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.
Lesson 1: The World of Children's Literature
Lesson 2: Assessing Your Writing Skills
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 3: Beginning the Writing Process
Fundamental grammar, punctuation, and other important elements; assessing your strengths and weaknesses; figures of speech; stylized expression; voice.
Lesson 4: Analyzing Your Audience
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 5: Picture Books
The reading abilities and personalities of children in various age groups; fiction versus non-fiction; timeless appeals; appropriate and inappropriate material.
Lesson 6: Easy Readers
An analysis of good and poor examples of concept books, picture books, and story books; how to use pictures effectively with words.
Lesson 7: Chapters Books
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.
Supplement: Time Management Guide
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 8: Specialty Books
How to be more productive and work more efficiently.
Lesson 9: Writing Non-Fiction and Writing for Magazines
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 10: Developing a Writing Project Proposal
Non-fiction categories; doing research; non-fiction writing techniques; quoting, paraphrasing, and documenting sources; writing and submitting to magazines.
Lesson 11: Writing Skills I – Creating Characters
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 12: Writing Skills II – Developing Plot
Practical procedures and special techniques for developing believable characters; making your characters memorable through description and dialogue; establishing a unique point of view.
Lesson 13: Writing Skills III – Saying It With Style
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 14: Writing the First Draft
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 15: Revising and Rewriting: Part 1
Getting motivated; avoiding procrastination; pacing yourself. Using the techniques you learn in Lessons 11, 12, and 13, you'll produce and submit a rough draft of your selected writing project.
Lesson 16: Revising and Rewriting: Part 2
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 17: Editing and Proofreading
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 18: Submitting Your Manuscript
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 19: Preparing the Manuscript for Publication
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.
What to expect if a manuscript is accepted; understanding publishing contracts; copy editing; looking at and revising galley proofs; expected earnings; subsidiary rights.
Close Curriculum Details
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.
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.