Writing for children: advanced
Time: 10:30 - 12:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW132
Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)
What is the course about?
Take your writing to the next level with this interactive, online course. Enhance and develop your writing skills and your understanding of what makes a children’s book strong and engaging. Each session will involve a combination of tutor input, writing exercises and discussion. Examples will be shared from the best of recently published fiction.
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?
The Right Idea – developing and choosing ideas with the best potential.
Making characters believable and engaging.
Tension and Pace in Plotting.
Multisensory Descriptions – making setting real for the reader.
Analysing markets – what agents and publishers want
Submission process, letters and synopses.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Use techniques to make characters more believable and engaging.
- Demonstrate knowledge of tension and pace, and apply this knowledge to improve work in progress.
- Strengthen and improve dialogue in your writing and ensure it plays a valuable and often multipurpose role.
- Make settings more real for the reader using multisensory description.
- Analyse markets and examine what agents and publishers want, understand the submission process and be able to write a letter and synopsis.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You'll need a good level of spoken and written English and a love of children’s literature, should be prepared to
participate in discussions and to write creatively. The course is open to experienced children’s authors or beginners.
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, pair work and group work (using breakout rooms)
Independent reading and writing projects inside and 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
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?
A reading list and timetable will be supplied and students will be expected to read the book prior to the week it will be discussed. The books can be purchased in book shops or borrowed from public libraries.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Editing your children's novel (HW133) is one option. Speak to your tutor for alternative options.
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.
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.