Sign up to the newsletter

How to Write for Children and Young Adults

Back to Events

24th February 2017 - 9:30am to 5:00pm


Sold Out

Are you the next Julia Donaldson? If you want to write for children or young adults, learn from the best with a day of writing workshops and panel discussions with leading children’s publishers and literary agents. 

Meet the gatekeepers of children’s publishing and find out what they’re looking to publish next, how to improve your writing and how best to increase your chances of getting published.

The day includes: a two-hour writing workshop with an author of your choice; networking drinks reception with the speakers; and informative and interactive panel discussions with highly regarded commissioning editors and literary agents looking for debut authors to add to their lists. 

In the morning, three successful children’s authors offer their advice on how to improve your writing with an engaging and interactive workshop with exercises and feedback. The afternoon sessions will help you navigate the current market, warn you of what to avoid in a submission to an agent and give insight into the minds of leading publishing industry figures. 


09.30-10.00 Welcome coffee and tea 

10.00-10.15 Introduction to the day

10.15-11.15 A writing workshop of your choice: either writing picture books, writing for middle years with Kiran Millwood Hargrave or writing YA with Patrice Lawrence

11.15-11.25 Short break 

11.25-12.45 Writing workshop continued 

12.45-13.30 Lunch break (lunch not included but teas and coffees available)

13.30-14.30 What are children’s publishers looking for and what are today’s children reading? A panel discussion with children's publishing industry experts

14.30-15.30 A discussion on the editor/author relationship and the process of editing and re-writing

15.30-16.30 How to submit your work to an agent: panel discussion with leading literary agents Claire Wilson, Penny Holroyde and Julia Churchill

16.30-17.00 Refreshments 

Speaker Profiles

Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton, brought up in an Italian-Trinidadian family in mid-Sussex, and lives in East London with her daughter, partner, and Stormageddon, the tabby.

Patrice’s debut YA novel Orangeboy was met with a critical and prize-winning storm, including winning the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017, The Bookseller The Bookseller YA Book Prize 2017 and shortlisted for the 2016 Coast Children’s Book Award.

Indigo Donut, Patrice’s second novel, was immediately critically acclaimed, and was Book of the Week in The Times, The observer and The Sunday Times. 

Keep your eyes peeled for more speaker announcements soon!

Event details

The event will be held at Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP. Doors will open at 9.30am, with teas and coffees provided upon arrival.

The talks will begin at 10am prompt, finishing at 4.30pm for refreshments.


'Accessible, informative, informal yet well-presented.' Kerry Corden

'It makes the whole publishing world feel more accessible - the spur I needed to keep going.' Tom Jordan

'Feel privileged to land a place on this course - now the rest is up to me!' Charlotte Turner

'Thoroughly enjoyed, very inspirational. Thank you so much for a great day with the right sized crowd and perfectly picked experts to share their knowledge.' Charlotte Scarborough

'I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for a wonderful and inspiring day on Saturday at the Writing for Children Conference. I spent Sunday writing up the notes I made and applying Matt Whyman's practical tips to my own manuscript. It was a pleasure to meet with so many other writers' who feel just as nervous as myself, apparently I'm not alone - who knew!' Shelley Wilson

'A lovely day! Very informative for someone new to the game! I'm super inspired to get cracking and get out there!' Rhiannon Holland

'This was an extremely helpful day, thank you! It was very well organised and informative - just what we needed. I was struck by how incredibly friendly everyone attending and running the workshop was. Being creative seems to bring out the best in people!' Astrid Weber

'Very well organised. Length of sessions was good, lots of variety and chance to ask questions.' Chelle Parker

'The conference offered a well-judged mix of practical advice and inspirational personal stories. The range of speakers – from literary agents, to publishers, to authors – meant that all aspects of the business were covered… [It] has certainly given me the tools to return to my own work not just with renewed enthusiasm but with a sharper editor's eye, too.' Becky Brewis

'Fantastic event. Thank you so much for all the great advice!' Margaret Kim

'Excellent course with so much to think about. Can't wait to get back to my writing.' Zita O'Rourke

'Very professional and friendly, inspiring and realistic. Heading home now to start the search for an agent!' Nikie Forster

'Loved the day, loved the speakers – thank you! Also thought that Alysoun was a perfect host for the day.' Kerensa Jennings


Sold Out