Writing for children

Course Dates: 21/09/21 - 22/03/22
Time: 10:15 - 12:15
Location: Online
Tutors: 
Always wanted to write a children's book? This practical course will develop your ability to write for different age groups and genres of contemporary children's fiction. (Please note this two-term course is payable in two instalments.).
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £389.00 Senior fee £389.00 Concession £156.00

This course has now started

Course Code: HW022

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Started Tue, day, 21 Sep - 22 Mar '22

Duration: 22 sessions (over 27 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

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.

Please note this is a two-term course, payable in two instalments.If you wish to pay in instalments please contact us on 020 7831 7831. You cannot book and pay with an instalment plan via the website.

Students say: "Lots of brilliant advice from the tutor"; "The class atmosphere and group discussions were great"; "A well-structured approach to different topics"; "I liked the camaraderie, the breadth of the syllabus, and the opportunity to hear from each other"; "It sparked loads of new creative ideas.".

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.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

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.

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. 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 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.

Neil Arksey

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 was also part of the team that created the highly successful Little Robots TV pre-school TV series for the BBC as well as writing Kipper the Dog and other TV series for younger children. As screenwriter, story editor, consultant, head writer and series producer, Neil Arksey has been responsible for over a thousand episodes of TV drama. In the UK, he has worked on shows such as Crossroads, Family Affairs, Doctors, Mile High, and River City. And abroad, amongst other projects, he was head writer on Finnish TV drama Salatut Elämät, (Secret Lives) and series story producer on Jóban Rosszban, a hospital drama set and based in Budapest. Neil has also worked in script development for Freemantle and Global Drama Productions. He co-produced dark indie feature film, Run To Ground. In addition to working as a writer and producer, Neil has taught writing at several universities, colleges and film schools.

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.