Industry-led, Writing for Children and Young Adults – 1 year

• Twelve months of support as you craft your children's novel
• Workshops, one2ones and online support
• A community of like-minded writers and dedicated editors

Introduction

Formerly Story Foundations, the Golden Egg Academy Writing for Children and Young Adults course has been compared to completing an MA in your own novel. With a strong industry focus, we examine the craft of storytelling in depth, including modules on structure, character, voice and the needs of middle grade and young adult readers in today’s market. This course will suit talented applicants at all levels, from those completing their first draft to those who have gained an MA in Creative Writing.

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Course Overview

As the marketplace becomes increasingly competitive, aspiring children’s authors need to ensure that they put their best work forward to agents and publishers. Through our tried and tested, carefully structured course, we analyse the core elements needed to build a story worthy of a young reader’s attention.

Golden Egg’s Writing for Children and Young Adults course is run over three, ten-week long terms. Each course includes:

  • three, full-day workshops, online or in person (held at the weekend)
  • twenty-four, one-hour editor-led online sessions (hosted on a weekday evening)
  • six, 30-minute webinars with the course leader
  • three one-hour one2ones with your dedicated Golden Egg Editor (includes two hours of editor prep prior to each one2one)
  • an hour-long end-of-course live webinar for all Writing for Children and Young Adults students with Imogen Cooper.

Additional membership benefits:

  • Inclusion in the Golden Egg Nest – an online community page, including:
    • social events
    • fun competitions
    • editor-led activities
    • webinars
    • supported peer break-out groups
    • online writing retreats.
  • Social events organised by the Golden Egg Social Club, located across the country and online. Previous events have included:
    • talks from well-known published writers, agents and publishers
    • Roald Dahl Museum tour
    • Harry Potter Studios tour
    • boat trips
    • sleepover at Seven Stories.
  • Access to tickets for the glittering social event of the year – The Big Honk – hosted at the literary Savile Club in Mayfair, London.
  • Writers’ well-being support from trained professionals.

Term One Overview

Term one looks at:

  • the realities of the world of children’s publishing
  • the child’s and young adult’s point of view
  • the strength and communicability of your story idea.

You will work on analysing your own story and recently published children’s novels in terms of:

  • concept
  • narratorial focus
  • world view
  • emotional drive.

Term structure:

  • one, full-day workshop online or in person (held at the weekend)
    • Led by the course leader
  • eight, one-hour editor-led online sessions (hosted on a weekday evening)
  • two, 30-minute webinars with the course leader (hosted on a weekday evening)
  • a one-hour one2one with your dedicated Golden Egg Editor examining:
    • 10,000 words of your novel
    • your Key Story sentences.

Term Two Overview

Term two looks at:

  • different strategies for structuring a story, including the GEA 10 Story Points*
  • the GEA 10 Story Points within your own novel, published children’s novels and films
  • your concept, through-line and emotional drive using the GEA BookMap Lite©*.

Using the BookMap Lite© you will identify and strengthen:

  • your main character’s goals
  • the hurdles your character must overcome and what they have to lose
  • your elevator pitch and synopsis.

Term structure:

  • one, full-day workshop online or in person (held at the weekend)
    • Led by the course leader
  • eight, one-hour editor-led online sessions (hosted on a weekday evening)
  • two, 30-minute webinars with the course leader
  • a one-hour one2one with your dedicated Golden Egg Editor examining:
    • 5,000 words of your novel
    • the structure of your whole story using the BookMap Lite©.

*Structure tools created by the Golden Egg Academy specifically for children’s books.

Term Three Overview

Term three looks at:

  • the deep emotional connection between reader and story characters
  • dramatising your novel for a truly immersive story experience
  • the importance of show and tell, or dramatisation and exposition, within your novel.

You will also develop your understanding of:

  • the children’s book market
  • how the publishing industry works including:
    • the importance of high-concept fiction
    • book covers and blurbs
    • how publishers sell a novel and why it’s important for the editing process.

Term Structure:

  • one, full-day workshop online or in person (held at the weekend)
    • Led by the course leader
  • eight, one-hour editor-led online sessions (hosted on a weekday evening)
  • two, 30-minute webinars with the course leader
  • a one-hour one2one with your dedicated Golden Egg Editor:
    • examining 10,000 words of your novel
    • recommending your next steps within Golden Egg or the industry, with an option to book an editorial report on your novel.

Application Requirements

We require applicants to have at least 15,000 words of their novel written, plus a plan for the direction of the story, before the course commences.

To apply, please send the following documents to the relevant Programme Leader (contact details can be found below):

  • the first 5,000 words of your story
  • a 500-word synopsis
  • a covering letter (no more than one page of A4) telling us a little about you
    • please state your region of residence.

Please submit your work in a Word document, double-spaced.

South East England, South West England and Wales: [email protected]

Scotland and the North of England: [email protected]

Next course start date: January 2021*

Application deadline: 1st November 2020

You will be informed of the outcome of your application by mid-November.

Successful applicants will be required to pay the £295 deposit at the beginning of December 2020. To discuss payment options, please contact your Programme Leader.

Workshop dates TBC

NB: We do our utmost to ensure dates do not change from those stated prior to the course start date. However, on the rare occasion this happens, students will be given as much notice as possible.

*Although we provide both ‘in person’ and fully interactive online courses, depending on government guidelines, workshops will be hosted online until further notice.

12-month programme @ £100 per month plus a deposit of £295