Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Courses and workshops

If you would like to learn more about the craft of writing or illustrating, you may want to consider some of the courses available in Ireland and abroad.

Note: SCBWI Ireland is not affiliated with any of these courses. From time to time, we do run workshops and retreats for our members; for more information about these, keep an eye on our Events section.

The following list is not exhaustive, and you will need to check whether the course you are interested in is being run this semester (or year!)

If you would like to recommend a course for illustrators or writers, we welcome your feedback.



Write and Illustrate a Picture Book
(with illustrator/author Adrienne Geoghegan)

This workshop is suitable for aspiring, beginners, or emerging children’s writers/illustrators, and those with a love of children’s literature and art and enthusiasm to learn more. Check her website for other workshops and information about Adrienne and her work.

Graphic Design Courses
(Dublin Institute of Design)

Not specific to book illustrators, but a good way to hone elements of your craft. Dublin Institute of Design’s Certificate and Diploma course provides students with the latest skills and techniques used by professional graphic designers.

Hertferdshire University Illustration Online Degree

Run by the School of Creative Arts, MA Illustration Programme aims to provide you with an understanding of the cutting-edge of Illustration and related disciplines. It helps you develop your creative potential as an illustrator and provides you with the entrepreneurial skills to work as a successful practitioner.

London Art College

For eighty years, the London Art College has run successful Distance Learning art courses. They offer an Illustrating Children’s Books diploma.



Write and Illustrate a Picture Book
(with illustrator/author Adrienne Geoghegan)

This workshop is suitable for aspiring, beginners, or emerging children’s writers/illustrators, and those with a love of children’s literature and art and enthusiasm to learn more. Check her website for other workshops and information about Adrienne and her work.

Arvon Foundation Residential Creative Writing Courses

Arvon offers 5-day writing courses and tutored retreats in England. Arvon’s four historic houses are in rural locations in Devon, Shropshire, Inverness-shire and West Yorkshire. Arvon offers grants to help with course fees for those on a low income.

Ask About Writing

Ask About Writing is run for distance learning courses, which include creative writing. Each is a ten-week course, which includes ten assignments with feedback from a personal tutor.

Belfast Metropolitan College

Belfast Metropolitan College offer a variety of creative writing courses and workshops available at different venues.

Big Smoke Writing Factory

Big Smoke Writing Factory offers a range of on-site courses and workshops including a Beginning to Write class for those just starting off, and a variety of specialist workshops for those interested in writing fiction, poetry, novels, children’s and young adult fiction, memoir, or work for the stage and screen.

Creative Writing Ink

Creative Writing Ink offers online creative writing classes to writers around the world together with editing and critique services.

Dingle Writing Courses

Dingle Writing courses offer a range of courses including children’s fiction, poetry, fiction, or starting to write. These are available for emerging or established writers.

Dublin College University: St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra

Offers a two-year part-time Masters degree course: Critical Analysis of Children’s Literature.

Force 12

Force 12 is a creative writing weekend held in Belmullet, Co. Mayo in June, and attended by over 80 writers from groups throughout the country. The weekend features workshops and readings by both published and prepublished writers, local tours, and music.

Golden Egg Academy

Led by Imogen Cooper, previously Head of Fiction for Chicken House Publishing, and based at her house near Bath, England, Golden Egg provides talks, workshops, and one-to-one editorial support. Golden Egg caters for writers who wish to submit their work to agents and publishers. Golden Egg works closely with Barry Cunningham at Chicken House Publishing, and has strong links with other companies.

Independent College

This evening course in Dublin offers a Diploma in Creative Writing.

Irish Writers’ Centre

The Irish Writers’ Centre provides a wide range of courses for writers at all levels and stages of development (aspiring, emerging, and mid-career) facilitated by experienced creative writing tutors and high-profile writers.

Kilroy College

Kilroy College is based in Dublin and offers a creative writing distance learning course aimed at people who want to develop this special skill with confidence.

North West Regional College

North West Regional College offers creative writing courses in Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland.

Oscar Wilde Centre

The Oscar Wilde Centre is the home of the Trinity College Dublin M.Phil in Creative Writing. The course is intended for students who are seriously committed to writing, are practising, or prospective writers, and who want to develop their writing within the framework of a university course and in the context of an Irish literary milieu.

Oxford University – Writing Fiction for Young Adults (Online)

This online course is taught by published writer and SCBWI British Isles’ member Benjamin Scott.

You will find your own voice and your own niche in writing for young adults, in sub-genres from realism to the supernatural. You will become confident in writing convincing dialogue and gripping narrative, and in creating situations and characters with which young adults can identify. You will also learn to critique and edit your own and others’ work.

Patrick Kavanagh Centre

The Patrick Kavanagh Centre hosts an annual creative writing weekend. The weekend is intended for beginners and those already in the process of writing who want to develop their writing and gain valuable feedback on their work.

Queens University Belfast

QUB offer an MA in Creative Writing for students who want to continue their specialisation in either prose, poetry, or drama. The study of a chosen genre is augmented by additional, non-assessed modules on life writing, short story, poetic form, and the poetics of translation.

South Eastern Regional College

South Eastern Regional College (SERC) in Northern Ireland has four campuses and offers a range of creative courses available at different venues.

The Story House Ireland

The Story House Ireland is a not-for-profit residential writing centre inspired by The Arvon Foundation. Its aims are to provide real support for developing writers of all ages and backgrounds, complementing the work of existing writing centres. As it grows it will provide a focus for the development in Ireland of a community of writers, teaching opportunities for professional writers, and also work to “ensure anyone can benefit from the transformative power of writing”.

Trinity College Dublin

TCD offers a Master in Philiosophy in Children’s literature as a one-year full-time program.

University College Dublin

UCD offers an MA in Creative Writing.

University College Galway

UCG offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in creative writing.

Writer’s Digest University (online)

Writer’s Digest is offering the Fundamentals of Writing for Children online course, which runs for 12 weeks. Does not cover picture books but books (fiction and nonfiction) for ages 5 to 15.

Writing for Children Online Course with Oisin McGann

This course runs two or three times a year. and covers the basics of storytelling and the specific aspects of writing for children and young adults. Areas that will be looked at include: how to generate ideas; how to use observation; description of both character and setting; using dialogue and ensuring a good pace and plot, as well as how to tailor your writing for different age groups. There will be short practical exercises at each stage of the course. Oisin will also be giving tips on how to get published, and how to market your books once you get published. Places are strictly limited to 12 – early booking advisable.