Writing Children’s Books
Why do children’s books dominate the worldwide bestsellers lists of all time? What’s involved in writing a convincing child or teen protagonist that will appeal to younger and older readers? How do you bring a sense of wonder to your story? And how do you create a world young readers won’t want to leave?
If you’re looking for inspiration to create stories or already have an idea for a children’s book, and want to write with the guidance of world renowned children’s authors to get published, our team will help you shape and improve your book writing.
Our children’s book writing course is an award winning course rated best in the world by Intelligent – with five star reviews from writers too. (It’s the course recommended by the world’s leading literary agencies.)
Our children’s book course is a a year-long program with an easy 3 step process: 1. The Classic Course, 2. The Ninety Day Novel, 3. The Big Edit.
What’s more to ensure you stay on track, you’ll enjoy inspiring self paced interactive coursework, a thriving children’s writing community and one-to-one personal coaching.
You’ll write your children’s book with coaching from a bestselling children’s author, one of our team of children’s book authors writing for children of all ages, younger and older readers, who love helping aspiring writers with the creative process.
Our famous Classic Course is the perfect place to start writing in the children’s fiction genre and will give you a solid foundation to write books for children at all age levels, exploring books known for their place at the very top of the roster of the classic children’s books. You’ll learn world-building, character development, the hero’s journey, the importance of good versus evil, magic systems and much more. You’ll create a story young readers will love.
Our children’s book writing course program includes video lectures with guest appearances from famous names like Meg Rosoff, Piers Torday, Katherine Roundell and more and a treasure chest of carefully structured guidance to help you raise your word count daily, creating characters that will remain with children happily ever after. You’ll write quality children’s fiction with the wise guidance of successful children’s book writers who have won awards for their novels and picture books for younger readers and young adults.
Unlike other online courses, with our children’s writing course, we take you all the way to achieve your ambition to become a published author. You’ll go on to work with professionals from The Big 5 publishing houses like Penguin Random House, experienced as editors working in the children’s writing genre for every age group and when your book is ready we will introduce you to the children’s book market via submission to our literary agency partners.
It’s the combination of courses, coaching and community with dedicated expertise in writing for children, that makes this such a great course.
Our children’s book writing course at a glance
The Children’s Department
With award-winning children’s fiction authors and a dedicated children’s and young adult fiction editorial team.
The Classic Course and Beyond
Instant access to the online course perfectly suited to those starting to write a children’s book, and both follow-on courses to write and complete your book.
Enjoy the company of your children’s and young adult writing group, with online readings and workshops.
A Year’s Access
A year’s access to the course and coaching with children’s fiction authors and editors when you join a course with membership.
Learn From Bestselling Children’s Writers
⭐ Awarded Best Course for Children’s Literature Worldwide by Intelligent
We’ll examine children’s novels and young adult fiction books that have become some of the most enduring works of fiction ever published. You’ll be guided how to combine their storytelling secrets with your own unique interests. Discover the secret sauce used by the great children’s 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 books for children shaking the industry. You’ll go on to write with an award winning bestselling children’s fiction author.
David is the author of middle-grade children’s novels. His children’s books have won The British Book Industry Best Children’s Book and The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
Polly is the author of is the bestselling, award-winning author of five Young Adult fiction novel, and six books for younger readers. Named a New York Times Book for the Teen Age, Alice’s first novel won or was short listed for numerous prizes, and she was nominated for the Carnegie Medal.
Tasha Suri is the award-winning author of The Books of Ambha duology (Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash) and the epic fantasy The Jasmine Throne. She is the author of the YA fiction novel What Souls Are Made Of.
The Classic Course
Where Our Children’s Writing Course Begins
But let’s start with your foundation course, The Classic Course.
Starting with The Classic Course, we’ll show you how to create wonderment.
Learn what younger readers expect from you as the author: part-magician, part-parent. It’s your job as a children’s fiction author to open the eyes of younger readers to the world and life ahead of them, but to keep them safe while you go on an amazing adventure in fiction.
We’ll begin at the very beginning. Once upon a time...
Get Started With the Idea
The Classic Course begins with lessons to help you create the space and time for your writing and prepare your mindset for creative thinking. We’ll share with you the key features of a bestseller, where ideas (really) come from and what makes a children’s book a classic.
Children’s and YA fiction can go anywhere, it’s such an expansive and exciting genre. So where to begin?
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?
Once Upon A Time
Move beyond the conventional three act structure to discover the great story structure that lies beneath storytelling and discover how big stories come from very small seeds of the first children’s stories we read and loved. We’ll guide you where to find the source of drama in fiction. Clue? It’s behind you!
You’ll combine your own ideals, hopes and fears with the big archetypal moves of storytelling to begin to create the structure for your book for children or young adults.
Starting to Plan a Story
We’ll give you the who, the why and the what in these lessons to help you find the hero, locate the story, and scope out the arc of the story. In children’s fiction, it all starts with our hero in challenging and unfortunate circumstances often through no fault of their own. The reader sympathises immediately.
Just think how many children’s stories begin with a child who is without their parents or anyone to care for them (apart from the reader!)
You’ll need to add a villain for the all-important conflict that tests the young person’s values to create drama. We’ll create a cunning plan in the Classic Course and your writing coach will review it with you before you put pen to paper, so you can start writing with confidence.
Creating the Story World
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.
But in a children’s story, 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.
We’ll show you how to give your ideas and values solid form; in the setting, characters, objects, icons, tokens, motifs, and treasures you choose to surround your child hero with. Everything matters. What you leave out can be as important as what you select and you’ll want to create light and shade to trigger the imagination of the younger reader.
Heroes & Villains
The Conflict That Drives a Children’s Story
The value system that drives storytelling for children is given dimension by the polar figures of the hero and the villain.
It’s our shared values as humankind from all corners of the world that have ensured stories entertained and enlightened readers through time. Stories connect our lives. We live and breathe stories, and so do your characters, and stories are concerned with change.
It takes a villain to drive the growth of your main character. Their conflict, and the triumph of good over evil, makes for a very satisfying read for the younger reader who often has a deeper sense of right and wrong than the older reader!
A Story Readers Will Love
Your voice as a children’s author is all-important. You need to provide a safe place for your reader to venture into potentially dangerous and testing adventures. Sometimes this means addressing the reader directly, especially in middle grade fiction. In young adult fiction, it means having one character who stands for moral goodness.
We’ll show you how the best-loved authors befriend their readers and keep them safe in remarkably sophisticated ways while providing a credible and entertaining reading experience.
Your relationship with a younger reader is parental, and with a young adult that of a trusted best friend.
Why and How We Write
We’ll develop an understanding of what moves a bestselling children’s fiction author to write their book and how the great stories originate from the ‘wounds’ of apparently successful writers, as a way to right the wrongs and create a better world.
We’ll look at the insider secrets behind the all-time bestselling children’s books from their source of inspiration through to the drafts and redrafts of those works as the author got closer to fulfilling their vision. We’ll help you skip a draft or two by bringing you closer to your aims.
You’ll gain the confidence needed to bring your whole self to the page to forge an honest and vital connection with your reader.
The Writing Plan
Here’s where it all comes together with a simple but dazzling plan for the children’s or young adult fiction story you can’t wait to write. We’ll be waiting to see you through the next stage of our writing courses, The Ninety Day Novel Course, where the actual writing begins.
You’ll be able to choose your children’s or young adult fiction writing coach to guide you every step of the way. You’ll work with a bestselling children's author working in the right age group for your chosen specialisation, with a wide range of experience writing middle grade novels, children’s picture books and creating stories that have appealed to children worldwide. They’ll oversee the structural matters of plotting and planning, drilling down into guidance on prose details, helping you write dialogue that’s convincing but age appropriate content too. (When you come on to the third phase of our program, The Big Edit, your children’s fiction editor will guide you through the different ages industry standards to ensure you find your place in today’s children’s book market. Whether you are thinking of self publishing or seeking a literary agent, they will raise your book to publishing standards.)
Your Children’s Story Starts Here
Sign up to write books for children with our brilliant team today.
All courses, coaching and access to our community of other writers are yours for 12 months, after which it’s easy and affordable to extend access Enjoy live writing classes, resources and a community.
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“Excitement and joy”
The children’s fiction course with rave reviews
“A deep dive into the key ingredients of the recipe to create a children’s classic. I feel like I lucked out. 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.”
“Thank you for reigniting my desire to write for children. 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. It reignited my buried desire to write for children 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.”
“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 managed to keep up with the lessons and looked forward to doing them each day.”
Our Course Reviews
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