Writing for children: workshop

Course Dates: 17/04/18 - 26/06/18
Time: 10:15 - 12:15
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Neil Arksey

For experienced children's writers, this ongoing workshop offers an opportunity to develop your work-in-progress with constructive feedback from tutor and classmates. You need to have completed a ‘Writing for children’ course before joining this class.

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Writing for children: workshop


What is the course about?

Under the guidance of an experienced tutor, these workshops offer help and support to children's writers with works in progress. At each session, different writers will have an opportunity to present their work and receive helpful and constructive comments from the class. There will also be information available on current markets and advice on how to approach publishers.

The Tutor
Author and screenwriter Neil Arksey has had a number of novels for children and young adults published by Penguin Random House. His writing has been shortlisted for and won a number of prizes. He has also worked for two decades in film and TV drama as a screenwriter, script and story editor, head writer and producer. He teaches at the London Film School.

City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.

What will we cover?

We will examine writing for children and the contemporary publishing market through peer, tutor and self assessment of each student’s own work.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Respond to and assess pieces of writing with sensitivity
- Receive an unbiased critical appraisal of your work by your peers and the tutor, within a supportive atmosphere
- Redraft your work, taking into account the feedback you received
- Identify ways of marketing your manuscript.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is suitable for those writing fiction for all age groups from babies to teenagers. Ideally, you'll have completed the introductory ‘Writing for Children’ course at City Lit. However, new students are welcome if you are already a published author or if you are otherwise actively involved in writing for children. The workshop is not suitable if you have no experience of writing for children, and you should not enrol for both the introductory course and this one at the same time.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught by group discussion and feedback. You should be actively writing outside the class so that you have work to bring each time it is your turn.

All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

When it is your turn to bring work you need to bring two typed copies, one for the tutor and one for the reader.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

All students are invited to join us at City Lit Talks Back, our monthly performance night for City Lit writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Visit www.citylit.ac.uk/citylittalksback for more details or if you're interested in reading your work. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology. Learn more at www.citylit.ac.uk/betweenthelines. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 5 item(s)

Write a review
This course is excellent. It is exactly what I wanted to improve my novel and the feedback is helpful and informative. The tutor is insightful and full of positive suggestions. Brilliant.
Course Rating
Review by Sue-puffin / (Posted on 17/07/2017)
This is a course for those interested in a serious writing workshop that will help develop their craft. The instructor is insightful and manages the group remarkably well.
Course Rating
Review by Back to School / (Posted on 17/07/2017)
I've been attending this tutor's workshops over the last few years and can't recommend them highly enough. The mix of writers is always dynamic and interesting, ranging from Picture Book, to Middle Grade to YA. The level of critique offered is exceptionally high. It is sensitive, supportive and constructive, so that writers are clear about how to improve their work. The tutor leads the class with great humour and insight, sharing their experiences in an inspiring way. The workshop has kept me motivated me to write regularly and to consider how my work fits into the contemporary children's market. I strongly recommend the workshop for all committed children's writers, whether you have a work in progress or just the bare bones of an idea.
Course Rating
Review by JD / (Posted on 17/07/2017)
You can wait a long time before you are lucky enough to have such a gifted, enthusiastic, whip-smart, funny and supportive teacher as the tutor on this course.

I have done a lot of courses on writing and i can only say do her year long introduction course and then this, and whatever you're trying to write, if it has narrative, you will be vastly improved.

I only wish I'd found these courses sooner.

Very realistic feedback, with a lot of helpful pointers to take work into the professional arena - i.e. You can write how you want but if you want to be a professional these are criter you need to think about.

Add to this a lot of fun in her workshops and classes, and that she seems to have a bottomless knowledge of other writers' work and appreciation for it - all styles all genres, all age groups, and i can't say enough good about these courses or this tutor.
Course Rating
Review by I am the one with no nickname. / (Posted on 15/07/2017)
I joined this tutor's beginners course as a student with no experience but a great keenness to develop an idea based on some images and illustrations that I had produced years earlier. I felt rather intimidated at the start of the term, having never written any fiction and I did wonder if, with such little experience, I was a worthy enough member of the group. Well, thank goodness I took that first step, and did not let my lack of confidence hinder my ambitions. The masterful tuition and creative exercises have tapped into an imagination I had no idea I possessed.

I can honestly say that if I had not studied under this tutor, I would not be in the position I am now in, which is writing my first chapter book. The joy the process of writing has brought me is a revelation. I am also indebted to the tutor for her expert critiques. There is not a single class in which I have not learnt something new about myself or my writing. I signed up for the advanced course without hesitation. The critiques, as ever, are precise, incisive, considered and transforming. The environment is supportive and constructive and I have made great friends with fellow students. The tutor is dedicated, open, generous and extremely encouraging. I cannot recommend her classes highly enough. She should be cloned and sent to every school!
Course Rating
Review by Matilde / (Posted on 14/07/2017)

Book your place

Course Code: HW023

Please choose a course date 

Tue, day, 17 Apr - 26 Jun '18

Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £189.00
Senior fee: £189.00
Concession: £76.00
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Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions? writing@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2717

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Please note: Different fees may apply for international students. Read full guidance.