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A Master Class in Storytelling

D&AD Creative Training Course

"Learning how to conceive, structure and write a successful children’s book will make you a better writer full-stop."

Al MacCuish

We are in the midst of a golden age of publishing and writing children's books. From Dr. Seuss to Roald Dahl, and from J.K Rowling to  -Boyce there are more children’s books of a higher quality finding audiences than at any time in history.  From the earliest possible age, those children lucky enough to be introduced to stories via books are being exposed to ideas, values and themes that will influence not just how they begin to make sense of the world around them but, in many cases, influence their development and entire lives.

For the past three to five years, children’s books have provided the majority of growth for publishers. In 2015, the US children’s books market grew by 13%1 and by 3.2%2 in the UK. This will continue into 2016, as publishers’ strategic decision to refashion themselves as media businesses leads them to concentrate on brand and print-led publishing. Big children-friendly brands like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Minecraft will be pivotal to the continued financial health of many publishers.

Course Outline

There are a set of timeless principles that have underpinned the success of the best of these stories, that are immune to trend or fad. The principles that drive a good children’s book apply to aspects of creative writing far beyond that task. Learning how to conceive, structure and write a successful children’s book will make you a better writer full-stop. It teaches the writer self-criticism and editing skills, structure and cadence and, more than anything, respect for the audience you’re trying to connect with. Al’s half-day children's storytelling training course will take you through three acts:

  • Act 1: The Story Behind Story. The history and principles of storytelling and why they are so important in everyday life
  • Act 2: The World of Children’s Books. ’Operation Alphabet’- from the moment of inspiration to The Telegraph’s 100 Best Children’s Books Of All Time: the steps that took an idea to execution and beyond
  • Act 3: Team Workshop. Under Al’s guidance, groups will be given the opportunity to apply the insights and learning’s from Acts 1 & 2, work on an original children’s story with an illustrator and learn how to pitch it

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this children's books copywriting course you will:

  • Be confidently able to conceive a viable children’s story and understand how to pitch it and who to pitch it to
  • Learn the basic principles and building blocks of storytelling 
  • Gain an insight and understanding of how those building blocks apply to children’s books

Your Facilitator

Al MacCuish, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Sunshine. Al is one of the industry’s most recognised storytelling experts. Prior to co-founding Sunshine, Al was the Creative Director and Head of Entertainment at Mother, one of the world’s leading independent creative agencies. He led Coca-Cola’s global 2012 Olympics campaign featuring Mark Ronson, Executive produced ‘The Secret Policeman’s Ball’ at Radio City Music Hall in New York featuring Ben Stiller, Kristin Wiig, Paul Rudd, Coldplay and Mumford & Sons and led the content team on Gucci’s Chime for Change initiative featuring Beyonce.

He has won dozens of awards at Cannes, One Show, BTAA, D&AD and Creative Circle and was recently named one of Britain’s ‘people of influence’ in the Sunday Times/Debrett’s 500 list.



64 Cheshire Street 
E2 6EH
United Kingdom

Looking for More Information?

If you're interested in learning more about A Master Class in Storytelling and would like to discuss it with a D&AD Training professional, please leave your details and someone will be in touch very shortly via email or call us on +44 (0) 20 7840 1154.

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