Opportunity for First-Timers 

Even experienced children's authors & illustrators like these had to start somewhere.

( l-r Jen Mc Veity, Felicity Marshall, Krista Bell, (Hazel), Meredith Costain, Corinne Fenton, Susanne Gervay)

Photo credit: Meredith Fuller

Authors & Illustrators

Picture Book Opportunity for First-Timers

Schools set create-a-book projects and adults wish to design their own. Many ask Hazel for mentoring hints.

Most first-timers do not realise creating picture books is a BIG challenge.

So , as an inbetween step, Hazel is offering the text (words) based on her existing stories 'Betwixt', 'Popstar', 'The Upside Down Insect With No Name- Tag' and 'Visit Day'.

Your challenge as a new designer-illustrator is to use the text and art-brief ideas to design your own version of one of these stories as a picture book.

Copyright in the text will remain with Hazel. The design  and illustrations are yours.

Why is this opportunity being offered?

To encourage:

  • beginners to explore techniques based on an existing manuscript
  • appreciation of the time and skills needed in creating a work
  • discussion of issues within the stories e.g. children in detention, significance of visit day for foster kids.
  • diversity of cross cultural stories & viewpoints


1. Download the chosen manuscript and read closely. Art brief at end of 'The Upsidedown Insect with No Name.'

2. A picture book is usually 24 or 32 pages.

  • Allow thinking/planning time.
  • Look at lots of picture books for design ideas.
  • Play with a storyboard,deciding where text and illustrations will go.
  • Where will you make the page breaks? Allow for title page and endpapers.
  • Design a cover so the title can be easily read and illustrations hint at the most important ideas in the story.
  • Add names of author and illustrator(you).
  • Or make a dummy book. Consider an apps?
  • Decide on the kind of illustrations: Photos? Cartoons? Collage? Pen and ink? Colour?
  • Who will be your audience?  Age? Reading ability?
  • Write a 2 line back cover blurb

Useful Links: 

A.S.A Style File.

The Business of Writing for Young People

Aspiring Writers 

Hazel's Picture Books 

Curriculum links to 'My Place' theme.

Publication is NOT promised but Hazel may publicise some samples.

Other stories may be added to the Opportunity page.

NEXT: Experiment with writing a new story of your OWN  and illustrating your original picture book,based on what you've learnt from this opportunity.

Picture Book Text for YOU to illustrate

1.The Upside Down Insect with No Name Tag.pdf

2.  Visit Day and the Me Tree.pdf

3. BeTwixt.pdf

4. PopStar.pdf

How & Why Written

Challenges of Writing the Upside Down Insect with No Name-Tag.pdf


Hazel's Virtual Intern did a sample cover and tips on design here.  

10 tips for designing a cover.pdf

On being a virtual intern.pdf