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Your Children's Book - May 2020

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Start: 20th May 2020 - 6:00pm

Finish: 17th June 2020 - 8:30pm


Writing Children’s Fiction: How to Write and Pitch Your Children's Book

Do you aspire to see your work sat on the shelves in bookshops next to Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Robin Stevens, Holly Smale, 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 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.

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: Finding your voice

Wednesday 20th May

- 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 28th May

- 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 3rd June 

- 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 10th June 

- 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 17th June 

- 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 and The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day 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 latest novel, The Longest Night of Charlie Noon was selected as The Times Children’s Book of the Week and described by The Sunday Times as “A heart-stopping adventure”. 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

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

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