Summer School: Introduction to Creating Picture Books

Learn all the essentials for creating picture books 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 contemporary children’s picture books with market appeal on this course for adults with author and illustrator Claire Alexander.

You'll learn how to write stories with convincing chatacters, experiment with watercolour techniques and explore narrative structure and writing styles. You'll learn about the book publishing market and receive valuable advice on how to get published.  

By the end of the week you will have created your own compelling colour characters in settings and a storyboard in pencil which can be made into a dummy book to be presented to publishers.

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 12 students will ensure that you receive personalised feedback on your work in a relaxed and friendly learning environment. 

Experience needed

This course is for beginners, although some drawing experience is recommended. 

Time and place

In-person classes take place each day from 10:00 - 16:00 BST from 8-12 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, but we recommend you bring your own sketch pad and preferred pencils.

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

Claire Alexander is an award-winning author and illustrator with more than 15 years’ experience of creating picture books and teaching bespoke courses. Her recent books include The Think-Ups! and the third book in the ‘Ploofer’ series A Little Bit of Respect. Recent collaborations include illustrations for Emma Perry’s Puddling, and Sean Taylor’s Humperdink Our Elephant Friend and The Snowbear.

Read our Q&A with Claire.

Previous students

"Excellent teaching pace and content with a blend of learning for all types of students"

“I came up with two picture book ideas to take forward”

“Claire's approach is super professional and knowledgeable and her commitment to developing everyone's story is amazing”

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£475.00 £475.00
Concession£380.00 £380.00

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.