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Professional development

Navigating the children’s publishing industry can be daunting. Launching and sustaining a career as a children’s illustrator requires knowledge and connections, an appetite for learning, and the ability and willingness to collaborate with others. Professional development events and activities are intended to equip mentees with a well-rounded knowledge of the industry, and an understanding of the professional processes and roles involved in taking a book from pitch to print and to market. Mentees will also develop vital skills to enhance their profiles and earning potential, including learning to work with children and schools and delivering events at festivals.

Illustration (c) Emily Hughes
Illustration (c) Emily Hughes

Educational Markets, Story Development & Workflow

Educational publishing is an often overlooked area of children’s illustration. Yet it can offer greater reach in terms of readership than trade or literary publishing, providing opportunities to genuinely impact on children’s literacy, as well as increased earning potential for illustrators who understand the field. Mentees will learn from staff and illustrators at Oxford University Press’s Global Educational Publishing press about contemporary educational contexts and issues, the role illustrators play in developing literacy, and working to brief in this field.

Where
Oxford

When
29.04.2020

With
Alex Paterson (illustrator); Mary Hamley
Kersti Worsley and Caroline Derby (Oxford University Press)

How to Write and Publish Picture Books

This event, designed and delivered by publisher affiliate Nosy Crow alongside authors, editors and agents, focusses on the business of writing, making and publishing picture books. Mentees will gain from practical suggestions, advice on every aspect of writing (from rhyme and scansion to editing a text), tips for working with editors and art directors, and develop a greater understanding of the format. They will also learn what a publisher does at every stage of the process, explore the current UK picture book market, and learn about international selling and co-editions.

Where
London

When
26.09.2020

With
Kate Wilson (Nosy Crow)

Marketing, Promotion & Social Media

Knowing how children’s books are marketed, how publishers promote their books, the support you will get and what’s expected from you is key to sustaining work in children’s publishing. Mentees will learn from marketing professionals and publicists about campaigns and events for different types of books, and hear from illustrators how to harness social media and innovate to build your profile and reach more readers.

Where
London

When
October 2020

With
TBC

Illustration (c) Claire Alexander
Illustration (c) Claire Alexander

The Business of Being an Author

Navigating the various processes involved in getting a book published can be extremely challenging. Mentees will learn from agents, publishers and membership organisations Association of Illustrators and Society of Authors all about finding an agent, looking for the right publishers, submitting work, being commissioned, negotiating contracts and rights, working with editors and designers, and the economic realities of building and sustaining a career as a children’s illustrator.

Where
London

When
TBC

With
Agents & Publishers TBC / Association of Illustrators / Society of Authors

Developing Education Practice

Knowing how to work through schools to engage children and young people of all ages is vital in sustaining a career as a children’s illustrator, increasing earnings while having an educational impact on young readers. Mentees will learn engaging educational practice from some of the very best illustrators who work through Pop Up Projects and House of Illustration, and will have opportunities to shadow illustrators in schools as well as develop and test their own workshops in classrooms.

Where
London & UK-Wide Schools

When
Summer 2021

With
Dylan Calder
Jasmine Tucker & Annette McCartney (Pop Up Projects); Emily Jost (House of Illustration); Various Illustrators

Developing Live Event Practice

The ability to deliver dynamic live experiences for young readers at public events like festivals is not only an essential part of selling books, it also builds audiences of readers. Through opportunities provided by a string of major literature festivals, including Hay and Edinburgh festivals, mentees will be able to shadow and learn from children’s authors how to excite and inspire young audiences.

Where
Hay; Edinburgh; London

When
Summer 2021

With
Various

Illustration (c) Dapo Adeola
Illustration (c) Dapo Adeola

Publisher Placements

Short placements in children’s publishers will offer unique insights into the different roles and departments involved in publishing, marketing and selling books. By late 2020, placements with affiliated publishers will be offered to mentees, to take place during summer 2021

Where
London & Oxford

When
Spring 2021

With
Various

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