Creative Writing - How to write for children

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Course description

Learn how to write for children in Sydney.

'The prime function of the children’s book writer is to write a book that is so absorbing, exciting, funny, fast and beautiful that the child will fall in love with it.' Roald Dahl.

Writing for children can be fun and rewarding but most of it is simply hard work and a lot of practice. Join children’s author, Deborah Abela, author of over 20 novels, as she takes you through a practical, hands-on course of writing activities to hone the skills you need to write for kids. She will also talk about the kids' publishing world and offer advice on approaching a publisher. Deborah loves what she does and is keen to share her experiences of and insights into this specialised and incredibly exciting profession.

Every class will include modelling quality books, writing and sharing written work.

Course content

1. Overview:

  • Writing that novel: From initial idea to finished book
  • Quality kids books: What makes them work so well?
  • How to get started – deciding which idea to work on.
  • What are you working on and what would you like from the course?

2. The Fundamentals: Make every paragraph, character and chapter count

  • Beginnings, middles and endings
  • Where should I start the story?

3. Characters

  • Who should be in my story and why?
  • Dialogue: does it sound believable?

4. Setting and Plot:

  • How to create realistic settings
  • What is driving your story?
  • 3 Act Structure: Is your book solidly built?

5. The Voice

  • Have you captured the ‘voice’ of your book?
  • Editing: kill your darlings and everything else that gets in the way of a good story

6. A close look at the publishing industry:

  • How it works and tips for being published.
  • After you are published, what then? Tips on getting you and your book into the hands of your readers.

By the end of the course it is intended that the student will be able to:

  • understand the major skills needed to write for kids
  • be able to write with more confidence
  • workshop ideas and creative writing pieces in a supportive, professional atmosphere
  • understand the fundamentals of the children’s publishing industry and what is involved in being a published author
Before the class – please organise
  • Something to write on and with but please avoid bringing computers or tablets. Paper and pens are preferred.
  • A piece of writing you have been working on.

Avoid disappointment. Enrol early.

Please ensure that you have given a valid email and mobile number as all course changes will be communicated via sms or email.