The Rock Retreat, a week of masterclasses led by experts from the world of children’s publishing took place in Gibraltar from 23 to 27 May. The school outreach programme, which we funded, saw professional writers and illustrators visit local schools to provide creative workshops for a wide range of age groups, gaining insight into how characters are created and illustrated in storytelling. Writers and illustrators from nine different countries travelled to Gibraltar to participate in the event which included workshops and cultural exchanges at various locations including the Garrison Library, Commonwealth Park and Central Hall.

Ellie Dobbs, an illustrator with more than 25 years’ experience and founder of the Rock Retreat commented  “The Rock Retreat was a wonderful opportunity to gather together people from around the world who wanted to build on their knowledge of the world of children’s books as well as to spend time with young people in schools sharing creative time with them as well as offering them the opportunity to meet authors and artists from around the world. The Rock Retreat was a crucible for creative output.  Bringing together the cohort of international emerging writers and Gibraltarian school children and sharing the opportunity to learn, create and explore in an open and generous environment was a unique opportunity for all participants”

Following the success of the event and feedback from participants, plans are already underway to make it an annual feature in Gibraltar’s cultural and educational calendar.