Writing For Children & Young Adults
The Writers' Workshop
The WW is the world's leading consultancy for first time writers.
We offer professional feedback on your work, run courses and host a mass of free advice on this site. We have a terrific team of children's editors (all published authors themselves) and we've helped many of our clients to get their work published. More about our children's editors.
When we find a manuscript strong enough to be marketed, we will ALWAYS seek to place it with a literary agent - and never charge for so doing. Read More >>
Don't forget picture books!
We don't! Writing picture books seems simple, because there are so few words involved, but each word has to be wonderfully well-chosen. In fact, of all the work we deal with, children's picture books are the nearest thing to poetry. And we can help, of course. We've got some wonderful picture book editors - people who know the industry inside out - who'll be happy to help you with your work. Read more here.
Why use us?
The gold standard way for any writer to improve their work is via independent editorial advice. Our editorial advice is tough but sympathetic, market-aware and always constructive.
We aim to be the best editorial consultancy anywhere - and no one has a stronger track record of publication success. Indeed, our children's editors have won or been shortlisted for countless awards including the Nestle Prize, the Guardian Children's Novel Prize, and many more.
But quality is also about philosophy, and we aim to be on the writer's side first, last and always. Read More >>
Our Writing for Children Course
Want to write for children? Then join our writing for children course in the company of a professional children's author?
You can study at home, but work online so you can interact with and learn from your classmates. Courses are surprisingly inexpensive and we try to run the best courses in the business. You can read more about them here. We promise that you'll learn a lot, and nearly all of our graduates say they have a wonderful time doing so.
How to write a children's book
Writing for children is one of the most joyous activities under the sun - but also one of the hardest. We've put together a huge library of advice on how to write for children - everything from how to plot a story to how to write a picture book.
Will I need an agent? Most children's writers will need a literary agent, yes, and do bear in mind that there are agents who specialise in handling work for children, so it's these you'll need to appeal to in due course. The one exception is that if you're writing picture books, you can go direct to publishers ... though on the whole our advice is still to get an agent, at least while you're still getting to know the industry.
Will I need to produce my own illustrations? No! Publishers will commission their own illustrations and would much prefer it if you present them with the text alone. The one exception: if you are a pro illustrator already and have written words to your own pictures.
Writing for kids is easier, isn't it? No, definitely not. Possibly even the opposite. Children have a wonderful impatience and ability to see through pretence. That means you have to find a very clean, very compelling and very entertaining style. Plus a great story and memorable characters ...