Writing for Children|
Join a published children's author to discover how you can touch the hearts of children by creating books for them. In this highly interactive, hands-on course, you'll take pen to paper and begin work on your first fiction or nonfiction manuscript. In the process, you'll explore the changing world of children's literature and understand the various formats--from baby's first books to novels for young adults. You'll get insights from guest authors and editors to gain a better understanding of the needs of today's market. By researching the genre and recognizing niche players, you'll open doors of opportunity, many of which you may not have previously considered. By the time you finish this course, you'll have all the tools and resources you'll need to continue to grow as a writer for children.
|Click here for Carol's online writing course "Writing for Children" at ed2go.|
What You Will Learn in Six Weeks:|
Are you a beginning writer with a story to tell or a published writer who wishes to build on your successes? Do you dream of creating books that children will love? In our first lesson, we're going to revisit your childhood in order to help you move forward in your writing career. We'll spend time with a children's media consultant to learn about her childhood, her love for books, and the changing face of children's publishing. You'll discover that the best way to write well is to read well-written books. And, we'll discuss that Harry character and the impact he has on your future.
In this lesson, we'll focus specifically on children's picture books. We'll start by defining the category of picture books and dissect a few samplings on the shelves—board books, cloth books, picture books, and picture storybooks. We'll spend some time with noted children's picture book author and illustrator Ian Falconer, creator of the "Olivia" books. And you'll discover a magic number.
In today's lesson, we'll explore books for beginning readers and discover resources available to writers to assist them in their creation of books that children will love to read (and read because they love them). We'll visit with an editor of children's educational materials and a relatively new writer who's made his introduction into children's writing through the educational market. And we'll uncover opportunities for you in this category of children's literature.
Today, we'll explore the world of literature designed for the middle school and high school readers. We'll uncover the reasons why these books are demanding a larger amount of shelf space in libraries and bookstores. We'll spend time with an expert on young adult literature and learn more about this relatively new area of children's literature.
In today's lesson, we'll embark on a nonfiction book tour. Because good fiction is rooted in accurate facts, there's wonderful information in today's sampling for fiction writers, too, especially in the area of research. Travel along with an expert in nonfiction research, and discover how you can improve your writing by uncovering facts through primary and secondary sources. We've come a long way from bland biographies!
Today, you'll join a group of eleven writers who between them have penned almost 200 books and magazine articles! Some of the writers are relatively new to the craft. Others have been doing it for many years. All of them are growing in their profession, and all will openly share what's worked (and what hasn't worked) for them. You'll learn about their typical writing day, their sources of inspiration, and the passion behind their creative endeavors.
In this lesson, our guest writers will share information about the research that goes into a book idea. We'll discuss the energy devoted to fine-tuning that first page in order to grab an editor's attention. Our guest writers will share tricks that help them think visually throughout the writing process, and they'll offer some of their successes in creating pages that readers want to turn.
Grab your red pens—it's time to edit! Our guest writers know that writing is all about rewriting. Today, you'll journey with them as they share some of the methods they use to turn their first drafts into contracted manuscripts. You'll discover how to read like an editor and improve your publishing opportunities. They'll tell you why you should surround yourself with a circle of like-minded writers—your critique group—to gather fresh input, perspective, and suggestions regarding your writing. And you'll get started with your critique group right away—as part of your class assignment, you'll be invited to submit part of a working manuscript for your fellow students to critique.
In this lesson, we're going to explore the needs of publishing houses to help guide you in your search for finding a home for your book manuscript or magazine article. You'll discover how to improve your odds through market research. You'll uncover the resources that our guest writers use to target publishers and how they know the right time to send out their manuscripts. And we'll spend a few moments with an editorial director from an educational publishing house to learn more about the growing needs in this specialty market.
Today, you'll learn how to align yourself with published authors by appearing professional through the submission process. We'll spend time with a noted author discussing query and cover letters, and you'll learn how to craft correspondence to gain the attention of editors. You'll find out how to get your submission out of the slush pile and onto the desks of editors. You'll learn the correct way to format your manuscript, and laugh along with our guest writers as they share some of their favorite rejection stories (and the lessons they learned in the process).
In today's lesson, we'll explore the business side of children's publishing. We'll move beyond the writing and submission components and into the world of contracts and promotion. You'll learn all about it through the words of a seasoned marketing pro who specializes in the children's publishing world. You'll learn how to get your books off of bookshelves and into the hands of your readers. And you'll have fun with us as our writer guides share some of their favorite promotional tricks too.
As we wrap up our course on writing for children, we'll look for ways to continue to grow ourselves as writers. Journey with us one more time as we learn how professional writers continue to develop in their craft each and every day. You'll discover organizations and online communities that offer support to writers. You'll meet the president of the largest association of children's writers and illustrators. And you'll hear final words of advice from our guest writers as they welcome you into the world of children's publishing. Dream big, and write well!
Click here to find a school near you offering this online course.
What students have to say:|
"Thank you for waking me up, for giving me a lot to think about, for inspiring a side of me that I LOVE and want to explore more of, and for reminding me that all things are possible."
"Carol, thank you for helping me to believe in me again. I lost sight of my winning potential after some of the challenges of life occurred. You helped me realize I can do this, and I've been doing it, and I can never stop doing it."
“It is not just a course but rather a fertile path I can continue to travel upon throughout my entire life.”
"This course should be retitled 'Absolutely Everything You Need to Know About Writing & Publishing Books for Children.' It is an awesome resource, and I'm so glad I took it."
"I just received a request (from a publisher) to review my manuscript for the children's book I was posting during this class! I also want to thank you for being such a wonderful teacher. I owe you a lot of credit for this small but important step in my writing career. Even if they don't want to publish my book, I still feel a sense of accomplishment in being asked to see the manuscript."
"I've become more brave through this class and found tons of resources I didn't know about. Thanks, Carol. This class was not what I thought, but it was even better than I expected."
"As I finish this last assignment, I shed a happy tear. A happy tear because I have met some wonderful people in the beginning of my journey. I have already started to set roots and grow. It has been a pleasure meeting and working with all of you. Thank you for making the first leg of my journey a most memorable one. Until we meet again..."
"I would like to thank you for this awesome class! It was so helpful and un-intimidating. Last Thursday I submitted a 300-page memoir style novel to an editor at Random House who read my query and first chapter and wanted to see the manuscript."
"Carol, you have taught me to be the character, not just look at him and talk about him. That is a tremendous aspect to writing. Thanks for all of your dedication."
"This has been THE most enjoyable class I've ever taken. I've learned so much and suddenly see things from a child's perspective. I love it! My writing has just taken off without me from all the new ideas I've gotten. Thank you, Carol, for the life-changing course."
"I cannot think of another course that I found so exhilarating, enjoyable, and challenging! I was very skeptical about taking a course online. This is my first, but it will not be my last. Thanks to Carol, our instructor. You are a professional par excellence! The lessons were thought-provoking and informative. I enjoyed exploring the web sites as much as sitting on the floor in the children's section of the local bookstore investigating the latest in children's lit."
"Because of your encouragement, I had the courage to glue wings on my short story and let it fly off to a publisher. What an exhilarating feeling!"
"This course has been a life-altering event for me. It has taken me twelve years to discover such an opportunity existed to be confirmed and mentored online. The encouragement I received from Carol rekindled my hope as a writer and gave me the oomph I needed. I realized this class brought a discipline into my life I desperately needed. Should I have the opportunity to be published, a portion of my dedication page would certainly be to her."
"I originally signed up for this class to help me with my writing career. I thought I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do. Now, however, with every lesson that I complete, I discover another avenue that I’d like to explore!"
"I loved this course so much. This was my first writing class, and I feel confident to take another one. This course taught me so much and Carol was the best instructor. Even though I did not meet her, I still felt her beside me through every lesson and every assignment. I will miss her very much."
"Carol, please let me tell you how great this class was for me. I have not done anything like this for 30 years. I am 50 years old and have been ill most of my life, sometimes not even able to leave my bed. This class has given me a new outlook on life. Although I may never become an author or even publish one book, it has taken me into a good place."
"Thank you all for the support, the encouragement, the friendship, the good reading of stories yet to be, and to Carol. This became more than just a course to me; it became a bonding of a group of people who all had the same passion. To write and publish a book, be it a board book, a picture book, a chapter book, a middle grade book, or a young adult book. We were all on the same page, to write and let people read or listen to our stories. We leave this course feeling a little more confident in ourselves, gained a giant bundle of knowledge, made some friends, and loved the instructor. (She really did a great job and put a great amount of time and thought in the lessons and shared much more than I think we could ever imagine.) "
"Special thanks to Carol for providing a beacon. Your guiding light has illuminated a path forward. No matter what the outcome, I will continue to create and find my unique voice. Thank you for providing a safe haven for an adrift writer."
"I took your Children's Writing Course last year. I just wanted to take a minute and thank you. I had not considered the non-fiction market prior to your class. However, it turned out to be a wonderful place to start. I published my first article in a girl's magazine this summer and have just gotten my second submission accepted for publication in September. I now have something to put on my resume! Thanks for your inspiration."
About the Instructor:|
Carol Parenzan Smalley is a children's writer, an editor, a library consultant, and a college instructor. Her books for children include Fats, Oils, and Sweets for Scholastic, DaMarcus Beasley: No Hands Allowed, What's So Great about Henry Hudson?, and Extreme Sports: Ride the Giant Wave with Garrett MacNamara for Mitchell Lane Publishing, A Mathematical Walk through an Amusement Park for TouchSmart, a guide to American Sign Language for Barnes and Noble, a five-book series on the U.S. government for Perfection Learning, and more. She is a frequent contributor to publications for writers, and she spends her free time conducting workshops for her many readers.
A new class starts each month. Join us here.