Learn how to find inspiration, invent characters and build an original narrative for your very own children’s book over six consecutive weeks.
Write the children’s book you have always wanted to write by reconnecting with your inner child and igniting your creative mind. Join author Laura Dockrill for a series of high-energy, confidence-boosting masterclasses that focus on curiosity, invention and the art of play.
Whether it’s exploring the initial bug of an idea, scratching a writing itch or finally finishing off your young adult novel, this highly practical course will include writing exercises and one-to-one tutorials with Laura, as well as group sharing and feedback.
By the end of the six-week programme, you will have thrashed around with your story ideas and written lots. Laura will also provide a whole host of tips and tricks on what to do next and how to get published.
All levels of experience are welcome – whether you’re a new student or have previously attended one of Laura’s full-day courses and are looking to explore your writing further.
Week 1: Developing ideas
Whether you are already working on your children's story or are still only considering the seed of an idea, you will be able to benefit from Laura's tips on finding and developing ideas that sparkle. Using memoir and free writing techniques, she will show you how to clear your mind and source inspiration from both familiar and unexpected places.
Week 2: Finding your voice
A unique style of writing can go a long way when capturing the imagination of your readers. Laura will discuss seeking and finding your own recognisable voice through her experience of writing for both children (the Darcy Burdock series) and young adults (the novel Lorali).
Week 3: Character and location
Engaging characters and a fascinating setting are crucial for any story, whether you are writing a science fiction young adult novel or a story about a little girl who sees the extraordinary in the ordinary. You will be able to learn from Laura's experience of building original worlds and bringing together different characters.
Week 4: Plot and narrative
In order to be memorable, strong characters and ideas also need an engaging story arc. In this class, Laura will cover developing and plotting your story to captivate your young readers from the first page to the last.
Week 5: Drafting and editing
No first draft is ever perfect. Feedback from others and your tutor can go a long way in helping you work out the tricky bits in your story, or give new life to a two-dimensional character. But reworking needn't be a chore – Laura will share key tips on rewriting and editing your story to bring out its strengths.
Week 6: Feedback and next steps
At the final session, you will be able to refresh your memory about key learnings over the past six weeks. Laura will provide feedback and advice on how to keep going, as well as tips on what to do next and how to get published.
Laura Dockrill is a writer, illustrator and performance poet whose work includes Carnegie Medal nominated young adult novel Lorali and the acclaimed Darcy Burdock book series for children, which was shortlisted for the Waterstones children’s book prize in 2014. In addition to her work as a creative writing tutor, she’s been a roaming reporter for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and performed her work on Newsnight, BBC Breakfast and BBC Woman’s Hour.
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Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.