Writing for children and young adults

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writing for children and young adults

The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl B. Klein

The best children’s and young adult novels take readers on wonderful outward adventures and stirring inward journeys. In The Magic Words, editor Cheryl B. Klein guides writers on an enjoyable and practical-minded voyage of their own, from developing a saleable premise for a novel to finding a dream agent. She delves deep into the major elements of fiction—intention, character, plot, and voice—while addressing important topics like diversity, world-building, and the differences between middle-grade and YA novels. In addition, the book’s exercises, questions, and straightforward rules of thumb help writers apply these insights to their own creative works. With its generous tone and useful tools for story analysis and revision, The Magic Words is an essential handbook for writers of children’s and young adult fiction.
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Published 11.03.2019

Richard Scrimger on writing for children and young adults

Bestselling children's author Philip Womack shares tips on how to write a children's or YA novel. Here's what makes a children's or YA book popular.
Cheryl B. Klein

Undergraduate modules

Are you the next Julia Donaldson? The day includes: a two-hour writing workshop with an author ; plenty of opportunity to network with speakers and fellow delegates; informative and interactive panel discussions with literary agents looking for debut authors to add to their lists. The afternoon sessions help navigate the current market, warn of what to avoid in a submission to an agent, and give insight into the minds of leading publishing industry figures. Thomas Taylor is an award-winning author-illustrator for children. Doors will open at 9.

Please note this programme is closed for September entry. Applications will be accepted from October , for September entry. Develop your writing skills in a challenging and stimulating environment, supported by teaching staff who are published writers and experts in their field. Explore the dynamic relationship between creative production and critical awareness of literature for children and young adults, and discuss a range of work by established writers and consider the theoretical, social and cultural contexts of contemporary writing for children and young adults. This well-established programme encourages you to develop new creative work, to give and receive feedback in weekly workshops and to experiment with new forms, audiences and voices. The academics teaching on the programme are all professional novelists, critics, or non-fiction writers. After the taught modules, you complete an independent study with tailored supervisory support leading to the dissertation — usually an extended piece or pieces of fiction for children amounting to 20, to 30, words.


When John Peragine's son became sick, turning him into the hero of a children's novel became part of the family's journey to healing. This supplement to the edition of our Best Websites provides a guide to writing subreddits — destinations across Reddit where writers can find useful information, community and resources. Many YA authors are adults, which means the generation gap between these writers and their intended audience can make it easy to miss the mark. Teen writer and avid reader Lorena Koppel lays out four ways to make sure your YA novel meets young audiences' expectations and interests. Want to know how to pitch a picture book? We've got you covered. Break into this competitive and growing market with the help of writing tips and inside observations from a leading literary agent.


  1. Nicolas G. says:

    Tick all the boxes, but don’t tick all the boxes

  2. Casiana C. says:

    Important please note

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