Children’s Fiction Workshop  Short Courses

The Children’s Fiction Workshop is an intermediate fiction-writing course for students who are already working on stories for children or young adults, and who want to improve their children’s writing skills. The course will examine the UK children’s fiction market today, and the techniques required to make your work stand out. There will be opportunities to share your own writing and participate in critiquing workshops with the other members of the group.

You will learn from examples of some of the best current children’s writers in each age group and gain an insight into what agents and publishers are looking for. By the end of this evening course you will have a better idea of your writing strengths, what to work on, and which support networks can help you reach your writing goals.

This course is ideally suited to those who have already completed our Writing for Children short course.

Why Choose a City Short Course?

Taught over 10 weekly evening classes, our Children's Fiction Workshop short course offers students currently writing for children or young adults the skills and opportunity to take their work to the next level.

Taught from our central London location, the course offers expert tuition and the flexibility of part-time study.

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
Thursday 14 January 2016 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £255 CS1221 Apply Now
Thursday 28 April 2016 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £255 CS1221 Course Cancelled

Tutor Info

Sophia Bennett’s books for teens have been sold around the world since her debut novel, Threads, won the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Prize in 2009. She has gone on to write a further six books for Chicken House and the latest one, Love Song, will be published in 2016.

Sophia regularly speaks at schools and festivals, and her books have been recommended by Jacqueline Wilson in the UK and Meg Cabot in the US. Her fifth novel, You Don’t Know Me, was shortlisted for the Booktrust Best Book Awards in 2014.

Before becoming a full-time author Sophia had a variety of careers, including lobbyist to Brussels and management consultant. She has a BA from UCL and Birkbeck College, London, and a PhD in Modern Italian Literature from Cambridge.


You should have taken an introductory fiction writing course or be writing regularly.

English Requirements

Good written and spoken English.

What will I learn?

Over the 10-week short course programme, you will learn:

* How the UK children’s fiction market is structured from age 3-16, how do you identify the age-group you are writing for, and what do publishers expect?
* Working with an illustrator: how words and pictures work together in picture books
* Plotting your story
* How to make your characters stand out
* The importance of voice in children’s literature – and how to find yours
* Using dialogue and humour to bring scenes to life
* Tips for research and world-building
* Writing, rewriting and sharing – learning how to give and take constructive criticism, and the importance of the editing process
* The different routes to publication, and what agents and publishers expect from a new author
* Finding friends, getting help and setting realistic goals to keep you moving with your manuscript

Delivered over 10 weekly evening sessions, the Children’s Fiction Workshop short course will help you take your writing to the next level, and give you a set of practical techniques to work with, as well as an insight into the children’s fiction market.

Teaching and Assessment

Informal assessment will take place through group discussion, class room activities, and questions and answers sessions as guided by your tutor.

Recommended Reading

Picture books
I Want My Hat Back – Jon Klassen
The Book With No Pictures – B. J. Novak
The Day the Crayons Quit – Oliver Jeffers
The Gruffalo/The Snail and the Whale – Julia Donaldson

Chapter books and Middle Grade
Rescue Princesses series – Paula Harrison
Awful Auntie – David Walliams
Mr Gum – Andy Stanton
Murder Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens
Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy
When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead
A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

Young Adult
Looking for Alaska – John Green
Buffalo Soldier – Tanya Landman
This Is Not A Love Story – Keren David
Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman
Slated – Teri Terry/The Maze Runner – James Dashner

Leads To...

The Children’s Fiction Workshop short course can lead to a range of follow-on programmes such as:

* Short Story Writing
* Writers Workshop
* The Novel Studio

Application Deadline: