How to write children’s books –
and get published
Are you interested in writing long fiction for older children
(8yrs+) and teens?
- Unsure where to begin?
- Wondering what kids these days ACTUALLY want to read about?
- Keen to learn the secrets to getting your book published?
- If so, read on… (Preferably under the covers with a torch…)
(Before we begin, if you’re looking to write picture books for
younger children, we offer a classroom course right here. Hope
you enjoy it! Thanks.)
A story for the ages
Writing for children and teenagers. It’s easy, right? After all, if there’s one thing we ALL were once, it was a kid. But just as eating ice-cream doesn’t automatically make you a gelato expert, so too with children’s fiction.
There’s a special craft in writing fiction for older children and teenagers. These unique readers are looking for characters they feel passionately about and strong stories that amuse, entertain and challenge – all without talking down to them. In many ways, they’re some of the toughest critics you’ll ever face!
Unlock your imagination
Many of us have great book ideas for children and teens, but simply aren’t sure where to start. That’s where the Australian Writers’ Centre can help. Whether it’s epic fantasy, comic adventure, romance or realism you want to write, this five-week course covers all the essentials of writing fiction. And more specifically, we tackle the most common questions about the dos and don’ts of writing for children and young adults:
- What age reader is my story best suited for?
- Are there rules about vocabulary in books for children and teens?
- How long should my book be?
- What topics are acceptable to publishers and the adults who buy
- How do I know what today’s young people are interested in
When a story hits the mark, it can be extremely rewarding. It can also find universal appeal – in recent years, great novels for kids and teens have ‘crossed over’ to be read by adults with equal enthusiasm. In fact, during tough times, it’s often these types of books that keep the publishing industry afloat.
YES! Please send me an outline for this course
Here's what you'll learn
- Your first words – how to get started.
- Finding the right voice – one that won’t alienate your readers (unless you’re writing about aliens that is…).
- Creating characters and stories young readers will enjoy.
- Talking the talk – how to write believable dialogue.
- Common assumptions about writing for children and about young readers in general.
- Ups and downs – how to structure a story that works.
- Plotting and scheming – the secrets to plotting for different
- Your next steps – everything you need to know about getting into the Children’s and Young Adult publishing market.
- …and MUCH more!
Remember, this course will focus on longer fiction for children aged 8+ and teenagers. If you’re thinking more along the picture book lines, please check out this course.
Kids these days…
You may have kids of your own. Perhaps you know someone who does. Maybe you once saw some in a park. Whatever the case, it’s really important you understand your audience. The world of writing for young readers changes quickly. Something that’s popular today could be tomorrow’s “epic fail”! Fortunately, you’ll be learning from Judith Ridge, a children’s book editor and industry expert who will share with you the trends and opportunities in the current market.
You’ll learn what to avoid if you really want to get published and she’ll guide you step-by-step on how to approach a publisher. In short, you’ll gain a blueprint for succeeding in this market!
A captive audience
Duelling wizards, angst-ridden vampires, high school dramas and hungry games… The characters may change, but the fundamentals to writing great children’s fiction never go out of fashion. This course can’t guarantee you a movie franchise (sorry). We can’t even promise you’ll be any better at making gelato. But what we can do is provide you with a hefty bunch of keys to help unlock your imagination and inspire a new generation of young readers. And that’s an EPIC WIN in anyone’s book…
Exclusive access to our Online Writing Forum
When you graduate, you'll also get exclusive access to our dynamic online writing community.
Rave reviews about
Writing Books for Children and Young Adults
"I learnt so much from Judith, who was a
massive inspiration and encyclopaedia of all things literary. I really enjoyed
the dynamics of the group – learnt a lot from each
- Louise Dean
"I feel more confident about my ability to write children's stories that are engaging and also how to proceed to the next stage of getting them published."
- Chris Mitchell
"Judith was excellent, very experienced and could offer a broad knowledge of the industry from different perspectives (academic, publishing, writing, teaching). She was so helpful and had lots of stories to illustrate what
- Clare Cannon
"This was a thoroughly accessible, non-intimidating way to begin thinking seriously about the process of writing books for young children. Judith was excellent in all regards."
- Katherine Norbury
"It was lots of fun, Judith was a great teacher and it gave me the motivation and confidence I needed to write a children's book. Se was an enthusiastic, interesting and knowledgeable teacher who was a pleasure to listen to and learn from."
- Elice Coffey
"Judith was delightful. I could listen to her for hours. I'm very glad I took the course, my writing is all the better for it."
- Stuart Layzell
“I gained so much insight into the big wide world of writing. Judith is a keeper – friendly, encouraging and just a overall lovely lady.”
- Karen Lee Lydon
"I am writing more, and within a week of finishing the course, I was able to have a fresh look at one of my manuscripts; re-edit the work, and finally take the plunge and submit it to publishers."
- Jacy Kattan
"I loved the course and truly Judith is a brilliant and enthusiastic teacher ... she is passionate about children's books and such a huge knowledge of all the different age groups so that she could be speaking of four year old book of verse and switch to fifteen year old teenage writing with ease as she knew her subject matter ... so thank you for your help and advice and thank you to Judith too."
- Robyn Elliott
Learn from the best
| Judith Ridge is internationally recognised as one of Australia’s leading
experts on writing for children and young adults. In a highly
specialised career spanning more than 20 years, Judith has worked as an
editor, community arts coordinator, writer and critic. Her experience as
an editor encompasses more than 6 years at the NSW School Magazine,
in-house at ABC Children’s Books and as a freelancer for Random House,
Penguin, Walker Books Australia and O’Brien Publishers Ireland. She has
taught children’s literature at Macquarie University and established the
Writing for Children and Young Adults course in the MA of Creative
Writing program at the University of Sydney.
Judith has written about children’s and youth literature for journals such as Viewpoint and Magpies, The Horn Book (US) and The Melbourne Age. She has twice been a judge on the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards ... read more