Writing for Children  Short Courses

This course is for students who would like to write books for children and/or young adults. The reading age covered is roughly 3-16. By studying a range of texts, including picture books, easy readers and longer novels, you will learn the key principles in writing successfully for this market. You will examine techniques used by a variety of different published authors and see how these can be applied to your own original stories. By the end of the course, students should have a strong grasp of what it takes to succeed in the tough but rewarding world of writing for children.

Writing for Children short course tutor Tamsyn Murray talks inspiration for teaching and what you can expect to gain from the course.

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
Monday 6 October 2014 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £250.00 CS1211 Apply Now
Monday 19 January 2015 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £250.00 CS1211 Apply Now
Monday 27 April 2015 18:30 - 21:00 8 weekly classes £250.00 CS1211 Apply Now

Tutor Info

Bestselling children's author Tamsyn Murray writes the Afterlife series for teens (Piccadilly Press Ltd) and the Stunt Bunny series for younger readers (Simon and Schuster). Her first picture book, Snug as a Bug came out earlier this year (Simon and Schuster) and the first two books in the Cassidy Bond series, for girls aged 9-12 years, will be published by Usborne in 2014. She has been nominated for several awards and was described as 'One to watch' by The Bookseller. She regularly appears at literary festivals, including Hay and Cheltenham, and often speaks at the Romantic Novelists' Association Conference.


This course is open to anyone interested in writing for children.

English Requirements

Good written and spoken English.

What will I learn?

  • Understand the market - who exactly are you writing for?
  • Identify what works about successful stories, across a range of texts;
  • Find your voice and uncover your story's Unique Selling Point (USP);
  • Create strong settings, stand-out characters and convincing dialogue;
  • Build pace and structure into your work;
  • Edit and revise your writing, including when to cut;
  • Understand what agents and publishers are looking for in a publishable manuscript - the practicalities as well as the indefinable 'it';
  • How to submit your work to publishing professionals.

Recommended Reading

Hart, C. and Eaves, E. (2010) Supermarket Zoo. London: Simon and Schuster
Donaldson, J. and Scheffler, A. (2002) Room On The Broom. London: MacMillan Children's Books
Nadin, J. and Mikhail, J. (2011) Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster. (Penny Dreadful series). London: Usborne
Strong, J. (2007) The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog. London: Puffin
Gaiman, N. (2009) The Graveyard Book. London: Bloomsbury Children's Books
David, K. (2010) When I Was Joe. London: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Ward, R. (2009) Numbers. London: Chicken House

Leads To...

Short Story Writing; Novel Writing and Longer Works; Writers' Workshop; The Novel Studio

Application Deadline: