Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

PICTURE BOOK RETREAT: Picturing Words and Writing Pictures – CLOSED

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Date(s) - 07/07/2017 - 10/07/2017

Holland House
Main Street - Cropthorne Pershore, Worcestershire WR10 3NB


Inside spread from, Whale by David Lucas, Andersen Press.

A long weekend of play, exploration, personal work time, group critiques and fun for picture book writers and illustrators.

Are you ready for a creative weekend for picture book writers and illustrators on the River Avon in Worcestershire? Ready to wake up each morning and jump into a creative workshop with our faculty to kick-start your writing, explore new techniques and experiment with words and image? Then join us at Holland House to do just those things.

An optional set project for writers and illustrators will be offered and ample time for work on this or on personal projects. Every attendee will be assigned a faculty mentor and will have the chance to book a slot with a commissioning editor or art director.

Evenings will be open for informal critique sessions, discussions on technique, craft and the children’s publishing industry.
Returning for a second year after an amazing Picture Book Retreat in 2015 is author illustrator David Lucas who will be working with author illustrator Adam Stower (tbc). This year we will have art director, Zoe Tucker from Alison Green (tbc) and a commissioning editor Sue Buswell, Orchard Books (tbc) to talk to us about the nuts and bolts of working in this industry and answer those questions you'd like to ask.

Most of the art materials for making dummies and optional craft techniques are supplied and a list of suggested art materials will be sent closer to the time of the retreat.

Troll and the Oliver

The retreat begins on Friday, 7 July (arrival from 2 pm) and ends after breakfast on Monday, 10 July 2017.

David Lucas regularly teaches story writing and drawing workshops in schools, museums and literary festivals across the UK. His first book as author and illustrator, Halibut Jackson, was described as “an instant classic” by the Financial Times. He has since published 14 picture books, and one illustrated fable for older children, The Lying Carpet. His most recent book is This Is My Rock. He has been a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art, Buckinghamshire New University and other art colleges in the UK. David has also exhibited his work in group shows in the UK and Japan.

(left) Illustration by Adam Stower, Troll and the Oliver, Templar

Adam Stower illustrates work by a great variety of authors as well as several books he has written himself, the most recent being Troll and the Oliver (Templar). He wrote and illustrated SLAM! – a tale of consequences – which won the Norfolk Library Silver Award for Children's Books. Other books include Bottoms Up (winner of the Red House Children's Book Award 2010) and the sequel, Sing a Song of Bottoms (shortlisted for the BookTrust Early Years Award 2010). He also illustrated the popular Mungo series by Timothy Knapman (Puffin). Adam works with publishers in the UK and the US and his picture books have been translated into many languages around the world. Adam is represented by Arena Illustration.

The retreat will be held at Holland House located on four acres of beautiful gardens in Cropthorne, Pershore, Worcestershire WR10 3NB. A magnet for writers and artists, Holland House is a perfect setting to find inspiration and new ideas, to experiment and share expertise.

The nearest British Rail station is Evesham. Once in Evesham you can take a taxi or bus to Holland House.

Directions: use postal code WR10 3NB for navigation settings or Google map directions.

Retreat fees include accommodation and meals. Every attendee will have their own room.

Please book as an illustrator, author illustrator or writer. This is to try for a balance of illustrators and writers at the retreat. A waiting list will be available when needed.

Non-refundable deposit to hold your place – £60

Full cost of the retreat for members – £330.

Non-member full cost – £380

Balance due by 2 June 2017

Questions or queries, email or


This event is fully booked.