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Types of writing for children

So you want to write for children, but you are not sure what they like to read? Well, you are in luck, because children like to read pretty much the same as adults – with some obvious exceptions like erotica and violence of course. So, as a children’s writer you can have a go at many different genres of fiction writing, including:

  • science fiction
  • adventure
  • romance
  • horror
  • fantasy
  • humour
  • mystery

and non-fiction writing too, such as:

  • reference
  • world/local news
  • educational
  • biography


Plus, certain types of children’s writing have the advantage of being therapeutic for you too. You can let your inner child run free all over the page and be a silly as you like – what fun!

Different Formats for Children’s Writing

Just like adults, not only do children like many different genres of writing, they also like reading them in lots of different formats, such as:

(I’ve included examples of publishers for each format so that you can see what kind of work they accept.)

  • novels – these are usually shorter than for adults, but follow the same format and layout, with protagonists and antagonists, twists and turns, page-turning cliff-hangers. See here for examples:

    - Harper Collins
    - Andrews McMeel Publishing (
    - Aladdin (

  • comics – comics were originally comedic in nature, hence the name. However, the term is now used to mean any story in comic book format. Have a look at some examples here:

    - The Phoenix Comic
    - Panini Comics
    - Redan Publishing

  • graphic novels – these are much the same as comics, but much longer in length and are usually bound in a format that is much more durable. This is a growing market, so have a look at the kinds of stories that are being published here:

    - Albert Whitman Publishers
    - Zondervan
    - Dynamite

  • poetry – kids love rhymes and poems, and this does not mean just books of pure poetry, it includes rhyming story books as well – for example The Gruffalo. So, publishers of children’s literature and specialist poetry publishers will both accept submissions. Some publishers of poetry are:
    - Jonathan Cape Poetry
    - WordSong
    - Viking

  • picture books – picture books are a very popular category of children’s book and are loved by all, from the very young upwards. This being the case there’s no shortage of publishers willing to take your work, these include:

    - Templar Publishing
    - Little Tiger Press
    - The Creative Company

  • newspapers – believe it or not there are newspapers for children too. They cover local and international news and follow the same format as newspapers for adults. Have a look at these:

    - First News
    - The Newspaper
    - Navneet News House

  • magazines – there are lots of magazines, both on and offline, written especially for children and they cover everything from sport to cooking to wildlife. Here are a few to give you an idea of what’s available:

    - Aquila
    - Bumples
    - National Geographic Kids

  • e-books – this is growing market and, nowadays, a huge proportion of children have access to e-readers or computers. Plus, publishing e-books involves little or no cost and does not require the say so of anyone else. Of course if you choose to print your book this way, you and you alone are responsible for all of the promotion and sales of the book. Some of the best websites for producing e-books are:

    - Lulu
    - Smashwords

As you can see, being a children’s writer is as varied and interesting as writing for adults. So, set your inner child free and see if children’s writing is for you. 

If you think you’d like to try writing stories for children request a free copy of our Writing for Children prospectus to find out how we can help you become a successful children's author.


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Lou Carter"After completing the course I began writing as much as I could and in 2014 I was finally signed by my agent and within two months I had a contract with Bloomsbury.

To date I have nine picture book contracts all at various stages of publication. There Is No Dragon In This Story (Bloomsbury) and Pirate Stew (Orchard) both published last summer and Oscar The Hungry Unicorn (Orchard) is due to be released on Sept 20th 2018. "

Lou Carter


Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

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