Online: Writing Children’s Books

Jacqueline Harvey

Tuesday 4 October to Friday 11 November 2022, online

Full Price: $660
Member: $495
Conc Member: $430

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Writing for children is big business. Despite the oft forecast demise of reading, demand for quality children’s books is strong and there has been significant growth in this market over the past few years.

If you’re keen to write stories that will keep children reading under the covers after lights out, if you’re interested to know more about the puzzling business of publishing, or if you harbour dreams of being the next JK Rowling or Andy Griffiths, this online course with Jacqueline Harvey is for you.

Is this course right for you? Read our FAQ before enrolling>>

Through short writing exercises, peer and tutor feedback, you’ll develop the skills and insights needed to write compelling children’s books; from goal setting and understanding what you want to achieve, to finding your voice and knowing how to grow your story.

This course is suitable for writers of picture books, chapter books and middlegrade fiction. 

The course will cover everything you need to get started including:

  • Understanding your potential audience
  • Finding and developing ideas
  • Creating believable characters
  • Developing plausible plots
  • Using dialogue effectively
  • Literary devices
  • The importance of editing
  • Advice on getting published
  • The business of being a writer.

A series of practical exercises will give budding writers opportunities to explore style, voice and other key elements of writing for children as well as demystifying the publishing process.

Week-by-Week Course Breakdown

Week 1: Essential Information About Children’s Books

It’s important to understand your potential audience. To that end we’ll explore the various categories of the children’s book market looking at books that have stood the test of time as well as current trends. Learn about the so called ‘rules’ and how to read like a writer.

Week 2: Ideas and Characters

Where do you find ideas for children’s books and how do you create engaging characters? Time to find your voice and develop an understanding of well-rounded, interesting characters who readers will want to spend time with.

Week 3: Perfect Plots and Structures

Children are discerning readers who want quality stories with engaging plots. How do you plan and execute a story that will keep the reader wanting more. How do you know the best place to start and where to take it from there? We’ll explore the importance of a fabulous beginning, how to keep the momentum going through to ensuring that the ending is just right too.

Week 4: Delicious Dialogue

Dialogue can be tricky. Poorly done, it can bog a story down but in the hands of a proficient writer, it propels the story forward and adds an engaging element for young readers, helping them to get to know the characters. We’ll look at ways to use dialogue effectively.

Week 5: Editing and Revising

How many drafts will you need to complete before the story is ready for an audience? Let’s talk about the editing process and ways to ensure that your work floats to the top of the slush pile. Editing is about learning to let go and making certain that the writing is tight and compelling.

Week 6: The Business of Being a Children’s author

There’s a lot more to being a children’s author than just writing a book. We’ll explore everything from how to get your work noticed by a publisher in the first place, to contracts, the process of having your book published and then how to grow your brand and find a place in the market. We’ll look at the pros and cons of social media and if it’s possible to turn your passion for writing into a full time job.

Participant Requirements

We’ve designed this online course to meet your learning needs. You can work through the lesson material, ask questions, and engage with fellow writers throughout the course. There are no live meetings. Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this program. Please read our FAQ before enrolling.

Please expect to spend a minimum of three to four hours per week on the course, noting that the amount of time needed to read, respond to discussions, write, revise and critique will vary from person to person. To get the most out of this course, we recommend logging in at least once a week. You don’t need to log in at a specific time.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

This interactive online course has limited places. Book early to avoid missing out. 

More from Writing NSW

Check out our full range of in-person writing courses in Sydney, our online writing courses and our feedback programs to see how we can help you on your writing journey. Find out about our grants and prizes, as well as writing groups across NSW, and sign up to our weekly newsletter for writing events, opportunities and giveaways.

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