Reading for children's writers (young adult)

Course Dates: 19/04/18 - 05/07/18
Time: 10:30 - 12:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Penny Joelson

Learn the art of writing for young adults. Explore what makes a great book for this age range, analyse works by successful authors, and produce your own writing inspired by them. (There will be no class on 31 May.).

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Reading for children's writers (young adult)


What is the course about?

Take a dip into the overflowing pool of wonderful children’s books and look at a range of successful books published in the last fifteen years, before using the techniques or style of these authors to write something yourself.

The Tutor
Penny Joelson is a children’s author and experienced Build tutor. Her YA Novel 'I Have No Secrets' was published in May 2017 with Egmont. She writes for all age groups and has also had a number of books for children published under her maiden name, Penny Kendal. Penny has worked as a primary school teacher and family learning tutor and she also runs writing workshops for children.

Build reserves the right to change course tutors or venues from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor/venue.

What will we cover?

- What makes a children's book successful?
- How have different authors approached the same themes?

- Term One will focus on Picture Books and First Readers.
- Term Two will focus on Middle Grade (8-12) books.
- Term Three will focus on Young Adult Books (12+)

Students can choose to come for one, two or three terms.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

By the end of the course students should:
- Be able to analyse successful children’s books and identify and describe key factors that have made them successful.
- Have a broadened knowledge of recent children’s books and current trends.
- Be able to use a children’s book or author’s style as a starting point for writing creatively.
- Have a greater comprehension of plotting, characterisation and use of language in children’s books.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

You'll need a good level of spoken and written English and a love of children’s literature, should be prepared to participate in discussions and to write creatively. The course is open to experienced children’s authors or beginners.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

All writing courses at Build will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

A reading list and timetable will be supplied before each term and students will be expected to read the book prior to the week it will be discussed. The books can be purchased in book shops or borrowed from public libraries.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

All students are invited to join us at Build Talks Back, our monthly performance night for Build writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Visit for more details or if you're interested in reading your work. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology. Learn more at For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on and Twitter.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 3 item(s)

Write a review
This course is inspiring and full of information for people wanting to write for young adults. The tutor is insightful and very interesting and I learned a huge amount about how to make my story effective and relevant in today's market.
Course Rating
Review by suepuffin / (Posted on 21/07/2017)
This course will show you how published authors put up the windows, doors and roof of their story. I found the course invaluable and the tutor really supportive .
Course Rating
Review by Frantastic / (Posted on 21/02/2017)
This course will show you how published authors put up the windows,doors and roof of their story. I found the course invaluable and the tutor really supportive .
Course Rating
Review by Frantastic / (Posted on 08/07/2016)

This course has now started

Course Code: HW133

Started Thu, day, 19 Apr - 05 Jul '18

Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £149.00
Senior fee: £149.00
Concession: £60.00
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Please note: Different fees may apply for international students. Read full guidance.

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