Writing for Children Course

Oisín McGann works full time as an author and illustrator. He has written and illustrated numerous books for young children, including the Mad Grandad series and The Forbidden Files series. He has also published eleven novels.

Next start date: 19th January 2021 – FULL

Price: €150

Places are strictly limited to 12 – early booking advisable.

This online writing for children course has six modules that will cover the basics of storytelling and the specific aspects of writing for children and young adults.

There will be four elements in every module:
• Writing Stages
• Story Elements
• Reading Levels
• Exercises

Children are constantly developing as readers, with ever-changing needs and tastes and that will be reflected in the coursework. Each week, one or two of the exercises will be aimed at a different reading level, from first-time reader up to fluent reader. Oisin will provide written feedback on the exercises.

Module 1
• Writing Stage: Planning Your Story. Coming up with ideas, shaping them into a basic plan and setting goals. What age group are you writing for? What length will your story be?
• Story Elements: Creating Characters. How to make them distinctive, identifiable, memorable and use them to steer your readers’ emotions.

Module 2
• Writing Stage: Setting a Routine. Where, when and how to sit down and write.
• Story Elements: Creating a Location or Setting. Your characters are defined by their environment, and they affect it in turn. Is this a realistic world or a fantasy one, created from the child’s point of view?

Module 3
• Writing Stage: Writing and Re-Writing. Write it, read it, fix it, write some more.
• Story Elements: Establishing a Problem – the Key to a Plot. Structure, suspense and how to pace your story. From picture book to novel, every story should have a clear path the reader can follow. Children have different priorities to adults, they care about very different kinds of problems.

Module 4
• Writing Stage: Getting Published. How to pitch, how publishers make decisions and what to expect from the process.
• Story Elements: Atmosphere, Pace. Being deliberate about your scene-setting and storytelling technique.

Module 5
• Writing Stage: Editing and Production. How it works and what to expect from your editor, designer and the production process.
• Story Elements: Language – Narrative, Description and Dialogue. How do you write from a child’s point of view? How do you make your characters sound real? How do you choose a voice? And what is a ‘voice’ anyway?

Module 6
• Promotion and the Writing Business. Okay, so you’re published, you’ve made a start in this mad career . . . now what? Discussing school and library visits, festivals and other events.
• World-Building and Adaptable Concepts. Thinking big and being adaptable. Going beyond the story to explore other options.

Children are a demanding audience with short attention spans, diverse tastes and absolute passions. You let them down at your peril, but you can plant the seed of an idea in a young brain and change a life. It has the potential to be the most rewarding form of writing.

“I really enjoyed Oisín’s course.  I found that Oisín had very practical advice and his insights into the business side of publishing were very interesting.  My favourite part of the course was doing the exercises and getting the feedback.  I loved having deadlines!  I really found that Oisín’s feedback was very helpful and my writing benefitted as a result.” Brenda, Cork

“I thought the writing for children course was fantastic. It was structured well and the exercises were interesting and challenging. I feel I really got a lot out of the feedback and the hints and tips were extremely helpful, and I’m putting some into practice as we speak!” Nigel

Please note that this course is suitable for people who would like to write for children or young adults. If you are looking for a writing course which is suitable for children or teenagers, please click here for our Creative Writing Course for Children (suitable for 8-11 year olds) or here for our Writing for Teenagers course.

If you have any further queries, or to find out more about how the online courses work, you can check out our Frequently Asked Questions or email us at info@creativewriting.ie

Our cancellation/refund policy may be viewed here.



(Alternatively, if you don’t have a card to pay for the course, you can pay through bank transfer or bank lodgement. Please email us at info@creativewriting.ie for our bank details)