Writing for children: workshop

Course Dates: 24/09/20 - 03/12/20
Time: 12:45 - 14:15
Location: Online

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. Please note this is a small group size, which will allow more time for feedback on your writing, and explains the slightly higher cost.

This course will be delivered online. For more information please see our guide to online learning.


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.

This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- Critical appraisal of your own work and that of others
- Redrafting and revising
- The publishing marketplace.

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 finding a market for 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'll be taught by group discussion and feedback, and 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?

City Lit runs a number of children’s writing workshops and courses in the daytime and the evening.

All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.


Customer Reviews 9 item(s)

Write a review

Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

If you've done a writing course and want a tutor-led critiquing group to help improve your writing skills, I can't recommend this course highly enough.
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 19/06/2019)
Brilliant teaching and collaborative vibe.
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Review by Becky / (Posted on 13/03/2019)
If you want to take your manuscript from ‘good’ to ‘great’ this is the workshop for you. Be warned: the feedback you get will be brutally honest. But if you’re serious about getting published, it’ll be worth it.
I believe a few tutors teach variations of this course and they all have different approaches.
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Review by Hannah / (Posted on 13/03/2019)
This workshop has been excellent
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Review by ... / (Posted on 05/12/2018)
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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Review by Matilde / (Posted on 14/07/2017)
Tutor Biographies
Penny Joelson Tutor Website

Penny Joelson is a multi-award winning children’s author and experienced City Lit tutor, who started her career with writing courses at City Lit. Penny has worked as a primary school teacher and family learning tutor and she also runs writing workshops for children. She writes for all ages and her latest YA mystery is ‘Things The Eye Can't See’, published by Egmont 2020. Her previous two thrillers, also published by Egmont, have both won awards, with ‘I Have No Secrets’, winning ten overall, including the 2018 FCBG Children’s Book Award for Older Readers. Penny takes great pleasure from the success of students who have gone on to achieve publication - and some have even gone on to become City Lit tutors themselves.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HW045

Thu, day, 24 Sep - 03 Dec '20

Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £229.00
Senior fee: £229.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.