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Children's Book Course

Children’s Books 101: Writing for the Right Age Group

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So you want to write for children? That’s great. But before you take another step, answer this question: who exactly are these children you’re writing for?

Four-year-olds and fourteen-year-olds like different kinds of story — that much is obvious. But when you’re growing up, what you like and even who you are can change from year to year. Many aspiring authors effectively rule themselves out of publication by creating characters that are spot-on for eight-year-olds but making their story far too long, or devising a thrilling, complicated plot only to include dialogue that’s too simple for older readers.

Age-appropriateness is the number one issue on any editor or agent’s mind when they’re assessing submissions. As a children’s author, you need to make sure your book is tailored to its market.

What you'll learn in this course

  • An introduction to the children's book market
  • What publishers are looking for in children's books for different ages
  • Industry standards for books in all categories including appropriate content, word count, and illustration requirements
  • How to give yourself the best chance of landing a publisher.

Brought to you by:

With a decade of experience editing and writing-for-hire at UK publishers large and small, Anna Bowles is a former commissioning editor at Hachette UK and Carlton Books. She is now a freelance consultant and editor for several major publishers, working on books across the age spectrum, by authors such as Babette Cole, David Walliams and Holly Smale.

Contact her about an editorial assessment through her profile page on Reedsy.

What are people saying about this course?

"This course was VERY helpful. I am mainly interested in writing picture books but the other information was very helpful if I were ever to want to try my hat at a book for older children."

— Katie O.

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Discuss this course

8 Responses to “Children’s Books 101: Writing for the Right Age Group”

  1. Sandy says:

    Will I receive a certificate at the end of the course?

  2. Donald Parker says:

    I may not be ready for such a formalized course. I am just now starting to put my first book(?) together. I have in mind doing book for the 2-3 Y.O., sharing a balance between illustrations and prose. I am 85 and I have a part time job, 81/2 hours, three days a week.

  3. Hanna Swanepoel says:

    Looking forward to my email tomorrow morning:) thank you Reedsy Team

  4. Indhu says:

    Will this course teach me how to write for sixteen year olds?

  5. Nia says:

    Thank you for doing this free course! Me and my friend have dreams to write books together, and I've been trying to learn as much as I can to do it right.

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