Children's Book Illustration Summer School

Continuing Professional Development (short course)


6 days

Monday 24 - Saturday 29 July 2017

This course is now fully booked for 2017. Please register your interest for 2018.


Find out what makes an effective picture book for children and make your own on our six-day summer school at Cambridge School of Art.

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Full description

Who should attend?

If you're over 18 and interested in exploring the art of children's book illustration in more depth, and have some previous drawing experience, this course will be of interest to you.


Monday 24 to Saturday 29 July 2017 (inclusive).

Classes from 10am-5pm.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

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Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.

Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.

We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.

Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

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Additional study information

Pam Smy has been a Senior Lecturer on the MA Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art for the past five years and has illustrated children's books for a variety of UK publishers including Walker Books, Egmont, Frances Lincoln and David Fickling Books.

Birgitta Sif is an award winning children's book author and illustrator. She was born in Iceland, lived in and around Scandinavia and America while growing up, and worked as a graphic designer in New York before graduating from Cambridge School of Art's MA Children's Book Illustration course. She is the creator of the Kate Greenaway shortlisted picture book,Oliver and Frances Dean Who Loved To Dance and Dance, both of which were endorsed by Amnesty International. She is currently working on her next books.

David Barrow has been a shelf-stacker, a library assistant, a call-centre worker, a civil servant and a printer, so obviously it was only a matter of time before he tried his hand at writing and illustrating children’s books. He joined the world-renowned MA Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin. Whilst on the course, David won the Sebastian Walker award for new talent in children’s book illustration at the 2015 degree show. He also created his first picture book, Have You Seen Elephant?, published by Gecko Press in October 2015, which has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book prize 2016. David currently works with several UK publishers developing self penned-picture books and illustrating for other authors. He lives in Kettering with his toughest critics: partner Jo, son Teddy and cat Sofia.

Ness Wood is a book designer, published author, lecturer, and graduate of the University of Brighton (MA in Design History and Material Culture). She is also the designer of many award-winning books. She is also the designer of many award-winning books. Her wide-ranging accomplishments in both practical design and academia serve as a solid foundation for all her work. As a freelance designer and art director Ness has worked for major publishers including David Fickling Books, Faber & Faber and Penguin Random House. She is known for her encouraging, straight-forward and collaborative approach with illustrators and students.

Fees & funding

Course fees


Accommodation costs (optional) for 7 nights


Funding/discounts/concessions not available for this course

£100 non-refundable for cancellations

Contact details

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For general enquiries about the Summer School, please email

For particular enquiries about course content, please email

Entry requirements

You must be over 18 (proof of ID will be requested).

No certificates or qualifications are needed.

You'll require some previous drawing experience and be able to communicate well in English.

Useful info

Please note that this is a first-come first-served booking system only and once all the places are sold the online store will close. We don’t have a waiting list system.

The taught sessions start at 10am in the morning and finish at 5pm, but the studios are open from 8am and close at 9pm, so you can continue working after staff have left.

A schedule and list of materials will be provided near the start of the course. You'll find all these materials in nearby shops.

The accommodation allocated is usually located on Campus (single accommodation only) most rooms are en suite. We offer shared self-catering facilities. Kitchen utensils and bed linen are provided at no extra cost.

Please note that there is no parking available on campus.

This course is not an accredited course, and no certificate or qualification will be issued on its completion.

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