Sign up to the newsletter

Your Children's Book

Back to Events

Start: 12th September 2018 - 6:00pm

Finish: 10th October 2018 - 8:30pm


Sold Out

How to Write and Pitch Your Children's Book: From Picture Books to YA Fiction

Do you aspire to be the next Julia Donaldson or Suzanne Collins?

If so, join us in the heart of literary London for five stimulating weeks of practical workshops and expert advice from course leader Caroline Green, an award-winning writer for young people and Sunday Times best-selling writer of adult fiction. Students will explore essential elements of writing for a wide range of ages, including: how to take an initial idea and develop it into a story that others will want to read; how to craft memorable characters; and how to write vivid settings. All attendees will gain an understanding of how the children's book market works and learn how to make their manuscript stand out in the slush pile.

The course has been designed to benefit authors at all stages of their writing journey, so whether you have an initial idea and want to know where to start, or have a full draft and need help with revising and making it the best it can possibly be, this is the course for you.

Each week will combine tutorials with practical exercises, discussion and feedback. Guest speakers are still to be announced. Furthermore, all attendees will receive a critique of up to 5,000 words of their writing and a copy of the latest edition of the Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook.

Based in the offices of Bloomsbury Publishing, each evening session will run from 6-8.30pm, making it ideal for those with full-time jobs and other commitments. 

The course includes:

- 12.5 hours of expert tutoring and advice from a combination of leading authors and publishing industry professionals

- Practical sessions with hands-on exercises based around your own writing

- A written review of a section of your manuscript (up to 5,000 words)

- The chance to study in a small seminar group at the historic offices of Bloomsbury Publishing 

- Exclusive discounts on W&A products and a copy of the Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook


Week One: Seeing through a child’s eye and creating believable characters

Wednesday 12th September

- An introduction to the children’s book world, and dealing with some of the myths surrounding children’s fiction

- How to see the world through a child’s perspective and write accordingly

- Writing exercises to get into mindset of young readers, plus group discussion and sharing time

- Understanding characterisation

- How to create memorable characters that live off the page for any age group

- Writing exercises on developing characters

- How to write sparkling dialogue

Week Two: Crafting stories. How to plot your children’s book

Wednesday 19th September

- Where to start a story: methods and tips for making the initial move from an idea to words on a page

- A look at the ‘snowflake’ method and exercise writing elevator pitches for book ideas

- Understanding plot structure. A look at three acts and five acts and the ‘marvellous midpoint.’

- Understanding causality and conflict in plotting

- Exercises, discussion and sharing time

Week Three: Bringing richness to your work through setting and description

Wednesday 26th September

- Creating fictional places, including ‘other world’s (speculative fiction)

- Using effective description and understanding ‘show, not tell.’

- A look at ‘psychic distance’ and point-of-view

- Exercises, sharing and discussion time

Week Four: Young Adult fiction and pitching your work

Wednesday 3rd October

Caroline will be joined by leading literary agent Catherine Clarke at Felicity Bryan Associates.

- Writing for Young Adults: how far can you go?

- How to present sensitive issues to this age  group and keep them entertained

- Pitching your work to the industry

- Dos and don’ts of submission process

- Tips from an expert on what the industry is looking for right now and how to make sure your work stands out in the slush pile.

Week Three: Understanding picture books and middle grade fiction

Wednesday 10th October

Caroline will be joined by best-selling children's author Peter Bunzl

- Picture books: How to get the right tone for the youngest readers of fiction

- How to lay out picture books in the correct way to pitch to the industry

- Practical exercise, re-telling a well-known story into twelve spreads

- Middle grade fiction: how to write for this age of independent readers, who are starting to see their place in the wider world for the first time

- Exercises, sharing and discussion time


From previous attendees of Writers' & Artists' children's writing events and courses:

'Caroline's feedback and comments have been extremely motivational, and I definitely feel even more determined to put myself out there and see what comes of it. Whereas, with some other courses I've done in the past I've felt like I've enjoyed them, but nothing really changes after them. This is without the doubt the best course I've ever been on - I couldn't have wished for a better tutor.'

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

‘Excellent through-and-through. Every session offered such valuable advice.’ 

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

Speaker Profiles

Caroline Green is an award-winning, best-selling author of fiction for both young people and adults. Her first book, Dark Ride, won the Waverton Good Read Award and the RoNA Young Adult Novel of the year in 2011. Cracks, her second book, was nominated for nine awards and featured on Radio Four’s Open Book as one of its teen reads of 2013. Hold Your Breath, her third, won the Oldham Brilliant Book Award for the Young Adult category. Writing as Cass Green, her adult debut The Woman Next Door was a Number 1 e-book bestseller. In A Cottage, In A Wood, her second adult novel, was a Sunday Times and USA Today bestseller. Caroline works extensively in schools teaching creative writing and is currently Writer in Residence at East Barnet School. She also teaches a writing crime fiction course at City University.

Catherine Clarke has been building a list of adult non-fiction and children's fiction writers since 2001, and is still looking for exceptional authors in both strands. In children's and young adult, she looks for great storytelling that hits the ground running, is beautifully and succinctly written, and makes her race to the lastp age. Very occasional she represents adult fiction with the same criteria. She is a passionate believer in the importance of recognizing women's achievements in pubilshing, and in 2003, she co-founded the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize to foster that. Some of Catherine's clients include David Almond, Sally Gardner, Meg Rosoff,  Jenny Downham, Natasha Farrant and many more. 

Peter Bunzl’s debut middle Grade novel, Cogheart, was published in Spring 2016 by Usborne, with its sequel, Moonlocket, published last Spring. Peter has been shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Awards and longlisted for Branford Boase Award with Cogheart.

After studying animation at the NFTS, Peter worked on two BAFTA winning cartoon series (Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto! and The Secret Show) and wrote and directed several fantastical shorts for children. His film, Mind Games was a finalist for Virgin Media Shorts (2008) and was screened in over 200 UK cinemas, while his shorts On The Upside and Mike 360˚ were finalists for the Rushes Best Newcomer Award (2008) and the Raindance Extraordinary Film Competition (2010) respectively. He lives in London.

Event Details

The event will be held at Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP. 

Booking & Payment

The course fee of £495 (inc. VAT) is payable in full online. Please do contact us to discuss an instalment payment plan by calling 0207 631 5985 or by sending an email to

If this event is Sold Out, please look out for other writing courses by visiting our Events homepage.


Sold Out