What is the course about?
A structured overview of the skills involved in writing for children of various ages. You will also gain an up-to-date knowledge of publishing for children.
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?
The picture book format, writing picture book text, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, animals in fiction, books for young readers, chapter books for developing readers, fiction for the more confident readers, relevant child development and interests of children to the age of eleven. In addition we will examine the components of writing fiction for children, e.g. character, plot, dialogue as applied to all age groups. We will also consider writing for older children and young adults and look at the work of contemporary authors, including various genres such as thrillers, historical fiction and more. Students may intend to write for one particular age group, but may well find that, through the course, they are drawn to write for several age groups.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- respond to, and assess, pieces of writing with sensitivity
- use various writing techniques through which your creativity can be expressed
- identify the variety of books available for children today
- promote your own work further (if desired).
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Entry is open to all potential writers who can write fluent English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Talks, illustrated with contemporary children’s books
Class writing exercises
Group discussion and group work
Independent reading and writing projects outside class.
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?
Bring a notebook, paper and writing materials, enthusiasm and loads of persistence. A reading list will available from City Lit or online by the start of the course.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Advanced workshop courses will be offered in the following academic term, so students with a work-in-progress can continue to receive in-depth feedback on their work.
All creative writing students are invited to join us at City Lit Talks Back, our monthly performance night. City Lit Talks Back is usually held at Waterstones, Tottenham Court Road. All are welcome, admission is free and there is no need to book in advance. Contact email@example.com if you’re interested in reading your work. For more details, visit www.citylit.ac.uk/citylittalksback.
Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of stories, poems and scripts by City Lit writers. For more details, visit www.citylit.ac.uk/betweenthelines.
Stay in touch with the Writing Department at www.facebook.com/citylitcreativewriting and www.twitter.com/citylitwriting.
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