How to write a great opening for your children's book
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW206
Duration: 2 sessions
What is the course about?
Children are, rightfully, demanding readers. If they aren’t hooked into your story in the first few pages - sometimes just the first few paragraphs! - the chances are they’ll move on to something else. But that doesn’t mean there’s only one way to grab their attention. This course offers an opportunity to explore what makes a great opening to a children’s story. And how to write one yourself.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- opening styles, and the pros and cons of each
- techniques for getting straight into your story, without becoming bogged down in too much background detail
- introducing your main character.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- understand and apply a variety of opening techniques and styles to achieve different effects
- identify your main character and know how to introduce them strongly on page one
- write your own attention-grabbing opening paragraph.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a course for beginners. No prior knowledge or experience is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- Group discussion and feedback
- Lots of independent writing
- Tutor input illustrated by examples from published works.
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.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Bring a notebook, paper and writing materials, enthusiasm and loads of persistence.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Students who wish to continue actively to write for children may like to join the Writing for Children Workshop, most of whose members began as students on the City Lit’s Writing for Children course, and of whom a significant number are now published authors.
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.
A former journalist, Sophie McKenzie attended a writing class at City Lit in 2003 and has been writing fiction ever since. She has published over 25 books - including award-winning teen thrillers and crime fiction novels for adults. She is currently writing a new story featuring several strong female characters and working on a drama script for a TV production company.
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.