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Write Your First Picture Book

The online course designed to get you from “I have no idea” to your first finished picture book manuscript that kids will want to read again and again and again.

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Everything You Need to Know to Write Inspiring, Empowering & Entertaining Picture Books

From the very beginnings of an idea, to crafting compelling characters, to creating endings that make kids yell “again!”, you will learn how to find inspiration and start writing stories that stick with kids for a lifetime.

This online course offers a beginning-to-end journey that empowers you with everything you need to know about writing kids picture books – so you can stop saying “someday I’d love to write a children’s book”, and actually become an author.

From “Someday” to Best-Seller

Writing Picture Books Changed My Life

If we haven’t met before – Hi! My name’s Scott Stuart.

I wanted to be an author since I was 8 years old, but like many aspiring authors, I was far better at procrastinating than actually getting any writing done. So, by the time I was 30 years old, I still hadn’t written anything, even though I constantly dreamed of being an author.

Finally, with the birth of my son, I thought “wouldn’t it be cool if I wrote a book about him so he could read it when he gets a little older?!”

So, in one night, I wrote my first picture book.

And honestly, it wasn’t great, but I absolutely fell in love with the process of writing.

And now, 10 years later, I’ve had numerous best-sellers, my books have been translated into over a dozen languages, they’ve been adapted for the stage (and soon the screen!), as well as receiving nominations for Children’s Book of the Year & Picture Book of the Year – and I’ve managed to become a full-time author. My lifelong dream – well, my dream for 32 out of 40 years anyway!

I genuinely look forward to working on my books, and every day I get messages like this in my email:

Now if you want to be an author, but you haven’t managed to get your book written, all of those achievements may seem absolutely ridiculously out of reach, but I’m only mentioning them to show that even the authors you know all started at the same spot as you – with a blank page, writing their first book.

And that’s what this course is here to help you do.

By the end of this online course, you will have all the tools and guidance you need to go from a blank page, to a finished picture book manuscript – one that you can be proud of, one that you can share with the people in your life, and possibly, one that could lead to something even bigger.

My first book - Surprised at the fact I have actually written something, and that I don't yet realise I'm slowly going to lose that hairline.
My first book - Surprised at the fact I have actually written something, and that I don't yet realise I'm slowly going to lose that hairline.

Hear from Past Students:

Testimonials

Scott’s picture book course was amazing!

It was great to learn how Scott tackles the writing process from start to finish. I came away armed with tips, techniques and tons of inspiration.

I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to develop their skills as a picture book writer. You’ll learn and grow as a writer while having loads of fun.

– Claire T

Scott Stuart’s Write Your First Picture Book Course was a fun and interactive experience.

I would recommend this course to anyone who has had an idea for a picture story book, but needs help to get it out of your head and onto the page.

– Justin D

I thoroughly enjoyed Scott Stuart’s book course!

I shared what I had learned with a friend who is a writer, and after my summary they replied, “So you learned all of that in a few weeks and I paid four years of college tuition for it.”

I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in writing their first children’s book.

– Emily C

The Contents:

What’s in the Course?

Write Your First Picture Book is a self-paced online course, where you will learn everything you need to know about writing inspiring, engaging & entertaining children’s picture book.

I’ll be focused on specific actions you can take to start writing your book – so that by the time you finish this course, you will have a completed picture book manuscript, ready to share with the people in your life, or to pursue publishing.

Module 1

A Great Idea That Kids Actually Want to Read

Every book starts with an idea. For some of us, ideas come easily and naturally. For others, finding ideas is like looking for water in a dried up well.

In this module I will walk you through:

  • The difference between a book idea and a situation
  • Finding inspiration in the smallest of places
  • My idea generation process that keeps fresh ideas keep coming
  • How to know which idea to pursue
  • Turning a “meh” idea into something special
  • Developing your idea to lay the groundwork for your entire book

Module 2

Outlining Your Plot, Discovering Your Story

Have you ever picked up a book that sounded fantastic, and then when you read it you were left with a sense of “well, that could have been better.” A great idea only gets you so far.

In this module I will walk you through:

  • Different picture book styles that you can mold your idea into
  • The technical structure of a picture book
  • The difference between your story and your plot
  • Bringing out your internal architect to make your book more engaging (and easier to write)

Module 3

Creating Characters That Kids Will Love

There are reasons why the best books stand the test of time – they have characters that kids love, that feel real, that entertain, engage, and pull kids into the story.

In this module, I will walk you through:

  • Humans, animals, chairs, unicorns – what should your characters be?
  • Creating characters that actually serve a purpose in your story
  • How to make your characters jump off the page and feel alive
  • Character mistakes that I made early in my author journey

Module 4

Beginnings & Endings That Leave Kids Saying “Again!”

Have you ever picked up a book, read the first page, then put it straight back down? Beginnings are all-important to get kids invested in your story, but a spectacular ending keeps them coming back for more!

In this module I will walk you through:

  • Creating a first page that makes kids need to turn the pages and finish the story
  • Creating setups and payoffs that make sense in your story
  • Surprise endings that delight kids
  • How good endings are a result of good beginnings

Module 5

Humour, Rhyme & Meaning – Writing For Impact & Laughs

No picture book is complete without your own defined style – what’s going to make someone pick up a book and know that you wrote it?

In this module I will walk you through:

  • Prose or Rhyme – what should you actually use? (I’ve used both)
  • How different points of view affect your storytelling
  • Getting a laugh out of kids (when you mean to)
  • How to inject meaning into your books, without becoming “preachy”
  • Introducing challenging subjects without turning kids away

Module 6

Tips & Tricks I Wish I Knew Sooner

I have learned A LOT over the last years as a children’s picture book author – things that have made my writing (and my writing process) infinitely easier and more enjoyable. After all, this is supposed to be fun!

In this module I will walk you through:

  • Overcoming writer’s block without burning out
  • Turning first-draft dumpster fires into polished manuscripts
  • Naming your book (an enormously important part of helping a book sell)
  • Finding your own writing process

To get you started, I’m also including a set of writing prompts to get you warmed up and past the blank page.

Bonus Content

From Zero Idea to Finished Book:

Follow Along As I Write A New Book

Watch as I write alongside you and go from zero idea through to completed manuscript – all on camera.

You’ll see exactly what I’m thinking as I tackle each stage of the book writing process – from coming up with the idea I’m going to pursue, to outlining the plot, to finding the “bits of magic” that make a book special, through to editing a final draft.

And yes, you’ll get to see my first drafts in all their shockingly terrible glory.

See Behind the Scenes:

Behind the Scene Case Studies of My Best-Sellers

I’ll walk you through my exact process for writing 3 of my best-selling books – from earliest concepts, through to completed manuscripts.

  • My Shadow is Pink
  • Alone
  • Bedtime Stories for Hard Days

See the decisions I made, the directions the books could have gone in (they looked VERY different at their first draft stage!), and exactly why I made the choices I did.

Start Your Author Journey Today!

Pricing

Write Your First Picture Book Online Course

$199

  • All 6 core modules.
  • Bonus Behind the Best-Seller Case Studies
  • Bonus Follow Along from blank page to finished book.
  • Instant access (you will be emailed your login details immediately).
  • Lifetime access.
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

I want the investment in this course to be an absolute no-brainer for you. So, if you watch the video lessons, complete your manuscript, and still don’t find the course useful, send me an email and I’ll happily refund your full payment within 30 days of purchasing the course.

FAQ

What sort of writer is this course for?

I’ve had absolute beginners through to published authors come through this course. The main requirement is that you want to write the best picture book you are capable of.

Will I always have access to the course?

Yes. Once you’ve paid for the course you’ll always have access.

Is the course live?

No. The original Write Your First Picture Book course was done live over 4 weeks with weekly Q&A sessions (not currently being offered). This online course is a self-paced version.

Will you help me get published?

No. But writing the best picture book you can gives you the best chance of being published – and that’s what this course is all about.

Do you teach me how to get my book illustrated?

This course is 100% focused on the craft of writing picture books. If you are looking to get traditionally published (ie through a publisher), you do not need to organise an illustrator – they will do that for you at no cost to you. If you are self-publishing, then you will need to find an illustrator (a great place to start is searching for illustrators on Instagram, Upwork or Behance).

Is there a money back guarantee?

I want the investment in this course to be an absolute no-brainer for you. So, if you watch the video lessons, complete your manuscript, and still don’t find the course useful, send me an email and I’ll happily refund your full payment within 30 days of purchasing the course.

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