Do you want to spend a weekend with other aspiring writers and be taught by Random House authors? We offer a number of creative writing courses at Hotel du Vin and other locations across the UK where you can learn various aspects of the storytelling process from concept to completion.

Write a Children’s Book in Two Days!

with Alan Durant
25th Oct 2014
Led by
Alan Durant

Price: £295

Application deadline
19th Oct 2014

Join experienced tutor and award-winning author Alan Durant on a two-day course on writing picture books at Hotel du Vin Cheltenham.

Writing for young children offers very particular challenges – you have few words to tell the tale and your story must have enough inspiration for illustration. This two-day course will take you through some of the techniques and issues involved: including concept and character, style and language level, writing visually, and appealing to the reader and the listener.

Whether you already have an idea or not, by the end of the two days you will have your story written and ready for illustration. The final afternoon will be spent with Andrea MacDonald, Commissioning Editor of Picture Books at Random House Children’s Publishers, publishers of hundreds of beloved children’s books including Shirley Hughes’ Alfie, Nicholas Allan’s Father Christmas Needs a Wee and Quentin Blake’s Mister Magnolia.

Saturday 25th October

Tea, coffee, pastries
Introduction to the picture book form and some of the issues involved in their creation. Discussion of favourite picture books and their themes. First writing exercise on concept and character.


Developing ideas. Second writing exercise on writing from observation, memories and experiences from childhood. Thinking visually, but exploring the importance of delighting the ear as well as the eye.


Sunday 26th October

Tea, coffee, pastries
Choosing the right idea – concept, story and ending. Working on drafts of a picture book story for illustration.


Finishing off stories and redrafting.

Sharing stories, followed by Q&A with Andrea MacDonald and Alan Durant.


The ‘Learn to Write a Children’s Book in Two Days’ course will be held at the beautiful Hotel du Vin Cheltenham.

£295 per person. Attendees are also offered exclusive discounted rates at the Hotel du Vin over the dates of the course.

Terms and conditions apply. If you have any further questions please visit our FAQs or contact us.

Always and ForeverAlan Durant is the author of books for a wide age-range, from picture books such as Burger Boy, Angus Rides the Goods Train and Always and Forever to top-end teenage thrillers (Blood, Flesh and Bones). Having worked as a copywriter at Walker Books, he is now a full-time author. He’s married, with three children and lives in Brighton. He does a lot of school visits throughout the UK and abroad and also runs writing workshops.