A Rippin Workshop


I arrived at 100 Story Building kinda nervous. See I’ve just finished a writing degree and the world of professional writing still seems out of reach. But that was something I was taking care of today. 100 Story Building, apart from being furnished with trinkets that seem like they’ve fallen out of someone’s imagination, also holds workshops for writers. Today Sally Rippin was going to give some folks a run down on picture books. That was handy for me. Because I have written a picture book and it needs help.

I mingled with some lovely people as we waited for the workshop to start. There were parents there who write for their kids and wanted to see how they can take their ideas and present them to publishers, one of which had her kids make her go. They bought her a ticket for her birthday and everything. It was the first time she’d ever done anything like it for herself. Then there were people who wrote for papers and did editorial work. A mix of complete beginners to quite experienced writers.


Sally ran the workshop with ease and an immense amount of knowledge. It turns out my knowledge of picture books is old. Really old. I grew up with the old school text on one side, picture on the other layout. If my picture book knowledge could take on a form, it would be a fossil. Sally handled it, crafting an idea of what publishers expect from a contemporary picture book and how we can submit writing to them in a clean and professional way.

The workshop was more helpful than I imagined it could be. Everyone was chuffed. In fact all the participants decided to start an email loop and keep in touch. So now we’ve got a writing group, with plans developing to meet up. That world of professional writing doesn’t seem so far away now.

Elliot is a writer who has finished up his degree, conveniently about writing, and is working on several projects including writing short films, picture books, labyrinth building and making videos to whack on YouTube. Currently he is attempting to volunteer at 100 Story Building, which has recently been made difficult by becoming trapped in a labyrinth.