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Your Children's Book - March 2019

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Start: 27th March 2019 - 6:00pm

Finish: 24th April 2019 - 8:30pm


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

Do you aspire to see your work sat on the shelves in bookshops next to Julia Donaldson, Robin Stevens, Holly Bourne, and a whole host of other brilliant writers?

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 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.

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 27th 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 3rd April

- 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 10th April

- 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 17th April

Caroline will be joined by award-winning author Inbali Iserles

- 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 24th April

Caroline will be joined by Karen Ball

- 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:

'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.

Inbali Iserles is an award-winning writer and an irrepressible animal lover. She is one of the team of authors behind the New York Times bestselling Survivors series, writing under the pseudonym of Erin Hunter. Her first book, The Tygrine Cat, won the 2008 Calderdale Children’s Book of the Year Award. Together with its sequel, The Tygrine Cat: On the Run, it was listed among The Independent’s “50 books every child should read.” She lives in Cambridge with her family, including her principal writing mascot, Michi, who looks like an Arctic fox, acts like a cat, but is in fact a dog. You can find out more about Inbali at and more about Foxcraft at

Karen Ball has over 25 years' experience of the publishing industry and expertise in Intellectual Property. Her career includes periods as Head of Editorial at Working Partners and Publisher at Little, Brown Books For Young Readers. She has commissioned some of the bestselling series of the past 15 years – from Beast Quest to Frankie’s Magic Football and award-winning fiction such as Joanna Nadin’s Joe All Alone and Alex Wheatle’s Liccle Bit. In September 2016 she launched Speckled Pen, a creative consultancy aimed at helping content generators. Her clients have included Bloomsbury, OUP, PRH, Hachette, Usborne and Stripes. In 2017 she was named a Rising Star by The Bookseller.

Karen has authored over 20 books, writes one of the UK’s leading sewing blogs at Did You Make That and has contributed sewing articles to The Guardian. In 2019 her book, The Little Book Of Sewing, shall be published by Head of Zeus.

She is a co-founder of the Book Bound writers’ retreat, aimed at children’s and YA authors. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

Event Details

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

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.