Writing Courses

© Tali Khivrich

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.


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 


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

Much Ado About Writing offers online learning to build craft, community, and knowledge of the publishing industry. Each month a new topic is taught, workshopped, and allows members to get eyes on their pages. We meet weekly with all live webinars and workshops recorded for our members. Writers of all genres welcome!

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

Kidlit Hive The Kidlit Hive is committed to equipping creators with the resources necessary to not only survive but thrive in the publishing industry. Our carefully curated lineup of high quality, affordable events featuring top-tier industry guests merges craft with market knowledge so that our community gets first-hand intel on the business side of things. We welcome creators of all experience levels, formats, and genres, including both writers and illustrators. In a field otherwise riddled with rejection, we support those passionate about children’s literature. Let the Kidlit Hive take the sting out of your publishing journey!

Free Trial: Online Writing Center: Much Ado About Writin(MAAW) offers online learning to build craft, community, and knowledge of the publishing industry. Join author and developmental editor Kate Penndorf and Writing Coach Valerie Heller each month a new topic is taught, workshopped, and members get eyes on their pages. Meet weekly with all live webinars and workshops recorded for members. Writers of all genres welcome! Come take a sneak peek at our teaching calls, industry guest interviews, interactive workshops, and editing calls. Feel free to participate, watch the replays, or both!

Join for one month using the code "KIDLIT411" now through February 29, 2024. CLICK HERE to join!


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

The Mechanics of Humor: How to Write Funny Children's Books with Confidence and Consistency. (Instructor: Justin Colón) Humor is hard. It can feel elusive. Some people are just naturally funny. But did you know that humor is a skill that can be honed? This course will deconstruct humor and how it works and equip you with the knowledge and know how to effectively incorporate humor into your children’s book stories with specific tips, tricks and techniques you can rely on everytime, giving you a foundation to work from so that you can enjoy writing funny stories with confidence and consistency. Four live Zoom lessons in October 2023; sessions will be recorded.

Picture Book Study Hall  Join a month-long online critique group for writers of picture books, which provides manuscript critiques, weekly talks, and daily motivation and accountability under the guidance of Marcie Colleen, a professional, multi-published author.

Profitable Picture Books - This affordable monthly membership program provides step-by-step guidance for both traditional and self-publishing authors - and those who just aren’t sure yet!  Created by Vicky Weber, a former teacher turned children’s book author and literary agent, Profitable Picture Books includes easy-to-follow video courses, live coaching sessions, exclusive webinars with industry experts, and a community of fellow authors to support you.  From choosing the right story idea to writing and revising, to choosing the right publishing path, and following it - this course will teach you how to become a children’s book author without the stress & overwhelm.  Vicky and her team also offer other resources for kidlit writers at athomeauthor.com.   


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. 


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

Graphic Novels

Begins Feb. 1 (6 sessions)  Writing the Graphic Novel: TheKidlit Hive's 2023 program will kick off with this course taught by comic writer Daniel Mauleón. In this beginner-intermediate six-week course, you’ll learn how to avoid the common pitfalls of first-time comic writers and begin to explore the secrets to compelling comic storytelling. We'll tackle outlining, thumbnailing, and scripting through lecture and in-class exercises. There will be the opportunity to receive feedback during class session as well purchase an in-depth critique package upon completion of the course. 


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

How to Sell Your Children's Nonfiction with a Brilliant Book Proposal is hands-on workshop by award-winning author Patricia Newman that will take you step-by-step through her nonfiction book proposal creation process - and show you how to start building your book from the proposal

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.