Write for Children

Write for Children

Write for Children

Write for Children

Synopsis

Writing for children is not about writing little stories, it is about writing big stories, shorter. Children's literature is an art form in its own right, and this book is for everyone who wants not just to write for children, but to write well for them. This short guide to creative writing for children is based on the author's own successful MA course. Andrew Melrose provides guidance on every aspect of the process of writing for children. He stresses the importance of 'writing for' the child and not 'writing to or at' them. Literacy and learning depend on writing and reading and it is therefore the responsibility of the writer to understand who they are writing for. The book is divided into four sections which cover all aspects of the writing process. This book goes far beyond the 'how to' format to help writers learn the finely balanced craft of writing for children. It will be an indispensable handbook for aspiring and practising children's authors.

Excerpt

Writers for children have long been heralded as the poor relations in the literary family and it has to be said that there is a long historical reasoning behind this. But things are changing, and have been for some time now. Children's literature as an art form in its own right is starting to receive the recognition it richly deserves. This book is designed for anyone who has ever considered writing for children and cares enough to want to write well for them.

The learning is worth it. The reading life of a child is a short one, around ten years all in all before they are expected to grapple with Shakespeare, Dickens and the various examination-led authors who take them out of childhood into the dark forest of the grown-ups. How well is your writing leading children down the path of experience before they hit the trees? Are they entering the forest unprepared, inexperienced and bewildered or has your writing given them the confidence to go boldly? When writing for children these are the questions you must ask yourself. These are the questions this book addresses.

Then some more questions are addressed. Do you write at or for children? Are you giving children what you think they want without knowing what they need? Is your writing good enough for them to read? Each question has to be considered carefully.

The first issue the book addresses is 'Crafting and the critically creative'. Here I look objectively at writing for children and the craft issues involved in an effort to get you to take your creative task seriously. Try not to skip this first section because it crucially sets up the premise of the book by asking you to raise your critical awareness. Writing is not

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