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Picture a Story 

by Children’s Writers and Illustrators for Stories & Literacy (CWISL)

14 September-22 December 2023

A vibrant exhibition that shines the spotlight on the creative and innovative world of children’s book illustration. Colourful, diverse, wry and amusing, Picture a Story brings together a collection of stunning and evocative work by published author-artists from a range of genres and styles for babies to older children.  

Picture a Story unlocks the creation of children’s books, empowering young people to read, write, draw and share their own stories. Selected by an expert panel following an open call, the exhibition includes the work of Loretta Schauer (The Legend of Ghastly Jack Crowheart), Bridget Marzo (You, Me and Our World; Tiz and Ott’s Big Draw), Karin Littlewood (Immi; Moonshadow), Rikin Parekh (Fly Tiger, Fly; The Worst Class in the World) and Steve Antony (Mr Panda; Rainbowsaurus, to be published January 2024). 

Children’s Writers and Illustrators for Stores and Literacy (CWISL) is a membership organisation comprising of a dynamic group of published writers and illustrators who are passionate about creating children’s books, many award-winning in the field.  

CWISL run festivals and workshops to encourage a love of books, reading and illustration working with schools, libraries and other community groups. From small, local roots in South London, their reach now extends nationally through in-person and virtual events.  

The Picture a Story programme in partnership with Half Moon, is their first major encounter with families, schools and children in Tower Hamlets.  

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Header image from Rainbowsaurus, written and illustrated by Steve Antony. Published by Hachette Children’s on 4 Jan 2024.

Connected Events

The Big Family Art Event

Sat 9 Dec | 11am-3.15pm | Various ages

Join us for an interactive art and literature experience that explores the bright and imaginative world of visual storytelling through live drawing and storytelling sessions, interactive song-based shows, stimulating creative workshops and lots of opportunities to join in.

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Celebrate and Investigate

7 Dec 2023 | from 6.30pm | Ages 13+

An opportunity to explore Children’s Writers and Illustrators for Stories and Literacy’s (CWISL) Gallery @ Half Moon exhibition, Picture a Story, in the company of some of the UK’s much-loved and award-winning authors and illustrators, many of whose work is on display. The event includes an industry panel event which will be particularly relevant for anyone interested in breaking into the children’s book illustration market.

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School Encounter Workshops

As part of the exhibition, we are offering local schools across Tower Hamlets a series of encounter workshops and online activities with authors and illustrators.

This is in addition to our usual gallery trail for children, schools and community groups to support young people in gaining Arts Award Discover and Explore.

For further information, please contact Androulla on 020 7709 8908 or androulla@halfmoon.org.uk

Explore more about the activities available

Interact with the exhibition

Beneath some of the artworks there are chalk boards for visitors – young and older – to make their own responses, or leave their own creative imprints for others to enjoy. There is also a specially created Gallery Trail for children to complete.

School and community groups can visit free of charge by pre-booking and can use the exhibition to support Arts Award Discover and Explore. Contact Androulla on 020 7709 8908 or youth@halfmoon.org.uk for more information.

Opening times

Picture a Story runs from 13 September-22 December 2023 at Gallery @ Half Moon during the theatre opening hours: Monday – Friday 10am-6pm and on Saturdays from 10am-4pm if there is a show on in the theatre.

Art at Half Moon

In addition to our foyer exhibition space, you can also explore the changing face of Tower Hamlets in our Snapped 1990 | 2020 photography exhibition in the Half Moon Garden. Same scene, 30 years apart.

Our Stages of Half Moon exhibition is on permanent display in the upper corridor and is overflowing with photographs and original posters highlighting the rich heritage of Half Moon Theatre.

Discover Snapped 1990 | 2020 Explore the Stages of Half Moon archive

Gallery @ Half Moon

Our exciting space for local artists to display their work in the foyer of our children’s theatre

Find out more

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