A Guide to Writing Your First Picture Book with Melinda Szymanik

Award-winning writer Melinda Szymanik guides you through the fundamentals of what makes a good picture book and provides tips to help you write your own! This module details all the different elements to consider when writing a picture book and what to do once you've got a finished draft!

So You Want to Write a Picture Book Module Content

By the end of this module, you will have learnt:

  • what makes a good picture book
  • the relationship between illustrations and text
  • story structure
  • craft
  • tone and voice
  • next steps when your manuscript is finished
  • how to survive in the picture book world.

Learning Level

This module is part of our LaunchPad series and designed for writers who are wanting to write a picture book.

Please note that you will be able to access the module for 180 days from the day you sign up.

Filming and editing by Aylmer Kenny.

Melinda Szymanik

Melinda Szymanik is an award-winning writer of picture books, short stories and novels for children and young adults. Her picture book, The Were-Nana, won the NZ Post Children’s Choice Award in 2009. Her novel, A Winter's Day in 1939, won Librarian's Choice at the 2014 LIANZA Awards, and her picture book, Fuzzy Doodle, was a 2017 White Raven Selection by the International Youth Library in Germany. Ten of her books have received Storylines Notable Book Awards.

Melinda lives in Auckland with her family. She regularly does ‘writers in schools’ visits, was the 2014 University of Otago College of Education / Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence, recipient of the 2023 Shanghai Writer's Residency, and regularly teaches creative writing workshops for adults and children.

Head shot of Melinda Szymanik

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