Pathways Into Children’s Publishing

A unique and creative professional development course for talented and aspiring children’s illustrators.

Pathways Into Children’s Publishing

Pathways Into Children’s Publishing is a pioneering, world-class two-year illustration course for talented, ambitious artists from backgrounds that are under-represented in children’s publishing. It is specifically for artists of colour, disabled artists, neurodivergent artists, and artists with UK refugee or asylum seeker backgrounds, aged 21 and up – with no upper age limit. It is also open to artists with and without any formal training in illustration at degree level.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the course, join us live at one of our upcoming recruitment events.

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What to expect from Pathways Into Children’s Publishing

The course runs over two calendar years, commencing with a Foundation and Launch in December 2022 and concluding with delivery of final work in December 2024. It will involve 80+ days of scheduled events and activities, always presented on Fridays and Saturdays.

Many course components will be delivered on-site at university campuses and publisher head offices, and either pre-recorded or live streamed. Attendance in person at these sessions will be optional, as most sessions will be accessible online and remotely. We will provide details of what sessions will not be available online nearer the time.

The course framework is built around five Literature Briefs, each one delivered and critiqued by publisher teams. Literature Briefs are designed to develop illustrated storytelling practice, revolving around some of the key vital ingredients in illustrating stories for young readers.

Take a look at our recently published Pathways Into Children’s Publishing Group Portfolio 2019 – 2021 to browse our pilot cohort’s work.

Browse the Portfolio

Entry Criteria

There are just 40 places on the Pathways Into Children’s Publishing 2022-2024 course, so the application process is the perfect opportunity to share with us why you would be a great fit for the course.  The first thing to consider is – is this programme right for you?

Talent – you must have a variety of good artwork and ideally illustration to share with us (we’ll ask you to submit five pieces of work)

Age – you must be 21 or above in July 2022, and there is no upper age limit

Background – you must self-describe as an artist of colour, disabled artist, neurodivergent artist or artist with UK refugee or asylum seeker background

Education – you don’t have to have a degree – but you can have an undergraduate and/or postgraduate degree

Career – you might have been traditionally published (but no more than once) but you cannot be represented by an agent at the time of applying for, interviewing for, or starting the course

Commitment – you will be asked to commit around 45 days attendance in Year One, and you will be given the option of attending the majority of events online

Dedication – in addition to attending events and activities, you should also expect to work independently on briefs, an average of at least three hours per week in Year One, and more in Year Two

Read our Pathways Into Children’s Publishing 2019 – 2021 Report to find out more about the pilot programme.

Read the Report

Applications will open in May 2022. A digital prospectus will be available online shortly. Sign up to our Pathways newsletter to be one of the first to receive the prospectus. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch: pathways@pop-up.org.uk. We’ll be happy to help!

Illustrations featured in the image above are by Pathways 2019 – 2021 mentees.