We often run weekly morning and evening courses in Teddington suitable for beginners to the more advanced.

Christyan’s courses open up the world of creating a children’s book and give an overview of all of the areas that encompasses. This course will help you develop your written ideas or illustrations and will show you how to create a book dummy or prepare a manuscript ready to show a publisher.

Please see our other pages for details of our one-day workshop sessions.


Whether your ambitions lie in writing, illustration or both, Christyan teaches a mixed group on this informal 8-week course.

This is a friendly, beginner-to-advanced course for adults (18+), aimed at those who enjoy pre-teenage children's books, like to draw or write, but don't know where to start. It’s also for those who already have some experience in writing or illustration. Although this is not specifically an illustration course, we aim to help illustrators focus their talents into the goals of character development and book layout.

At first the subject can seem daunting with so many types of children’s books on offer encompassing age groups from birth to teen, but week-by-week the course will introduce you to each of the main areas and find out exactly where your skills lie.

Don’t worry if you can write but not draw, or draw but not write - this course is aimed at those who like to work in either area but don't know how to apply their skills to the task of creating a children's book.

+ Course Content

During the 8-week course you will:

  • Take a look at the current children's book market - its varying age groups from earliest concept books to pre-teenage fiction - and the different types of work available.
  • Look at the history of children’s books from the 1800s through to contemporary illustrators and writers, and ask what made them successful.
  • Through group activities, examine the processes that writers, illustrators and editors go through in each of their roles to help you work together in future.
  • Undertake exercises to improve your writing and/or illustration skills; a variety of creative briefs will explore the requirements needed when illustrating or writing for different age, cultural and societal groups.
  • Explore suitable narrative themes for today’s market – what is and isn’t acceptable.
  • Look at writing and artistic styles for different ages from earliest concept books to teenage fiction.
  • Study the importance of character development in more depth; learn about model sheets and examine how to give life, expression and movement to your characters.
  • Explore the possibilities and limitations offered by rhyming text and other styles.
  • Consider the suitability of your story themes or illustrations for international markets.
  • Examine a range of artistic mediums and the variety of styles and medias favoured by writers and illustrators.
  • Tackle visual and narrative exercises to help you think from a child’s perspective and increase your skills and confidence.
  • Learn to create a visual or narrative overview of any story with a storyboard, and develop your storyboard to control the length, pace, flow and climax of your ideas in preparation for combining text with the images.
  • Take a look at the importance of a strong title and what makes an appealing cover image.
  • Discover how books are structured; the importance of this to your story and examine examples of real book ‘dummies’ and manuscripts that have been sent to publishers.
  • Take a look at the complexities and production costs of different types of novelty books: touch & feel, pop-up, shape books, electronic chip, play books, spiral-bound, die-cut, and other novelties.
  • Learn what goes on in a real meeting with a publisher and how you should present yourself and your book.
  • Be guided through the many stages your book will undergo during publication: from first concept to seeing your book on the shelves.
  • Receive one to one & group feedback on your work.
  • Have the opportunity to enrol on intermediate & advanced sessions in the artists’ studio where you can develop your book ideas in more detail.
    Areas other students have looked at:
    • Plot structure
    • Idea and manuscript development
    • Character development
    • Advice on Photoshop
    • Advice on agents
    • PLR & ALCS royalties
    • Dummy making and manuscript preparation


You have a choice of morning or evening sessions:

Friday mornings Teddington
Usually 9.45am to 12.15pm. No class at half-term. Contact us for next start dates.

Monday evenings Teddington
Usually 7pm to 9.30pm. No class at half-term. Contact us for next start dates.

Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington, Ferry Road, Teddington, TW11 9NN

8-Week Course Fee:
£199 paid in advance, non-returnable.
Please note that places are only secured once payment is received.

For writers just the usual notebooks and pens.
For illustrators a notepad as well as a graphic designers’ Layout Pad (very thin paper), pencils, pens and rubbers.
Additional materials for later activities will be discussed in the class to suit the individual.

If you are interested in receiving more information or would like an enrolment form, please email or call 0208 398 0287

Please note that due to circumstances beyond our control, venues, dates, times or other details are subject to change.

Course fees include VAT @ 20% VAT no. 652 8856 00



Some students might not have the time to attend the 8-week course, or simply live too far away.

Others might be complete beginners who would like individual attention.

Or perhaps you’re more advanced with previous experience in writing or illustration and now wish to focus on one area in particular: recent students have looked at character design, plotting, dummy making, manuscript preparation, submitting new work for publication and Photoshop skills.

A one-day workshop session with Christyan at his home studio will help you take your book ideas further - individual students or small groups can choose to go from first principles or develop their work to the professional standards required by a publisher.

The full 5-hour session (we include lunch for you) is currently charged at £175. Shorter sessions (minimum of 2hrs) are charged @ £40 per hour.

If you are interested in receiving further information about workshop sessions please email or call Christyan on 0208 398 0287.


Have you created a children’s book and would like to receive feedback?

Diane and Christyan Fox can give you the benefit of their experience.

They offer a manuscript and illustration evaluation service for writers or illustrators of picture books and other children’s books.

  • A written report discussing plot, story, characters, title, illustration style, and other details.
  • Constructive criticism of your work, assessing whether it is suitable for publication.
  • Detailed suggestions on how to correct any problems with your manuscript or illustrations.

Picture books: £99 base fee for up to 1000 words (approx 1 - 2 picture books) Longer books: £99 base fee (first 1000 words), then £15 per 1000 words. Turnaround time is approximately 2 weeks.

Illustration Evaluation is charged at £40 per hour.

If you are interested in receiving more information please email or call 0208 398 0287

Fees include VAT @ 20% VAT no. 652 8856 00