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june 2nd - 8th 2023

We are excited to present our 2023 in-person Picture Book Retreat with Orange Beak's children's book professionals Ness Wood, Maisie Paradise Shearring and Katie Harnett.

Join the Orange Beak team on our picture book retreat which will be held in a beautiful, traditional Lake District cottage with views out the window to Rydal Water and the surrounding hills. In this picture book retreat, the Orange Beak team will be hosting a series of talks, workshops and one-to-one tutorials. We'll be exploring all the essential ingredients that make up a successful picture book including, materials, cover design, drawing from life and character design. Learn from three creative children's book professionals - designer Ness Wood, illustrator and author Maisie Paradise Shearring and illustrator and author Katie Harnett. During the week there will be time to work on your own projects, drawing inspiration from the Lake District's stunning scenery and sense of space. 

The cottage is exclusively booked for the retreat and includes a large studio to work in throughout the day, two communal cosy living rooms and a large space for dining. A freshly made continental breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in your booking. 

The week is the perfect opportunity to focus on your creativity alongside a small group of other like-minded people. 

What's Included:

  • All workshops, talks and tuition from the Orange Beak team - Ness Wood, Maisie Paradise Shearring, Katie Harnett

  • Workshop and talk from our special guest illustrator, Emma Lewis

  • Six nights accommodation at the cottage

  • Exclusive use of the venue with studio space, lounge areas, dining room and living rooms plus outdoor garden areas

  • All inclusive vegetarian meals: 6 continental breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners

  • All meals at the venue are freshly prepared

  • Drinks on the opening and closing evenings

  • Fruit, coffee, tea and water are available throughout the day

  • The opportunity to explore the Lake District

  • Free parking on-site or collection from the train station

Not included:

  • Travel costs

  • Art materials

  • Any other extras such as additional snacks, drinks or trips during the week

About your tutors

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Ness Wood is an award-winning book designer, art director and lecturer having taught at Goldsmiths, Cambridge School of Art, University of Brighton and UCLAN. She has worked with many major publishers and is known for her encouraging and collaborative approach with illustrators. Ness has been a judge for the Bologna Ragazzi Award and was part of the winning team at the British Design and Production Awards, in the Graphic Novel Category. Ness is an Orange Beak co-founder and tutor.


You can follow Ness on Instagram here

Maisie Paradise Shearring is an international award-winning and published author-illustrator. In 2015, Maisie received the prestigious Bologna International Illustrators Award in recognition of her graphic novel, Susan's School Days. Maisie's picture books include, I'm Actually Really Grown-Up Now and Anna & Otis, both published by Two Hoots. Maisie has also recently illustrated, The Boy Who Loved Everyone, a picture book story written by Jane Porter and published by Walker Books. This book was awarded The Little Rebels Children's Book Award. Maisie has post-graduate teaching experience and is an Orange Beak co-founder and tutor.


You can follow Maisie on Instagram here

Katie Harnett is an award-winning author and illustrator. Her books include Archie Snufflekins Oliver Valentine Cupcake Tiberius Cat, which was long-listed for the Kate Greenaway medal and the Franklin’s Flying Bookshop series written by Jen Campbell. She has worked with publishers including Walker Books, Thames & Hudson, Flying Eye and Nosy Crow in the UK and Simon & Schuster, Chronicle Books and Compendium in the US. Katie runs workshops and gives illustration advice in schools around the UK, SEN schools, Universities and literary festivals. She loves helping clients to identify new ways of problem-solving, will give clear feedback on how to take your work to the next level, provides frank and honest industry advice and is here to help out when you’ve just lost that loving (illustration) feeling. 


You can follow Katie on Instagram here

Special Guest Illustrator!


Emma Lewis

Emma Lewis is an award-winning illustrator and designer from London who creates work spanning both narrative and commercial illustration. She is largely inspired by folk art, mid-century picture books and travel. Within the pages of her books, she likes to examine different human perspectives and the absurd.

She has run image-making workshops and lectures at a number of places in the UK and abroad, including Tate Britain and Modern, the London Children's Book Fair, and the Hay Festival.

See more of Emma's work here


The cost of the retreat is £1560.00, which includes shared accommodation in one of the six twin rooms, or £1760.00 for the one single room available

To secure your place on the retreat we require
a £200.00 non-refundable deposit

To book click the relevant button below: 

Booking information

  • Once you have paid a holding deposit through Eventbrite, we will contact you with details of how to pay the remainder of the balance.

  • The balance is due by 31 March 2023 to fully guarantee your place on the retreat.

  • There will be an option to pay the balance over three monthly instalments.

  • If the retreat is cancelled due to COVID-19, or circumstances out of our control, we will refund your payment (minus your £200 non-refundable deposit) We cannot reimburse any travel costs.

  • In the unfortunate event that you have to cancel your attendance on the course, no refund will be made unless we are able to fill your place.

  • If you are booking with a friend, let us know if you'd like to share a twin room and we can accommodate that.

  • Unfortunately due to the historic nature of the building and land, the site isn't wheelchair friendly. 

  • Once your place is secure you will receive additional information about the venue and the week's schedule.

  • You need to be 18 years old or older to attend the retreat.

  • The retreat is open to all practitioners, including professional illustrators, students, or anyone new to illustration

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