comic artist Rachael Ball.

You’ll shape a memory into a compelling plot, create natural scripts and breathe life into your character. You’ll experiment with character design, visual metaphor, story pace, composition and comic page layout.

By the end of the week, you will have created a strong plot, key character sheets, scripted pages, a well composed storyboard, a synopsis and a finished page of artwork.

Working from the learning space at London Metropolitan Archives, you will view a specially curated selection of historic sketches, posters, photographs, cartoons and other curiosities to inspire your own work.

Our small class size of no more than 16 students will ensure one:one mentoring with Rachael and regular group feedback in a relaxed and friendly learning environment. 

Experience needed

This course is for all levels, from beginners to professionals.

The course will take you through all the necessary processes to plan a graphic novel and will support beginners while inspiring and challenging those with more experience.

Time and place

In-person classes take place each day from 10:00 - 16:00 BST from 1-5 August at London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London, EC1R 0HB.

Please email us if you you would like to discuss any access needs

Read more about access at London Metropolitan Archives.

Good to know

Materials will be provided.

London Metropolitan Archives is based in Clerkenwell, central London. There are a range of public transport options

Refreshments will be served throughout the day but lunch is not provided. Nearby Exmouth Market has plenty of cafés and restaurants. Packed lunches can be eaten in London Metropolitan Archives' visitor lounge or at nearby Spa Fields park.

About the tutor

Rachael Ball is an acclaimed cartoonist who started out cartooning for cult comic Deadline in 1988. Her first graphic novel, The Inflatable Woman (Bloomsbury), was a Guardian Best Graphic Novel 2015 and her second, Wolf (SelfMadeHero), has been called “a timeless classic”. Rachael co-coordinates the London branch of Laydeez Do Comics, a forum which promotes women in comics, and has 16 years of teaching experience.

Read our Q&A with Rachael.

Previous students

“The course was brilliant for helping clarify my idea for a graphic novel.”

“I took a one-week vacation to take this class. I don't regret it.”

“The tutor is wonderful, really approachable, knowledgeable and encouraging.”

See previous students’ work.


Concessions are for students, those on income-supporting benefits and early career illustrators (under three years’ practice).

We want to everyone to be able to participate in our activities. Please email if:

-you would like to book a free ticket for your personal assistant, companion or carer to support your attendance

-cost is a barrier and you would like to discuss payment options 

Gift this workshop

If you would like to gift a place on this workshop to someone, 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.

About London Metropolitan Archives

London Metropolitan Archives is a public research centre which specialises in the history of London, caring for and providing access to the historical archives of businesses, schools, hospitals, charities and all manner of other organisations. With over 100km of books, maps, photographs, films and documents dating back to 1067 in their strong rooms, they are proud to provide access to one of the finest city archives in the world.

Explore the London Picture Archive



Tickets Price Number Total price
Total amount £0.00
Full price£425.00 £425.00
Concession£340.00 £340.00

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.