Home Children's Start Your Story: A Beginner’s Guide to Writing and Illustrating for Children

Start Your Story: A Beginner’s Guide to Writing and Illustrating for Children

Sarah Webb

A beginner’s guide to writing and illustrating for children

Have you ever thought about writing for children but don’t know where to start? This webinar is for you – part of the #ProperBook series of practical events and workshops for new and emerging children’s writers, a beginner’s guide to writing and illustrating for children, presented by West Cork Literary Festival in association with Children’s Books Ireland and Sarah Webb, on Saturday, January 30th.

Discover the recommended word count for a picture book, how long a middle grade novel should ideally be, what agents and publishers are looking for when it comes to children’s books, and hear from a wide range of book industry experts on all aspects of writing and publishing for children. This back to basics event will provide the no-nonsense information you need to get your children’s book idea off the ground. Hear children’s writers and illustrators talk about how they got published and give tips for new writers and illustrators. Come with questions and leave with answers!

Children’s Books Ireland is the national books organisation of Ireland. Through their many activities and events they aim to engage young people with books, foster a greater understanding of the importance of books for young people and act as a core resource for those with an interest in books for children in Ireland. One of their missions is to champion every child’s right to excellent books and live literature events and support the artists who make that goal possible across the island of Ireland. This event has been programmed by Sarah Webb and Aoife Murray for West Cork Literary Festival

Saturday 30 January 2021 

Zoom Webinar 

Price €25

10am to 1.15pm GMT


Welcome by Aoife Murray, Programme and Events Manager, Children’s Books Ireland and Eimear O’Herlihy, West Cork Literary Festival 

10.05am to 11.00am 

The World of Children’s Books: From Picture books to Young Adult Verse Novels 

Chaired by Sarah Webb, Children’s Writer and Children’s Book Events Programmer 

A whistle stop tour of Irish and international children’s books – different age groups, forms and genres – and what children are currently reading, buying in bookshops and borrowing from libraries. 

Lorraine Levis, Author of Once Upon a Reader: Raising Your Children with a Love of Books and Key Account Executive for Penguin Random House Children’s Books  

Vita Coleman, Assistant Librarian in Bray Public Library, Wicklow County Council Library Service

Rebecca Long, Children’s Books Ireland Book Doctor 

Muireann Ní Chíobháin, Children’s Writer and Irish Language Editor of Children’s Books Ireland Inis Magazine

11.00am to 11.10am – 10 minute break  

11.10am to 12.00pm

How I Got Published – Debut Writers Talk about Their Journey to Publication and Share Their Writing and Publishing Tips 

Chaired by Patricia Forde, Children’s Writer 

Ann Murtagh, Author of The Sound of Freedom

Carol Ann Treacy, Author of Barney Goose

Ashwin Chacko, Author and Publisher of What Wondrous Shapes We Are

12.00pm to 12.10pm – 10 minute break 

12.10pm to 1.15pm 

The Next Step: Finding an Agent and Getting Published 

Aoife Murray from Children’s Books Ireland talks about the world of agents and publishing with some experts from the children’s book world:

Philippa Milnes-Smith, Managing Director, The Soho Agency, London

Grainne Clear, Commissioning Editor, Walker Books

Matthew Parkinson-Bennett, Publisher, Little Island Books   

Princess Okonkwo, Editorial Administrator, The O’Brien Press