Writing Courses

© Heather Brockman Lee


Online and In Person Courses That Will Make You a Better Writer

There are many course available to help you with your writing. These are the courses that we or our writing friends have taken that we recommend.

Webinars

Oct 1, 1-4 p.m. Three Character Revealing Secrets That Make Editors Swoon In this Zoom workshop, picture book and middle grade author, Tami Lewis Brown, teams up with YA author, Catherine Linka, to show how the answers to three revealing questions can help writers turn a character into one who readers, agents and editors can’t resist. Intended for writers of picture books and picture book biographies, middle grade and young adult novels. Lecture will alternate with writing exercises.  

LYRICAL PROSE AND RHYMING FOR CHILDREN

The Lyrical Language Lab: Punch up Your Prose . . . with PoetryChildren's poet/author Renée LaTulippe presents a fabulous six-week online course for children's writers that covers meter, rhyme, lyrical language, and how to incorporate poetic techniques into all writing, both rhyme and prose. We were beta testers of this course and cannot recommend it highly enough.

Lyrical Language Lab Peek & Critique- The Lyrical Language Lab Peek & Critique: YouTube video series by Renée LaTulippe providing free critiques of your kidlit writing as well as free lessons and mentor text discussions.


Laura Purdy Salas courses online courses on writing poetry and nonfiction for children and submissions 



ONLINE WRITING CENTERS


Writing Barn - online classes for a variety of age groups, PB to YA

The Muse Writers Center - online classes for writers, scriptwriters, songwriters, more

Gotham Writers - online craft classes in fiction and nonfiction, all age categories and genres


PICTURE BOOKS



Oct. 8, 2022 Picture Book Summit: The Write Stuff, Creating Picture Books that Ae Our of this World. Join a one-day virtual conference with stellar superstar speakers; innovative workshops on the craft of writing picture books; agent and editor submission opportunitie; seven hours of picture book insight and instruction; a private Facebook group just for attendees. Replays through January 31, 2023

Storyteller Academy  is founded by Arree Chung, a picture book author/illustrator who publishes with MacMillan, Harper Collins, Bloomsbury and Abrams. His NINJA! series has earned starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal. Arree shares his experience, insights, and creative process to help you grow as a storyteller. You'll receive practical advice on mindset, overcoming imposter syndrome, and how to grow your creativity. Arree also walks you through the creative process of making a picture book dummy from scratch. The course emphasizes developing your story. With bi-weekly critique groups, and a Storyteller Workshop, you'll have creative community to support you. 

Susanna Leonard Hill's Making Picture Book Magic- Susanna Leonard Hill's course is one of the best online courses for picture book writing. Not only is the information chunked and wonderfully presented, at the end of the course you are invited to join a Facebook group with other MPBM Graduates, which are a phenomenal group of people. Well worth the nominal fee that she charges to improve your craft. 

Just Write For Kids- Emma Walton Hamilton provides an 8 week online course dedicated to developing your picture book idea and learning how to break into the industry. She also features many classes and resources on her website.


Online Workshops with Anastasia Suen
The author of 169 books for children, teens and adults has been teaching adults how to write children's books since 1999. Currently offering three online writing workshops: Intensive Picture Book Workshop, Children's Novel Workshop, and Young Nonfiction Workshop

Writing Picture Books for Children - fiction and nonfiction author Patrice Sherman's course of writing books for children


Art of Arc: How to Analyze Your Picture Book Manuscript A master class in picture book writing by author Alayne Kay Christian, focusing on a deep study of the traditional story arc as well as other story structures.  


Children's Book Insider's Picture Book Blueprint walks you through the process of writing a picture book step-by-step, including creating your characters, designing a plot, building excitement, and writing your draft.


Karla Valenti's Master Course in Picture Books  A step-by-step, hands-on version of James Gardner's "The Art of Fiction," but specifically for PB writers. A great tool, especially for those starting out, since everything is laid out in bite-size pieces. It also encourages writers to engage with the current PB market, and to apply each principle learned to their own work-in-progress.

Writing Barn Online Courses - Intensive six-week online courses on picture book writing and other writing courses.


Children's Book Academy - interactive courses on the craft and business of writing and illustrating children's books.  

The Heart of Picture Books (course by Julie Hedlund)  In this webinar, find out top 10 layers of great picture books; what the HEART layer is and why it is so important; pitfalls to avoid; more

CHAPTER BOOKS, MIDDLE GRADE & YA


Editor in a Box: Emma Walton Hamilton's Editor in a Box contains everything you need to get your picture book, chapter book or middle grade or YA novel into the best possible shape for submission to agents, editors and publishers. 

Just Write for Middle Grade! Emma Walton Hamilton's 14 week course on writing chapter books and middle grade 


Just Write for Young Adults! Emma Walton Hamilton's 14 week course on writing YA


Chapter Book Alchemist with Mira Reisberg & Hillary Homzie


Children's Book Insider's Chapter Book Blueprint walks you through the process of writing a chapter book, with author Alice Kuipers. 
 

GENERAL WRITING COURSES


Inked Voices (small critique groups led by editor, agent, or professional author)






Path of the Storyteller A semester-long (16 week) , small group program taught by Maryrose Wood that offers deep, practical training in story structure, writing craft, and the mindset of a working, thriving writer. Includes a supportive community, personal mentoring, prompts and transcripts, and lifetime access to the course. Begins Sept 1, 2022, application deadline August 31.




OTHER


Julie Hedlund's- How To Make Money As a Writer- What if you could spend all day, every day, thinking about writing, using your skills to make money, and have MORE time to write?

Now you can. This course is designed to benefit ALL writers, from newbie to multi-published. For ANYONE who wants to make more money from writing and writing-related activities.

Emma Walton Hamilton and Julie Hedlund's comprehensive course on Picture Book Submissions


Sept. 8 How to Earn Money as a Kidlit Writer a workshop for children's fiction and nonfiction writers as well as illustrators to work smarter, find hidden opportunities, learning skills, and getting paid for one's work.
 


Graduate Programs


If you are ready to commit to graduate-level education in creative writing for children and teens, here are some programs:

Southampton Graduate Arts Program - Children's Lit Fellow -- a year long low-residency certificate program for PB, MG, or YA authors. Two semesters of mentorship and two conferences, one focused on writing craft and another on the publication process. 

Children's Lit Fellows The Children's Lit Fellows is a year-long certificate program that provides up to 12 serious children's or YA writers a year-long course of advanced instruction primarily in distance-learning format that is customized, affordable, comprehensive, and professionally useful. Fellows work from home, mentored on-on-one by award-winning, best-selling children's and young adult authors and editors. Twice a year, they come together as a cohort - once in July during the Southampton Children's Lit Conference and a second time in January for a special Publishing and Editing Conference. 

Hamlin MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults - earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in two years. Work from home and travel to Hamlin twice a year for five 11-day writing residencies. Learn all about the craft of writing for children and teens, as well as the history of children's literature and the industry.

The MFA Cheat Sheet - a review of 5 low-residency MFA programs, including Hollins University, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Hamlin University, Simmons College, and Spaulding University.


Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe- A low residency MFA in Writing has added a new MFA track in Writing for Children and Young Adults.


SaveSave