130 TUTOR: Matthew Fox
Many of us know the pleasure of making up bedtime stories for our children, and we all remember our favourite books from our own childhood. It's time to put the wonder back into storytelling: all you need is a spark - the spark of an idea, the spark of a story - to set a child's imagination ablaze. This course will show you how to explore your idea and begin to shape it into a book for children and young adults. You'll find that writing for children is one of the most rewarding things you can do. No previous experience is necessary - we were all children once. All you need is pen and paper, or a laptop, and a sense of wonder!
Every story starts with an idea - and in the first session we'll explore your ideas for stories. We'll try to work out who these stories might be happening to, and look for trouble down the road - the complications and conflicts the characters will find themselves having to overcome.
Next, we'll try to plan our stories, mapping out the plot in terms of the beginning, middle and end. We don't need to know everything that happens at this stage, but it helps to structure the story if we know how the story is going to end. We'll also try to leave room for things to change, because the story is going to continue to evolve as we write.
Then it's time to work on a sample chapter, usually a scene from the beginning of the story. We'll talk about writing your first draft, and about re-writing and revising. We'll also talk about 'voice', and how the choice of narrator inevitably limits our point-of-view but also draws us deeper into the story, enriching our reading experience.
Lastly, we'll look at the next steps. We'll talk about how to persevere in the face of rejection and how to get published in the end. We'll talk about what an agent might expect from you, and what happens if you do find a publisher for your manuscript.
This course is suitable for beginners and for those who are already taking their writing seriously. The focus is on writing chapter books for readers aged 8 and up (Middle Grade and Young Adult). This course is not suitable for those hoping to write picture books for very young children.
Course Notes and a Recommended Reading List will be provided.
Matthew Fox is the author of two acclaimed books for children, The Sky Over Rebecca(2022), and The Lovely Dark (2023). He grew up in the village of Ramsbury and was educated at St. John's School, Marlborough and at Balliol College, University of Oxford. His writing career began at the age of 50 when his manuscript for The Sky Over Rebecca won the Bath Children's Novel Award, leading to a publishing contract with Hodder Children's Books. He now lives in Sweden with his partner and their two children. www.matthewfox.se
All courses run for 5 days
WK 1 8 Jul - 12 Jul
WK 2 15 Jul - 19 Jul
WK 3 22 Jul - 26 Jul
WK 4 29 Jul - 2 Aug
9.15AM to 12.15PM
1.45PM to 4.30PM
All Day Courses
9.15AM to 4.30PM