Description of Class
So you want to write for youth and you’re new to the business? Great. This course will help you craft your story.
In this 6-week course, as you begin reading kidlit (and books about kidlit), revising manuscripts, and sharing them with each other, you will quickly encounter some challenging questions:
Who is it for? Does it appeal to children and adults in different ways? What assumptions does it make about the world of childhood and the relationships children have? How does it obscure, reveal, comment on, or attempt to change the truths of life—things like love, desire, satisfaction, hurt, difference, sickness, and death? What values does it establish—or subvert? What values or expectations are at stake as the story or pattern unfolds?
You’ll use questions like these to help drive your exercises and revisions.
Assignments include examining a variety of kidlit examples, using various techniques to improve the manuscript through proven craft, and emulating specific authors and techniques. Final manuscripts will vary depending on the path you choose (picture book, middle grade, YA, fiction, non-fiction etc.), but all students will conclude the course with new skills and resources for becoming a children’s book writer.
Books: Juliet strongly recommends purchasing Writing for Children by Judy K. Morris, and the new edition of the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market.
Week One – The Rules & Basics
Week Two: Plot
Week Three: Hooks and Beginnings
Week Four: Revision
Week Five: Making Your Story Whole – Why Tell This Story?
Week Six: The Ten Commandments of Publishing