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Start: 21st March 2018 - 6:00pm

Finish: 18th April 2018 - 8:30pm


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 

- Advice on pitching your novel from leading children's literary agent Catherine Pellegrino

- 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 21st March

- 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 28th March

- 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 4th April

In this session, Caroline will be joined by best-selling children's author Abie Longstaff.

- 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: Understanding picture books and middle grade fiction

Wednesday 11th April

- 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

Week Five: Young Adult fiction and pitching your work

Wednesday 18th April

In this session, Caroline will be joined by children's literary agent Catherine Pellegrino, Marjacq Scripts.

- 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.


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

‘Six weeks of fantastic workshops. I’ve learnt so much from all the visiting authors.’ 

'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 Writing for Children at City University.

Abie Longstaff is the eldest of six children and grew up in Australia, Hong Kong and France. She knows all about squabbling, chaos and bossing younger sisters around. So she logically began her career as a barrister. She started writing when her children were born. Her favourite childhood books were Hating Alison Ashley, A Little Princess, Maura’s Angel and The Black Stallion and she sneakily reads them again sometimes. Abie lives in Hove with her family. She writes for children from picture book to older fiction.

Catherine Pellegrino joined Marjacq in 2015 bringing with her a small stable of talented Children's and YA authors from Catherine Pellegrino and Associates, an agency she set up in 2011 when she left Rogers, Coleridge and White Ltd to move to France. 

Catherine represents an eclectic list of Children's and YA authors and whether literary, commercial or genre, YA or Middle Grade, is looking for great storytelling, distinctive new voices and characters who take up residence in your head and your heart. She does not represent illustrators or picture book texts. 

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

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