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Writing and Illustrating Picture Books
with Helen and Thomas Docherty

A residential course on the beautiful Gower Peninsula, South Wales

Monday 11th – Friday 15th September 2023


Are you interested in learning how to write and / or illustrate a picture book? Our residential course on Gower this September will give you the chance to work with internationally acclaimed authors and illustrator, Helen and Thomas Docherty, in a supportive, small group environment.


Helen and Thomas will share their 30 years of combined experience of the picture book industry, and show you what publishers are looking for today. You will learn about the process of creating a picture book, from idea to first draft through to submission, and receive individual feedback and advice on your own work-in-progress. All of this, in inspiring surroundings by the Gower coast.

Swansea is just 3 hours from London or Birmingham by train, and we can arrange onward transport to the course.

Helen and Thomas

Mewslade Bay

Farmhouse where the course will be run

Worm's Head

Large garden to relax or write in

Rhossili Bay

The course includes:

4 nights’ full board accommodation in a farmhouse rented for the week on the stunning Gower coast (a short walk from Mewslade Bay and the coast path).

3 full days’ tuition, mentoring and top industry tips with Helen and Thomas.

Time to develop your work and explore the surrounding area.

The course will be conducted in English but Helen and Thomas are happy to speak Welsh or Spanish with anyone individually.


£650 individual room, full board
£500 per person shared room (based on 2 people sharing), full board
£250 daytime only, meals included, no accommodation (for local residents)
£100 deposit payable on booking

Please note:

Helen and Thomas will be with you at the farm house from the morning to the evening but will not be staying over night.

Rooms will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Bathrooms are shared.

We regret that there is no disabled access at the property.

How to book your place on the course:

Please email Thomas and Helen here to book your place or if you have any questions.

Testimonials from previous courses:

“The residential course with Helen and Thomas at Tŷ Newydd made a HUGE difference to my work; it made me realise exactly what I needed to do and pushed me in the right direction. Since then, I’ve had interest in my work from a well-respected children’s publisher. I honestly can’t thank Helen and Thomas enough!” – Victoria Young

“Helen and Thomas’s course was incredibly useful to me in the development of my own craft. They have an excellent understanding of what makes a brilliant picture book and were able to break down and highlight the intricacies of picture book writing and share their wealth of experience in a fun, engaging, and very interesting course. I highly recommend that anyone who is interested in writing for young children grabs the opportunity to work with them!” – Kael Tudor, picture book author

“I’d always dreamed of being an author/illustrator but I didn’t feel confident. I’d never met an author in person before I attended a Picture Book workshop run by Helen, and her experience was an inspiration that made me believe more in myself. I’m now a published author/illustrator and I won the Apila Picture Book Award 2022” – Nuria Otte, author/illustrator

There are limited spaces on the course, so book now to avoid disappointment!

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