Institute Opening Sale! Be quick!

Hello, dear reader. Do you remember the Ponds Institute?



Here at girl and duck HQ, I desperately wanted to call our new school, The Pond Institute. In loving memory, of course.

And so I could justify a lab coat.


I didn’t want to get sued.

So, we have opened the girl and duck Institute instead.

With the emphasis on TUTE.

Only want to know about the sale? Scroll to the end.


It’s been such an exciting time, writing the material, recording the material, designing it, editing it…

Then doing it all again.


Honestly, our little team has worked like house elves to bring this to you.

And OMG it’s all so shiny.

As the advert says,

if this isn’t love…


So, what’s it all about?

At the G&D Institute, we’ve recorded a collection of in-depth tutorials dealing with specific topics (and points of frustration) in the world of creative writing. The tutorials are practical and down-to-earth; designed to deepen your understand of creative writing and, in particular, writing for children.

Each tutorial consists of a one-hour video (written and presented by me), plus downloadable PDFs to supplement your knowledge (tutorial notes, diagrams, glossaries, etc).

Available Tutorials

Picture Book Fundamentals 1: What is a picture book?


In this tutorial, I go right back to basics and methodically explore this art form. Picture books are totally exquisite — know what I mean? They provide artists (writers, illustrators and designers) with countless opportunities for creative expression.


picture books also come with myriad (often unexpected) challenges.

Are there gaps in your knowledge? Do you think you might be bumbling through or fluking it? Do you want to feel more confident when working, experimenting and networking in this field?

If so, grab this tutorial!

NB This tute includes an in-depth description of the four main categories of picture books: Nonfiction, Concept, Traditional, and my personally devised, super-secret, OMG I never thought of it that way, category. Once you’re aware of this category, the world of picture books will crack open. AND, I hope, you’ll spot way more opportunities, more points of entry, into this enchanting world.

From my book, Clarrie’s Pig Day Out. Illustrated by Sue deGennaro

Includes downloadable PDF

Glossary of Publishing Terms

Sample Cover Letter (ie Submission Letter)



Picture Book Fundamentals 2: Creating a picture book


In this tutorial, we take an in-depth look at the language and structure of picture books.

Part One: I walk you through the most common and effective literary devices used in picture books. By mastering these devices you’ll invigorate your writing and strengthen your confidence. A working knowledge of these techniques will also arm you with more choices when it comes to creative writing.

Part Two: I explain structure in a clear and entertaining way. I help you see the value of structure and demonstrate how it can help you rein in your ideas, pace your story, hook your readers and, more importantly, stop you from tearing your hair out! You’ll see structure ‘at work’ and appreciate how vital it is to the success of all picture books — including concept books.

This tutorial compliments and expands on the first tutorial (Picture Book Fundamentals 1), but both tutes work perfectly well as stand-alones.

Includes downloadable PDF

Glossary of Popular Literary Devices

Diagrams of Story Structure (x2)

Sample of a paginated manuscript ready for submission to a publisher (Clarrie’s Pig Day Out)




Bonus Tutorial 

Story Lab: Picture books under the microscope

Story Lab_ad_insta


 As part of my creative writing course, Scribbles, I provide bonus material that includes all sorts of extra insights and inspiration. In one of these videos, I pull apart my own picture book, Blue, the Builder’s Dog (Penguin/Viking) and analyse how the language works.

Scribbles participants find this video fascinating and enlightening. Many have told me it’s the one video/lesson/discussion that has FINALLY made the penny drop for them. Theory is one thing, but the practical application is another!


I’ve now done a similar analysis of Clarrie’s Pig Day Out (HarperCollins).


As an Institute special, I’ve bundled these two highly instructive videos together into one fabulous Story Lab session.

Get in touch with your Inner Geek! Learn even more about the subtleties of writing picture books. Gain rare insights via practical, real life examples of literary devices and story structure. See exactly how these things work — page by page, scene by scene.

Includes downloadable PDF

Glossary of Common Literary Devices — in particular those that appear in these two picture books.

Diagram of Story Structure — to give you a visual appreciation of what I’m describing in the videos.

Geek exercises. Watch the video then test your knowledge with a series of curly questions!



Geek duck

The girl and duck Institute officially opens today (Wednesday August 29, 2018). And to celebrate we’re having a sale! Yes, indeedy.  30% off all three tutorials!

30% percent off!

But the sale only lasts until Sunday September 2 at 10pm AEST, so you must get cracking if you want to save big bucks.


At the Institute, we want to help you write THE BEST books for kids. Books that kids, parents and kidlit enthusiasts will LOVE and want to read, share, recite and devour.

Nice goal?


I’m super excited to formally declare the Institute OPEN, and to kick off with Picture Book Fundamentals. It seems so right!

Festive duck

Of course, there will be more tutes in the coming months, but for now it’s fun to start with everyone’s favourite.

OK. I hope to see you in class. Let’s keep doin’ the verk together!

Thank you for being part of the fantastic girl & duck community! xo

Jen Signature_web






girl & duck

2 Replies to “Institute Opening Sale! Be quick!”

    1. ROFL!!! Lynn, you’re my favourite kooky gal/artist! Thank you for dropping by and for all the gorgeous work you put out and everything I’ve learned from you. It’s all been priceless. I’m so grateful to know you. xoox

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