The University of Southampton
Courses

ENGL6116 Writing for Children

Module Overview

This module covers the essential elements of writing for children and young people. It is a practical module that will look at a range of texts from picture books to novels for teenagers. It will cover the essential elements of writing quality fiction and drama for children and young people, including understanding audiences and age ranges, writing openings and endings, character development, plot, language and style.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

. to offer a practical introduction to writing fiction and drama for children and young people. . to give insight into the world of publishing for children and young people, and an understanding of the marketplace from a writer’s point of view

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the process of writing a novel or script for children or young people
  • the role of agents and editors in the publishing industry and the routes towards publication
  • a range of contemporary works for children and young people and the stylistic and structural devices employed by their authors
  • the qualities of a successful work for children or young people
  • the marketplace, target audiences, and age ranges for specific works
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • write fiction/drama for particular age-groups of children and young people
  • plan, structure, edit and improve your work
  • confidently present your work to small groups of your peers
  • give and receive constructive criticism
  • analyse and understand a range of texts for children and young people
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • written a complete short story, script or opening of a novel or script for children
  • written a synopsis of your work in progress and a covering letter to a potential agent, producer or publisher
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • evaluate and offer constructive criticism on the work of your fellow students
  • look critically at your own work in order to edit it and rewrite it as necessary to achieve a professional standard

Syllabus

Writing exercises used during the module and the discussion in classes will provide you with potential starting points, foundations and guidance for your writing. You will be required to bring your work in progress to seminars and present it to small groups of your peers for constructive criticism and feedback. The tutor will also give you feedback on your work in progress to assist you in editing and improving it prior to finally submitting it. The taught module and visits by experts and practitioners in the field will provide you with insight into and understanding of the business of writing for children and young people. Reading of and beyond the suggested list of texts for the module will give a firm foundation and broad understanding of the subject.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module will make use of weekly seminars and opportunities for individual discussion of your work with the tutor. Learning activities include individual study, research and writing, group writing exercises in seminars, and presentation of your work in draft to your tutor and seminar group for feedback prior to final submission. Innovative features of this module include visits and talks by writers for children and young people, a visit by a children’s librarian, and feedback and guidance on your work from a published writer.

TypeHours
Independent Study130
Teaching20
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Frank Cottrell Boyce (2004). Millions. 

Melvin Burgess (1997). Junk. 

Meg Rosoff (2004). How I Live Now. 

Anthony Horowitz (2000). Stormbreaker. 

Barry Turner (2004). The Writer’s Handbook Guide To Writing for Children. 

Eva Ibbotson, (2007). The Secret Countess. 

Francis Spufford (2002). The Child That Books Built. 

Malorie Blackman (2001). Noughts and Crosses. 

Louise Jordan (2007). How To Write for Children: And Get Published. 

Beverley Naidoo (2000). The Other Side of Truth. 

Louis Sachar (2000). Holes. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Critical commentary  (1000 words) 25%
Written assignment  (4000 words) 75%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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