A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - Through the Eyes of a Child: Exploring the World of Children's Literature
Are you a beginning writer with a story to tell or a published writer who wishes to build on your successes? Do you dream of creating books that children will love? In the first lesson, you'll explore ways to learn about the audience and the different types of children's literature. The lesson will also talk about the many awards given to honor this genre.
Lesson 02 - Read to Me, Mommy: The Integration of Artwork and the Printed Word
This lesson will focus specifically on children's picture books. It will start out by defining the broader category of picture books and then dissect a few samplings on the shelves—board books, cloth books, picture books, and picture storybooks.
Lesson 03 - I Can Do It: The Beginning Reader
In this lesson, you'll explore books for beginning readers and discover the resources available to writers. You'll dive into emergent readers and first chapter books and examine the impact of Harry Potter on children's book writing as a whole. You'll learn about the market and gain tips to help you create books children will love to read!
Lesson 04 - Growing Up: The Next Level
In this lesson, you'll explore the world of literature designed for the middle-grade and high school readers. You'll uncover the reasons why these books are demanding a larger amount of shelf space in libraries and bookstores. Young adult fiction is one of the hottest categories in publishing today, and this lesson will show you why.
Lesson 05 - Beyond Biographies: The World of Nonfiction Writing and Research
In this lesson, you'll embark on a nonfiction book tour. Even if you prefer fiction, this lesson still has much to offer you. Both fiction and nonfiction are rooted in accurate facts, so you'll spend a good deal of time on improving your research techniques. You'll discover how you can improve your writing by uncovering facts through primary and secondary sources. You'll also look at the myriad of different kinds of children's nonfiction—and how fascinating it is. The world has come a long way from bland biographies!
Lesson 06 - Story Patterns: The Easy Way to Create a Great Story
Do you know the difference between story and plot? There's a vital distinction that will make your writing easier. Speaking of easy, once you understand story patterns, your children's stories will almost write themselves! You'll also visit a panel of experts who will share tips on getting started.
Lesson 07 - Dramatic Elements: Structuring Children's Literature
Four dramatic elements form the structure of almost all children's literature. This lesson shows you how to make those elements work for your story. It will talk about homework—specifically, writer's homework! Research is important to writing well, and the lesson will provide you with some important resources. You'll also learn techniques on how to craft your critical first page, along with tips to keep the pages turning.
Lesson 08 - With Fresh Eyes: Editing the Manuscript
Grab your red pens—it's time to edit! In this lesson, you'll explore tools for turning first drafts into contracted manuscripts. You'll discover how to read like an editor and improve your publishing opportunities. You'll also explore the differences between proofreaders, copy editors, and critique groups.
Lesson 09 - In Search of a Publisher: Market Research
In this lesson, you'll explore the needs of publishing houses. You'll discover how to improve your chances of publication through market research. You'll also uncover the resources that other writers use to target publishers and discover how to recognize the right time to send your manuscript.
Lesson 10 - Dear Editor: Submitting Your Work
In this lesson, you'll learn how to submit your manuscript like a pro. You'll explore query and cover letters and see how to craft them to grab an editor's attention. You'll also learn the correct way to format your manuscript—which will help you keep your submission out of the slush pile and get it onto an editor's desk!
Lesson 11 - From Passion to Profit: The Business of Publishing
In this lesson, you'll explore the business side of children's publishing. You'll move beyond the writing and submission components and into the world of contracts and promotion. You'll learn how to get your books off of bookshelves and into the hands of your readers.
Lesson 12 - A Lifelong Adventure: Growing Your Writing
As you wrap up this course, you'll discover some ways that you can continue to grow yourself as a writer. You'll discover organizations and online communities that offer support to writers. You'll also get some final words of advice from the guest authors as you embark on your journey into the world of children's publishing. Dream big, and happy writing!