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Writing for Children Short Courses

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Key information

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An ideal introduction to the world of children’s story writing; students gain confidence and learn to turn their ideas into exciting and creative children’s fiction.

Why choose this course?

Whether you want to publish your work or write stories just for your own children, City's Writing for Children short course delivers a comprehensive introduction to the subject, covering several areas and ages.

Over the course of 10 weekly evening classes you will learn how to apply theoretical knowledge to practical writing tasks and learn more about the market for children’s books and how to succeed as a children’s writer.

Taught from our central London location, the course offers flexibility and expert tuition.

Course overview

This Introductory Writing for Children short course, taught in the heart of London, is for students who would like to write books for children aged 3-16.

The first five weeks will focus on learning writing techniques in the context of children’s books, covering a range of areas including characterisation, settings, dialogue and plotting. We will also look at texts from a variety of published children’s authors.

The second half of the course will involve analysing different parts of the children’s and Young Adult (YA) book markets in more detail.

Each week students will tackle writing exercises and there will be some element of sharing work.

By the end of the Children's Writing evening 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 is ideal preparation for our Writing for Children Intermediate course.

  • “ It's been a great experience. I signed up for the course to get some confidence in my writing ability and meeting regularly with other writers has certainly helped this, as well as Caroline's informative, relaxed and fair tutorage. ”

    Sam Rees-Williams

    Former student

  • “ I have really enjoyed the course - I now begin to understand the nuts and bolts of a story in a way that I had never before grasped. I can now have an initial idea, draft a workable plot (sort of ...) and slowly start moving the story along - none of which I could do 10 weeks ago. The course has been well-structured, encouraging and informative. I have found it immensely helpful. ”

    Janice Taylor

    Former student

  • “ The tutoring was excellent. ”

    Geoff Prout

    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

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

  • Understand the market - who exactly are you writing for?
  • Identify what works about successful stories, across a range of texts;
  • Create strong settings, stand-out characters and convincing dialogue;
  • Build pace and structure into your work;
  • Learn how to use descriptions that will bring your writing to life;
  • 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.



Prerequisite knowledge

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

English requirements

Good written and spoken English.

Recommended reading

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.

Tutor information

  • Caroline Green

    Caroline Green is an award-winning, best-selling author of fiction for both young people and adults. Her first book, Dark Ride, won the Waverton Good Read Award and the RoNA Young Adult Novel of the year in 2011.

    Cracks, Caroline's second book, was nominated for nine awards and featured on Radio Four’s Open Book as one of its teen reads of 2013. Hold Your Breath, her third, won the Oldham Brilliant Book Award for the Young Adult category. Writing as Cass Green, her adult debut The Woman Next Door was a Number 1 e-book bestseller. In A Cottage, In A Wood, her second adult novel, is a Sunday Times and USA Today bestseller. Her third, Don't You Cry, is out in September 2018.

    Caroline works extensively in schools teaching creative writing and is currently Writer in Residence at East Barnet School.

Next steps

This Intermediate Writing for Children evening Short Course teaches you how to develop, revise and edit your writing for children fiction.…