Children's literature courses provide aspiring writers with the training and background needed to write for younger audiences, and may help them hone their creative and storytelling skills and attract the attention of a publisher.
Here is an outline of common concepts taught in writing courses for children's authors:
- History of children's literature
- Writing for children
- Illustration for children
- Basic storytelling
- Book reviewing
List of Children's Literature Courses
History of Children's Literature Course
Students explore the roots of British and American children's literature, from its beginning as an oral tradition to modern-day writings. This course may examine writings by notable authors such as Lewis Carroll, Robert Louis Stevenson and Rudyard Kipling. Participants may also discuss the work of 19th-century writers, such as Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Susan Warner.
Creating Picture Books Course
Professors cover the writing style and illustration techniques of picture books in this course. Individuals examine the historical background of children's literature and how artists of the time interpreted the text of works. Students learn to create a storyboard and use appropriate vocabulary to augment illustrations.
Creative Writing for Children Course
Individuals discuss writing drama, fiction, picture books and poetry for children. Students discover techniques and tricks used to come up with creative ideas and put them into words and down on paper. They focus on editing their work for clarity, style and message. This course provides participants with a sense of their writing skills and offers ways to improve.
Basics of Storytelling Course
Students learn about the history and role of storytelling in society. This course provides individuals with the techniques for selecting and telling stories orally. Both traditional and contemporary stories are covered, including personal, historical and ghost stories. Participants develop a personal style for oral storytelling and build up a list of their favorite tales to share.
Folk and Fairy Tales Course
Participants examine the origins and modern incarnations of fairy tales and folklore in children's literature. They consider the psychological and cultural messages espoused in these works and by the characters telling the stories. Students review the cultural and social roles these tales fulfilled over time. This course also develops skills for analyzing fairy tales and folk stories.