‘I give Claire’s course 5 big fat stars!!! I’d highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in writing, illustrating for children or both… even for someone who just loves picture books and wants to know more! Claire’s a brilliant teacher who really knows her stuff and she gives a great, first hand insight into the publishing world. I’ve worked in the design industry for 15 years I can honestly say that this course is better thought out than some university courses! She gives a thorough overview into children’s pictures books that covers all aspects from design & layout, narrative, character design and techniques such as watercolour and acrylics. It’s aimed at all levels and is very supportive and encouraging. It’s great to turn up each week and be with people that are on the same journey as you, who share a similar interest. You can’t fail to enjoy the classes… or the biscuits she provides!’
Claire Powell, signed by agent Darely Anderson during a course visit in 2014
‘Claire’s advanced sessions have been a lifeline for me! The informal sessions are a fantastic way to share problems, find solutions as well as get inspiration from the other group members. And they are fun too! Claire’s knowledge of the industry is invaluable and her advice and encouragement has been crucial to keeping momentum with my work.’
Mel Howells, signed by Illustration agent Plumb Pudding during a course visit in 2014. She has subsequently been published by Walker Books and is currently working on a young fiction title.
‘Claire’s an inspirational teacher and has been incredibly supportive over the past few years. Her courses are fantastic for focusing on specific skills and are always tailored to include the things most relevant to the students’ own projects and aspirations. There is plenty of encouragement and advice on getting your work out there, and she provides opportunities to meet publishers and agents at her portfolio viewing evenings. I’ve been on several of her courses!’
Loretta Schauer, signed by literary agents Darley Anderson, subsequently published by Little Tiger Press, Paragon and Hapercollins
‘I found Claire’s courses extremely helpful and motivational. Lots of great tips. For me the best thing about it was the informal nature of the classes. Courses I have done in the past have a degree of pressure which doesn’t work for me. I need to be motivated and encouraged, not judged and this course was perfect for that. For the first time I feel that I can take what I’ve learned and make use of it. Thank you.’
Johanna Weaver, went on to study an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Angel Ruskin University, Cambridge and is currently working on a commissioned book with Hodder (Hachette)
‘I was so impressed with your students – their work put some college courses to shame. I have so many illustrators who apply to join my agency who would benefit from your tuition.’
Lorraine Owen, The Organisation Illustration Agency
‘All stars for Claire’s courses! All the essential knowledge you need whether you just want to try something new or you are serious about writing, illustrating and publishing a children’s book. Amazing range of creative hints and business tips taught in a funny, artistic, and clever way. Great opportunities to talk to and get feedback from authors, illustrators, agents and publishers. Very relaxed yet very stimulating and productive atmosphere. Very inspiring. I have done the beginner, the intermediate and the advanced courses and as a result I have just self-published my first book! Thank you Claire.’
‘The advanced sessions have really helped me develop my story and characters even further. Utilising what we’ve learnt in the beginner’s and intermediate course, Claire’s guidance and our informal discussions have been very supportive and inspiring and has given me much more confidence. After each session my passion for story telling has been refreshed and refuelled! What I’ve taken from these sessions is priceless. Part of me wishes that no one else finds out about this course so we can keep Claire all to ourselves.‘
‘Claire’s courses are brilliant – informative, motivating and encouraging. Her testament is that students of hers have gone on to be published. I would suggest all 3 levels of courses to benefit from the lesson plans, advice and feedback. In addition, she invites agencies and publishers to see student’s work which is a great opportunity for feedback or to get snapped up. Claire herself is an award winning author/illustrator so she is in inspiration to all of us. I highly recommend her if you are seriously thinking about a career in picture books!’
‘This is the best course for anyone who is interested in writing or illustrating, or writing and illustrating children’s books. Claire’s course has that winning combination of a great structure and expert teaching, with a fun and friendly atmosphere that really allows your creativity to blossom. Claire is a very generous teacher, absolutely dedicated to helping you achieve your aims. When I started the beginner’s course in January, I had an idea that I would like to write children’s books, and by the end of the course I was completely hooked. I had no experience of illustrating, but thought I would have a go, and surprised myself by doing some illustrations that I am really proud of. I then went on to do Claire’s intermediate course (as did most of my fellow students from the beginners’ class, who were also hooked). By the end of the intermediate course I was confident enough to show one of my stories to a publisher that Claire had brought into the class. And to my absolute delight, she really liked it’
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