Join our BookTrust Represents training events

If you're a children's writer or illustrator of colour, make sure you don't miss out on our training events including amazing guest speakers, top tips about getting published and lots of opportunities for networking. 

Someone in a lecture taking notes

Due to the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19 we have transitioned to hosting virtual events.

Development Week events:

Advice Clinics

Self-Publishing Advice Clinic with Maz Evans and Jessica Wilson

Maz Evans & Jessica Wilson

Managing every element of a book 's production by yourself is a humongous task. To be successful it helps to have a network of people with different skills and experience to advise you on how to make your book better and how to reach your audience effectively. This self-publishing clinic will provide the opportunity to ask advice, get feedback and connect with others outside your bubble. Maybe you're thinking about self-publishing or maybe you've already self-published, either way, you are as strong as your network. Sign up to a session with Jessica Wilson author of Sofia the Dreamer and Her Magical Afro and Maz Evans author of Who Let the Gods Out?.

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Jessica Wilson is the author of GoFundMe awarded children's picture-book Sofia the Dreamer and Her Magical Afro and her first poetry collection, The Bulldog and the Hummingbird. Jessica was shortlisted for the 2018 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award and a participant within Penguin Random House's Write Now Live diversity initiative held in conjunction with the BBC. Trained at UCL and Cambridge, Jessica is the founder of British Jamaican independent publishers, Tallawah Publishing who are committed to amplifying voices at the interstices.

Maz's debut children's novel Who Let the Gods Out was published by Chicken House in February 2017 and was selected as the Waterstone's Children's Book of the Month. It entered the bestseller charts on its first week on sale, has sold to 17 countries worldwide and has received over 20 award nominations, including the Carnegie Medal, Branford Boase, Books Are My Bag and Waterstone's Children's Book of the Year. The sequel, Simply the Quest was published in August 2017, Beyond the Odyssey in April 2018 and Book 4 will publish in 2019. Maz also narrates the audiobooks for the series.

Illustrators Advice clinic with Dapo Adeola and Ken Wilson-Max

Ken Wilson-Max & Dapo Adeola

Are you an aspiring illustrator of colour for children's books or a debut illustrator? Sign up to a group advice clinic with illustrator of children's book Look Up, Dapo Adeola, and Ken Wilson-Max, illustrator of more than fifty books for children, including Big Red Fire Truck and Little Blue Engine. Each session will allow for deep discussion and an opportunity to get expert industry advice tailored to where you are in your career.

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What's the Key to Freelance Success? How to develop a successful freelance career as an author/illustrator with Melanie Abrahams

This session is suitable if you're curious about entering the world of freelancing in literature but aren't sure how to get started or make it work for you. You need to know what to do to make a freelance career work for you and to shape the life you want. How to get noticed. Ways you can manage your finances to maintain balance. What to develop to give you an edge.

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Melanie is a literature producer, arts curator, speaker and coach. She is the founder of independent organisations Renaissance One and Tilt, which make regular use of live events, tours and commissions to highlight the diverse canons of British and international literature. As an active freelancer in the creative industries, she consistently pushes for greater diversity in the arts, with a focus on narratives of race, class, mixed-race identities and intersectionality. She curates what she sees and feels.

Engage with the classroom: How to create school resources for your book with Chitra Soundar

Have you written a book for children? Then the good news is that your book can reach more than just bookshops and homes. Teachers are often looking for books – fiction, non-fiction and poetry, to use in their classrooms. But often they use tried and tested books because there is an abundance of classroom resources available for those old gems/classics/British favourites. How do you get your book read in a class, used for a class project or allow the readers to explore the book beyond reading for pleasure? In this workshop, Chitra Soundar will show you how to understand what aspects of your book will align to the curriculum and how to generate school resources for your book. Put your teaching cap on, bring your book alive and show the teachers and students what they can learn from the books.

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Chitra Soundar is an internationally published, award-winning author of over 40 books for children. Chitra regularly runs writing workshops in schools across the world and her books are often used in classroom projects in primary schools. Find out more at and take a peek at the resources she has created for children.

Tell me about your book: How to create the best pitch with Jasmine Richards

Jasmine Richards

Pitching a book can seem intimidating, how do you get others to believe in your book like you do? Well, rest assured because this online workshop will teach you in a practical way how to talk about your work and pitch it to agents / commissioning editors / producers – whatever is relevant to your artform. You'll learn how to structure your pitch, talk confidently and clearly about your plot and genre, and practice your pitch. Jasmine Richards has worked in children's publishing for over 15 years and written over a dozen books for children ranging from picture books to teen fiction. Her most recent novel Keeper of Myths was published by Harper Collins US and she is also a screenwriter on series five of PJ Masks. and

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Jasmine is the founder of Storymix. A children's book incubator that creates stories with inclusive casts of characters. All children, regardless of background, get to be the heroes in these stories. She is actively seeking writers from underrepresented backgrounds to write for Storymix. It doesn't matter if you are published, unpublished or self-published she'd love to hear from you!

How to create video content for a virtual author school visit with Candy Gourlay

The Coronavirus has forced author promotion, school visits and festivals online. Before she became an award-winning author, Candy Gourlay loved making YouTube videos, skills that she has used in promoting her books. In these strange times, Candy has been creating videos to replace her school visits. In this workshop she will:

  • Discuss the process of turning a school visit or presentation into a video
  • Demonstrate how to film yourself using your phone, your laptop webcam or Zoom
  • Introduce tools for editing video
  • Explore ways to deliver video content to schools

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Candy Gourlay is a Filipino author based in the United Kingdom who has been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Her debut novel Tall Story won the National Children's Book Award of the Philippines in 2012 and the Crystal Kite Award for Europe in 2011.


All talks are pre-recorded and will be available on the BookTrust website from Monday 14th September 2020

Effective Book Marketing for any Author/illustrator with Knights Of's Editorial Director Eishar Brar

Eishar Brar

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The 45 minute talk covers how to build up your profile, how to carve out your space in a crowded industry, and how to build marketing into your role as an author/illustrator.

Eishar Brar is Editorial Director at Knights Of, an independent children's publisher based in London. Having worked in publishing for six years, and growing steadily more frustrated with the slow progress of diversity within the industry, she joined the Knights Of team in 2019 to build a list of inclusive books. She is looking for underrepresented voices, spanning the lines of race, gender, sexuality, class, perceived ability and neurodivergence.

Self-Publishing to acquisition: How self-publishing created a platform for me to get noticed with Maz Evans

Maz Evans

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Maz Evans shares her self-publication journey, which lead five years ago to the acquisition of her Who Let the Gods Out series by Chicken House Books. Learn all about the highs and lows of going it alone - with tips, information and advice about how you can become your own publishing house without breaking your bank.

Self-publishing: The Business of Book Selling with Jessica Wilson

Jessica Wilson

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  • Is self-publishing the best route for you? Do you have the levels of tenacity, belief in your book and business-savvy to see your work to fruition? How to ascertain whether more traditional publishing methods might prove more suitable or glean where you may need to improve your skill and knowledge base
  • Fine-tuning your product and your message: from improving content to identifying unique selling points; ensuring you create a high-quality, professional, worthwhile item which will be appreciated by your market
  • Financial planning and creating capital for your start-up: knowing the key costs and how to initially raise the funds to kick-start your book
  • Marketing and PR: finding your audience, working with professionals and gaining recognition for your work
  • Where to sell and how to sell: the business of wholesale and dealing with distributors vs handling individual purchases
  • Upselling and your financial future: building ancillary streams of income in addition to book sales (such as talks, social media, appearances, writing articles and merchandise) and planning further books

Thriving past your first book: How to build a sustainable career as an illustrator with Ken Wilson-Max

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By the time your first book is published you should really be thinking about the next three or four. If you're especially focused you will have already started discussing one of them with your publisher, or planning to show your ideas to publishers in general.

This talk is all about managing your time and planning to make the most of the opportunities your first success creates. It is also about pacing yourself, learning how to take a long view about your career and preparing equally for both success or failure. Ken will give one or two examples in anecdotal form to reinforce this advice, show some early sketches from his earliest books and talk about life in 'mid-career'.

In Conversation and Live virtual Q&A

Dapo Adeola, Ken Wilson-Max and Indigo Williams: The Empowered Illustrator

Ken Wilson-Max & Dapo Adeola

Friday 18th September
This session is delivered via Zoom.

Dapo Adeola and Ken Wilson-Max join Indigo Williams in conversation about how to be an empowered illustrator. Join us as we discuss their career journeys, how to be bold and confident with career choices and how they navigate the publishing industry as one of few illustrators of colour.

In conversation: Maz Evans, Jessica Wilson and Caroline Hill-Trevor

Wednesday 16th September
This session is delivered via Zoom.

Maz Evans, Jessica Wilson and Caroline Hill-Trevor join Indigo Williams in conversation about how to be an empowered author. Join us as we discuss their individual journeys through self-publishing, the obstacles they faced and Caroline will be sharing some top-tips and advice on publishing rights, contracts and much more.

Caroline Hill-Trevor has over 30 years' experience in children's publishing, working with publishers and literary agents in a variety of roles including editorial, sales, rights and contracts. She has specific expertise in selling rights and all types of publishing contracts. Currently Head of Book Selection and Purchasing at BookTrust, Caroline also does some contract consultancy and is a regular speaker and panellist at industry events including The Self-Publishing Conference and the London Book Fair.

BookTrust Represents

Our project promotes and supports children’s authors and illustrators of colour, so young readers find the books that represent them.

Learn more about BookTrust Represents