Writing middle grade fiction: a taster
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: HW162
Duration: 2 sessions
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?
We will be examining this thriving genre: what it is; who it’s aimed at; who it’s read by; how it works and how it’s
written. The course is particularly aimed at those interested in exploring middle grade fiction from a writer’s point of
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?
Amongst other things, we will be looking at themes, writing techniques and boundaries of middle grade fiction. Similarities and differences between middle grade fiction, YA fiction and other kinds of writing for children. What kind of stories are and are not suitable for middle grade fiction and why. Ways to approach writing middle grade fiction. And the place of middle grade fiction in the publishing world.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify works of contemporary middle grade fiction
- Differentiate middle grade fiction from other writing forms
- Respond to, and assess, pieces of middle grade and other writing with sensitivity
- Use a number of strategies and techniques to develop your own middle grade idea.
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 with reference to contemporary middle grade works
- 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
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 writing materials.
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.
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.