What is the course about?
A structured overview of the skills involved in writing for mid-grade children and Young Adult fiction. You will also gain an up-to-date knowledge of publishing for children.
The Tutor: Andrew Weale is a poet and author of five picture books, including Nora: The Girl Who Ate and Ate and Ate, and the Red House Award winning Spooky Spooky House. He also lectures on picture book writing at Winchester University as part of the Children’s Writing MA, and mentors writers for the highly successful Golden Egg Academy.
Build reserves the right to change course tutors 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.
What will we cover?
We will look at Midgrade and Young Adult fiction in more depth. There will be an emphasis on the components of writing fiction for children, e.g. character, plot, dialogue and genres such as thrillers, historical fiction and more. There will be class exercises and homework and an increased focus on the students' writing.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- respond to, and assess, pieces of writing with sensitivity
- use various writing techniques through which your creativity can be expressed
- appraise the variety of books available for children today
- identify the different age categories into which children’s fiction is categorised by mainstream publishing
- discuss the essential elements of a story and explain how to adapt them to particular age groups
- develop your own original stories for children, evaluate and rework them
- promote your own work further (if desired).
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You need to have completed a ‘Writing for children’ course before joining this class.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Talks, illustrated with contemporary children’s books
Class writing exercises
Group discussion and group work
Independent reading and writing projects inside and outside 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?
Bring a notebook, paper and writing materials, enthusiasm and loads of persistence. A reading list will available from Build or online by the start of the course.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Advanced workshop courses will be offered in the following academic term, so students with a work-in-progress can continue to receive in-depth feedback on their work.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for Build writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. 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