How To Write a Children's Book

⭐ Awarded Best Course for Children's Literature Worldwide by Intelligent



Start Today

Writing Books for Children

 Awarded 'Best Course for Children's Literature' Worldwide by Intelligent

Start Today
wtiting books for children course

The Children's Book Writing Course

With Bestselling Children's Fiction Authors


We’ll examine the middle-grade children's novels and young adult fiction books that have become some of the most enduring works of fiction ever published and you’ll be guided on how to combine their storytelling secrets with your own unique interests. Discover the secret sauce used by classic and bestselling authors J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Richmal Crompton, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Hans Christian Andersen, Mark Haddon and Philip Pullman, as well as the contemporary novels shaking the industry.

In 45 lessons, we'll show you how to create wonderment in children's fiction. Learn what younger readers expect from you as the author: part-magician, part-parent. 

Remember, the big difference between adult and children's fiction is that in novels for adults, the war is inside you. A novel for adults is a moral journey with the main character in conflict, choosing between the positive and negative values of the theme of your story. But in a children's book, the war is outside. The hero must battle evil and triumph for good, overcoming worldly temptations and showing younger readers how to uphold the values you, the author, hold dear. It's your job, as a children's fiction author to open their eyes to the wonders of the world and their life ahead of them, but to keep them safe in your story while you go on an amazing adventure in fiction.

We'll begin at the very beginning. Once upon a time...

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Features of a Children's Bestseller

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A Story as Unique as You

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A Cosy Start

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The Portal

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Creating Wonder

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The Garden

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The Familiar

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The Friendly Guide

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The Villain

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The Battle

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The Treasure

Tips for writing for children:

  • Children’s and YA fiction can go anywhere, it’s such an expansive and exciting genre. So where to begin? Look at how your readers choose to spend their time and PLAY. Here’s one playful exercise to get you started: begin with the world you know and imagine one thing that’s different. How could that one difference change everything else? It can be something tiny and trivial, or important and huge – follow through the impact of its absence. Now place a young person in the middle of this changed world. What would they do?
  • Take notice of the kids walking to school with a slump in their step, the ones who are being intimidating in the park playground as well as the well-behaved ones, too. What might the latter be thinking behind their timid smiles? Not only will this inspire your own characters but remind you that they are the readers you’re writing for. You owe it to them to write a world that reflects their reality, whichever kind of story you choose to write.
  • When writing for a young protagonist always ask yourself the following: how can they have agency in (or take control of) what’s happening to them? And who or what might threaten their agency? When you tap into that agency and tension, exciting things happen.
  • Once you’re off the starting blocks, we all have the tendency to race towards the action. But a reader always needs to feel connected to the character and world they’ve diving into. Ensure you give yourself space to give them this grounding connection. Make sure you pack a cosy start!

With Middle-Grade and YA Fiction Editorial Support


Discover and refine your ideas with The Big Idea and The Classic Course, during which you will explore story archetypes and structures using beloved bestselling children's novels.

On our novel writing courses, you will receive personal mentoring from the multi-award nominated middle-grade author Polly Ho-Yen, as well as YA experts and published authors Tasha Suri and Katie Khan, and take advantage of one-to-one professional feedback from our children’s and YA editor, Krystle Appiah. Once you have completed a draft of your children’s novel, The Big Edit Course (and optional extras such as The Spotlight Edit and Ultimate Manuscript Assessment) will help you polish your novel to a professional standard.

You will enjoy access to live events from guest speakers as well as our rich library of author Q&As including sessions with Katherine Rundell, Meg Rosoff, Tricia Levenseller, Piers Torday and many more. Read Polly's blog on favourite children's books here.

You can take advantage of our fortnightly children’s and YA writing workshops and an active online children's and YA fiction writing community where you can meet like-minded writers who support and understand your vision.

If you’re writing children’s and YA, our courses will give you the tools to elevate your novel to a whole new level.

Come and inspire the next generation at The Novelry.


There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you.”

Beatrix Potter


What's in the toy box?


Choose Your Children's Fiction Writing Course


Sign up and start today

Suitable for writers writing in all genres of middle grade and YA fiction at all levels including beginners, writers looking to build a new novel idea, writers in need of inspiration, and writers with a manuscript in progress.

Your Career Starts Here

Becoming a Children's Fiction Author

Because Writing for Children is a Wonderful Adventure

  Writers Love The Novelry


Thank you for reigniting my desire to write for children.”

“So accessible and interesting and really nicely presented. It brings you back to the start of your childhood reading days and reminds you of why you loved stories and why you want to write them. The 'gentle journey' of the course fooled me into thinking I was just ambling along when at the end I realised I had a lot more written and developed than I thought I had. It made me think more in my free time about my story, in a reflective way, not in a cold factual way. It reignited my buried desire to write for children in a gentle and reflective way, by remembering the child I was and how some stories shaped me as I read them. And how we all can bring that hidden child out to write alongside us because they may have a story worth telling.” 

– Marisa O'Mahoney

“I feel like I lucked out.”

“A deep dive into the key ingredients of the recipe to create a children's classic. I appreciate very much the balance you strike between high quality and commercial viability. MFA programs often only teach literary writing, at the expense of the crafting of plot. Other online resources are often too "pulpy" for my taste. I think writers with the ambition to write for a large audience, but also to write to a high literary standard, would find it very rewarding, particularly if they're writing middle-grade or YA.

– Sean Miller

See Our Reviews
“I've come up with an idea that I love ...”

“... and have an outline for my novel as well as planning on chapters, characters and the way my magical world works. The course gave me confidence to write my novel, excitement and joy in planning and writing, a new twist on an old idea. I never thought much about writing a children's fantasy book but realised it's what I've always wanted to do. I found it really inspiring and it really opened me up.I feel proud of myself for completing the course when I wasn't sure I'd be able to with a young baby. I managed to keep up with the lessons and looked forward to doing them each day.” 

– Alex Webber

Our Course Reviews




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