Join Writers & Artists’ ‘Writing Your Children’s Book’ course

Climbing by Judy Darley

Do you have a passion for writing for children? The folks at Writers & Artists are hosting an online Writing Your Children’s Book course, taking place from 8th May 2024 6:30pm to 12th June 2024, with sessions lasting from 6.30pm to 8pm

The course costs £350, and will be taught by Lesley Parr, the author of three novels for children. Her debut, The Valley of Lost Secrets, was published in 2021 and was both a Waterstones Book of the Month and longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. It won the Tir na n-Og Award, the King’s School Chester Book Award and the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award, as well as being shortlisted for many others.

Where the River Takes Us is described by Waterstones as “an engrossing, character-driven tale of urban legends and personal discovery set during the era of the three-day week of 1974.”

They say: “The stories we read when we are young shape us. This May, join us for a six-week online course (including a reading week) to help develop your craft and work towards the publication of your children’s book.”

The course will explore creating memorable characters, world-building and structure, as well as offering insights into the children’s book market and how to improve your chances of getting your work published.

The course will suit children’s fiction, middle-grade and YA authors* at all stages of their writing journey, whether you have an initial idea and want to know where to start, or have a full draft and need help with revising and making it the best it can possibly be.

Sessions will run online via video conferencing software, with homework assignment deadlines for the following week.

All attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the latest edition of the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook as well as Lesley’s latest book.


Week One: The Children’s Book World

Wednesday 8th May

  • What it is and how your writing fits in
  • Age ranges
  • Word counts and content
  • Themes, trends and genres

Week Two: Getting Started and Keeping Going

Wednesday 15th May

  • To plan or not to plan
  • Stimulating ideas
  • Ways to get unstuck
  • Building confidence
  • Finding a community of writers

Week Three: Character Development

Wednesday 22nd May

  • Creating memorable and believable characters
  • Viewpoints
  • Authorial and character voice
  • Dialogue
  • Character motivation

Week Four: Reading Week

Wednesday 29th May

This will not be a teaching week. Instead, students will have an opportunity to read a short children’s book set by Lesley, and encouraged to work on their writing, prompted by this.

Week Five: The Story

Wednesday 5th June

  • The messy first draft
  • Plot and structure
  • Settings/ worldbuilding
  • Pace

Week Six: Shaping up for Publication

Wednesday 12th June

  • Editing
  • Query package
  • Improving your chances
  • Synopsis

Book your spot here:

Got an event, challenge, competition, opportunity or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) iCloud (dot) com.