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Writing for Children

Career Diploma in
Writing Children's Books

Writing for children is much more than having a great story. You must consider writing to particular age groups, developing compelling characters and dialogue, as well as marketing your story to publishers. When you’re writing stories for kids, make every word count!

  • Prerequisite: None
  • Study Method: Textbooks with Online Exams
  • Program Length: As few as 6 Months

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This Career Program
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  What You'll Learn

Writing for children allows you to create characters and settings without creative limits: animals can talk, fairy godmothers are real and fictional worlds are adorned with every color of the rainbow. While the creative possibilities seem endless, the rules and guidelines associated with writing stories for kids, from toddlers to young adults, are very specific. This course shows you how to create the kind of compelling stories and endearing characters that children’s book publishers want to promote.

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View Curriculum Details  

Lesson 1: Learning at Ashworth  

The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Lesson 2: Concepts in Small Business and Self-Employment  

Evaluating your business idea; setting yourself apart from the competition; market testing; investment funding and donation funding; qualities of an entrepreneur; crowdfunding and angel investors.

Lesson 3: Exploring the World of Children's Literature  

Trends in children's literature; why people write for children; traits of a children's writer; what makes a best seller; the life cycle of a work of children's literature; avoiding common pitfalls.

Lesson 4: Assessing Your Writing Skills  

Fundamental grammar, punctuation, and other important elements; assessing your strengths and weaknesses; figures of speech; stylized expression; voice.

Lesson 5: Beginning the Writing Process  

Using personal computers, word processing software, and typewriters; planning and researching your writing project; setting a timetable and goals; proven writing techniques; overcoming writer's block; ways to generate ideas; drafting, revising, proofreading, and editing your work; exercises for building your writing skills.

Lesson 6: Analyzing Your Audience  

The reading abilities and personalities of children in various age groups; fiction versus nonfiction; timeless appeals; appropriate and inappropriate material.

Lesson 7: Picture Books  

An analysis of good and poor examples of concept books, picture books, and story books; how to use pictures effectively with words.

Lesson 8: Easy Readers  

An analysis of good and poor examples of books in the easy reader category; how to appeal to first- and second-graders; establishing a more "grown-up" approach with fewer illustrations; bridging the gap between picture books and full-fledged chapter books.

Lesson 9: Chapter Books  

An analysis of good and bad examples of chapter books; characteristics of chapter books; what appeals to children ages 7 to 10; understanding and writing for the pre-young adult category.

Lesson 10: Specialty Books  

An analysis of good and poor examples of specialty books; an examination of today's most popular specialty book categories, including pop-up books, puzzle and game books, poetry and verse, and plays.

Lesson 11: Writing Non-Fiction and Writing for Magazines  

Non-fiction categories; doing research; non-fiction writing techniques; quoting, paraphrasing, and documenting sources; writing and submitting to magazines.

Lesson 12: Developing a Writing Project Proposal  

Choosing the subject and target audience; selecting an age-appropriate genre; organizing your ideas; summarizing your story. You'll submit a writing project idea for evaluation by your instructor.

Lesson 13: Writing Skills I: Creating Characters  

Practical procedures and special techniques for developing believable characters; making your characters memorable through description and dialogue; establishing a unique point of view.

Lesson 14: Writing Skills II: Developing the Plot  

Practical exercises for developing the theme, setting, plot, and other vital story components; sequencing descriptive action; developing conflict and suspense; keeping the action going.

Lesson 15: Writing Skills III: Saying It with Style  

Techniques for improving your literary exposition skills; choosing the right words; using dialogue effectively; adding sensory language; developing your own voice and style; using humor.

Lesson 16: Writing the First Draft  

Getting motivated; avoiding procrastination; pacing yourself. Using the techniques you learned in previous lessons, you'll produce and submit a rough draft of your selected writing project.

Lesson 17: Revising and Rewriting: Part I  

Organizing your ideas; maintaining focus; development; style; unity; coherence; practical revision exercises and techniques. You'll revise your initial draft using the skills you learn in this lesson.

Lesson 18: Revising and Rewriting: Part II  

How the revision process works; analyzing material as you go; revision exercises; checklists. You'll use your instructor's evaluation and suggestions from your first draft to improve and strengthen your writing project.

Lesson 19: Editing and Proofreading  

Grammar review; exercises to improve your editing skills; using editing and proofreading checklists. You'll apply the skills you learn in this lesson to edit and proofread the latest draft of your writing project.

Lesson 20: Preparing your Manuscript for Submission  

What editors want; finding your niche; identifying potential publishers; proper submission format; preparing query and cover letters; dealing with rejection. To accompany your final manuscript draft, you'll write a cover letter to be evaluated by your instructor.

Lesson 21: Preparing your Manuscript for Publication  

What to expect if a manuscript is accepted; understanding publishing contracts; copy editing; looking at and revising galley proofs; expected earnings; subsidiary rights.

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  What You Get

Complete your Writing for Children course online on your terms. Start when you’re ready, study at your own pace and get personal guidance as you need it. We’ve removed the obstacles so you can move ahead fast!

Our course combines a balance of theoretical concepts and practical application. Your tuition covers:

  • Beautifully illustrated textbook
  • The Elements of Style
  • Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market
  • Two popular children’s books
  • Critiques of your writing by an instructor-author
  • Online, open-book exams
  • Dedicated academic support and tutoring
  • Career search and time management guides
  • Participation in the Student Community
  • Career Services powered by CareerBuilder®

Graduates of our online Writing for Children course receive a diploma and may attend our annual graduation ceremony. Your career diploma in Writing for Children will teach you how to turn your creative aspirations into a fulfilling career as an author.

  • Writing for Children Courses Books


  • Writing for Children Courses Diploma


  • Graduation Video


Share your stories with the world! Begin your Writing for Children course today. Speak with an Admissions Advisor at 1-800-957-5412 or enroll online now.