This week I’m breathing a sigh of relief as we’ve just come to the end of updating our Writing for Children Course. It’s had a really good overhaul by the original writer Karen King, but even when she’s done all her hard work there’s still plenty more for us to do here at Head Office. And you can’t beat that feeling of satisfaction when everything is finished!
The course is packed full of useful information on writing in different genres and for different age groups – plus how to market your writing. And a the biggest plus is the fact that there are 15 assignments, all marked by an experienced children’s writer who will offer personal feedback on your work. Of the assignments, 10 are structured but then the rest are ‘open’ so that you can have your tutor’s help and advice on your own particular project.
But there is always room for some peripheral reading/research if you really want to make a go of it; so here are some of my suggestions.
First up is The Children’s Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2017. It’s packed with useful articles and over 2000 listings/contacts which have been reviewed and updated for 2017.
Next there’s the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. They have a section on awards and grants for writers and illustrators; an events calendar; a ‘find a speaker’ section; members’ books and a great resources library, which you shouldn’t miss. The organisation is based in America but they have members all over the world and you might want to consider joining.
Also have a look at the Booktrust charity. Their main aim is to get children reading but the information on their website is useful because it provides an insight into what they are reading today.
UK Children’s Books might look a bit old-fashioned but this is deceptive. It has very detailed lists of children’s authors, illustrators, publishers, organisations, events, book news and reviews and children’s booksellers. And, as the name implies, it looks at things from a UK perspective.
Last but not least, if you want to illustrate your own children’s books then you might consider a course with London Art College. In addition to all their other courses they offer ‘Illustrating Children’s Books’ and ‘Science Fiction and Fantasy’. If you are already a member of The Association of Freelance Writers you are eligible for 10% off any of their courses. And if you’re not already a member, why not consider joining – membership offer lots of other valuable benefits too.
I make no secret of the fact that writing for children isn’t the easy option that many people think. It takes as much, if not more, skill than writing for adults. But, if it’s something you want to do there’s no excuse for not giving it a go as there are so many resources out there to help you.
Author: Diana Nadin
Comments Off on Writing for Children