September 6, 2018
8 Weeks | $315
Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth. They accept, almost without question, anything you present them with, as long as it is presented honestly, fearlessly, and clearly. E.B. White
This class is for writers who’ve been writing for children and teens for a while, and are ready to learn more. It’s for writers curious about writing for children and teens, maybe even those who’ve been too shy to admit they are. It’s for writers who think they might have stories for children and teens buried inside, but aren’t quite sure. It’s for writers who want to experiment with writing for different age groups. It’s for fiction and nonfiction writers. Comics writers of fiction and nonfiction for children and teens are welcome, too.
Each week, the class will focus on a different age category, and a variety of forms, formats, and genres within that age category. Every session will also include a focus on writing essentials, like developing characters, storylines, and settings, as these relate to the intended audience.
Participants will submit pieces developed in response to exercises for workshop-style critique. They should expect to respond honestly, constructively, and supportively to all pieces submitted. They will leave the class with a number of experiments, as well as one more fully developed piece and a plan for continuing with it.
Week 1 — We’ll discuss similarities and differences between writing for children/teens and adults.
Week 2 — Picture books (fiction and nonfiction for 4-8).
Week 3 — Easy reader (fiction and nonfiction for 4-8).
Week 4 — Chapter books and nonfiction for 8-12.
Week 5 — Middle grade and nonfiction for 10-14.
Week 6 — YA/Teen and nonfiction for 12 and up.
Week 7 — Short fiction and nonfiction (articles, essays, etc.).
Week 8 — Work on a favorite piece and reflection.
Laura Williams McCaffrey is the kind of teacher and mentor whose voice and advice stay with you forever. I last worked with Laura a few years ago, and even now, as I tackle challenges in my writing, I hear her voice in my head, - kind, straightforward, sharp - advising me and helping me along. Laura is not only a phenomenal writer; she is a true teacher. She doesn't point out what's wrong with your work; she asks the right questions, so you come to the answers of what works and what doesn't yourself. I feel privileged to have had Laura as a teacher and mentor, and I would take any class of hers, anytime! - Beth Grosart
Laura is a gifted teacher who combines a passion for excellent writing with a genuine interest in the development of her students. I have grown tremendously under her mentorship, and her lessons continue to enrich my own writing. - Joyce McPherson, children's author
Laura Williams McCaffrey is not only a fantastic teacher, she is also a master of magic. McCaffrey always lets her students in on the secrets of her wonderful writing, and guides students to their best work with her thoughtful insight and calm instruction. I’ve had the honor of working with McCaffrey for a full semester and because of her, my fiction has a clear path and is the strongest it’s ever been. – Jessica Kennedy