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You may recall how my fab friend David O'Connell and I created a picture book called Jampires...

Well, we've both made lots more books since then and we're teaching a course! Have you ever wanted to write or illustrate your own children's picture book? If you're new to this whole publishing malarkey, we have some tips and insights that might help!

Throughout the Curtis Brown Creative course, filmed by the Hadley Brothers, we'll be teaching you in online videos and assigning homework that you'll be able to share and discuss with classmates on a forum. You can have three options:

1. You can choose the writer's course with Dave. He'll talk you through the elements of writing and structuring a picture book, adding humour, tips on publishing and more. I really trust him because I got to know him as an illustrator as well as a writer (and we both wrote and both illustrated Jampires!) so he really understands both elements of creating a picture book.

2. Or you can do the illustration course with me! That's mostly filmed in my studio and I'll walk you through telling stories with pictures.

3. The third option is a course on both writing and illustrating, with both Dave and me.

It was fun working with Dave on this. A lot of it is filmed individually in our studios, but I think my favourite bit is when we're sitting around agent Anna Davis's kitchen table (she was our course editor) and Dave and I put together thumbnails for a whole monkey picture book from scratch.

Find out more on the Curtis Brown Creative website. The first courses begin on 10 & 17 Oct this year, for ages 18+, so sign up soon! (And you can find out more about Jampires here!)

the legend of kevin: biscuiteers!

Late one afternoon, last week, my co-author Philip Reeve and I were puzzled to find outselves once again in front of a giant custard cream, this time in Clapham, south London. What was going on? Why were we not sitting at our desks, churning out another book?

Photo by Dave Warren

The answer did not come straight away. First our excellent Oxford University Press publicists Emily Ferguson and Hannah Penny took us to the headquarters of Fun Kids Radio, where Philip lounged elegantly and I wondered how I was going to play the ukulele on air and sing while wearing those big padded headphones. Fortunately I was highly caffeinated, which seemed to do the trick. And as soon as we plonked our big fluffy Kevin in the middle of the recording table, presenter Bex was won over and we had a good chat.

Click here for lots more under the cut!Collapse )

Huge thanks to OUP, the Biscuiteers, Dave, Chloe Applin for her Kevin sewing skills and everyone who came along for our Custard Cream biscuit party! Kevin says he's so full now that he's never eating biscuits again, which we all know is a nice little bit of Fiction.

Photo by Dave Warren

You can find out more about The Legend of Kevin and learn how to draw Kevin on my website, and buy a copy from all good bookshops, including Foyles, Waterstones and Nottingham's Page 45.)
The Legend of Kevin, the first Reeve & McIntyre book in the Roly-Poly Flying Pony series, is officially LAUNCHED! Big thanks to Waterstones Covent Garden who last week hosted the party!

The evening before the launch, my co-author Philip Reeve and I climbed up into the window with our Posca pens and got busy drawing, while tourists and theatre goers strolled by. By the time we were finished, the sun had set and it was hard to make our what we'd drawn, so we were keen to have a fresh look the next day.

And here it is, our Kevin window! And a rather enormous hat I made, and a dress Esther Marfo made for me. And... what is that, is that a real 3D Kevin??

Photo by Stuart Pyle

It is! A very squeezable, lovely, roly-poly flying pony!

Photo by Stuart Pyle

Here's artist Chloe Applin, who created three Kevins for Philip, me, and Oxford University Press. We'd been following her progress on her Instagram account, but launch day was the first day I got to meet Kevin properly, which was rather thrilling.

Here's a photo publicist Hannah Penny took en route:

Two of our most exciting guests were Nick and Alec, who had come all the way from the Keswick area in the Lake District to London, just for the day!! And Alec brought this lovely card:

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the legend of kevin reviews!

So great to see critics having good things to say about The Legend of Kevin! Here's Sara Keating for The Irish Times:

And Page 45 owner Stephen Holland has written an EPIC review!! Stephen gives more attention to detail than anyone I've ever read; do go over, it's a stupendous creation. Also, he's a trusty stockist of our books, so if you can buy from him, that would be brilliant.

Big thanks to Nicolette Jones for choosing us as her Children's Book of the Week in The Sunday Times! Amazing!

And we even have a spread in The Phoenix Comic! A wonderful weekly comic and supplier of excellent comic books, do check them out.

Edit: This just in from Assistant Arts Editor @the_keebster of the Events Magazine in The Mail on Sunday:

Our Pictures Mean Business campaign has widened! Besides co-founder James Mayhew, two more illustrators have gotten on board to help out. Woodrow Phoenix has just joined the Society of Authors Management Committee which will increase our illustrator representation there. The Society of Authors is here to help illustrators but they can only help if we tell them what we need. And Soni Speight has created a brand-new website at picturesmeanbusiness.com. Now there are different sections to find out how writers, publishers, agents, illustrators, booksellers, book lovers, teachers and journalists can both benefit from and help out with the campaign. And she's also created a section with over 250 industry names of supporters. Do have a browse, and share!

Tom Tivnan at The Bookseller launched the website today with this article, which you can read in its entirety here.


Sarah McIntyre

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