What is the course about?
We will be examining this thriving genre: what it is; who it’s aimed at; who it’s read by; how it works and how it’s
written. The course is particularly aimed at those interested in exploring middle grade fiction from a writer’s point of
Author and screenwriter Neil Arksey has had a number of novels for children and young adults published by Penguin
Random House. His writing has been shortlisted for and won a number of prizes. He has also worked for two
decades in film and TV drama (including children’s TV shows) as a screenwriter, script and story editor, head writer and producer. He teaches at the London Film School.
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?
Amongst other things, we will be looking at themes, writing techniques and boundaries of middle grade fiction. Similarities and differences between middle grade fiction, YA fiction and other kinds of writing for children. What kind of stories are and are not suitable for middle grade fiction and why. Ways to approach writing middle grade fiction. And the place of middle grade fiction in the publishing world.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify works of contemporary middle grade fiction
- Differentiate middle grade fiction from other writing forms
- Respond to, and assess, pieces of middle grade and other writing with sensitivity
- Use a number of strategies and techniques to develop your own middle grade idea.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Entry is open to all potential writers who can write fluent English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- Talks with reference to contemporary middle grade works
- Class writing exercises.
- Group discussion and group work.
- Independent reading and writing projects 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
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Bring writing materials.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Students who wish to continue to write middle grade fiction can join the term-long course 'Writing a middle grade book' in September (HW131).
All students are invited to join us at
target="_blank">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
Facebook 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.
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