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Writing Books For Children - A Masterclass with Verna Wilkins

  • New Beacon Books 76 Stroud Green Road London, England, N4 3EN United Kingdom (map)

Writing Books For Children - A Masterclass with Verna Wilkins

A master class headed up by Tamarind Books founder and author Verna Wilkins. The session will cover the key techniques for writing books for young children. Participants will be helped to transform their ideas into real stories fit for publication.

Whether you are already working on a story or you’re looking for the right moment to start that children’s book you’ve always wanted to write, this is an invaluable opportunity to find out about the world of children’s books and demystify the process of getting your books on shelves.



  • Advice on how to unlock creativity, find your “inner child” and develop a distinctive writing voice

  • The process of collecting ideas and using them to create characters and stories

  • Key points on how to submit material to publishers and agents, what to expect during the process of being considered for publication and how to work on your writing with or without a publisher or an agent

  • Guidance on the key differences between children’s, “middle-grade” and young adult writing

  • Get constructive feedback on your draft stories and next step advice


Tutor profiles

Verna Wilkins

Verna Wilkins is founder of Tamarind Books and was Managing Director for 25 years. She is also the author of 30 books for children.
Verna was born in Grenada where her father was instrumental in introducing Caribbean History to a curriculum dominated by Britain's past. Verna worked as a Lecturer in English and Business for ten years before founding Tamarind and is the recipient of many awards for her contributions to children's literature. Verna believes that the early years of childhood are important in their own right, as well as being the foundation for later life.

Her main aims, as a publisher, are:

  • To put black children 'in the picture' in their early years' books

  • To represent disability unselfconsciously

  • To represent black and disabled children positively in classroom resources

  • To publish books which provide them with role models for success

She is an internationally acclaimed speaker whose mission is to empower children and carers of children for success. Verna has been made a Doctor of Letters on her work as a champion of children’s literature.


Biba Nabisubi

Being British Ugandan, she finds inspiration and pride in her dual heritage and enjoys capturing diversity through drawing.Biba graduated from the University of the Arts, in 2016 with an Illustration degree.

Biba then wrote her dissertation at Camberwell College on diversity—or lack thereof—in children’s picture books and ‘the importance of seeing yourself in print from a young age’. It solidified her desire to illustrate children’s books that are “inclusive and honest—without tokenising children.”


Michael La Rose

Born in Trinidad, Michael La Rose is a director of New Beacon Books. He is a writer, researcher and lecturer on popular culture of the African diaspora. He has been researching the Carnival movement in Britain and has published: Mas in Notting Hill: Documents in the Struggle for a Representative and Democratic Carnival 1989/90 (compiler), Police Carnival 1989 (co-editor), The Gerald Forsyth Story: The lifetime journey of a pan legend in the steelband movement (editor), Carl Gabriel; Carnival artist. He has also written many essays on Carnival and most recently co-edited the young people’s educational publication The History of the Steelband.