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Your Children's Book - April 2021

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Start: 7th April 2021 - 6:00pm

Finish: 5th May 2021 - 8:00pm


Do you aspire to see your work sitting on the shelves in bookshops next to Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Malorie Blackman, and a whole host of other brilliant writers?

If so, join us for five stimulating weeks of practical workshops and expert advice from course leader Christopher Edge, an award-winning writer of children’s fiction and experienced creative writing practitioner. Students will explore essential elements of writing for young people, 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, alongside recommended reading.

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.

The sessions will run online via video conferencing software, with homework assignment deadlines in place for the following week. 

Each week will combine tutorials with practical exercises, discussion and feedback. Guest speakers to be confirmed shortly. 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.


Week One: Finding your voice

Wednesday 7th April

- Understanding the children’s book market: categories, genres, trends, series and stand-alones

- Chapter books, middle-grade, teen and YA: deciding where your story fits and how you want to tell it

- Exploring choices of narrative viewpoint and voice

- Exercises, discussion and sharing time

Week Two: Plotting and planning

Wednesday 14th April

- Story sparks: moving from initial inspiration to planning your story

- Understanding plot structure: taking a look at acts, arcs and other theories

- Crafting an ‘unputdownable’ opening: exploring narrative hooks

- Building to a climax: crafting an ending with an emotional impact

- Exercises, discussion and sharing time

Week Three: Characterisation

Wednesday 21st April

- How to create memorable characters and make them real

- Exploring character motivations and conflicts, goals and obstacles

- Writing dynamic dialogue that reveals character and drives the plot forward

- Reflections on the hero’s journey and how characters change

- Exercises, discussion and sharing time

Week Four: Building your world

Wednesday 28th April

- Creating fictional places, including the role of research

- Exploring setting, character and conflict

- Understanding ‘show, not tell’ and how to interweave action and description

- Structuring your scenes: narrative pace and scene transitions

- Exercises, sharing and discussion time

Week Five: Revising and pitching your work

Wednesday 5th May

- Revising your first draft: identifying problems and fixing plot holes

- Making your story shine: unleashing your inner critic and killing your darlings

- Pitching your work to agents and editors: dos and don’ts of the 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

- Exercises, sharing and discussion time

Speaker profile

Christopher Edge is an award-winning children's author whose books have been translated into more than twenty languages. His novels The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, The Jamie Drake Equation, The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day and The Longest Night of Charlie Noon have all been nominated for the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal, and he has also won several awards for his children’s fiction including the STEAM Children’s Book Prize and the Brilliant Book Award. He has been described as ‘a writer of genuine originality’ by The Guardian and his last four novels have all been awarded The Times’ Children’s Book of the Week as well as being praised in publications including The Sunday Times, The Spectator and the New Statesman. He is also the author of the bestselling How to Write Your Best Story Ever! and How To Be A Young #Writer, inspirational guides to creative writing for children and teenagers and is an experienced teacher of creative writing, running workshops for aspiring children’s authors at the Cheltenham Literature Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Other guest speakers to be announced.

Event Details

This will take place via video conferencing software. Joining instructions and full guidance will be provided before the course start date.

Booking & Payment

The course fee of £350 (inc. VAT) is payable in full online. 

Please do contact us if you wish 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.