Last Line Picture Book Retreat


A week-long residential retreat for picture book writer/illustrators.

This is an opportunity to get away from work, family and normal distractions and focus on your book.
Artists are asked come in with an idea and workshop it with support and feedback from each other.
Visiting published picture book makers will offer their insight and experience.
The goal is to leave with a strong picture book outline (or a few if you are particularly productive).

Monday 2nd of May – Sunday 8th of May 2022. Hopefully 2023! Subscribe below to get notified.
(Covid should be done by then? Right?…)

Max 6 people.

Who is this for?

Combined writer/illustrators. You do both or want to do both.
Looking to carve out time to work on their next book and get strong feedback from peers.

This is not for first-time picture book makers.
You must be working on your second or more book, having worked on a book previously (Not necessarily published but that is preferred).

Each artist will be asked to share a short insight into the way they work to share with the group (if you are comfortable. Fine if not) .


Portmarnock, Dublin, Ireland.
Minutes walk from the village, the bus and the beach.
15 minute walk from the train station.
Parking on-site.


A combination of some structured workshops, visiting experts and plenty of quiet time and space to work on your stuff.  


Cost is €510 for the week for your own room (4). €390 for shared (2)
Food is not included but you will have access to a kitchen and local food options.

Payment terms

Places are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. You need to apply first (by sending us an email and explaining why you want to come on the course). Once and if you are offered a place, the ONLY way to secure a place is to make a deposit of €250. You will have to pay the rest by September 1st, 2021.

The fee is refundable ONLY if we can find a replacement for you (minus admin fees if applicable). If you are unable to come but you have paid, let us know as soon as possible.


To help you determine if the retreat is right for you, please send me a few lines about why you would like to do it.

More details to follow soon.

Covid policy

All attendees must be vaccinated against Covid.
If Ireland gets shut down due to Covid you will get a full refund.
If you are coming from another country and it gets locked down, while Ireland is still open, then your fee is refundable only if we can find a replacement for you (minus admin fees if applicable).

Code of conduct

We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone (regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion). We do not tolerate harassment of attendees or support people in any form.

Be nice. Do not put down or speak down to fellow attendees or support people. If you disagree with a point someone makes, do so in a professional and reasonable manner (harassment will not be tolerated).

We want to make sure you have a good time but sexist, racist or exclusionary jokes of any nature are not appropriate for this event (and will be met with serious action, not amusement).

Attendees violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the retreat at the discretion of the organisers.

Thank you for making this a friendly and enjoyable event for everyone.

Who are you and why are you doing this?

Hi, I am Alan O’Rourke. I love all things picture books and illustration.

I wanted something like this for ages after attending the deadly PictureCamp in Spain a few years ago. As no one was magically doing it for me I thought I better do it. This is basically me creating the retreat I want to go on and learn from other creative picture book makers.

I also wanted something to look forward to after Covid!

This is not being run for profit. I am paying along with everyone else. Don’t think of it as a hotel, but a bunch of like-minded people working together on a creative retreat.

I am looking forward to working alongside you,  being inspired and learning new things.

Alan O'Rourke
Alan. *Not to scale


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Neighbouring Portmarnock hotel and beach