The Rainbow Library

The Rainbow Library

Sign up to our free Glasgow Picture Book Illustration Course from 11 – 17 July 2022! As a part of our Rainbow Library project, Clive McFarland will teach you how to illustrate and develop your own picture book.

For more info, click here.

Following the success of our Pathways Into Children’s Publishing course, we have formed partnerships with three UNESCO Cities of Literature (Nottingham, Manchester and Dublin, among others), to develop a free literature and publishing course for LGBTQ+ young voices in eight places across the UK and Ireland.

The Rainbow Library is a creative writing and illustration programme run by Pop Up Projects CIC for those who are LGBTQ+, aged 14-26 years-olds and are able to commute. Those joining will develop their creative skills and support the publication of books for children and young people that include LGBTQ+ identities and experiences. The participants will also have access to creative training and professional development workshops and mentoring sessions with established LGBTQ+ writers and illustrators.

About the Course

The Rainbow Library course has been designed as a space for LGBTQ+ young people to network with peers around shared experiences and challenges. The courses have already taken place in Basildon, Nottingham, Manchester and Inverness and we are now looking to recruit for the courses in Glasgow, Belfast and Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland, and Cork in the Republic of Ireland.

In every one of these places, over two years, a group of LGBTQ+ young people will:


  • Take part in 8 days of workshops led by course leaders who are established children’s writers, illustrators, poets and comics artists (Clive McFarland, Kate Alizadeh, Kel Menton, Jamie Beard and Betsy Cornwell among others)
  • Develop their own writing and illustration skills during the workshops
  • Receive professional guidance from the course leaders
  • Be featured in an anthology of the best writing and illustration
  • Work with the course leaders to give critical feedback on their draft stories, which will be edited and designed into a collection of 8 books. Young people will be credited as contributors.
  • Support the promotion of the collection by participating in a local and national campaign to tie-in with Pride celebrations.
  • Come together with all the groups across the UK and Ireland to plan and organise a 3-day conference, supported by the UNESCO cities of Nottingham, Manchester and Dublin, among other partners.
  • The conference will take place in three UNESCO cities of literature (Manchester, Nottingham and Dublin) in February 2023. The books will then be published to coincide with Pride celebrations and the One Young World Global Summit meeting in Northern Ireland in summer 2023.

Find out more