October 20th: Writing for Children and Young Adults with Jessica Miller *COURSE FULL*

Writing for Children and Young Adults

Good children’s writing – like any good writing – requires a tightly-crafted plot, memorable characters, and sentences that jump off the page. But when writing for children you also need to think about how to create a story that resonates with younger readers. How to deal sensitively with the problems and emotions of childhood. How to write humour that children will respond to and create stories that will keep them turning the pages well after bedtime. How to really nail that magical talking lizard character. This workshop is designed to instruct you in the elements of good writing and good children’s writing: put simply, it’s a workshop for writers who want to talk equally seriously about craft and which Hogwarts house they’re in.

This one-day workshop starts off with an introduction to the landscape of children’s literature: we’ll learn how the industry categorises different types of children’s books by age and genre and discuss some of the challenges and requirements specific to creating children’s stories. We’ll also look at loads of examples from children’s books and discuss why and how they work.

Then down to the fun part: you’ll be led in a series of exercises designed to help you find a plot, create a character, and conjure a memorable setting. You should leave bursting with ideas for your very own children’s story. And if you’ve already got a manuscript in the works, all these exercises can be adapted to help you explore and deepen what you’ve already written.

This workshop is suitable for anyone interested in or already writing children’s and YA fiction for ages 7 and over; we won’t be looking at picture books.

To sign up to this workshop, email us at hello@thereaderberlin.com

Jessica Miller is the author of gothic middle-grade novel Elizabeth and Zenobia. Published in Australia (Text), North America (Abrams) and the U.K (Faber) and soon to be translated into Turkish. Elizabeth and Zenobia has been escribed as ‘Eerie and dazzling—a perfect book for a dark and stormy afternoon’ by Kirkus Reviews. Her YA novel, The Republic of Birds, is inspired by Russian folklore and will be published in 2019. She holds a doctorate in Children’s Literature from the University of Queensland.

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