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Writing for Children Intermediate Short Courses

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Key information

Course code:

The Writing for Children Intermediate short course is for students familiar with the basics of writing for children who wish to continue to develop their writing skills.

Why choose this course?

Our Intermediate Children's Writing short course offers students currently writing for children or young adults the skills and opportunity to take their work to the next level.

Ideally suited to those who have already completed our Writing for Children short course, it will give you a set of practical techniques to work with, as well as an insight into the children’s fiction market.

The children's writing course is taught by an award winning children’s writer who will share her knowledge not only in writing technique but also how to prepare your work for publication.

Taught over 10 weekly evening classes and delivered from our central London location, the course offers expert tuition and the flexibility of part-time study.

Course overview

This intermediate evening course will review key aspects of writing such as voice, plotting and dialogue, to help you take them to the next level and make your work stand out. You don’t need to be working on an advanced manuscript, but ideally you will have some ideas you’d like to pursue.

You will be encouraged, over time, to share examples of your writing and to participate in critiquing workshops with the other members of the group. While this can seem daunting at first, it is always friendly and constructive and becomes increasingly rewarding.

You will learn from examples of some of the best current children's writers in each age group, from picture books to YA 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.

  • “ It was a great course, Sophia is a great tutor, very eloquently spoken and clearly knows her subject. ”

    Jessica Smith

    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

Over the course of 10 weekly evening classes on the Writing for Children Intermediate short course, you will learn:

  • How the UK children's fiction market is structured from age 3-16
  • How to help you identify the age-group you are writing for
  • 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



Prerequisite knowledge

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

English requirements

Good written and spoken English.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

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

Recommended reading

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

Tutor information

  • Sophia Bennett

    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.

    Sophia's seventh novel, LOVE SONG, published in 2016 was the second ever overall winner of the RONA Romantic Novel of the Year award to be chosen from the Young Adult category. Other books for Chicken House have been shortlisted for the Book Trust Best Book award and the Oxfordshire Book Award. She has also written historical Young Adult fiction for Stripes.

Next steps

This Writers' Workshop is a practical journey for writers. Learn how to revise and edit your fiction, learn more about publishing and more. …