Children’s Book Writing Level 1: 10 Week Workshop

at Gotham Writers' Workshop - Online

Course Details
$434 6 seats left
Start Date:

Tue, Jul 07, 7:00pm - Sep 08, 10:00pm ET (10 sessions)

Price includes $25 registration fee.
Purchase Options
Class Level: Beginner
Age Requirements: 18 and older
Average Class Size: 14
Teacher: Aubrey Poole

Flexible Reschedule Policy: This provider has flexible, free rescheduling for any-in person workshop. Please see the cancellation policy for more details

What you'll learn in this writing for children course:

The quiet magic of Goodnight Moon grows into the zaniness of Dr. Seuss and widens into the dazzlement of Harry Potter then matures into the straight talk of Judy Blume and the gritty reality of The Outsiders. Such is the amazing journey children take through books. These stories are a treasured part of childhood and they linger for a lifetime.

To captivate young readers, you must balance a youthful imagination with an adult professionalism. Here you will learn about the various types of children’s books and their special requirements, as well as fiction craft and how to market your work.

Whatever type of children’s book you seek to write—picture books, easy readers, chapter books, middle grade, young adult—we’ll show you how to write stories that entrance.

Our Children’s Book courses cover the full spectrum of children’s books, from picture books to YA novels. Many children’s books authors write books for various age levels. The focus is mostly on fiction, but writers are welcome to work on nonfiction children’s books.

If you want to work on a YA novel, you may do so in our Children’s Book courses, or in our Fiction/Novel courses or our genre courses: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery. The difference: In a Children’s Book course, you will be learning about and reading works for various age levels; in the other courses, you will be learning about and reading works for adults. This is fine because YA novels are very close to adult novels.

This course gives you a firm grounding in the basics of writing children's books and gets you writing a book.

Course components:
  • Lectures
  • Writing exercises
  • Workshopping of student projects (each student presenting work two times)

Children's Book Writing I is for beginners or anyone who wants to brush up on the fundamentals. Students must be 18 years or older.


Introduction to Children's Books: The different categories of children's books. Constants and variables in children's books. Vocabulary, darkness, humor, series, anthropomorphism. Specific requirements of picture books. Where to find inspiration and ideas. The importance of craft.

Plot: Finding a major dramatic question. Shaping a picture book plot. Shaping a longer book plot. Pros and cons of outlining.

Character: Where to find characters. Making characters dimensional through desire and contrasts. Creating character profiles. Showing vs. Telling. Methods for showing characters. Animal characters.

Point of View/Voice: Point of view defined. Exploration of the various types of point of view. Voice defined. Exploration of the various types of voice. Tips for finding your voice.

Description: Using the senses. Specificity. Techniques for creativity. Finding the right words. Economy. Merging description with point of view.

Dialogue: The importance of scene. Dialogue's illusion of reality. Quotation marks and tags. Stage directions. Summarized dialogue. Characterization through dialogue. Subtext.

Setting/Fantasy: Creating setting through time, place, and weather. Description of setting. When setting is a major character. Fantasy logic and details. Finding a fresh fantasy world.

Nonfiction: Pros of writing a nonfiction children's book. The spectrum of nonfiction. Shaping nonfiction into a story. Choosing a topic. Nonfiction book proposals.

Theme: Theme defined. Types of theme. Weaving theme into a story.

Revision: Exploration of the various stages of revision.

The Business: Proper format for manuscripts. How to target publishing houses and agents. How to send your work out. Query letters.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.

Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

Upon registration, the instructor will send along additional information about how to log-on and participate in the class.

Still have questions? Ask the community.

Refund Policy

Note: This provider has a temporary cancellation policy for COVID-19 related cancellations which is as follows: 

We offer refunds if students withdraw two or more days before a class begins. This comes with a $50 fee, but we will likely waive this for Coronavirus situations.   


Original cancellation policy (non-COVID-19):

All Classes (except One-days and Write-Ins)
For a refund or credit, contact us two business days or more before your class starts. You can either choose to hold a full credit with us good for one year on other Gotham classes OR you can opt for a refund less a $25 administrative fee and your $25 registration fee ($50 total).

If you need to withdraw after your class has started (or one business day before it starts), you won’t receive a refund, but you’re welcome to a Gotham credit less the price of Week 1 and your $25 registration fee, but we need to hear from you two business days or more before Week 2 meets for that to happen. After that point, no credits are available.

One-day Intensives
You may reschedule a One-day Intensive one time, if you notify us before the class begins.

If you notify us two business days or more before your class begins, rescheduling is free. If you notify us less than two business days before your class begins, there is a $25 rescheduling fee. If you don’t notify us until after your class begins, we cannot reschedule you.

You may get a refund (minus a $50 fee) if you notify us two business days or more before your class begins.

If you withdraw two hours or more before it begins, you’re welcome to a full credit good for one year toward another Write-In. No refunds are available. If you simply don’t show up and don’t notify us in advance, you forfeit your money.

A few more things
Credits are valid for one year and cannot be changed into refunds down the road.Simply not attending class or notifying the instructor does not mean you've officially withdrawn.Some exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for medical emergencies with a doctor's note.Refunds take up to six weeks to process.

Please understand, we can't issue a refund after classes have started, even if you miss your first class. Similarly, we can't offer you a credit one day before your second class or after that. We understand that other obligations get in the way of attending class, but these policies allow us to get other interested writers into class early enough to have a good experience, and this allows us to offer our classes at a reasonable price. 

Important Notes:

  • Students are allowed to join a class in the second week.
  • Only those who pay the tuition in full can be guaranteed a place in class.
  • Class dates and times may be subject to change. A substitute may be assigned or make-up classes added to the end of the term.
  • Auditing and the recording of classes are not allowed.For all classes, students receive a record of payment and registration.
  • Gotham reserves the right to remove any student at our discretion.
  • Gotham does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, or marital status.
  • Our courses are not intended to provide instruction that will result in the student's acquisition of occupational skills.
Start Dates (1)
Start Date Time Teacher # Sessions Price
7:00pm - 10:00pm Eastern Time Aubrey Poole 10 $434
This course consists of multiple sessions, view schedule for sessions.
Tue, Jul 14 7:00pm - 10:00pm Eastern Time Aubrey Poole
Tue, Jul 21 7:00pm - 10:00pm Eastern Time Aubrey Poole
Tue, Jul 28 7:00pm - 10:00pm Eastern Time Aubrey Poole
Tue, Aug 04 7:00pm - 10:00pm Eastern Time Aubrey Poole
Tue, Aug 11 7:00pm - 10:00pm Eastern Time Aubrey Poole
Tue, Aug 18 7:00pm - 10:00pm Eastern Time Aubrey Poole
Tue, Aug 25 7:00pm - 10:00pm Eastern Time Aubrey Poole
Tue, Sep 01 7:00pm - 10:00pm Eastern Time Aubrey Poole
Tue, Sep 08 7:00pm - 10:00pm Eastern Time Aubrey Poole

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Questions & Answers (1)

Get quick answers from CourseHorse and past students.

Question from Debbie T.
I was wondering if it makes sense to take the class if I've already started writing. Is it better to take the class with nothing written already?
Answer from Georgia C. CourseHorse StaffCourseHorse Staff
Hi Debbie! Most people in the class have already written something or started writing. The critiquing done throughout the course can be done on stuff in progress, or on stuff that hasn't been started yet.

Reviews of Classes at Gotham Writers' Workshop (718)

(718 Reviews)
Children’s Book Writing Level 1: 10 Week Workshop
Reviewed by Anonymous on 6/14/2018
This was a really fun and motivating class. It is a good entry-level course covering fundamentals of the craft of writing, specifically tailored to consider age-appropriateness. The lectures are informative, and in addition to weekly exercises to submit to the instructor, everyone in the class gets a couple changes to submit a more significant piece of their original work (e.g. a full picture book script, or a couple chapters of a middle grade book) to get workshopped by the rest of the class. I strongly recommend to anyone interested in writing for kids, and I plan on taking Level II when it opens up!
Children’s Book Writing Level 1: 10 Week Workshop
Reviewed by Shira S. on 12/16/2016
Kody was a fabulous teacher and I gained a LOT from this course. I was already experienced with creating writing classes, but had taken none explicitly for children's book writing. I appreciated approaching both the lessons and the workshops from that unique perspective, and learned a lot. I'd definitely take another writing class with Kody!
Children’s Book Writing Level 1: 10 Week Workshop
Reviewed by Kirandeep J. on 6/13/2019
Children’s Book Writing Level 1: 10 Week Workshop
Reviewed by Ferry f. on 4/19/2019
Children’s Book Writing Level 1: 10 Week Workshop
Reviewed by Sandra A. on 6/20/2018
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