This course examines the craft and business of writing for the children’s and YA marketplace. Explore a wide variety of genres while discovering the essential elements for writing both fiction and nonfiction for young readers. The classes will provide many tools and techniques for helping you develop and revise a work-in-progress during the four-week session. Acquire a working knowledge of the current industry, understand how the publishing business works, and learn how to prepare your work for submission.
Week 1: Inspiration
- Lecture: Inspiration. What to write? Who is your audience? Fiction and nonfiction. Genres and formats. Commercial and literary. Trade and educational.
- Class Discussion and Handout: Writers as Readers: Mentor Texts. Examples and excerpts from a wide range of literature. Generating ideas. Recommended Reading list. Work-in-Progress Project.
- Homework: Read widely from the Recommended Reading List. Analytical Reading Activity. Draft Part One of Work-in-Progress Project.
Week 2: Craft
- Lecture: Craft. Elements of Fiction. Three Part Story Structure, Character, Setting, Conflict, Theme, Plot, Point of View, Dialogue, Plot, and Voice. Elements of Nonfiction. Subject—Person, Place, Event, Thing. Facts, Point of View, Quotes.
- Class Discussion and Handout: Organizing, structuring, and turning your idea into a work-in-progress. Manuscript Format Guide. Tips List.
- Homework: Read specifically from the Recommended Read List. Draft Part Two of Work-in-Progress Project.
Week 3: Craft
- Lecture: Craft. Word Choice, Sentence Structure, Show Don’t Tell, Sensory Detail, Objectivity, Dialogue, Description, and more.
- Class Discussion and Handout: Critiquing, Troubleshooting, Revising, Proofreading, and Editing. Analytic Work-in-Progress Activity Sheet.
- Homework: Read specifically from the Recommended Reading List. Analytic Work-in-Progress Activity.
Week 4: Business and Publication
- Lecture: Business and Publication. The Marketplace: Publishers, Editors, Agents; Traditional, Self, Digital. Submission: Queries, Cover Letters, Proposals.
- Class Discussion: Bring Work-in-Progress. Optional sharing in class and/or submit to the instructor for private feedback after the conclusion of the course.
- Final Handout: Additional Resources—including professional books and organizations, websites, and more.
Notice: Registration for this workshop is now closed.
About Michelle Parker-Rock
Michelle Parker-Rock M.Ed., professional freelance writer, editor, and author of the more than a dozen books for young readers, including the Authors Kids Love series. Award-winning educator; Recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Award; Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators; and 2011 SCBWI Member of the Year.Notice: Registration for this workshop is now closed.