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Writing for Children and Young Adults: Course Content

Week One

We begin with a look at ways to get started as a writer and get organized in order to pursue your writing to its full potential. We’ll also cover some of the ways you can spark your creativity and stay motivated with your writing.

Readings

Welcome and course outline

Starting out as a writer

Creating time and space for your writing

Writers block

Week Two

We’ll examine where writers get their ideas from and how they turn these into stories. We’ll also look at how important it is to edit and revise your work and the need for writers to engage in planning and create outlines.

Readings

Where do ideas come from?

The importance of editing and revision

Assignments

Assignment 1: Spectacular story starters – Making a mystery

Week Three

Research plays an important role in certain types of stories, such as historical fiction, but also in creating realistic settings for your stories. This is also an important element to consider when writing for children and young adults. We’ll also look at some of the most common elements of children’s stories.

Readings

The importance of research

Writing for children and young adults

Week Four

Explore the many methods of creating strong characters, including names and personality features that make them more realistic and believable. We’ll also examine ways to create dialogue that makes your characters come to life.

Readings

Naming your characters

Dynamic dialogue

Assignments

Assignment 2: Creating Characters

Assignment 3: Dynamic Dialogue – Bringing Characters to Life

Week Five

Create a story based on your impression of a picture. Also learn how to create a short, yet compelling, back cover synopsis for your story.

Assignments

Assignment 4: Every picture tells a story – Ideas from pictures

Assignment 5: Back covers

Week Six

Compose the first attention-grabbing chapter of your story to really hook the reader and make them wish to continue reading.

Using the story idea generated from Assignment 4, learn how to create a short, yet compelling back cover synopsis for your story. You’ll also compose the first attention-grabbing chapter of your story to really hook the reader and make them wish to continue reading.

We’ll also be discussing the publishing world, how to research publishing houses, cover letters, synopses and sample chapters, and ways to promote yourself as an author, once your book is published.

Readings

Submitting your work

Cover letter

Synopsis

Rejection letter

Dealing with rejection

Assignments

Assignment 6: Hooking the reader

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